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15 hours ago

How to enable night mode on the Galaxy Tab S3

2

Avoid messing up your circadian rhythm with the built-in blue-light filter.

I love to read late at night, but doing so on a backlit tablet display isn't the best idea before settling in for some shut eye. Studies have shown that the blue-hued light emitted from screens are detrimental to keeping the circadian rhythm functioning as it should.

Samsung equipped the Galaxy Tab S3 with a yellow-hued night mode so that when you're using the tablet before bed – reading digital magazines or e-books, for instance — you aren't surreptitiously telling your brain you're avoiding rest. You can set it up to automatically switch on after sundown, or toggle it on from the Quick Settings.

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20 hours ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs. ASUS Chromebook Flip: Which one is better for productivity?

19

Tthe Galaxy Tab S3 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip are exceptional as productivity machines. But one is better for productivity.

I've always been particularly dubious about whether a tablet could fulfill all my productivity needs. And that's why I purchased an ASUS Chromebook Flip: to write copy and edit photos, and then upload all that to the internet. I need to be able to do this quickly and efficiently, which is possible on Chrome OS.

I'd hoped the Galaxy Tab S3 could have shattered those preconceived notions I had about tablets since it comes bundled with a ubiquitous pressure sensitive stylus, the S Pen. But after a week with it as my secondary productivity machine, I went crawling back to my Chromebook. There are still some elements of the Android tablet interface that make it clunky to use for work, and even though Samsung's S Pen makes the Tab S3 such a pleasant experience, it's not enough that I could trust it out on the road as my only productivity device.

Scrawling is nice, but typing is faster

Typing is faster than writing.

I'd much prefer to type on the Chromebook Flip than scrawl out my notes with the Tab S3.

The Galaxy Tab S3's S Pen is incredibly convincing. It's easy to use, to wield, and to write with. You can use it to crop parts of the screen as you need to save a screenshot, or draw on parts of the screen and save that as a diagram. You can even write on the screen while it's off — sort of — and that's my favorite feature because I'm constantly scrawling throughout the day. I can even launch a new Google Keep post-it to scribble down what I need — another great feature to have, particularly if you're furiously jotting down shorthand.

But you don't need to pay the money that's required of the Tab S3 to get that sort of functionality from a tablet-like device. The Chromebook Flip flips into a tablet, which you can then use with a cheap stylus for diagram drawing. It's not as good at handwriting as the S Pen, but it is better for typing marathons; its keyboard is soft and velvety, and more comfortable to use compared to the constricted layout that's offered with the Tab S3's optional $130 keyboard.

See at Amazon

Apps are better with a desktop

The desktop can help you get more done.

The desktop can help you get more done.

Apps are a major part of the productivity realm, and thankfully, many companies have embraced the life of the mobile worker. You can find most of the Microsoft Office suite in the Google Play Store, for instance, as well as various titles from Adobe's camp. There are also apps for other services you might need for work, like VPN clients, chat applications, and collaborative boards. Since Chrome OS has adopted Android apps, these suites have also become available to the Chromebook ecosystem, though many of them also sport companion browser apps.

The Chromebook can use Android apps; Android tablets don't have the flexibility of Chrome apps.

Using Android and Chromebook apps interchangeably have made me realize that I have an easier time flipping between apps on Chrome OS not only because I have a choice between the app and the web app, but there's a desktop available for sprawling out that work. I can spread out windows and place them around as I need them to compare information between apps. I can also easily drag and drop between apps and services without having to tap a multitasking button and sifting between the apps I'm using. And though the Tab S3 employs Nougat's excellent multi-window feature, having to set up two apps side-by-side while up against a deadline is a major stressor. I can move faster on a Chromebook.

Dealing with photos

Photos aren't easy to edit on the Tab S3.

RAW photos aren't easy to manage on the Tab S3.

I'm sticking to the Chromebook Flip, primarily because it can handle a massive batch of those RAW files where the Tab S3 can't.

Neither the Galaxy Tab S3 nor the Chromebook Flip are particularly outstanding at importing a massive batch of RAW photos, but I've found that it's easier to develop a method to the madness with Chrome OS. I set up a virtual "My Documents" folder where I can store RAW files and import only the ones I need into an editing app like Polar. I also appreciate the physical sensation of dragging and dropping files around, which is possible on Chrome OS — even though the trackpad on the Chromebook Flip isn't very good.

I also tend to use a microSD card in an adapter in my DSLR, so that I can mount the card inside the Chromebook. I can do the same with the Galaxy Tab S3 and its expansion slot, but the way that Android handles SD cards means that some apps won't accept the methods of storage, and so I can't access those files or open a batch of them in an editing app.

Which is it? The Chromebook

Which one to use?

Which one to adopt for work?

I worry for my future as I'm realizing that I may be the last generation that's used to a desktop-style environment; that relies on that drag-and-drop sensation in our digital lives. Is my inability to catch on to the Tab S3's tablet interface a true folly of Android's? Or is it that I'm just not used to interface's mechanisms because that's not what I've been conditioned to use?

The answer to that lies in another story, for another time. For now, I'm sticking to the Chromebook Flip as the secondary work machine, primarily because it can handle a massive batch of those RAW files where the Tab S3 can't. Multitasking between windows is easier, too, and though the Chromebook doesn't play as nicely with a stylus, I hardly found myself missing the S Pen after putting it down.

Everyone has different needs, which is what makes the variety of technology that's available so exciting for the rest of us. My experience shouldn't deter you if you're looking to adopt a tablet-only lifestyle, and the Tab S3's S Pen capabilities may be worth the price for you. If you're an artist or a creative type who needs to physically write to be prolific, you're likely to have a better experience with Samsung's tablet than with a convertible Chromebook and some after-market stylus.

See Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 at Amazon See ASUS Chromebook Flip at Amazon

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3 days ago

The Galaxy Tab S3 is worth buying just for its S Pen

38

Samsung has once again graced the tablet world with the presence of its S Pen. Here's why the Galaxy Tab S3 is worth it simply for its pressure sensitive stylus.

It's been years since a major tablet release from Samsung came bundled with a stylus. The last S Pen-equipped device was the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (say that in one breath). But now that the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad Pro have become mainstays with their stylus-equipped tablets, Samsung is throwing its S Pen back into the ring.

The S Pen became an attractive reason to choose a larger Galaxy Note smartphone over smaller devices, and now that technology has been bundled with the Galaxy Tab S3. If you're considering a tablet with a stylus in tow for your next purchase, here are a few reasons to consider Samsung's latest tablet over the competition.

It's compatible with a ton of apps

The most important thing to know about the S Pen is that it's compatible with any mobile application that supports the stylus input. I tested it with apps like Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, and Adobe Draw and all three applications recognized the S Pen's pressure sensitivity, though not all of them registered it fully. Drawings apps will be more precise than productivity-focused ones, for instance, because they're programmed to recognize the nuance in the direction of the S Pen. The point is, you can get professional-grade work done with this tablet.

The Galaxy Tab S3 also comes with its own Samsung Notes, which is good for quick hits and jotting down random notes when other apps aren't immediately available. But I preferred to use the S Pen with OneNote, which is where I typically scrawl notes throughout the work day. I appreciated, too, that the S Pen's 0.7mm tip helps make it one of the most accurate styluses I've ever used.

Program it, however you like

Adobe Draw.

Maybe you don't want to use the actions set by default in the S Pen's Air Command — that's fine! You can program the Air Command menu as you like, whether to pin oft-used apps and services or to rearrange the order of some of the S Pen's default abilities. You can add up to a maximum of ten shortcuts or as few as one — the one shortcut to rule them all.

Easily translate words

Translate German.

Translate the language on screen with just a hover of the S Pen.

I like to read German website and I'm continuing my education in my parent's native language. It helps to have a built-in translation feature that doesn't require I copy and paste text into another app, as is typically the case with using Google Translate.

On the Galaxy Tab S3, you can enable a mode that translates the language on screen with just a hover of the S Pen over the word. The feature works in most apps with clear text, including Texture, the magazine reading app. I like to use this feature when I'm reading Romanian websites because then I can translate any of the words I'm stumbling on without having to translate the entire page into English. It forces me to practice.

Make animated GIFs

GIFs.

Use this feature to extract text from an image.

This isn't a necessary feature per se but it is a fun feature to have readily available. You can hover over the screen and select Smart select from the Air Command window to create an animated GIF from a non-DRM video file. It works fine with YouTube videos and most videos displayed in the tablet browser, though you won't be able to use it inside apps like Netflix and Hulu — that's considered copyrighted content.

You can also use Smart select to crop out a portion of the screen and save it as a separate image file. This is helpful if, for instance, you need to share quick information with coworkers through chat. You can even use this feature to extract text from an image and then paste it into another note taking app. These are helpful multitasking abilities to have built into the interface.

Write with the screen off

Screen off.

The Galaxy Tab S3 doesn't actually work when its screen is off, but it does come enabled with a feature that lets you easily pen a note without having to endure unlock hell. Simply grab the S Pen, click its button, tap it to the screen, and get to writing. The note will be saved in the Samsung Notes app, where you can then export it to other applications as you need. It's a good feature to have if you're living a life that's constantly on the go.

Would you like a stylus?

Would you like a stylus with your next tablet? Got any other questions about the S Pen's abilities? Sound off in the comments!

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5 days ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: The next great Android tablet

98
The Galaxy Tab S3.

The Android world has been patiently waiting for the Next Great Android Tablet. Samsung's third-gen Galaxy Tab S3 may very well be it.

The quick take

The Galaxy Tab S3 is a solid Android tablet with a high definition 9.7-inch display, a stylish metal-and-glass body, and a robust pressure-sensitive stylus that proves — yet again — what a fantastic piece of technology the S Pen really is. If only its battery life were a bit better for those of you planning to multitask the heck out of life with this tablet device in tow.

The Good

  • A bevy of multitasking software features
  • The S Pen is everything
  • Stylish hardware
  • Available with an optional, comfortable keyboard

The Bad

  • Battery life is fine when the screen isn't on
  • No water resistance
  • It's not a replacement for a laptop

See at Best Buy

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1 week ago

Android 7.1.2 beta 2 for Pixel C adds Pixel launcher, brand new multitasking interface

3
Android 7.1.2 Beta for Pixel C

A great sign of cohesion for the old Pixel C getting with the times.

Android 7.1.2 beta 2 has started rolling out for Pixels and Nexuses, bringing some older devices up to speed with some new features. Sliding under the radar, at first, was the Pixel C, which actually seems to have received the largest changes. The latest beta release includes the Pixel launcher, as well as a brand new multitasking interface that makes multi-window management a bit more natural and altogether better looking.

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1 week ago

Google Assistant won't be compatible with your Android tablet any time soon

36

The company has no plans to push its Assistant capabilities to tablets.

Sad news, Android tablet users. Not only are Android tablets sort of scarce these days, but Google doesn't appear to be committed to equipping them with Assistant, either.

Android Police noticed that in last month's blog post, Google avoided mentioning that any Android tablets would be seeing the update that enables Assistant on Android 6.0 and above. When the site's editors reached out to Google, they received the following response:

The Assistant will be available on Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones with Google Play Services, this does not include tablets.

It's certainly a bummer that we won't officially see Assistant on Android tablets, especially considering that some tablets tend to be considered the household computer. Wouldn't it be great to set up Assistant so that anyone who plops down on the couch can summon a Netflix binge on the living room Chromecast? (If you're especially desperate for this to happen, you can root your device and try this XDA Developers trick.)

For now, there is no word whether Google will ever bring Assistant to Android-powered tablets.

Google Hardware

Google Wifi:

Google Amazon

Google Home:

Google Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google Best Buy

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1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 launching March 24, pre-orders start March 17 at $599

47

It won't be cheap, but you also don't have many other options.

Initial leaks about price proved to be correct, as now we know for sure the Galaxy Tab S3 will go up for pre-order starting March 17, with in-store availability coming March 24. The price, as expected, is a smooth $599 that puts it up in the same territory as Apple's iPad lineup of the same size.

For that money you're getting Samsung's most powerful tablet yet, but also one that gets a bit closer to modern specs than previous models. The 9.7-inch display is backed up by a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 6000mAh battery with fast charging through its USB-C port, and 32GB of storage with an SD card slot as well.

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1 week ago

Best Android Tablet of 2017

Update, March 2017: The Pixel C is still the best Android tablet you can buy right now, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 may change that very soon.

Best overall

Pixel C

See at Google

We liked the Pixel C when it first arrived at the end of 2015. We thought the aluminum design was striking, even at a time where we saw aluminum and other metal devices from all the people making phones and tablets and decided the added weight (a 10.2-inch aluminum tablet can be hefty) was a fair trade for the excellent way it was designed and built. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor handled everything well and the 1:√2 aspect ratio was easier to get used to than anyone had guessed. We really loved the display. The 2560x1800 display was bright and crisp and represented the Pixel brand very well. But we couldn't help but feel the tablet hadn't reached its full potential.

Android 7.0 and the native multi-window display feature changed that. With either of the keyboard folio covers, multi-window turned the Pixel C from yet another Android tablet with a keyboard case into something you really could use for light work or school. We're not trying to validate any company's claim that a tablet can replace a laptop when it comes to productivity, but when you need to do it, The Pixel C is the best way to do it.

Bottom line: No tablet is perfect. Neither is Android. But when you want to combine the two, the Pixel C is the best way you can spend your money until someone else can build something better.

One more thing: Because this is a Google hardware product, the Pixel C will be among the first Android tablets to be updated with new features.

Why the Pixel C is the best

A tablet that covers every need.

The Pixel C does everything you would want a tablet to do. YouTube or anything else on the web is great on the gorgeous screen, all the apps you love work well. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor is a screamer when it comes to gaming. This can be said about many Android tablets. The difference really did come with the Android 7.0 update.

Working, whether it's on a presentation for your boss or a paper for your professor, is very different on a tablet than it is on a more conventional computer. Apps are designed to be more simple and easy to use with a touch screen while omitting many of the battery-hungry features you would find in their desktop counterparts. The biggest hurdle has always been finding a way to organize the things you're doing on your screen while you're doing them. Samsung has had this figured out for a while, and even those of us who don't appreciate a split-window view on a phone will see the value on a 10.2-inch screen. The Pixel C now offers a native Android solution, with arguable better hardware (and a better keyboard) and current software.

The software has finally caught up with the excellent design and build and we put the Pixel C at the top of the Android tablet hill.

Budget power

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

See at Amazon

The Shield Tablet is a gaming powerhouse featuring NVIDIA's cutting-edge 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 processor. Forward-facing stereo speakers offer quality sound, and the now optional stylus opens up helpful functionality for day-to-day usage. But the Shield Tablet's software is what really sets it apart. Built right into the notification tray, for example, is the ability to stream what's on your screen to Twitch. Remote access software combined with the optional hardware gamepad allow you to play games that are running on your PC.

Alternatively, the GeForce Now cloud gaming service lets you do the same with games and computers hosted by NVIDIA. The Shield Tablet K1 recently received a mild refresh over the original, changing the exterior styling a little but more importantly reducing the price by $100. You no longer get a charger or the stylus included in the box, but the savings do give you enough extra cash to pick up the cover and controller. Which you really want if you're going to use the Shield to its fullest.

Bottom line: Even for those that aren't hardcore gamers, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a powerful tablet and offers excellent value for the price.

One more thing: The Shield Tablet has also been updated to Android 7.0 so you'll have some of the same software benefits as our top pick!

Slim and sleek

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

See at Amazon

Update: The Galaxy Tab S3 is coming very, very soon, so we'd hold off buying a Tab S2 unless you absolutely need one right now. Not only will the Tab S3 have much better specs and updated software, but it comes with an S Pen.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 brings together some of the best components available. As usual, Samsung delivers a high-quality display and manages to do it in a particularly slim package. To top it all off, it's got the processing power to handle just about anything you could throw at it.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is available in two sizes, 8 inches and 9.7 inches, each only 5.6 mm thin. The display resolution comes in at 2048x1536 pixels, which is more than enough for enjoying HD movies or 3D games. Inside you'll find a 1.9 GHz processor and 3GB of RAM. An 8-megapixel camera sits on the back, and the home button doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy Tab S2 ticks all of the boxes on hardware and while Samsung's software still divides opinion, it's packed with useful features.

Bottom line: While a bit pricier than other Android tablets, the slim design and beautiful screen are things you won't find in any other tablet.

One more thing: The Galaxy Tab S2 also has a great fingerprint sensor built into the home button.

For the enthusiast

Nexus 9

See at Amazon

Google partnered with HTC to deliver the Nexus 9 tablet as a spearhead for the Android Lollipop release. As it stands, the Nexus 9's blazing fast 64-bit 2.3 GHz processor and direct affiliation with Google provide it with a healthy degree of support, despite the fact it's over a year old. The Nexus 9 shuns the 16:9 form factor favored by so many Android tablets and instead goes for a more portrait friendly 4:3 with a 2048x1536 resolution display. So it's much nicer to hold in either orientation.

The back of the Nexus 9 has a soft touch coating available in a few different colors, but what's great about it right now is that you can find it for some bargain prices. Deals are frequent and since it's a Nexus you're getting the latest software, usually before everyone else. If you want to get some work done with the Nexus 9, there's an optional keyboard cover for it, too.

For the nerds out there who like to be on the bleeding edge (or more so, developers), the Nexus 9 is one of the early devices with access to any Android developer previews. But think twice before putting them on a daily driver.

For Android enthusiasts, the Nexus 9 is an easy pick. But if you just want a big tablet, running Android and don't want to spend too much, check it out.

Bottom line: For the Android enthusiast, the Nexus 9 is an excellent test-bed for custom software installations. It's fully unlockable and factory software is readily provided.

One more thing: The community will continue support for the Nexus 9 long after it officially ends because of its open hardware and bootloader.

Conclusion

Like most things, there is no one Android tablet that's right for everyone. That's one of the big reasons Google was able to break Apple's dominance in mobile computing — they offer a choice for just about everyone. Whether you want the stylish look and thin profile of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 or the high-powered yet low-priced NVIDIA Shield K1 — or anything in between — someone is making a tablet that will work for you.

Our pick with the Pixel C is tough to beat. Great construction, an awesome screen, and current software with all the features you hear about directly from Google make it the one tablet we can recommend to everyone.

Best overall

The Pixel C

See at Google

We liked the Pixel C when it first arrived at the end of 2015. We thought the aluminum design was striking, even at a time where we saw aluminum and other metal devices from all the people making phones and tablets and decided the added weight (a 10.2-inch aluminum tablet can be hefty) was a fair trade for the excellent way it was designed and built. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor handled everything well and the 1:√2 aspect ratio was easier to get used to than anyone had guessed. We really loved the display. The 2560x1800 display was bright and crisp and represented the Pixel brand very well. But we couldn't help but feel the tablet hadn't reached its full potential.

Android 7.0 and the native multi-window display feature changed that. With either of the keyboard folio covers, multi-window turned the Pixel C from yet another Android tablet with a keyboard case into something you really could use for light work or school. We're not trying to validate any company's claim that a tablet can replace a laptop when it comes to productivity, but when you need to do it, The pixel C is the best way to do it.

Bottom line: No tablet is perfect. Neither is Android. But when you want to combine the two, the Pixel C is the best way you can spend your money until someone else can build something better.

One more thing: Because this is a Google hardware product, the Pixel C will be among the first Android tablets to be updated with new features.

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1 week ago

Which Android tablets have the best camera?

8
Galaxy Tab S2

If you want an Android slate with a camera that's not a total afterthought, your only real option is Samsung's Tab S line.

The Android tablet space is kinda weird right now, ahead of major changes expected later in the year in the world of Google laptops, tablets, and convertibles. If you need an Android tablet right this second, the best options are Google's Pixel C and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 series, soon to be superseded by the Tab S3. For more laptop-like productivity, there's Lenovo's Yoga Book. But of this subset of decent Android tablets, only Samsung's Tab S2 treats the camera as more than an afterthought.

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2 weeks ago

NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Tablet K1 updated with stability and crash fixes

20

It's always good to get an update, no matter how small.

NVIDIA's tablets, the much-older Shield Tablet and refreshed cheaper Shield Tablet K1, are both getting the same "software upgrade 5.1" with various fixes aimed at improving instances of crashes and instability. The pair of 8-inch tablets should download the update automatically, but you can always check manually in your settings if you're impatient.

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3 weeks ago

Best Samsung Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Update March 2017: Samsung's refresh of the Galaxy Tab S line at MWC 2017 means it was also time for an update of this list.

Best overall

Galaxy Tab S3

See at Samsung

After well over a year of waiting, we now have a successor to the Tab S2 9.7 — the Galaxy Tab S3. It has a big and beautiful display of the same size, but the hardware has been upped considerably to a full metal and glass frame. The insides jump to the near-latest available with a Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (plus SD card) and USB-C charging.

The Tab S3 has also added a brand new S Pen that brings all of the features of the now-defunct Galaxy Note 7 but with a larger form factor that's easy to use. The tablet is also designed to be used with a full-sized physical keyboard case that connects directly to the tablet without batteries or Bluetooth.

Android tablets still have issues with software and app compatibility, but this is quite easily Samsung's best overall tablet yet.

Bottom line: The Tab S3 is great for those who need a tablet that can do it all.

One more thing: You really should consider the keyboard attachment for getting work done.

Why the Galaxy Tab S3 is the best

Samsung saw better sales and usage of its larger Galaxy Tab S2 9.7, and chose to put all of its efforts into a tablet of the same size when it refreshed the line. At the same time, it aimed to bring the Tab S line closer to its Galaxy phones in terms of hardware, design and features.

The Galaxy Tab S3, as a result, seems to be a bit more refined and well-considered than its predecessor. It's extremely thin and relatively light, while feeling more solid thanks to a solid glass back and rounded metal frame. The hardware isn't necessarily stunning or innovative, but that's less important than the functionality.

That functionality is seriously increased thanks to the new internal specs that are on par with a late-2016 high-end phone, as well as the launch of a full-featured keyboard accessory and a new S Pen that is included with the tablet.

This obviously positions the Galaxy Tab S3 as a bit more of a creative and productivity device, but it will satisfy all of the entertainment needs of its users as well. That balance means this will be a solid choice for a wide variety of potential buyers, so long as they're willing to pay the high price it will command.

Best smaller screen

Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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When Samsung refreshed its Tab S line, it chose to go with a single large model rather than a dual strategy like the Tab S2 series. For this reason, the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 is still a recommendation for those who have to have a smaller size and are willing to pay a little more than the new and small — but not very nice — offerings from Samsung.

Though the Tab S2 8.0 feels a bit dated in terms of its plastic back and Micro-USB port — particularly when compared to the new Tab S3 — it's still incredibly thin and light with a great screen. It's still a great choice for using in one hand whether you're browsing through apps or playing a few games.

Bottom line: If you like Samsung's hardware and software, but don't want one of the new cheap-feeling models, consider the last-generation Tab S2 8.0.

One more thing: Because it's getting old, don't count on too many more software updates.

Best for less

Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

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We get it, Samsung's top-end tablets also come with top-end prices. If you don't want to shell out $500+ for a big Galaxy Tab S3, we wouldn't blame you for looking at the Galaxy Tab A series instead. If you want the Samsung software and design at a lower price, we recommend the Galaxy Tab A 10.1, which comes in at $299 retail.

So where does it make those savings? Well, a little bit of everywhere. The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 has a lower-resolution 1920x1200 display, a bit lower-end processor, less RAM at 2GB and less storage at 16GB. It also lacks a fingerprint sensor.

But in general, while it doesn't have the highest-end specs and features, it can still get the job done for someone who wants a big tablet for casual browsing and media reading. The 10.1-inch display will give you more than enough room to run multiple windows at once, though it won't be as portable as something like the Tab S2 8.0.

Bottom line: To get the best bang for your buck with a big screen, you'll want the Galaxy Tab A 10.1.

One more thing: Because of the 16GB internal storage, you'll want to invest a little in a microSD card to expand for media.

Conclusion

If you want a Samsung tablet that's fast, feature-packed and with a great screen that also offers productivity choices in terms of a keyboard and stylus, the Galaxy Tab S3 is absolutely the top choice.

Best overall

Galaxy Tab S3

See at Samsung

After well over a year of waiting, we now have a successor to the Tab S2 9.7 — the Galaxy Tab S3. It has a big and beautiful display of the same size, but the hardware has been upped considerably to a full metal and glass frame. The insides jump to the near-latest available with a Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (plus SD card) and USB-C charging.

The Tab S3 has also added a brand new S Pen that brings all of the features of the now-defunct Galaxy Note 7 but with a larger form factor that's easy to use. The tablet is also designed to be used with a full-sized physical keyboard case that connects directly to the tablet without batteries or Bluetooth.

Android tablets still have issues with software and app compatibility, but this is quite easily Samsung's best overall tablet yet.

Bottom line: The Tab S3 is great for those who need a tablet that can do it all.

One more thing: You really should consider the keyboard attachment for getting work done.

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4 weeks ago

Lenovo launches four models of Tab 4, none are weird

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There's nothing wrong with a basic tablet so you can do basic things. That's the Lenovo Tab 4.

Lenovo's Tab 4 is nearly indistinguishable from last year's Tab 3 on first glance. That's not a bad thing — the Tab 3 was a solid, if unremarkable design, and the Tab 4 series builds on that. With a refined exterior and updated interior, the new Tab 4s (Tabs 4?) present compelling options near the low end of the Android tablet market.

Lenovo Tab 4

Coming in 8-inch and 10-inch varieties, the Tab 4 is a well-built, but low-end, tablet. They're both largely the same internals, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage (plus microSD card expansion) driving a 1280x800 display. You'll find a 2MP camera on the front for selfies and video calls, and a 5MP autofocusing sensor on the back in case you're inclined to take photos with your tablet.

Both are relatively lightweight, with the 8-incher weighing in at 0.64lbs (310g) and the 10-inch variant a slight 1.1 lbs (500g). At 8.3mm these are not the thinnest tablets on the market, but the rounded sides and tapered back made them quite easy to hold. The textured back — something of a cross between soft-touch and fine-grain sandpaper — helps in making it easier to hold.

The biggest hangup here is the charging port. Yes, it's micro-USB, and in 2017 that's unacceptable. Even on a cheap tablet like this. Lenovo's ThinkPad laptops unveiled at CES 2017 all had USB-C, as do the Plus versions of these very tablets. There's an argument to be made for keeping costs down, and it's one that Lenovo tried to make with us, but it's hard to recommend a brand-new product that's sporting the now ancient and outdated port for no good reason other than to save a few bucks.

The Lenovo Tab 4 is coming in May 2017 for a starting price of $109 for the Tab 4 8, or $149 for the Tab 4 10. There will also be available in LTE-capable variants.

Lenovo Tab 4 Plus

The "Plus" variant of the Tab line has an odd history. First introduced with the Tab 3, the upgraded Tab 3 Plus also boasted an oddball design. It moved the battery into a grippable bulge along one side, and that bulge played double duty as a hinge for a pop-out kickstand slash hanger hook. And was the baby of actor and Lenovo product engineer Ashton Kutcher.

Yeah, 2016 was weird.

The 2017 version — the Lenovo Tab 4 Plus — drops all the weirdness. It's now just a more premium version of the Tab 4, inside and out, and entirely free of silly gimmicks. Both screens have been upgraded to an IPS panel with a 1920x1080 resolution and the processor's been bumped to the excellent Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 clocked at 2GHz. Both cameras see a bump as well, with a 5MP front camera and 8MP rear camera. For plugging in you'll find a USB-C port instead of the unacceptable Micro-USB ports found on the non-Plus Tab 4.

If you opt for the 16GB storage version you'll get 3GB of RAM, while 4GB of RAM is packed into the 64GB version (both also offer microSD expansion). The back on both has been upgraded to a slick glass panel. The white version isn't anything special, but the dark gray (err, "aurora black") one sports a slick internal etching that reflects light in beautiful arcs and loops.

The Tab 4 Plus also picks up fingerprint sensors. The Tab 4 10 Plus's is located on the front along one of the long sides of the display (the "bottom", since it's opposite the front-facing camera). Though it's not a clickable button, you can rest your finger on it to turn on the tablet. On the Tab 4 8 Plus the fingerprint sensor is embedded in the side-mounted power button, so it's easy to unlock just as you would turn it on or off. Personally, I prefer the side-mounted placement of the Tab 4 8 Plus.

The Tab 4 Plus will launch alongside the standard Tab 4 in May 2017, with the Tab 4 8 Plus starting at $199 and the Tab 4 10 Plus starting at $249.

Lenovo Tab 4 Productivity Pack

Want a keyboard with your Tab 4 10? Lenovo offers that, too. It's more than just a Bluetooth keyboard, though. the fabric-covered keyboard doubles as a carrying case, with a folding magnetic origami stand that forms itself out of the larger cover flap. There's even a trackpad below the keyboard, though it's admittedly a tiny little thing.

The stand has an embedded NFC chip that activates Productivity Mode on the Tab 4 when you set it on the stand. Productivity Mode was inspired by the Lenovo Yoga Book, shifting the standard Android navigation buttons to the bottom left corner of the screen and using the rest to display a handy one-touch task switcher that may as well have been ripped from Windows. Productivity Mode isn't exclusive to the keyboard, though — you can activate it via an app on the tablet if you want it around when you're not keyboarding.

The Productivity Pack will launch alongside the Tab 4 with a price of $49.99.

Lenovo Tab 4 Kids Pack

According to Lenovo's numbers, a surprising (and yet not that surprising) number of young ones have their own tablets. Given how much easier and safer they are for parents, that's not much of a surprise. So instead of making a tablet specifically for the kids, Lenovo opted to include kid-friendly software and a relatively cheap pack to make the Tab 4 physically kid-friendly.

The software is the free KIDOZ suite, which doubles as a curated kids app store and launcher. It sports big and colorful icons and can be password locked to keep the kid from getting into the tablet at large.

The Kids Pack itself consists of a thick bright-teal rubber bumper, a pair of colorful full-back stickers, and a blue-light filter screen protector. The bumper isn't tight and is rather flexible; it's the kind of thing I'd expect the typically curious child to promptly remove. The back stickers are at least use a 3M adhesive, so when the kid starts to peel them off or they get too nasty (or, I guess, the kid outgrows it the cutesy drawings), you'll be able to easily pull it off without leaving behind residue.

The Kids Pack will launch with the Tab 4, priced at $19.99 for the Tab 4 8 and $24.99 for the Tab 4 10.

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4 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 hands-on preview: The ghost of the Note 7 lives on in this tablet

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This svelte tablet is not only a performer, but it comes bundled with the software tricks and S Pen that made its phablet predecessor so popular.

I always say that the last great, fully-featured Android tablet was Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 because it fulfilled all the right criteria: it was stylish, thin, extremely light and came equipped with a vibrant Super AMOLED display that was really quite perfect for binge watching video.

That was nearly two years ago. Now we have the Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung's third-generation premium tablet. It's heftier, comes with an S Pen, and is covered in a premium glass finish that hearkens back to the Note 7 release that went terribly, terribly wrong. In this way, Samsung keeps its design prowess lingering on, as if to remind us that it's still innovating. And that's what the Tab S3 is anyway, right? A holdover launch to keep us salivating until the next eventual Galaxy smartphone release?

Let's get acquainted with Samsung's latest big tablet.

Galaxy Tab S3 Hands-on video

We have yet to spend too much time with the Galaxy Tab S3, but if you want to see it in action we have a great preview video for your enjoyment. Watch above, then read on for further impressions of the new tablet!

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4 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 specs

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The Galaxy Tab S3 is the first major premium Android tablet in a while and it's geared up with flagship-worthy specs.

Like the Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note 7 before it, the Galaxy Tab S3 is essentially repurposed smartphone parts shoved into a 9.7-inch chassis. And that's not bad at all -- the Snapdragon 820 helped introduce Vulkan API to Galaxy S7 users and it's on the Tab S3, too. Charge those Bluetooth-connected gamepads and get ready to play with your new mobile entertainment system.

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4 weeks ago

Samsung introduces Galaxy Tab S3 at MWC 2017 with 9.7-inch display, S Pen

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The 9.7-inch premium tablet is made of glass and metal and features last year's favorite mobile processor. It's also the first tablet in years to have an S Pen.

It's not the flagship we typically expect from Samsung around this time of year, but it's a Samsung debut nonetheless. The company has just introduced the Galaxy Tab S3, a 9.7-inch Android tablet that's the successor to the well-received Galaxy Tab S2.

The Galaxy Tab S3 runs on a Snapdragon 820 processor, the same chip fueling many top-end smartphone favorites from 2016. It's the first tablet to come equipped with the Vulkan API, which was a major selling point for both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 (RIP). The Galaxy Tab S3 is also paired with 4GB of RAM and a 6000mAh battery, which is powering a 2048x1536 Super AMOLED display, and it features AKG-tuned quad speakers that can adjust the sound direction based on the tablet's orientation.

The Galaxy Tab S3 only comes with 32GB of storage space, though it offers an expansion slot that's compatible with microSD cards to alleviate the storage anxiety. There are also two cameras on the Galaxy Tab S3: a 13-megapixel one on the back with an accompanying LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls or the occasional awkward tablet selfie.

More: Galaxy Tab S3 hands-on preview

If you were hoping for a productivity device, the Tab S3 is a worthy consideration. It's the first Galaxy tablet to come with an S Pen in tow since the Note 10.1. However, in this reprise the S Pen isn't dockable inside the device, and it's been tweaked so that it's thicker in an effort to make it easier to maneuver on the Tab S3's large glass display. It comes loaded with all the software features made famous by the Note 7, too, including the instant animated gif feature, PDF annotation and Screen off memo, which allows you to take a note by simply touching the S Pen to the screen. If you desire a keyboard, you can purchase the additional keyboard cover, which features chiclet keys for typing long drafts.

The Galaxy Tab S3 will be on sale later this season. Pricing and official release date are yet to be confirmed.

Press release:

Samsung Expands Tablet Portfolio with Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book, Offering Enhanced Mobile Entertainment and Productivity

New tablets demonstrate Samsung's continued heritage of delivering best-in-class Galaxy technology

– February 26, 2017 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Book, stylishly designed tablets with advanced computing technology offering a premium mobile experience. For digital content enthusiasts, the Galaxy Tab S3 delivers superior video and gaming experiences along with versatile usage as a productivity tool, while the Galaxy Book gives professionals enhanced computing power for work and play.

The Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display and the Galaxy Book is offered in a 10.6-inch TFT LCD version and 12-inch Super AMOLED version.

The new tablets unveiled at Mobile World Congress provide premium Galaxy technology including:

  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) Video Content: Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book 12-inch support videos in HDR (10bit colored) for true-to-life colors and vivid digital content.
  • Samsung Flow: Samsung Flow makes working on the go seamless. For a safe and secure login, Samsung Flow uses biometric authentication to log-in and can wirelessly tether compatible devices to transfer documents from a mobile device to a tablet. It also syncs message notifications so users never miss an important text message whether they're using a smartphone or their tablet.
  • Refined S Pen*: For a natural writing experience, the S Pen has a smaller 0.7mm tip and increased pressure sensitivity. The S Pen also includes convenient features such as Screen Off Memo to quickly jot down notes, PDF Annotation for easy editing and professional-level drawing with Advanced Drawing Tools.

Both tablets deliver on Samsung's legacy of innovative Galaxy technology including a 13-megapixel rear camera which includes auto focus and a 5-megapixel front camera for high-quality photos. The tablets also include expandable storage** and more power efficiency with fast-charge capabilities, supporting up to 12 hours of video playback on the Galaxy Tab S3 and up to 10.5 hours of video playback on the Samsung Book (12-inch). Both devices also support Pogo keyboards with no separate charging or pairing required.

"At Samsung, we are committed to expanding the boundaries of the mobile and computing experience by providing best-in-class products that satisfy mobile users' diverse needs and demands," said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. "Our new tablet portfolio is built with premium technology that delivers a productive and versatile experience to consumers, designed for users at home, work or on the go."

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3: Optimized for Entertainment yet offering versatile usage

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 takes mobile entertainment to the next level providing a cinema-like experience with 4K video playback and a stunning Super AMOLED display. In addition, the Galaxy Tab S3 is the first Samsung tablet to feature quad-stereo speakers tuned by AKG by HARMAN for premium visual and listening experiences. And with content partners like Amazon, enjoy instant access to HDR original videos.

Optimized for gaming, the Galaxy Tab S3 includes Vulkan API for superior graphics and Game Launcher for an enhanced user interface and personalized gaming experience, as well as modes like Do Not Disturb for uninterrupted gameplay.

With an enhanced S Pen, the Galaxy Tab S3 allows users to be more productive, creative, and do multiple things at once. The Galaxy Tab S3 is designed to keep users always connected with faster charging and longer battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Book: Enhanced Power and Performance in a 2-in-1 Design

Available in 10.6-inch and 12-inch models, the Samsung Galaxy Book caters to productive on-the-go professionals who are looking for a powerful computing device that isn't tied to the desktop. The Samsung Galaxy Book is lightweight and has a versatile form factor, easily transforming from a tablet to notebook.

For enterprise-grade performance, the Samsung Galaxy Book 12-inch is equipped with a 7th Generation Intel® CoreTM i5 processor, Dual Core 3.1GHz and the 10.6-inch with an Intel® CoreTM m3 processor, Dual core 2.6GHz.

Built on the Windows 10 operating system, the Galaxy Book offers the full desktop Microsoft Office experience for maximum productivity. It also features a keyboard that is larger and more tactile with discernible keys so users can comfortably type just as they would on a traditional computing device.

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