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Samsung has once again taken the tech world by storm with the much-anticipated release of its latest offerings: the Galaxy Tab S9, S9 Plus, and S9 Ultra. These tablets mark a continuation of the Tab S8 series, maintaining similar designs and features that have garnered them a dedicated following. However, amidst the excitement of these new tablets, one cannot ignore the shifting landscape of the tablet market, which now boasts unexpected contenders from companies like Google and OnePlus. These competitors are challenging the conventional notions of what a tablet can be, often at more budget-friendly prices compared to Samsung’s premium offerings.
With the pre-order date set for today, July 26th, and shipping commencing on August 11th, tech enthusiasts and Samsung fans alike eagerly await the opportunity to get their hands on the new Tab S9 lineup. As expected, the starting price for the smallest Tab S9 is $799.99, while the larger models, Tab S9 Plus and S9 Ultra, come in at $999.99 and $1,199.99, respectively.
Although the new tablets maintain a semblance of familiarity, the upgrades lie beneath the surface. Enhanced processors and up-to-date software grace the flagship models, and existing models will likely receive these updates later in the year. Samsung continues to emphasize productivity, offering software that supports multitasking and other features geared toward power users. The optional keyboard cases further transform these tablets into pseudo-laptops, broadening their appeal to those seeking a versatile computing experience.
One standout improvement across the entire lineup is the adoption of OLED screens, a significant upgrade from previous models. With a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, the tablets offer smooth scrolling and reduced pen latency, promising an engaging and seamless user experience. However, Samsung has adhered to the 16:10 aspect ratio across the board, a decision that may cater well to landscape mode usage but could pose limitations for reading and other portrait-oriented activities compared to competitors like the iPad or the OnePlus Pad.
The South Korean tech giant has also made a notable leap in durability, as all three Tab S9 models now sport an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. This addition brings the tablets on par with Samsung’s top-tier smartphones, setting them apart from the majority of Android tablets and even the iPad, albeit to a modest extent.
Under the hood, the Tab S9 series relies on the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, Samsung’s exclusive version of Qualcomm‘s top-tier processor. The base model, the 11-inch S9, comes equipped with 8GB of RAM, while the larger variants, S9 Plus and S9 Ultra, boast 12GB and 16GB of RAM, respectively. Storage options range from 128GB to 256GB for the Tab S9, 256GB to 512GB for the Tab S9 Plus, and a generous 1TB for the Tab S9 Ultra. Additionally, all three models provide the flexibility to expand storage through microSD cards, setting them apart from both iPads and most other Android tablets on the market.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6E for optimal home network speeds, and while 5G connectivity is available, it might vary depending on the user’s carrier and region.
The hardware features are equally impressive, as the tablets come bundled with the S Pen stylus, boasting a textured grip and a wider tilt angle. Samsung also boasts a quad-speaker system with Dolby Atmos, providing a richer and more immersive audio experience. Furthermore, the tablets feature in-screen fingerprint scanners for added security. Buyers can choose between beige or graphite gray variants, but it’s worth noting that the charging brick is not included in the package.
For those who prioritize an advanced writing or drawing experience, Samsung has introduced the optional S Pen Creator Edition, offering a larger size and the ability to switch between softer and firmer tips, making it a perfect tool for creative professionals and artists.
Samsung’s software remains a key differentiator, offering an array of options for productivity and multitasking, surpassing what is available on competing tablets like the Google Pixel Tablet or OnePlus Pad. With the ability to run up to three apps simultaneously in split-screen mode and a full desktop environment through the Dex feature, Samsung provides a superior workspace for multitaskers. A groundbreaking feature called Multi Control allows seamless wireless copying, pasting, and image dragging between compatible Samsung devices, offering a seamless and cohesive user experience.