Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: brilliant but niche. Samsung s8 ultra tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: brilliant but niche

From its size to its power, the booming quad-speakers dotted around its frame through to its class-leading connectivity, there’s nothing middle of the road about the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. The biggest screen this side of a large laptop, no other comes close to its 14.6 inches – with the largest iPad Pro measuring 12.9 inches. This makes Samsung’s latest tablet massive, niche, and exciting from the offset.

What makes the Tab S8 Ultra even more eye-popping is its screen quality. While iPad screens are LCDs, which look great but miss out on ultimate depth and saturation, the S8 Ultra is blessed with an AMOLED panel. That means deeper blacks, punchier colours and ultimately more atmospheric watching can be expected from it.

While the Ultra costs as much as an iPad Pro 12.9, it ships with an S Pen in the box and a full desktop interface, so Samsung’s Tab S8 Ultra arguably offers more value. But with Android being a weaker tablet interface than iPad OS, is the Tab S8 Ultra fighting a losing battle despite its incredible specs?


Giant and elegant, expansive yet sleek, the Tab S8 Ultra is a slice of tablet that’s as robust as it is delicate.

On the one hand, the tablet is huge – the 14.6-inch screen measures up to many laptops that are advertised as 15-inch machines. Put into real terms, we could read a two-page spread in Stuff magazine without needing to pinch in on more than a couple of occasions. It’s also incredibly skinny and feels like a sliver. Most phones are around 7-9mm thin; the ultra measures just 5.5mm.

Despite its slim chassis, the 726g Tab S8 Ultra is still solid. For context, the 11-inch iPad weighs 466g, while the 12.9-inch iPad is 682g.

Made of Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and Armoured Aluminium around the back and sides, all three Galaxy Tab S8s are well protected on paper. With the Tab S8 Ultra’s enormous surface area, we were concerned it would feel extra fragile. After a week with it though, we didn’t see any sign of flexing or warping. What’s also striking is how clean the Ultra’s design is. It has a basic set of buttons dotted along the frame – power and volume, quad speakers, and a slight camera bump around the back. The fingerprint scanner is under the screen as with the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, and there’s a USB-C port on the side. At the base is a POGO connector for the keyboard dock.


The Tab S7 Plus’s screen was excellent with its giant 12.4-inch AMOLED panel. In true technoverse fashion, a year on and it’s been superseded by the incredibly impressive Tab S8 Ultra.

With WQXGA resolution, and 240 pixels-per-inch, the S8 Ultra is crisp, and thanks to a 120Hz refresh rate, menus glide fluidly. Even premium tablets like the iPad Air (2022) miss out on high refresh rate screens, so the Tab S8 Ultra is already a spec above, but the fact it’s also Super AMOLED takes it to another level.

A 16:10 aspect ratio ensures that it’s excellent for watching 16:9 shows on – the letterboxing is minimal, and it’s still usable for widescreen movies – more-so than the 10:7 iPad Pro.

immersive than Apple’s finest tablet, the tiny bezels that frame the Tab S8 Ultra’s giant screen create a 90 per cent screen to body ratio, which is helped along by a small notch. When compared to the still immersive iPad, with a 78.3 per cent screen to body ratio, Samsung’s tab wins at almost every turn.

The one area Apple edges ahead of Samsung is with its display brightness, with the Tab S8 Ultra capping out at 300 nits. The iPad Pro (2021) can climb nearer 1,000 nits. While we had no issues indoors or in an overcast London, anyone who’ll be using their tablets outdoors in bright climes may struggle with the Ultra.


There’s been a bit of hoo-ha about throttling since the Galaxy Tab S8 and S22 series launched – the devices’ clock speeds have been dialled back to help with heat management. So while the Tab S8 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip might not slay the greatest smartphones out there, its performance definitely wasn’t lacking.

During our time with the Ultra, games played back smoothly and benchmarks impressed, with 3D Mark Wildlife scoring as high as 92,000. Most notably, we found Wi-Fi and connectivity in general to be stellar.

Hooked up to Playstation Remote Play or Steam Link with a Wi-Fi 6 router, the tablet played back games with virtually no latency. We were also able to stream games using Xbox Game Pass over 5G with decent results, though Google Stadia didn’t play ball on the device with the image not appearing on-screen in our tests (it isn’t an officially certified Stadia device).

Then there’s DeX, Samsung’s desktop interface that fires up on the tablet screen or when connected to a big screen via wireless or wired casting. Hook up a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and the whole system starts to feel more like a desktop or laptop than ever. The main downside of using the Tab S8 Ultra like a laptop is the fact its keyboard dock just doesn’t work on a lap, making the on-the-go ergonomics its biggest limitation. Use it at home though, and the lines are getting blurrier between devices.

S-Pen in the box

The Tab S8 Ultra ships with an S Pen that delivers the lowest latency of any Samsung tablet to date – 2.8ms. Samsung also customises its One UI interface to take advantage of the pen and all that screen space. Split-screen multitasking works across three apps plus one floating window, and that includes Samsung Notes, so you can take notes in half the screen with a PDF open in the other half – perfect for students. The screen also gives users a massive canvas to draw on, and Samsung has also partnered with app developers to bring some of the best around onto its premium tablets.

Last year, Samsung introduced Clipstudio, the powerful Photoshop alternative. Now, with the Tab S8 series, LumiFusion, the most powerful third-party video editing app for iPad is set to be ported over – a massive win for creators. It isn’t available just yet, so keep an eye on the developer’s page for updates.

Battery and extras

With a tablet comes a big battery, and the Tab S8 Ultra’s clocks in at 11,200mAh, versus roughly 9,720mAh in the iPad Pro (12.9). That big battery also brings with it a big opportunity to use the Tab as a power bank for your smartphone with the supplied USB-C cable. You’ll get great standby time on the Tab S8 Ultra – easily a few days with casual use, but screen-on time is around eight to 10 hours depending on brightness.

Also handy – the Tab S8 Ultra charges up at 45W, though you won’t get a charger in the box. We used a fast Anker 735 charger which achieved 28 per cent in 30 minutes, and a full charge in under two hours. As for battery life, 30 minutes of video playback at full brightness only drained the tablet by 30 per cent, and gaming drained it at around the same rate.

Your phone camera is probably better than your tablet’s camera – so if you care about quality, stick with your smartphone. That said, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S Ultra’s dual-front and dual-rear cameras hold their own in the tablet world.

On the back is a 13MP main camera and a 6MP ultra-wide, while on the front, there’s a 12MP wide and a 12MP ultra-wide. Video capture caps out at 4K resolution, and Samsung loads up the Tab S8 with plenty of shooting modes including Night Mode, Portrait Mode and Pro Mode. Picture quality from the front camera is impressive, as is Samsung’s take on Center Stage – Apple’s subject tracking feature.

You can pick up the Tab S8 Ultra in three memory configurations – 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (£999), 12GB RAM with 256GB storage (£1099), or 16GB RAM and 512GB storage (£1249). Each configuration is available with 5G for an extra £150.


The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is both excellent and niche.

It’s too big to read books on but perfect for magazines or chunky textbooks. It’s a bit clumsy to watch a movie on it hand-held, but prop it up, and it’s the best tablet for big-screened blockbusters money can buy. Touch-screen games won’t be the best unless you’ve got giant fingers but hook up a controller and you’ll lose yourself with Playstation Remote Play, Steam Link or a 3D Android game.

The tablet’s speakers are excellent, its screen is mesmerising and the fact it also ships with an S Pen means it’s an impressive note-taking tool. Add to the mix Samsung’s DeX, and the most expensive Android tablet on the scene is also the most fully featured, and the best for watching on.

With the only strike against it being good, not great brightness, the Tab S8 Ultra is still a top-quality tablet that’s easy to recommend to a power-user who wants the finest slate Samsung’s released to date.

Stuff Says…

The ultimate Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: this tablet is a beauty with a big screen

Not everyone wants or needs a 14.6-inch tablet, but if you do then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a real pleasure to both work and draw on. The Super AMOLED 120Hz display is stunning, it packs the latest 4nm processor and you get the S Pen included in the box. You’ll also get the benefit of dual front cameras to make high-quality video calls.

  • Huge 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display
  • S Pen included in the box
  • Android 12 with One UI 4.0

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This Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review is the first of its kind because Samsung has never before released a 14.6-inch tablet, in fact almost no one has, not even Apple. As such, it’s the best tablet for those who need a lot of screen real-estate.

Launched at a Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in February 2022 alongside the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy S22, the new Galaxy Tab S8 tablets pack the latest tech and the most up-to-date software into a new modern design.

Previously, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 was the biggest Galaxy Tab on offer with a 12.4-inch display, but for some, it still wasn’t big enough. That’s where the new Ultra comes in. It’s best suited to work and creativity but it’ll be great for watching TV and playing mobile games on too.

If you want a portable piece of kit for work, then it could be a good idea to take a look at T3’s guide to the best 2-in-1 laptops and the best lightweight laptops as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: price and what’s new

Starting from 1,099 in the US, £999 in the UK and AU1,799 in Australia for the Wi-Fi-only model with 128GB of storage, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the biggest and most expensive in the S8 series of tablets. Take a look at the widgets on this page to see where you can buy one.

If you pre-order one now, you’ll be able to claim a free Book Cover Keyboard or Book Cover Keyboard Slim.

So what’s changed since the Galaxy Tab S7 series? The most obvious difference is that there are now three tablets in the series, up from two. You get the choice between the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (11-inch screen), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (12.4-inch screen) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra which has the series’ first ever 14.6-inch screen.

Other differences include the new dual front cameras, an upgraded chipset, and the latest Android 12 and One UI 4.1 software, as well as the fact that the S Pen is now included in the box.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: design and screen

With a 14.6-inch almost bezel-free display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a big-screened beauty. It’s a slim slab of glass on a tough Armor Aluminium body that looks and feels premium. You can only buy this tablet in one colour: Graphite. It’s sleek, matte and modern.

Realistically, the huge screen will be overkill for most people and means it won’t be that easy to carry around with you. But measuring 208.6 x 326.4 x 5.5mm and weighing about 726g, it’s actually very slim and light despite having such a huge screen. Samsung calls this their ‘thinnest, biggest, toughest Samsung Galaxy Tab S yet’.

The rear camera sits inside a glossy strip along the back, the strip is magnetic and doubles up as a wireless charger for the included S Pen. Meanwhile, the two front cameras sit discreetly in a notch on the front.

Around the frame, you’ll find the power button, the volume controls and a USB-C charging port.

Offering one of the biggest tablet screens in the world, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is made for creators. The 14.6-inch Super AMOLED screen has a resolution of 2960 x 1848p (WQXGA). It’s truly stunning with about 16 million colours, it’ll be a pleasure to use whether you’re editing photos, drawing or watching a movie. You won’t find a better tablet screen right now.

It responds quickly and accurately to touch, and the 120Hz refresh rate means it feels seriously smooth. The only downfall is that the screen so big accidental taps can happen, especially when you’re using the S Pen, I found I kept tapping areas of the screen with the edge of my hand by mistake.

To unlock the tablet, there’s an in-display fingerprint sensor that works well, quickly and reliably registering my thumbprint each time. You can also choose to use facial recognition if you’d prefer.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: S Pen and keyboard

Every tablet in the Tab S8 series comes with the S Pen included in the box, it’s very precise and the pressure sensitivity is great.

It feels comfortable to hold because it’s not at all clunky, and it’s very easy to charge thanks to the magnetic wireless charging strip on the back, although the placement of that means you can’t snap it on when it’s lying flat on a table.

If you plan to use this as a laptop then you can also choose to buy a keyboard that doubles up as a case, like the Book Cover Keyboard or Book Cover Keyboard Slim, I didn’t try this out though so I can’t comment on how well that works!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: features and camera

The camera system on this tablet is much more advanced than you get elsewhere. Above the screen, there’s a discreet dual-front camera (Ultra Wide Wide). both are 12MP. On the back, you’ll find a 13MP camera and a 6MP lens.

Focusing on the front camera, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will be perfect for video calls, streaming and taking selfies. The front camera is one of the best you’ll find on a tablet right now. You won’t be plagued with a grainy image.

You can film in resolutions up to 4K and it even includes Samsung’s new Auto Framing that automatically detects up to 10 people in the shot and adjusts the frame to fit everyone in, whether you’re filming or video calling. It’ll also let you pick one person to FOCUS on so that the camera follows them around.

The rear camera is less impressive, it’s a long way off the quality you get from the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, for example. It’ll be fine for taking quick snaps but don’t expect professional-looking shots, they lack sharpness and the colours aren’t quite true to life.

Running on Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 4.1, the whole system and interface are bang up to date, and with that comes some really handy features.

You’ll be able to divide up the screen and have up to three Windows open at once which makes getting work done easier than ever. You’ll be able to adjust the size and shape of each one, and there’s are preset layouts to organise the screen as well. To set it up you’ll just need to drag and drop an app from the sidebar. It’s super easy to do.

Samsung has lots of partnerships to make their devices more efficient to use. This OS works particularly well with Google apps and Google Duo in particular. You can call your friends or colleagues to easily share content from the device over to them so you can all look at it together, whether that’s your whole screen, an app or a specific video.

If you already own other Samsung Galaxy devices like a phone, PC, headphones or a watch, it makes sense to buy a Galaxy tablet because you’ll be able to make the most out of Samsung’s ecosystem of products, where everything works seamlessly together. Day to day that’ll mean the easy transfer of files, quick logins to your apps and accounts, peace of mind thanks to Samsung’s SmartThings Find, as well as the ability to easily switch between devices.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: performance and battery

Packing the latest 4nm Octa-Core processor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra promises plenty in the way of power. You’ll be able to buy it with either 8GB, 12GB or 16GB of RAM, and there are a number of storage options including 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. You’ll be able to expand it using a MicroSD card as well.

It copes with just about any task with no problems at all, it’s speedy and efficient even when you have a couple of Windows open on the screen at once. But in saying that, it doesn’t quite match up to competition from Apple. On Geekbench 5, it scored 1,221 single-core and 3,334 in multi-core, which puts it very far behind the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) which got 1,720 and 6,869 respectively, and it’s even below the Apple iPad Air (2020) that picked up scores of 1,574 and 4,031.

When it comes to connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes in a Wi-Fi-only version or with 5G if you need it. Both use the most up-to-date Wi-Fi 6E so if your router supports it, you’ll be able to make the most out of the fastest possible internet speeds on your network.

Samsung claims that the 11,200mAh battery should last 14 hours of video playback, so I decided to test that out. I ran a local video on full brightness over the space of two hours, in that time the battery level dropped by 24% so would have lasted just over 8 hours. For a tablet that’s fine, even if it’s not quite as much as expected, do bear in mind that if you keep the brightness down it will last longer.

Boasting four AKG speakers, audio is loud and clear from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It doesn’t compare to a separate speaker but for such a slim tablet it’s powerful with a rich bassy sound. While you might want to listen to music on a dedicated audio device, these speakers are fantastic for watching TV shows or movies and they’re great for video calls too.

You’ll also get a three microphone setup here, with noise reduction technology to keep the FOCUS on the call.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: verdict

To cut a long story short, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a seriously cool piece of kit, and it could replace a laptop if you buy the optional keyboard. For anyone who needs as much screen space as possible. like for working on or if you’re a creator. this is about the best and biggest tablet there is.

Despite the fact that it’s so slim and light, it’s still not going to be that easy to carry around with you because it’s not that bag-friendly. If that’s something you can get over then everything about this tablet is top-tier.

The screen is stunning, the front cameras are better than you’d find elsewhere and it comes with the S Pen included in the box. There’s still room for improvement because it’s not as fast as the Apple iPad Pro, and the battery life could be longer, but it’s still better than most other tablets out there.

If you already own Samsung tech then choosing a tablet from the Galaxy Tab S8 series is a no-brainer because all of their devices work really well together.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: also consider

If you plan to use this more for work than anything else, you don’t need such a big screen and you envisage yourself needing as much power as possible, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 could be the better choice. This 2-in-1 laptop runs Windows 11 so it’s much easier to write documents, create spreadsheets and edit photos on. Although it won’t work quite as well with other Samsung devices.

If you’re aren’t fussed about having an Android tablet, and you don’t want to go for an iPad, then the Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 (2021) is a very impressive device. Not only does it look sleek and contemporary, but it’s also got a beautiful big screen, impressive performance and seriously long battery life. You won’t be able to access any Google apps on it though, unfortunately.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s giant size will be divisive but beyond that this is a super-powerful, if super-expensive, tablet that’s great for work or play. Its S Pen, powerful chipset and good-looking screen all make it incredibly useful. You’ll need to buy a case for it, though, because it feels a little fragile.


  • – Unwieldy to transport
  • – Incredibly expensive
  • – Android has issues as a tablet operating system

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Two-minute review

With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, we can see that someone at Samsung has watched Spinal Tap because the company has really taken the popular line ‘turn it up to 11’ to heart.

In the constant game of one-up-manship between Samsung and Apple, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has owned the title of ‘biggest tablet’ for quite some years now, but the Tab S8 Ultra shows Samsung turning its own slate size up to 11 (metaphorically, not literally), with its giant 14.6-inch display.

This is a huge tablet, there’s no way around that fact, and depending on your gadget preferences that’s either a major selling point or an insurmountable issue that’ll put you off. We haven’t seen a tablet that big before; even laptops don’t always hit that size. This is a leviathan.

There are certainly reasons why you might like a slate as gigantic as this. The massive amount of screen real estate is great for note-taking and sketching with the included S Pen stylus, as well as viewing multiple documents at once or one large sheet or timeline. Plus, it’s great as a portable screen for playing games or watching movies.

However, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is large and unwieldy to carry around, and it feels pretty fragile thanks to its size. The magnetic S Pen strip is in a silly location. Android simply isn’t iPadOS when it comes to functionality. so you’ll probably need to buy a case to protect it. And of course, a chunky display means a chunky price tag.

We wouldn’t be surprised if people opt for the Galaxy Tab S8 or S8 Plus instead, as their main differences are simply their 11-inch and 12.4-inch displays ( there are other small changes too).

On the plus side, lots of the key selling points of the Galaxy phones are shared between them: they’re super powerful thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset; they come with a useful S Pen stylus, which makes sketching and note-taking convenient; they use good-looking AMOLED screens; and there’s 5G connectivity available.

So there are plenty of reasons to opt for the tablet, especially if you want one of the best Android tablets and money is no object. (If money is an issue we’d look to another Tab S8 or a slate from Lenovo or Amazon.)

We enjoyed our time with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, even with the Комментарии и мнения владельцев of “what is that?” and “why is that tablet so big?” coming from people who saw us use the thing. opinions were divided on whether it was the coolest thing ever or a little ridiculous. We can safely say that, if you’re in the first camp, this is a great tablet for you. if you’re in the second, you’ll hate it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra price and availability

The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the priciest tablet we’ve ever seen from Samsung, which makes sense due to its size and power.

There are quite a few configurations depending on storage, RAM and connectivity, and you can see the for all of them below:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

RAM / Storage8/128GB8/128GB12/256GB12/256GB16/512GB16/512GB
Connectivity US price UK price AU price
Wi-Fi 1,099.99 £999 1,799
5G Row 2. Cell 2 £1,149 1,999
Wi-Fi 1,199.99 £1,099 1,999
5G Row 4. Cell 2 £1,249 2,199
Wi-Fi 1,399.99 £1,249 Row 5. Cell 4
5G Row 6. Cell 2 £1,399 Row 6. Cell 4

Not all variants of the tablet are going on sale in all regions, so if you see a gap in the above graph, that’s why.

It’s hard to contextualize this compared to previous Galaxy tablets, because this is the first Ultra one, but perhaps the iPad Pro (2021) 12.9-inch is the best comparison. for a Wi-Fi-only 128GB storage model, it starts at 1,099 / £999 / AU1,799 (so the same cost, except in Australia). However, the iPad Pro price goes much higher because you can get storage up to 2TB, which Samsung doesn’t offer.

The tablet was unveiled on February 9, 2022 and went on sale on February 25, 2022.


This is one huge tablet. Seriously, don’t even consider it unless your backpack has space or there’s room on your desk for this monster.

With dimensions of 326 x 208 x 5.5mm, this slate is long and wide, and surprisingly thin, which adds to its fragility. It feels like it’d be easy to snap the tablet in half with your bare hands. We didn’t try.

It’s a fairly heavy tablet, weighing in at 726g for the Wi-Fi model or 728g for the 5G model, but that’s only fitting for a monster this big.

The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra only comes in one color: Graphite, or dull gray.

When the tablet is landscape, the USB-C port is on the right edge, while the power button, volume rocker and SIM tray are on the top edge at the far left. There’s also a three-pin connector at the bottom which is used for accessories.

The back of the slate is coated in glass. Two interesting things to note here are the small camera bump, which houses two lenses and a magnetic streak that you connect the S Pen stylus to. more on that in the Accessories section below.


The flagship feature of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is its giant 14.6-inch screen. that’s bigger than the largest iPad Pro, at 12.9 inches, and even beats or matches lots of laptops. It’s huge.

This size is great for watching movies, sketching, working. everything, really. We found the device useful both as an entertainment companion and as a second screen for our work laptop.

With a resolution of 1848 x 2960, images are sharp, though we should point out that the pixel-per-inch count is lower than on the other Tab S8 members, at ‘just’ 240ppi. The refresh rate is 120Hz, which makes motion seem smooth, and this will be particularly useful for gamers as lots of popular titles offer 120Hz modes.

The screen uses AMOLED tech so the colors are bold and contrast is stark, which will prove particularly useful for creatives who need good color accuracy or work with visuals for their job.

There’s one screen element that is almost unknown in the tablet world, and that’s a notch, which houses the two front-facing cameras. It breaks up the screen a tiny amount, at the top, but the display is so big overall that we barely noticed this intrusion.

Performance, specs and cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. that’s the top-end chip used by Android devices at the time of the tablet’s release, and it’s also used in the standard and Plus slates.

When we put the tablet through a Geekbench 5 multi-core test, it returned a score of 3,279, which is pretty commendable, though we’ve seen higher scores from Android phones. Still, anything above 3,000 is a great result that’ll make it well suited for games or intensive work apps.

We tested the tablet with a few games and found it performed well, although it was admittedly hard to use touch controls on a massive screen. Titles looked good, especially because we could go for the top graphics option when one was available.

samsung, galaxy, ultra, review

The power will also be useful for intensive creative apps and functions.At the Tab S8 launch event, Samsung announced that previously-iOS-exclusive video-editing app Lumafusion will, at some point, be brought to Android slates, and that’ll certainly require all of the Ultra’s processing power.

The chipset is paired with 8GB, 12GB or 16GB RAM, and 16GB will certainly be useful if your workflow involves loads of apps. Storage tops out at 512GB but a microSD card slot lets you get an additional 1TB space if you want it.

Something we enjoyed about the tablet was its speakers. there are four, with great bass and treble. They made watching content on the slate or using it as a portable speaker really enjoyable.

The software here is Android 12, with Samsung’s OneUI laid over the top. In true Android fashion, this offers loads of widgets you can customize your home screen with, which is useful if you’re looking for a work tablet.

OneUI’s appearance differs from stock Android design. some people will like it, but others won’t. Check out the review images of the menu to see if it’s something you like.

We’ve previously found iPadOS to bea better tablet operating system than Android, and there’s no difference here. it lacks a control center that’s separate from the notifications list, split screen is more fiddly to enable, and navigation feels a little slower. Still, those issues might not be noticeable to people who haven’t used Apple’s tablets.

There are four cameras on the Galaxy Tba S8 Ultra. two are front-facers are two are on the rear.

The two front cameras are both 12MP: one has a wide-angle lens while the other is ultra-wide. The former is the one you’ll use for selfies while the latter is useful for video calls as you can get multiple people in your field of view and the camera can follow you around a select area if you’re presenting.

On the back, there’s a 13MP main and 6MP ultra-wide snapper, which you definitely won’t be using for photography (even a budget phone beats them for good-looking pictures), but they’re good for scanning documents, AR functions and reference imagery.

A few camera modes are available in the app like Single Take (which lets you record a short video of a subject from which the device picks out the best picture), Pro photography, Portrait and Night mode.


There’s a key accessory that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: the S Pen. This is a stylus that works a lot like the Apple Pencil (and you don’t need to buy it separately). Despite sharing a name, it’s not the same as the pen that comes with Samsung phones. it’s much bigger and sturdier.

The S Pen clips to the back of the tablet magnetically, and charges this way too. This placement was a little annoying, as we had to blindly grasp behind the screen to pick up or put down the stick, and it made it impossible to put the slate down flat when we weren’t using the stylus.

Functionally, though, we found the S Pen very convenient to use. It’s useful for taking notes, navigating the menus (using the stylus like a fancy alternative to a finger) and sketching. For sketching the stylus is particularly useful, as its pressure sensitivity means you can press harder for thicker lines or softer for thinner ones, really recreating the sketching experience.

You can buy a case, stand and keyboard folio to use with the Tab Ultra, so you can protect the tablet and also type or prop the device up. As our review pictures show, we didn’t receive these with our testing sample.

If you’re buying the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, we’d highly recommend getting a case. It’s so big that it felt unsafe to transport, or even put in a bag, without an extra layer of protection. we kept it in a bubble-wrap sleeve when in our backpack to ensure it didn’t get bashed about.

We should also point out that, while the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes with a USB-C to USB-C charging cable in the bag, it doesn’t have a wall plug, so you’ll have to buy one or rely on USB outlets for powering.

Battery life

With a 11,200mAh power pack, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra’s battery is meaty enough to provide that gigantic screen with loads of juice, and we were generally happy with the tablet’s battery life. In fact, we had trouble running the thing down in order to conduct our charging tests.

A 90-minute movie drained just 16% power. we should note that the movie didn’t have the same aspect ratio as the tablet screen, so not all the display was on, but that’s a useful average to go off. That suggests you’ll get a good few hours of streaming TV, writing documents or editing video without the battery dying.

Charging is supposedly done at 45W, and Samsung estimates that’ll fill the battery in 82 minutes. In our charging test, the device took that long just to power up by about 33%. That’s not fast at all. You’ll probably need to plug this thing in overnight to get a full battery.

Buy it if.

You want a huge portable screen If you’re excited at the thought of this massive 14.6-inch display, you’ll love the experience of using it.

You like using a stylus For stylus fans, this could be the best tablet on the market, because its massive display makes sketching and note-taking a treat.

You have lots of video calls The dual front-facing cameras on the Tab S8 Ultra are handy for video calls, as you can present and move around without leaving the frame.

Don’t buy it if.

You don’t want a huge portable screen For some people, this screen will simply be too big. I the thought of a gigantic 14.6-inch display makes you roll your eyes or recoil at the size, you shouldn’t even consider it.

You’re on a budget There’s no doubt about it, this is an expensive tablet, and you should only consider buying it if you have serious cash to spend.

You’re not going to buy a case A tablet like this absolutely needs a protective shell, and if you’re not the type to clad their tech in cases or folios, we’re not sure the Tab S8 Ultra will last very long for you.

Samsung‘s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra isn’t the laptop replacement you’re looking for

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a beast of a tablet. All configurations are powered by Qualcomm’s snappy new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, but the most decked-out model comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. With those specs, the attachable Book Cover Keyboard and the tablet’s DeX mode, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is effectively one of the best best Android tablets for getting work done. Because of that, Samsung has marketed the slate as a laptop replacement.

But can the Tab S8 Ultra actually become your next laptop? We previously examined how the Tab S8 Ultra could potentially be a laptop replacement, based on Samsung’s promises. We also briefly touched on the topic in our Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review. The tablet has many features that place it on par with traditional laptops, but there are also aspects preventing it from being the genuine article. As it turns out, answering this question isn’t as clear-cut as it was when we asked if the newly released iPad Air could replace your laptop.

This post will be an account of my experience using the Tab S8 Ultra as my primary work laptop for over a week. My goal here is to help you decide whether this product is right for you. Can the Tab S8 Ultra replace your laptop? Read on to find out.

Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra as a laptop: Is the screen big enough?

Most gaming and work laptops have 13- to 15-inch screens these days, and the Tab S8 Ultra’s massive (for a tablet) 14.6-inch (2,960 x 1,948 pixels) 120Hz display is in that range. Movies, TV shows and YouTube videos all look fantastic on the giant AMOLED screen. It’s also great for getting work done.

samsung, galaxy, ultra, review

The expansive display size gave me plenty of space to place multiple Windows where I needed them. It also made it easy to read even tiny text. Thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, pages scrolled smoothly and apps opened quickly. Touch controls are also snappy and responsive.

I have nothing negative to say about the Tab S8 Ultra’s large display. It’s as good as – and in some cases, better than – any laptop screen I’ve ever tested.

Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra as a laptop: Is the Book Cover Keyboard comfy enough?

The Tab S8 Ultra can’t function as a very good laptop without an external keyboard like Samsung’s Book Cover Keyboard peripheral. Setting aside its steep 349 asking price, it’s an essential tool that is mostly as good as a proper laptop keyboard.

I have large hands, so the spacious keyboard on the Book Cover was perfect for me. The accommodating size is the one thing this keyboard has over the Apple Magic Keyboard, which is a better product despite its small size. The keys on Samsung’s keyboard provide a decent amount of feedback when pressed, though they feel somewhat fragile to me since I’m so used to mechanical keyboards. In some ways this makes the Tab S8 Ultra seem more like a laptop, as I have similar complaints about almost all laptop keyboards. Functionally, the Book Cover Keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a solid peripheral.

Like I said in my review, I’m not a fan of its flimsy kickstand. Unless you place the kickstand at the correct angle, the tablet will fall over on its face. This is unacceptable for such an expensive accessory. The Book Cover Keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S8, at least based on senior editor Alex Wawro’s review, seems to be a better-constructed peripheral that can properly support its tablet. Why the Tab S8 Ultra’s add-on is so sub-par confounds me.

Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra as a laptop: How good is DeX mode?

Samsung’s DeX mode is designed to make its smartphones and tablets function more like a PC by altering the Android interface to resemble a Windows desktop. Like Windows, the app tray gets placed at the bottom left corner. Apps also get repositioned to the left side of the screen and you’re able to resize and move them how you see fit.

For the most part, DeX mode works as intended on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. I was able to log into my work account on Google and use apps like Gmail and Google docs. But like using these same apps on the iPad Air via iPadOS, it takes some getting used to if you’re a Windows or macOS user. But DeX mode’s similarity to Windows makes the adjustment process a bit smoother. In my experience DeX mode itself also runs quite smoothly, presumably due to the beefy hardware within the Tab S8 Ultra.

With that said, DeX mode (and Android in general) isn’t quite ready to take on Windows or macOS. Yes, the user interface is snappy and responsive, but it feels sluggish in comparison to those operating systems. And though DeX mode tries to emulate the desktop experience, it still feels like a tablet interface at its core. In most cases, I found it easier to scroll pages and make selections with my fingers rather than use the trackpad cursor.

A key feature of DeX mode is the way in which it makes it easier to manage connecting to and working on external displays. Connecting the Tab S8 Ultra to an external monitor via its USB-C port is a great feature, but it still doesn’t make using the tablet feel like a PC. DeX mode also gives you the option to use your Samsung phone or tablet as a touchpad in DeX mode, which is useful when using an external monitor – but if you’re going to go through all that to replicate the Windows/macOS experience, it’s arguably wiser to just invest in a laptop instead.

Can the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra replace your laptop?

The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s large screen, roomy keyboard and snappy interface could lead you to believe it’s a laptop replacement. But for all its merits, the Tab S8 Ultra isn’t quite ready for that.

samsung, galaxy, ultra, review

DeX mode isn’t terrible, but it’s neither as easy to use nor as responsive as macOS and Windows. I’m sure DeX mode will get better over time, and may perhaps one day rival the likes of Microsoft and Apple’s operating systems, but that isn’t the case at the moment.

Then there’s the price, which will no doubt be the determining factor for most people. As I said in my review, the Tab S8 Ultra and Book Cover Keyboard together cost 1,500 at a minimum. You can instead buy the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED with an Intel i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD for 1,099 or the high-end Dell XPS 13 OLED with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for 1,800, which is close to what a maxed-out Tab S8 Ultra costs.

Unless you really like Android, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra shouldn’t be considered a laptop usurper. However, it’s still an awesome tablet that has earned a spot in our best tablets list due to its vibrant screen and powerful performance. The iPad Pro is still the better premium-end tablet, but the Tab S8 Ultra is very much worthwhile. it just won’t replace your laptop.