Best Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Solid for most

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

The Galaxy Tab S6 presents the best that Samsung has to offer in the tablet market. It's powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset, paired with up to 8GB of RAM, and has a built-in fingerprint scanner, so it gives you everything you could want. And if you want to get some work done, you can pick up Samsung's Keyboard case.

$648 at Amazon

Pros

  • Better display
  • More base storage
  • Built-in fingerprint scanner
  • More RAM
  • Includes S Pen

Cons

  • Higher price tag
  • Keyboard must be purchased separately

While there are a few features that are surprising, like the included S Pen and 3.5mm headphone jack, that's about it. The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is designed for those who just want an Android tablet and don't want an iPad.

$350 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Less expensive
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Includes S Pen
  • Better battery life

Cons

  • Slightly smaller display
  • Less RAM and storage
  • No first-party keyboard cover
  • No Samsung DeX support

From a strictly-design standpoint, there's not much difference between the Tab S6 and its little brother, the Tab S6 Lite. However, once you start diving deeper, the differences are apparent and obvious.

Why the Tab S6 is the best Android tablet on the market

Galaxy Tab S6 with S PenSource: Android Central

Samsung pretty much has the Android tablet market cornered. Google has seemingly given up for the time being or is working on something in the background. Even other options from the likes of Huawei and Lenovo just can't hold up. That makes the Tab S6 one of the best, if not the best, Android tablet available.

Despite launching last year, the Tab S6 is still powerful where it counts. You get a larger 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2560x1600 resolution. Under the hood, the Tab S6 is equipped with the same Snapdragon 855 chipset that was included in the likes of the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 lines.

The Galaxy Tab S6 presents the best that Samsung has to offer in the tablet market.

Samsung paired this with the choice between 6GB or 8GB of RAM, along with up to 256GB of expandable storage. Speaking of that storage, the Tab S6 gets another leg up over the Lite, as you can put up to a 1TB microSD card compared to the Tab S6 Lite, which is limited to just 512GB of expansion.

As for the design, the Tab S6 is lighter, bigger, and has four AKG-tuned speakers. You get all of this in a simple slab of glass and aluminum with a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. There's even a dedicated magnet to hold your S Pen into place on the back of the S6.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Display 10.5-inch Super AMOLED 10.4-inch LCD
Resolution 2560 x 1600 2000 x 1200
Processor Snapdragon 855 Exynos 9610
Memory 6GB / 8GB 4GB / 6GB
Storage 128GB / 256GB 64GB / 128GB
MicroSD Card Support Expandable up to 1TB Expandable up to 512GB
Front Camera 8MP 5MP
Rear Camera(s) 13MP / 5MP 8MP
Speakers Four AKG-Tuned Two AKG-Tuned
Battery 7,040mAh 7,040mAh
Reported battery life 18 hours 12 hours
Dimensions 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm 244.5 x 154.3 x 7.0 mm
Weight 420g 467g
Fingerprint Scanner In-display N/A
Headphone Jack N/A Yes
S Pen Support Included Included
LTE Variant Yes Yes

Speaking of Samsung's wonderful S Pen in the box, there's no need to go the Apple route and pay more for the stylus, and you'll still get access to all of the features that the S Pen has to offer. In fact, Samsung opted to take the time to slightly redesign the S Pen to be more comfortable for users. There's a finer tip on the end for more precise inputs, and Samsung has even improved the latency. This will feel great when writing out notes or making some sketches with the Tab S6 or the S6 Lite.

Chances are this S Pen will make its way to the next "flagship" Galaxy Tab at some point. You may just have to wait a while as Samsung doesn't update that model on a yearly basis. What's even more awesome is that Samsung is also making a keyboard cover available, although you'll have to pick one up after-the-fact. This will allow you to get some light work done or just give you a keyboard to browse around with.

The final major difference between these two in terms of specs comes from the cameras. There's a dual-camera system on the back of the Tab S6 with a primary Ultra Wide 13MP lens and a standard Wide-angled 5MP sensor.

What if productivity is the name of the game?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Folded out Keyboard CoverSource: Android Central

When it comes to productivity, if you want the "full experience" you'll definitely want to consider the standard Tab S6. While the Tab S6 Lite has a new Book Cover that magnetically attaches and has an S Pen holder, it seems that you won't be able to use the same Keyboard Cover. Instead, that's still reserved for the Tab S6 and adds another notch for being a "workhorse" tablet.

Both of these tablets come with an S Pen in tow, but what if you want to sit down and get some "real work" done? That's exactly what you can do with Samsung DeX on the Tab S6, which also features Samsung's One UI 2.1 software. With Samsung DeX you can turn your Tab S6 into a laptop with full mouse support, along with the Keyboard Cover and S Pen.

Multi-tasking is a breeze, allowing you to quickly and easily swap between windows and applications. The interface itself looks like a traditional desktop with Samsung's own icons, but still provides access to any apps that you have downloaded onto the tablet itself. This is great for the Galaxy Tab S6, but not so much for those on a budget who were looking for a new productivity tool with the S6 Lite.

Where does the Tab S6 Lite excel?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 LiteSource: Samsung

Although it's clear that the Tab S6 is geared for those who want the greatest Android tablet, the Tab S6 Lite is no slouch, at least compared to other Android tablets on the market. On the front, you'll get a slightly smaller 10.4-inch LCD panel, with a lower resolution of 2000x1200. This should still be sharp enough to enjoy some Netflix or YouTube, but the LCD panel leaves much to be desired in terms of overall quality.

The Tab S6 Lite is for those who don't want the "kitchen sink."

Surprisingly, Samsung opted to include its self-made Exynos 9610 chipset instead of something like the Snapdragon 660. However, popular Samsung devices like the Galaxy A50 are powered by the same processor and are surprisingly solid, so you may not see a difference.

Additionally, the Exynos 9610 has been paired with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. As for storage, you'll get either 64GB with the 4GB model, or 128GB with the 6GB variant. As mentioned previously, the Tab S6 Lite does include a microSD card slot, which supports up to a 512GB card.

While both the Tab S6 and S6 Lite have the same 7,040mAh battery, it's no secret that AMOLED displays are power-hogs. With the inclusion of a slightly smaller LCD panel, you'll be able to squeeze just a little bit more juice out of your tablet.

Another huge benefit for potential Tab S6 Lite owners is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. It's been predicted for years, and the writing was on the wall, but the headphone jack is a thing of the past. But not everyone has jumped on the Bluetooth train just yet, so including a headphone jack is a welcome addition.

Which Tab S6 is for you?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 S Pen Holder Source: Android Central

We've not-so-slightly hinted at the fact that the Tab S6 is just a beast in every way. You'll get the same sleek design, a fingerprint scanner, a better camera system, and better performance across the board.

That's not even taking into account the various features such as Samsung DeX, which can practically turn your Tab S6 into a laptop. It will be interesting to see if Samsung makes the new S Pen available as a separate purchase, but that's really the only place the Tab S6 falls short. Even with the same 7,040mAh battery being used in both, the Tab S6 has better optimization to squeeze out up to 18 hours of usage.

The Tab S6 Lite is for those who are either coming from something like the Galaxy Tab S4 or those who don't want the "kitchen sink." It's budget-friendly, includes an S Pen, has a few useful accessories (i.e. Book Cover), and will perform well-enough for media consumption. With 12 hours of battery life, this should be more than sufficient to get through the day. With the LCD panel, this won't consume as much power, but you'll sacrifice quality in the process. Nonetheless, the Tab S6 Lite is a solid tablet for those who just want the basic Android tablet with an S Pen.

However, If you want the best Android tablet that money can buy, get the Tab S6. And it's the no-brainer option if you want to try and get some work done without reaching for the laptop or going to your desktop computer.

Best Android Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Simply the best Android tablet you can get

Samsung threw everything it could into the Galaxy Tab S6 and it shows. This tablet has all of the features one could want, including the S Pen, gorgeous display, and some great performance.

Solid for most

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

This is great for those who don't need the best

Samsung surprised us with the inclusion of the S Pen with the Tab S6 Lite. And while the spec-sheet is solid, don't expect this tablet to "wow" you in daily usage.

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