Along with announcing the Galaxy S22 lineup, Samsung has refreshed its range of tablets — which some folks already had an inkling about after earlier leaks. For the first time, Samsung is introducing an Ultra tablet, which aligns with the Ultra branding the company slaps on its highest-end phones.
Unsurprisingly, the Tab S8 Ultra has more tricked-out specs than the Tab S8 and S8+. The company says it's the first Android 2-in-1 with an 14.6-inch Super AMOLED screen. The 2,960 x 1,848 display has a 120 Hz refresh rate, which should make writing or drawing with the new S Pen feel more responsive. Samsung says it's employing a prediction algorithm to deliver its "smoothest writing experience yet." The new S Pen is also included with the S8 and S8+.
The dual 12MP front-facing cameras — one wide, one ultra-wide — on the S8 Ultra will enable you to join conference calls with a 4K video feed, but there's a notch to accommodate them. Auto-framing tech is designed to keep you front and center on video calls, and it will zoom in and out to include other people who join you. On the audio front, there are a trio of precision microphones with noise reduction tech and four Dolby Atmos-compatible speakers. The Tab S8 and S8+ have the same speaker system.
All three devices boast a 4nm octa-core chip (which Samsung says is the fastest processor it has put in a Galaxy tablet to date), Android 12, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi 6E support and a microSD slot. The S8 and S8+ have 8GB of RAM and come with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. As for the S8 Ultra, you can have up to 16GB of RAM with 512GB of onboard storage.
The three devices share the same rear camera system with a 13MP autofocus sensor, 6MP ultra-wide camera and a flash. The S8 and S8+ have a sole 12MP ultra-wide front-facing camera.
There's support for 45W fast charging that Samsung claims can fully charge the S8 Ultra battery in 90 minutes and the other two tablets in 80 minutes. You can expect all-day battery life on all three models, according to the company. It says that equates to 15 hours of video playback on Tab S8, 13 hours of video playback on the S8+ and 14 hours of video playback on the S8 Ultra. If one of your other devices (say, a Galaxy S22) is running low on power, you can connect it to the tablet via USB-C to juice it up.
The key difference between the Tab S8 and S8+ is the size. The S8 has a 11-inch LED Full HD, 2,560 x 1,600 display, while the S8+ has a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,800 x 1,752. Both have a refresh rate of 120Hz. A bigger display means the S8+ has a space for a larger battery. It has a capacity of 10,090mAh, compared with the Tab S8's 8,000mAh battery.
The tablets can connect to your Galaxy smartphone or Windows PC as well. You can share photos, files and notes between your phone and tablet, while the Galaxy Buds' Auto Switch function allows you to move between devices without having to pair them again. The DeX mode, which lets users extend their TV, PC or phone display onto a Tab S8 device, can now be used in vertical orientation — which might come in handy for monitoring Slack or Twitter on a second screen.
Meanwhile, Samsung Health will be available on Galaxy tablets for the first time. Users can view workouts and see health and fitness data from a Galaxy Watch on their Tab S8 device.
As with the Galaxy S22 lineup, Galaxy Tab S8 tablets are partially made with plastic components that are repurposed from discarded fishing nets. Samsung also says the tablets will ship to customers in its slimmest packaging to date, which is made from sustainably sourced paper.
Pre-orders open today for all three models. The Galaxy Tab S8 and S8+ are available in pink gold, graphite and silver. They start at $700 and $900, respectively, and pre-ordering will net you a slim book cover keyboard at no extra cost. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which is only available in graphite, starts at $1,100. If you pre-order, Samsung will toss in a backlit book cover keyboard.
Catch up on all of the news from Samsung’s February Unpacked event right here!