89

Slim design, long battery life, stunning screen

89

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is good. Really good. With long battery life, a stunning screen and an especially thin and light design, it's a near-perfect product. Our main hang-up is that the performance doesn't always feel as brisk as it should (the forthcoming LTE edition uses a different chip, and has the potential to be faster, but it's unreasonable to ask someone to pay extra for the kind of performance they should have gotten on the WiFi-only models). In addition, the fingerprint scanner, though nice to have, can be temperamental -- so much so that we more than once locked ourselves out of the tablet. Finally, Samsung's Magazine UX feels a bit overbearing, mostly because you don't get the option of uninstalling it.

It doesn't look like that UI is going anywhere, but we do believe Samsung can address those minor performance issues via a software update. And even if it doesn't, this is still an excellent piece of kit. All told, we'd offer the same advice we would to prospective iPad buyers: Unless you want the extra screen real estate for watching movies, just buy the 8-inch version. It's cheaper, with a crisper screen, identical camera and just as much horsepower as the bigger model. Either way, you can't go wrong.

Buy It:

90-Day Price History

now
high
$399
low
$387

Critic reviews

8.2
21 reviews
  • Features
    6.6
  • Display
    9.9
  • Battery life
    7.7
  • Ease of use
    6.8
  • Storage capacity
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    7.3
  • Portability (size / weight)
    9.6
  • Durability
    8.1

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User reviews

9.0
4 reviews
9.0
Engadget Jun 24, 2014

With a gorgeous screen, super-thin design and long battery life, the Galaxy Tab S earns its place as one of our favorite tablets.

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8.0
The Wall Street Journal Jun 24, 2014

Samsung has finally delivered a tablet equivalent of one of the world's most popular smartphones—and given those who have bought that phone a few compelling reasons to buy a Tab S over an iPad.

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8.0
Gizmodo Jun 24, 2014

If you watch a ton of video, edit photos, and/or play a lot of HD games on your tablet, then it's worth considering for the screen alone, and the tablet it's attached to is pretty good, too. That said, the 8.4 is $400 and the 10.5 is $500, which is pretty pricey!

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8.0
AnandTech Jun 24, 2014

The Galaxy Tab S is easily the most compelling tablet family Samsung has ever released. The devices are incredibly thin, very light and boast displays that can be easily configured to be among the most accurate in the industry.

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8.0
TechCrunch Jun 24, 2014

I still find that the Android tablet ecosystem lags behind that of Apple and its iPad, but Samsung has put a lot of work in since the first Galaxy tablet devices, and it really shows.

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8.0
CNET Jun 24, 2014

An exceptional screen and a long list of software goodies make the Galaxy Tab S Samsung's best tablet to date and our top Android choice for an entertainment slate.

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8.0
PC Mag Jun 24, 2014

If you're dead-set on an Android tablet, the Tab S will delight, but the Air is still a safer bet for the platform-independent.

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8.0
Laptop Magazine Jun 24, 2014

Whether you like to watch a lot of video on your tablet or you enjoy looking through everyone's Facebook photos, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 gives you a pretty awesome canvas in a very slim and light design.

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7.0
Re/code Jun 24, 2014

All in all, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is a very good premium tablet, especially if judged on hardware specs. I just wish the software was as impressive as the hardware.

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9.0
SlashGear Jun 24, 2014

It’s taken Samsung a while, but the Galaxy Tab S demonstrates its tablet division has finally caught up with its phones, and that Android slates needn’t be the ugly cousins to Apple’s iPads in either design or capabilities.

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8.0
Mashable Jun 24, 2014

The overall experience is still a few notches down from what the iPad gives you, but at Android tablets go, the Galaxy Tab S won't disappoint… as long as you don't tap it too much.

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9.0
phoneArena Jun 24, 2014

Everything about the tablet screams premium, with the exception of its plastic chassis of course – though, to be fair, it contributes in giving it a thin and light construction.

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9.0
Android Authority Jun 24, 2014

My fire for tablets may not have rekindled completely, but Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is definitely Samsung’s best foot forward thus far, and was a very enjoyable experience.

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8.0
The Verge Jun 24, 2014

For everything that Samsung got right with the Tab S, it feels like there's something else it just didn't pay enough attention to. Samsung seems to be once again targeting the iPad, but focusing on all the wrong things.

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8.0
GSM Arena Jun 25, 2014

he ultra-slim slate is certainly worthy of the S badge thanks to its gorgeous Super AMOLED display, powerful hardware, almost overwhelming set of features, as well as a great deal of bundled content.

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8.0
GSM Arena Jun 30, 2014

Despite facing much stiffer competition than its smaller relative, the big fella is just as worthy of sporting the famous S in its name. It therefore deserves a spot at the top of the shopping list of anyone looking for such a device regardless of the OS.

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9.0
Android Police Jun 25, 2014

These are not only the best tablets that Samsung has ever released, but they're easily better than any other tablet on the market right now. I personally prefer the 8.4-inch model and highly recommend it, but if you're a larger tablet kind of person, the 10.5 is equally as fantastic.

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8.0
Business Insider Jun 24, 2014

Samsung created an impressive tablet, but by pricing it the same as the iPad, its drawbacks, especially the lack of tablet-optimized apps on Android, make it a tougher sell.

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8.0
Digital Trends Jun 24, 2014

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S 10.5 sports a stunning Super AMOLED screen, a fingerprint reader, and top-notch specs. If you want the best Android slate, it should be near the top of your list.

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8.0
USA Today Jul 1, 2014

The arrival of the Galaxy Tab S (and that smashing display) means the iPad faces a formidable new challenger. In the ongoing rivalry between Apple and Samsung, we have a winner: the consumer.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jun 12, 2014

A mix of thoughtful updates, familiar design and some seriously impressive screens makes the Galaxy Tab S family one to consider when units start hitting shelves this July.

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product preview
Ars Technica Jun 12, 2014

The tablets both feel extremely slim and light, and the finish of the metal edges gives them a polished look. The patterned back takes away a bit from the refined feel, but since it's a plastic rubber, it seems more for function (namely, grip) than form.

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product preview
CNET Jun 12, 2014

When you sort through all the "special" features and marketing messages, what you're left with is a slickly designed, zippy Android tablet with a very nice screen and an expansion port for additional memory.

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product preview
Mashable Jun 13, 2014

Unlike some previous Samsung Galaxy tablets that felt as if Samsung skimped a bit on hardware and design (plastics, bleh), the Galaxy Tab S tablets offer an metallic back that curves smoothly around the edges to meet the glass front.

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product preview
GSM Arena Jun 12, 2014

The ultra slim waistline adds even more to the looks as it really benefits the high-end vibe that is so crucial for tablets looking to position themselves as premium.

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Forbes Jun 12, 2014

Gone is the slight cheap feeling of Samsung’s older Tabs. The plastic used is perhaps less ideal than Apple's aluminium construction, but the build quality is still excellent. It’s also a lighter device for it, beating Apple’s iPad Air by a few grammes.

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product preview
IGN Jun 13, 2014

Overall, the Galaxy Tab S is a marked improvement over Samsung's previous offerings in the tablet market, especially when it comes to hardware. Gone is the cheap, plastic feel of earlier tablets; the Tab S looks, feels, and most importantly, functions like a premium device.

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product preview
Android Central Jun 12, 2014

They both manage to pack everything into a body that's just 6.6 mm thick. And both tablets are light, too — about 294 grams for the 8.4-inch tablet, and 467 grams for the 10.5-incher. (The versions with cellular radios will weigh just a hair more.)

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product preview
TechRadar Jun 13, 2014

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S range is very… well…very Samsung. It's nothing special in terms of design but backed up by an intuitive interface, stunning screen and great specs under the hood.

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product preview
TrustedReviews Jun 13, 2014

One or two small niggles aside, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is a very promising tablet. The screen looks great and the refined design feels like a meaningful and long overdue step forward for Samsung.

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8.0
falleninsea falleninsea

1st and foremost the screen is awesome and more than likely you are buying this for the screen. the display is 1600 x 2560 Pixel, 360ppi and is great. Now will you truly appreciate the display playing games or watching movies? Maybe this is can be subjective. for me i really think its noticeable...

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9.0
jboogie555 jboogie555

Screen alone sells the tablet. Movies look great! Sidesync 3.0 is pretty cool. Hopefully root comes and debloating will let this beast roar even more. Overall very satisfied with purchase. 10.5 white w/ titanium cover.

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