The 2022 Samsung Unpacked event was held yesterday. This is February so the South Korean technology company usually refreshes its Galaxy S lineup at this time. We have watched these unveilings for an extended period, and while the devices are technological marvels, they can get stale after a while because improvements are merely iterative, and reputable leaks make the announcements all unnecessary, at least to some extent.
The S22 series, as you know, is here. Now we have the S22 Ultra that looks very much like the Note20 Ultra from 2020. This is further supported by the fact that the Note line is practically dead now, and has been replaced by foldables – which now star in the August Unpacked show. But with all the familiarity of the event, was there anything that stood out?
And that is the huge 14.6” Galaxy S8 Tab Ultra.
To note, Samsung has been releasing Android tablets for as long as I can remember, and while other manufacturers stopped making them, Samsung stuck on its formula in a solo attempt to match what Apple offers with the iPads. Admittedly, the competition has always leaned on the iPad side, and that is for good reason: iPads have better apps, look premium and are generally loved by their customer base. They are also made by Apple, the company that has for a long time nailed marketing and advertisements.
Undeterred, Samsung’s work in this space has also been noted, and Google is rolling back to reinventing what makes tablets great if Android 12L is anything to go by.
The Tab S8 Ultra does not shy away from being giant-like and going big on specs too.
The display is bigger than what 14” laptops offer, so you can imagine how that looks like in real life because, and to be honest, it is more than enough but who thought the market needed a jumbo-sized tab?
The 16:10 Super AMOLED screen is also class-leading, and while I have not witnessed what the Mini LED displays offered in the latest iPad Pros, trust Samsung to outdo itself when it comes to display technology. It looks gorgeous, bright and detailed, more than you would ever need – but that is what you pay for, right?
At 2960 by 1848, the OLED screen refreshes at 120 Hz.
And do you know what makes the size forgivable? Well, it is the thickness, which is a svelte 5.5 mm, making it one of the thinnest tablets around. It also weighs just under 730 grams.
Even with than thickness, or thinness, the Tab S8 Ultra still manages to hold a 11200 mAh juicer, which can be charged by a 45W brick. Full charging takes around 83 minutes.
Specs aside, we are not sure why this tab has been built, and who will but it because it is expensive, starting at USD 1100 (but not more than what iPad Pros cost – and no, local pricing has not been communicated). The bezels are incredibly skinny, which is a pretty design element but not a practical one.
But that is not all: the tab has two selfie snappers, which also interrupt the display with a notch, the same kind that are present in the latest M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros.
The entire Tab S8 lineup (normal, Plus and my favourite, the Ultra) is all powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Base models start at 8/128 GB.
All the perks are here too, including in-screen fingerprint reader, USB C sockets, Wi-Fi 6E, and dual main snappers.
The Ultra, unfortunately, does not have a headphone jack, but that ship has sailed and people are moving on.
S-Pen input with reduced latency is also in tow, and it has a small magnetic groove housing at the back of the tab.
The keyboard, which is also backlit, can be purchased separately, but you can get one for free if you preorder the tablet.
I cannot stress enough how excellent this tablet is from all angles. It is huge, has an excellent display, and will likely get Android 12L before the year elapses to even stretch its feature set.
I can’t wait to get more time with it and see what it actually brings to the table with its unassuming size.