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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series is here with an Ultra model to take on the iPad Pro

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Notch S Pen
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Notch S Pen (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung has officially introduced its new lineup of tablets, the Galaxy Tab S8, S8+ and S8 Ultra.
  • The new lineup is the first Samsung tablet series to include an Ultra model, which sports a large 14.6-inch screen.
  • The tablets are partially made of plastic materials repurposed from discarded fishing nets.
  • Samsung's new tablets will also get up to four generations of Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates.

It's been a challenging year for both consumers and businesses alike who have increasingly relied on videos for entertainment and collaboration, and companies like Samsung are banking on this trend to push the limit of their products. Today, the South Korean tech giant announced its new Galaxy Tab S8 series comprising three models.

Like their predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, Tab S8+ and Tab S8 Ultra are designed to serve as both content consumption and productivity devices. This is evident with the presence of a keyboard cover available for each model, allowing you to use the tablets like a traditional laptop. As usual, all models ship with Samsung's S Pen stylus in the box.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 S Pen Multitask

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

However, the keyboard cover is sold separately ($350 for the Galaxy S8 Ultra Book Cover Keyboard, $160 for the Tab S8 Plus cover, and $140 for the regular model's keyboard case). Fortunately, you can get a free Slim Book Cover Keyboard if you pre-order the Galaxy Tab S8 and S8+ from Samsung.com or a free Backlit Book Cover Keyboard for a Tab S8 Ultra pre-order.

Of course, the big difference is the display size of each variant: the vanilla Tab S8 sports an 11-inch LTPS TFT display while you'll find a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen on the Plus model and a 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display on the Ultra variant. All models run at a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals.

The tablets' multi-window mode also received a slight improvement. Samsung says you can now "split your screen into three windows with four layout options, and even adjust to the exact height, size, and layout you need for any given task." The devices run Android 12 out of the box, but it's a safe bet they'll be updated to Android 12L in the near future to take advantage of the operating system's functionalities optimized for large screen devices.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung has also slapped a 4nm-based processor into its best Android tablets for this year, paired with up to 12GB of RAM for the regular and Plus models as well as up to 16GB of RAM for the Ultra variant. Internal storage is limited to 256GB for the regular and Plus variants while the Ultra version gets up to 512GB. Nonetheless, all models come with a microSD card slot for an expanded storage of up to 1TB.

The Tab S8 Ultra also has better selfie cameras than its smaller siblings, with a dual snapper comprising two 12MP sensors (wide and ultra-wide). Round the back, all three models include a triple-camera setup with a 13MP main sensor and a dual 6MP ultra-wide angle shooter.

The tech giant also promises up to four generations of Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates, unlike the Galaxy Tab S7 series, which only gets three generations of Android updates. The new tablets also have a sustainable design: Samsung says they are made partially of plastic materials repurposed from discarded fishing nets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra With Keyboard

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

In terms of battery, the three models differ in capacities. You'll find an 8,000mAh battery on the Tab S8, 10,090mAh on the Plus model and 11,200mAh on the Ultra variant. All models support Samsung's SuperFast Charging 2.0 technology (up to 45W).

Connectivity features on Samsung's latest tablets have also received an upgrade. It includes support for Wi-Fi 6E, a first for a Samsung tablet. There's support for 5G and Bluetooth 5.2 as well. Another notable difference between the vanilla model and its bigger siblings is in terms of the fingerprint scanner. The Tab S8 has a side-mounted fingerprint reader while both the Plus and Ultra models feature an in-display fingerprint sensors.

Pre-orders start today, with the regular and Plus models available in graphite, silver, and pink gold colorways. Meanwhile, the Ultra variant only comes in graphite. The vanilla model starts at $700 and the Plus variant at $900. The Ultra model, on the other hand, costs $1,100.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.