We've jumped into our massive Tablets category at PB Tech and chosen the new Galaxy Tab S3 for a hands-on review!
First of all, this latest tablet is a 9.7' model, upping the screen space a little from the previous generation. Another welcomed addition is the S3 tablet now has support for the new and improved S pen, and better still those fine folks at Samsung have included one in the box, a bit more on that later :)
Looking specifically at the design, this tablet is much improved from the previous S2 tablet which released back in 2015 and had a soft plastic back plate, with the 2017 S3 version we get a shell that’s coated in glass, on both on the front and back, with sleek aluminum edges. It’s still lightweight but the new form definitely gives the tablet a high-quality feeling when you hold it.
Inputs and outputs wise, on the bottom we find a USB-C port for charging and a headphone jack, on the sides we find the standard sleep wake button and volume rocker, and in-between these two microphones there’s also a microSD card slot - if you get the LTE Tab S3 there is an additional slot here for inserting the sim card as well.
Next to those ports we also get two speakers on the bottom as well as another 2 on the top. Having these 4 speakers allowed us to hit higher volume than with previous generations, and better still, they're calibrated to your movements so as you rotate the tablet the stereo speaker orientation changes too, so no matter which way you hold the S3 Tablet, you’ll enjoy clear, high-quality audio. This increase volume and clarity really shines if you use the tablet in a somewhat noisy place like a kitchen, allowing you to enjoy that Netflix show, or follow along with Hayley’s Kitchen on YouTube :P
Along the back we get a pretty impressive 13mp camera, F1.9 aperture giving it a shallow depth of field for a tablet. Along with an LED flash below it, the front camera is 5mp and can deliver 1080p HD video.
As for the specs we get a Snapdragon 820, Adreno 530, 4gb ram as well as a 6000mAh battery which is pretty huge, and rightly so! The big selling point on this device is the display, a Super AMOLED with HDR support built in at a resolution 1536x2048. It’s beautiful, the display is brighter with a wider colour gamut and when I say brighter, I mean wayyyy brighter, making it a great tablet to use outdoors.
The Tab S3 comes loaded with android 7 Nougat out of the box, and has a few cool software features like multi-tasking apps side by side, you can adjust the size that each app is using or even window the app while using another, then when minimized the app will turn into a badge that you can move around the display and then just open it again with a single tap, this just makes multitasking very efficient, for transferring data between website and a notes app or your email.
Now onto the best bit! As we mentioned right at the beginning of this, the new S pen is included with the Samsung S3 Tablet. Remarkably, this S pen doesn't require any charging or pairing, it just works. It’s very close to the size of a classic Bic pen and I found it both easy and comfortable to use, whether you're navigating the UI or drawing small details on pictures, it’s certainly very accurate.
Samsung also provides a bunch of replaceable nibs in the box which is awesome, and similar to the note series you can hit this button to launch the air command menu where you can quickly write over your screen, translate text and more. This works well with a handy quick note feature - you can just tap on the screen while the tablet is locked to make some quick notes without having to unlock your device :)
This Samsung Tab S3 gains additional functionality if you add the Samsung smart keyboard, it connects through a few pogo pins and instantly works, again without any pairing required!
Overall we’ve had a blast getting hands-on for our review of the Samsung Tab S3, it’s by far the best android tablet on the market right now and that S pen is a great tool for productivity, it is fast, light and has an amazing screen and decent battery life- a very nice product indeed.