The best Samsung tablets of 2023

2 months ago 80

Few manufacturers keep the Android tablet train chugging along like Samsung. The Korean firm introduces an annual slate update at the flagship and lower-price bands, introducing new innovations or nips and tucks to the now-established formula. But which is right for you? Choosing the best Samsung tablet for you boils down to these critical questions:

What is your primary use case? Do you want a laptop replacement, a large-screen companion, or a comfortable device to use with one hand? How powerful and feature-packed do you need your tablet to be? What is your budget?

Considering these questions, we’ve listed the best Samsung tablet options on the market for every budget and use case. Find these devices listed below.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is the best Samsung tablet money can buy

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

Excellent build quality • Terrific display • Long software support commitment

A flagship Android tablet with plenty of power to spare

If you want a powerful Android tablet but don't want to shell out the big bucks, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is a good option. It doesn't have all the crazy power of the Tab S8 Ultra, but should make most users happy.

There’s a good reason why the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is also the best Android tablet you can buy — it’s just that good. If you want the best slate and money is no object, this is the tablet you’ll want to spend it on. Yes, technically, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra boasts the best specs sheet of any Samsung tablet, but we think the Plus is better value for money.

The Galaxy Tab S8 Plus’ show-stopping feature is its display. Samsung is good at making AMOLED screens; here’s yet another example. The panel measures 12.4 inches with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a 2,800 x 1,752 resolution. That combination creates a bright, expressive screen in all situations, from media consumption to content creation. Speaking of the latter, the Tab S8 Plus comes bundled with an S Pen in the box, allowing you to write and draw on the panel itself. While we found it extremely useful for these purposes, we prefer the longer Apple Pencil 2, which allows for slightly more control and a longer reach.

The Tab S8 Plus screen is fitted to a gorgeous metal body that could easily rival the iPad Pro line regarding build quality. It won’t take up too much space in your bag, either, with a thickness of just 5.7mm and a weight of 570 grams. That might not be light enough to use singlehanded; it’s exceedingly lighter than most laptops you’ll come across, even with the keyboard accessory.

As a laptop replacement, the tablet works surprisingly well. The 12.4-inch display with Android’s multitasking enhancements works well together. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset had plenty of grunt too, while 8GB of RAM is about the right amount. However, it does have its drawbacks, namely the keyboard accessory’s single-angle design and the lack of third-party app support for larger screens. We also found the battery life of the Tab S8 Plus to be a surprising disappointment, coming in at just 8.5 hours of heavy use.

While the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is stellar, you might want to consider the two other tablets in this series. The larger and much pricier Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ($1269.99 at Amazon) is an expensive beast but may appeal to those wishing to replace their laptops with something more versatile. It offers more RAM, storage, a larger 14.6-inch screen for better multitasking, and more battery capacity.

The standard Galaxy Tab S8 ($629.99 at Samsung) is the Tab S8 Plus on a more compact scale. It uses a smaller, less impressive 11-inch LCD screen, and includes a smaller battery, but it doesn’t skimp on many other features.

What makes it stand out

Solid build quality: Few tablets rival Apple’s iPad build quality, but the Tab S8 Plus does just that with its solid aluminum construction. Fantastic screen: It’s not the largest screen in Samsung’s tablet line, but it’s fast, crisp, and deep. It’s an excellent panel for note-taking, media viewing, and artists. Bundled S Pen: Speaking of note-taking and art, the bundled S Pen adds a new and useful dimension to the tablet experience.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is the best Samsung tablet for most people

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Premium design • Excellent battery life • Good speakers

Does Samsung's mid-range slate pack enough of a productivity punch to take on the Apple iPad Air?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is an attractive tablet that has a good screen, solid software, and S Pen power. A large 12.4-inch display brings your content to life, making it a great tablet for study time or for a quick entertainment break.

If you’re happy to sacrifice pure processing power and the latest display technology for a more affordable tablet, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE is for you. Unlike the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, the Tab S7 FE settles for a 12.4-inch LCD panel, the Snapdragon 778G for the Wi-Fi version (which we recommend), and Snapdragon 750G for the 5G alternative. These cut-backs might be too extreme for some, and we found performance wanting when we really needed it. However, there is plenty to like about the Tab S7 FE.

Samsung’s great build quality is present even on this affordable tablet, with a lovely combination of glass and metal. The S Pen is again part of the package, making this a great slate for jotting and studying. Plenty of third-party accessories are also available to improve this experience. You’re also getting a massive 10,090mAh battery, which lasts much longer between charges than the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus. We also enjoyed the Tab S7 FE’s audio performance thanks to loud, crisp speakers that support Dolby Atmos and are tuned by AKG.

Despite its positives, several things may spoil the Galaxy Tab S7 FE for you. Compared to other slates in 2023, the Tab S7 FE is decidedly underpowered. The Snapdragon 778G lacks the grunt you’ll find with the standard Snapdragon 865 Plus-powered Galaxy S7 series. The 5G version is even tardier. You may not appreciate the mediocre cameras either or the lack of hardware-based biometrics.

The Galaxy Tab S7 FE was exceedingly pricey at launch, but now that it’s a few months old, we feel its price strikes the sweet spot for those looking for a sensible slate for daily use. If you do need more grunt, you can find the Galaxy Tab S7 ($715 at Amazon) at a higher price, but you’ll have to settle for a smaller display.

What makes it stand out

Great build quality: Samsung’s done it again with a solid aluminum foundation that feels great in hand. Outstanding audio: The Tab S7 FE includes stereo speakers tuned by AKG that don’t distort at higher volume. Long battery life: The 10,090mAh battery can go for more than 12 hours of screen on time before a charge is needed, outlasting the pricier Tab S8 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is the best affordable Samsung tablet for media consumption

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 (32GB)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 (32GB)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 (32GB)

Dolby Atmos speakers • Good display • Low price

If your tablet needs are simple, there's probably not much to match the Galaxy Tab A8

If your tablet needs don't venture past watching media and maybe browsing the web, the Galaxy Tab A8 offers the basics at a price pretty much anyone can afford.

Not everyone needs a top-line tablet with big screens and dizzyingly fast chipsets. Usually, a simple slate with a larger display and great audio will do. Enter the Galaxy Tab A8. This is one of the best cheap tablets you can buy, especially if you’re looking for a mobile entertainment hub.

Despite its low price point, Samsung still uses plenty of metal in its construction, giving it a surprisingly premium aesthetic and feel. Overall, the Galaxy Tab A8 is a more compact machine than the Tab S8 Plus and Tab S7 FE, making it more suitable for singlehanded use. Its display measures 10.5 inches across with a 16:10 aspect ratio, perfect for streaming. Backing up the panel is a brilliant audio package, too. The stereo Dolby Atmos speakers punch out generous bass and clear peaks when required.

Gone is the Snapdragon chipset used in its predecessor, and in comes a Unisoc Tiger T618 chipset. The Tab A8’s new silicon doesn’t set any benchmarks alight, but it’s a capable piece of silicon that doesn’t trouble the battery. We could go for two days between charges during much of our review. Multitasking with the Unisoc SoC was swift and clean, and we had no trouble streaming content.

Of course, you’ll have to sacrifice a few creature comforts at this price range. For one, charging speeds only reach 15W, which makes for four-hour charging spells if your battery is depleted. The front and rear cameras won’t replace your daily imaging setup, but were they likely to anyway? Finally, if you’re looking for loads of RAM and storage but are on the strictest budget, you won’t get more than 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage on the base model. However, look beyond these small concessions; you’ll find a capable media powerhouse that won’t punch a hole in your wallet.

What makes it stand out

Impressive battery life: You can go well over two days on a single charge, thanks to the 7,040mAh battery and thrifty Unisoc SoC. Perfectly designed for media consumption: The 16:10 display and excellent stereo speakers are perfect for soaking up streaming shows and movies. Great build quality for its price: Even though this is one of Samsung’s cheapest tablets, the focus on build quality remains.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the cheapest Samsung tablet we can recommend

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

4-year security updates • Affordable tablet • Headphone jack

A solid tablet at an affordable price.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite has well-rounded software with three years of major OS updates and four years of security patch updates. It is equipped with a headphone jack, and the storage is expandable.

Finally, what if all you want in a tablet is a compact device with a larger display than your phone? The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite fills that niche without making a fuss. You’ll find a fair few missing features at this price, but plenty of great Samsung traits remain.

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the smallest and lightest tablet on the list, with an 8.7 inch 1,340 x 800 LCD and a weight of 370 grams. That makes it the best slate for one-handed use and a great Kindle alternative for voracious readers. The tablet still features a solid metal build, which we greatly appreciate at this price. The added durability this provides makes the Tab A7 Lite suitable for kids too. The added Kids Mode almost wills this use case into existence.

Samsung sweetens the deal with a healthy update commitment. The Tab A7 Lite will get Android 14 and an additional year of software patches after that, making it one of the best-supported budget slates on the market.

You’ll have to settle for a few shortcomings at this low price. The MediaTek Helio P22 chipset is nowhere near strong enough to run modern games, while the 5,100mAh battery could ensure a bit longer for our liking. While media playback isn’t its strong point, we love the headphone jack and microSD card slot for an additional 1TB of storage if required.

What makes it stand out

Compact, portable size: If you’re looking for a reading slate, a tablet for your child, or a secondary device with a larger display than your phone, this is the best budget option. Lengthy software support: Samsung will provide the slate with three major OS updates and four years of security patches. It’s due to receive Android 14. Lower post-launch price: Now that it’s been on the market for a few years, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is much cheaper than it was at launch. You can regularly find it at a reduced price on Samsung tablet deals lists.

What to look for in a Samsung tablet

Samsung tablets rarely put a foot wrong, but there may be a few things you’ll need to consider before choosing one for your specific needs.

Size and screen

You might not need the biggest, fastest display on the market. Yes, displays with faster refresh rates are great for gaming and media consumption, while AMOLED panels are generally more efficient than other technologies. However, tablets with smaller displays are better for long reading sessions or browsing Reddit. Notably, Samsung’s larger tablets, like the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, are what you should invest in if you need a laptop replacement.

Storage and RAM

Gone are the days of 2GB of RAM in Samsung tablets. The company fits even its budget models with 3GB at least, which is more than enough to have a few apps open in the background. Of course, you can have up to 16GB on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, and if you plan to use your tablet as a laptop replacement, this is the way to go. As for storage, while you’ll find as little as 32GB onboard the Tab A7 Lite, you can plug in a microSD card to bulk it up.

S Pen support

Finally, not all Samsung tablets accommodate the S Pen. Samsung’s stylus brings additional functionality to its slates, allowing users to draw, write, and control their devices. Notably, the S Pen is supported by the Tab S8 Plus, the S7 FE, and the Tab A8. You can find a handful of other Samsung tablets not mentioned on our best list that support it, too. If using your tablet as a writing surface is essential, consider grabbing a tablet with S Pen support.

Top Samsung tablet questions and answers

We think that the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is the best Samsung tablet in terms of price and features.

By using Samsung’s software support promise as a guide, Samsung tablets should last at least four years. If you treat your device with care, it could last much longer.

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