Samsung this week announced a pair of tablets in India that aim to offer sleek, lightweight designs along with useful productivity features while acting as powerful entertainment devices as well. With prices starting from Rs 14,999, Samsung wants to offer quality Android tablets in a market that is seeing very little action. The Galaxy Tab S5e and Tab A 10.1 have been launched in India in a bid to keep the tablet market alive and today we’re looking at the former model.
The Galaxy Tab S5e starts at Rs 35,999 in India and it is the company most premium 2019 tablet right now. The Tab S5e brings the thinnest frame yet in the company’s portfolio and it continues the bezel-less trend set out by the Tab S4 last year. Beyond its looks, the Tab S5e is also a powerful mid-range tablet, sporting a Snapdragon 670 chipset, One UI software and DeX support, among other things.
I have spent a couple of days with the new Galaxy Tab S5e, so it’s still early for an in-depth review. However, based on my brief time with the device, I can tell you a few notable features about the Tab S5e that should get you excited.
Sleek and lightweight design
Tablets are meant to offer the convenience of portability that PC’s otherwise can’t provide, and the Tab S5e stick to the brief perfectly. This is an incredibly sleek and lightweight tablet that is a delight to hold and carry around. The Tab S5e brings a compact form factor that only around 245mm in height and 160mm in width, which essentially means it’s easy to hold with one hand. In this form factor, the Tab S5e manages to offer a 10.5-inch display, and that’s because of the narrow bezels around the screen. It’s not quite bezel-less, but you do get a screen ratio of over 80 per cent, which is pretty impressive.
What’s great about the Tab S5e is how slim it feels in the hand at just 5.5mm. This is Samsung’s thinnest tablet yet and it is easily one of its lightest as well weighing at just 400 grams. This means that you can hold the tablet for a longer time without feeling a lot of strain on your hands.
Super AMOLED display
Samsung makes some exceptional AMOLED displays and we have seen them impress us on smartphones. This is only amplified on the Tab S5e as it gets a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a WQXGA 2560×1600 resolution. Like the Galaxy Tab S4, the Tab S5e also offers a vivid display with punchy colours and excellent viewing angles.
I watched a couple of episodes of Dark on Netflix and the 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display has done nothing but impress me so far. Videos look vibrant with great colour reproduction and deep blacks. Picture quality also looks crisp and that’s also because the Tab S5e comes with Widevine L1 certification, so you can stream content in true HD clarity. In our full review we will talk more about how the display holds up while gaming and general day-to-day usage.
The Galaxy Tab S5e does not come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, and you can definitely chalk that up as a con for the tablet. Samsung says based on internal studies that consumers prefer the quad speaker setup on tablets like the Tab S4 last year, which prompted the company to drop the jack.
The Tab S5e, like the Tab S4, gets four speakers in total with two present on the right side and two on the left side when in landscape mode. The stereo effect produced by the speakers should allow for an immersive experience, which we will test out in the days to come. These speakers are tuned by AKG, of course, and support Dolby Atmos as well.
As much as the Tab S5e looks like a sleek and portable entertainment device, it also wants to be a productivity device as well. To offer the latter, the Tab S5e comes with DeX support, which when enabled will offer a desktop experience. DeX mode will switch to landscape mode and offer desktop versions of apps, allowing you to multitask as you would on a PC.
The DeX mode is best experienced with a POGO keyboard that is sold separately by Samsung. I briefly used the DeX mode and found things to run smoothly. In our full review we will talk about how well the tablet can handle running multiple apps and windows on screen simultaneously.
Snapdragon 670 with One UI
The Galaxy Tab S5e runs on a 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 670 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM. The mid-range mobile processor should offer just about enough power to handle day-to-day tasks on the tablet. More importantly, it should run DeX smoothly as well. Based on a brief usage, apps opened quickly and I found no lags or stutters while browsing through the UI.
Arguably, the best part about the user interface is that it is one the new One UI software. Samsung’s latest custom UI based on Android 9 Pie has been impressive on Galaxy phones with its system-wide night mode and redesigned UI for easier one-handed use. You get all of that on the Tab S5e as well, although being a tablet you can’t expect one-handed usage despite the new UI. Still, dark mode looks great on the Tab S5e’s Super AMOLED display.