Samsung has announced the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, its highest-end Android-powered tablet yet. With a starting price of $1,099.99, this tablet is directly targeted at those who might be interested in picking up Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 or Apple’s iPad Pro, yet want to remain in the Android world.
It certainly has the specs to boot. Samsung went all-in with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, giving it a very large 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2960×1848 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. This size is larger than both the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 8, so you’re definitely getting a lot more into laptop territory than anything.
Under the hood, Samsung includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, which is expandable via microSD card. There’s an 11,200mAh battery inside with support for 45Wh fast charging, and Samsung says you’ll be able to charge your other devices with it over USB-C. You’ll also find Wi-Fi 6E and 5G for wireless connectivity.
The design of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is much stronger than the previous version, with Samsung using an Armor Aluminum frame that’s over 30 percent more scratch-resistant and 40 percent less prone to bending compared to the Tab S7. The S8 Ultra comes with an S Pen which magnetically stores on the back of the device and supports all of the S Pen features you’d expect (quick actions, advanced drawing capabilities, quick notes, etc.). It’s also compatible with a new Book Cover Keyboard Slim to give you easy access to a physical keyboard.
The cameras on the Galaxy S8 Ultra have seen a notable upgrade this generation, with two new sensors gracing the front of the device inside a notch. Samsung says the dual 12MP sensors (one standard, one ultra-wide) can record 4K video, much like the rear 13MP camera. In addition, the selfie shooters offer a feature similar to Apple’s Center Stage which will keep your face in frame while on video calls. It can also blur your background during calls.
Quad stereo speakers can be found on the sides of the Tab S8 Ultra, and there’s a fingerprint sensor under the display.
Of course, what’s perhaps the most important aspect of this device is the software it runs on. Samsung is including a tablet-optimized version of One UI 4 based on Android 12 with a slew of multitasking features in tow. This was my biggest concern with the Galaxy Tab S7 since Android generally isn’t great on tablets, regardless of the quality of the hardware.
Luckily, it seems that Samsung has made some progress with One UI 4. There’s an updated task bar to give you quick access to frequently-used apps, windowing support, split-screen support, and more. You’ll also find a redesigned version of Samsung Notes for jotting down your thoughts with the S Pen. What’s more, Samsung says the device supports DeX for connecting to an external monitor, as well as using the tablet itself as a secondary monitor for your Windows PC.
Samsung will also help the Tab S8 Ultra last longer after you’ve bought it. The company is committing to four generations of major Android upgrades and five years’ worth of security updates for all of its latest devices. While the tablet likely won’t take off like a Surface Pro 8 or iPad Pro, it at least has a chance at claiming the hearts of those who enjoy using Android to get their work done.
Samsung will launch the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra on February 25th. Preorders are now live. The device will ship in Graphite, Silver and Pink Gold finishes.