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Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Review: Best In Class

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While notebook sales have tanked in the past few years, sales of 2-in-1s and hybrids have continually risen to fill the vacuum. Samsung’s never one to pass up the opportunity, and despite being out of the PC game for a considerable amount of time has released their first Windows 10-powered hybrid, the Galaxy TabPro S. And in typical Samsung fashion, the company managed to crush it with the TabPro S, delivering an impressive device with very little faults.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

  • 6th generation Intel Core m3-6Y30 dual-core processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 128GB of SSD storage
  • 12-inch full HD Super AMOLED display
  • 5-megapixel front and rear cameras
  • Optional LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C
  • 5,200mAh battery
  • Windows 10

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Surprisingly thin for the hardware that it packs

It’s not a secret that Samsung made the Galaxy TabPro S as a direct competitor to Microsoft’s surface line of portable Windows machines. And while Microsoft was first to make and design those devices, Samsung’s freshman offering in the segment feels leauges better than the Redmond firm’s latest offering.

For one thing, the TabPro S is extremely thin and light, coming in at just 6mm thin and weighing at a little over half a kilo. The overall design is very Samsung, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you’ve come across any of the company’s devices in the past year or so, you already have a good idea of what the TabPro S looks like.

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The tab uses a metal frame and a plastic back, and while we would have loved a full metal design, the sheer size of the tablet would guarantee that it would become too heavy for comfortable use. The volume rocker and power button is on the top of the tablet when it’s oriented sideways. The two speaker grilles are located on the sides for stereo audio. The 3.5mm jack and USB Type-C port are on the lower right side of the tablet. You can stuff a SIM into the TabPro S via the SIM slot located on the lower left side of the tablet for mobile data. You’ll also see the shortcut key to the Start button on the same side, near the top.

As a stand-alone tablet, the TabPro S is big and bulky, owing to its 12-inch display. One handed use with it is nearly impossible because of its size.

Once you pair it with the included QWERTY keyboard that pulls double duty as its kickstand though, and the tablet comes into its own. Magnets on the back of keyboard cover and on the bottom part of the tablet keep the TabPro S firmly rooted on the keyboard cover, and a quick tug on the tablet releases it from the keyboard once it’s time to leave. The QWERTY keyboard is a little small compared to traditional notebooks but that’s to be expected from a device like the TabPro S.

After a few minutes you’ll get used to the keyboard though, and despite the shallow key travel the keyboard feels okay to type on. We’re actually writing this review entirely on the TabPro S, and after a few hundred words we’re used to the squished keys.

The keyboard also has a small trackpad included. While it’s a little smaller than we would have liked, the upside is that it’s fairly responsive and recognizes gestures on Windows 10.

Once it’s time to go, folding up the TabPro S is pretty effortless. It releases from the keyboard quickly with a gentle tug, and the entire package is thinner than the Surface Pro 4 or the iPad Pro with a keyboard attached.

If there’s one thing we hate about the TabPro S in terms of productivity, it’s the lack of USB ports. That single USB Type-C port isn’t going to cut it, and it’d be best to invest in a Bluetooth mouse if you want to get serious work done with the TabPro S Pro.

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Beautiful display is a dream to work on

The TabPro S uses the same Super AMOLED panel that’s present on many of Samsung’s other phones and devices. The one on the TabPro S measures 12-inches in size and has a resolution of 2160 x 1440. The display is simply gorgeous, and while some people don’t like the vibrant, sometimes over-saturated colors of Samsung’s Super AMOLED panels, we absolutely don’t mind at all. There’s a small catch though – because of the display’s size, the aspect ration of the tablet is closer to 3:2, which means there will always be black bars on the top and bottom of the display when you’re viewing video content. The upside is that you’re able to see more of a document or web page at any given time, which reinforces the productivity chops of the device.

Processor is good enough for most basic tasks, but it’s not a gaming machine

The TabPro S is decked out with Intel’s Core M processor along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. That’s more than enough for basic tasks which the tablet was designed for, though people looking for something that can do more may need to look elsewhere. The TabPro S’ light weight and speedy performance came in handy during several events that we had to cover, though the lack of a traditional USB port or even a SD slot meant that we had to jump through a few hoops to transfer and upload photos taken from our Sony A6300. That’s one of the things you’ll have to consider when you buy the TabPro S, unfortunately.

Since the TabPro S is a Windows 10 machine, it suffers from many of the same problems that plague similar devices. For one thing, simply disconnecting the TabPro S from the keyboard dock doesn’t guarantee that the tablet would go into hibernation mode, which more often than not resulted in a dead tablet when we needed it most.

Almost 7 hours on a single charge

Keeping the TabPro S’ lights on is a 5200mAh battery. Samsung advertises the TabPro S as having battery endurance of ten hours and thirty minutes on a single charge. In reality battery life was closer to around 7 hours with productivity tasks, more than enough for most road warriors out there. Full charge from 0 to 100 takes around two hours and thirty minutes.

Verdict: A great tablet for people on the go

While this may be Samsung’s first try at making a hybrid 2-in-1, it doesn’t feel like it. The TabPro S does almost everything that Microsoft’s Surface 4 Pro does better, and while the Korean manufacturer’s offering doesn’t extend beyond offering Intel’s Core M processor (the Surface 4 Pro has more powerful Core i5 and i7 variants available) the hardware on tap is more than enough for its intended users. If you spend a lot of time outside the office and want a light and capable machine, the TabPro S is it, though you will have to pay a premium for it – it’s priced at Php 55,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

3 Comments

  1. this isn’t samsung’s first try at hybrids. they released the ativ tabs a couple of years ago as one of the launch devices for windows 8.

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