An incredibly thin and clean design, a bright and punchy display that’s expansive – perfect for watching, editing photos, or sketching – and plenty of power make Samsung’s new Tab S8 Ultra stand out – if you can. integrate into your workflow. The iPad supports more creative apps and has a brighter screen, but can’t compete in terms of size and versatility.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 14.6” 256GB Anthracite Wifi
- Large 14.6” 120Hz Super AMOLED display
- Super premium design, solid, aluminum shielded. Powerful processor for unlimited entertainment. Long-lasting autonomy
- Immersive screen: enjoy your movies, series and video games on a large, bright and fluid screen thanks to a refresh rate of 120Hz
- Ultra-precise connected S Pen included
- 256GB storage + microSD slot
- A stunning, bold and vibrant display
- Incredibly slim design
- S Pen included with the tablet
- Powerful software
- Fewer creative apps than iPad
- Large size can be unwieldy
Samsung’s Tab S8 Ultra is the biggest tablet we’ve ever seen. The iPad Pro’s largest screen measures 12.9 inches; Samsung’s Tab S8 Ultra measures 14.6 inches. Samsung is clearly pushing the bar when it comes to tablet size, but bigger isn’t always better.
No tablet has really been able to beat the iPad Pro for creatives. This isn’t because the iPad is bigger, has a better screen, or has a more premium design, but because of the apps. Apple’s AppStore has more creative, high-quality apps than Android’s Google Play Store, it’s that simple.
Samsung is not let down, however. For starters, by making the Tab S8 Ultra such a big tablet, Samsung is putting Apple in the hot seat: the iPad line simply can’t compete in terms of size. Then the developers behind Lumafusion announced (but not yet shipped) a version of their app for the Tab S8 series.
With Samsung’s incredibly deep, vibrant and rich AMOLED screen technology, plus an S Pen in the box and tons of clever software, can Samsung’s latest slate finally topple the creative reign of the iPad Pro?
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: design
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra might be a massive tablet with a massive footprint, but it’s also ridiculously thin. At only 5.5mm thick, it looks like a little piece of technology. Despite its angel profile, thanks to its reinforced aluminum body, it is sturdy and, at 728 g, it feels solid in the hand.
The front of the Tab is truly all-screen, with two selfie cameras tucked away in a notch that cuts the screen ever so slightly. Unlike the iPad line, the front cameras are on the long side of the Tab S8 Ultra, which makes the tablet much better for video calls in landscape orientation. The fingerprint scanner is located under the screen on the right side of the tablet.
Along the sides of the Tab S8 Ultra are a USB-C port for data and charging, micro-drilled speaker holes in the metal frame, and a volume and power button. As for the back, it’s made entirely of matte metal, a bump for the camera, and a strip of glass where the S Pen magnetically latches onto the slate, charging wirelessly as it goes. .
With only one color option available – Graphite – touches of style can be added with a third-party case. An official folio case for the Tab S8 Ultra keyboard is available for $349.99, and you can get a folio case as well, but they all come in black.
We neither love nor hate the utilitarian aesthetic of the Tab S8 Ultra. Its matte metal looks premium right out of the box, but it clings to fingerprints, albeit more subtly than glossy glass. The Tab S8 Ultra doesn’t look as good as an iPad from the back, but it’s incredibly special given its thinness and sturdiness. From the front, it’s also a feast for the eyes thanks to that brilliant AMOLED screen.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: screen
When we threw a 4K video of the city of Tokyo on the Tab S8 Ultra and showed it to friends in a dimly lit room, they were convinced it was a 3D display. That’s how striking the Tab S8 Ultra’s screen is.
Unlike iPads, which use LCD screens, the Tab S8 Ultra features the largest AMOLED display to date on a tablet. This means its blacks are deeper and more intense, its colors richer and more attractive, and its contrast levels higher. If you want a tablet for watching movies and content, this is it.
Another plus for movie buffs is the Tab S8 Ultra’s aspect ratio. While iPads are a bit squarer, with a 4:3 aspect ratio (like a traditional photo), the Tab S8 Ultra’s screen is 16:10, a bit wider than Full HD. This means that whether you’re watching a Netflix series in Full HD or a feature film in 21:9, the iPad will still show massive black bars on either side of the image. The Tab S8 series, on the other hand, will not.
Just like the iPad Pro (not the iPad Air), the Tab S8 Ultra’s display has a 120Hz refresh rate. This means menus and flows scroll smoothly, adding a real sense of speed to the entire user interface.
There’s one area where Samsung’s flagship tablet falls behind the iPad, and that’s brightness. While the iPad Pro climbs to 1000 nits and above, the Tab S8 Ultra tops out at around 420 nits. That’s more than enough to easily watch, take notes, and work indoors and in covered outdoor spaces, but if you tend to use your tablet outdoors in bright environments, visibility might be an issue. .
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: S Pen and creative apps
Unlike iPads, the entire Tab S8 series comes with a stylus in the box — more specifically, an S Pen. This Samsung stylus is a bit shorter than the Apple Pencil, and it feels more natural on first use given the softer, closer-to-the-pen tip. It also uses Wacom technology and supports up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with tilt recognition – and it works flawlessly.
Each S Pen has a button near the tip. This button activates an eraser in the Notes app, a shutter button in the Camera app, or Air Commands in various apps, so you can control apps with a wave of your hand, pen in hand. The S Pen is therefore more versatile and intuitive than Apple’s Pencil, but with moving parts and a more fragile nib, it’s also less premium.
Pre-installed software that helps you get the most out of the S Pen includes Samsung Notes – a note-taking and sketching app that can turn your handwritten notes into text, ClipStudio – a sketching tool with support for layers and plenty of brush options, and there’s also a handwriting keyboard.
Third-party S Pen apps are also available: Autodesk Sketchbook, Concepts, and Wacom Bamboo Paper, to name a few. However, they fall short of some of the best iPad apps, like Good Notes and ProCreate, which ultimately provide a higher quality experience. While you can get basic Adobe apps like Lightroom for the Tab S8 Ultra, unfortunately the full suite of iPad apps, including Adobe Fresco, isn’t available for Android yet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: performance and camera
Top-notch power and ridiculously smart software make the Tab S8 Ultra a beast when it comes to productivity and performance.
DeX is Samsung’s desktop interface for Android phones and tablets. It fires on the giant screen of the Tab S8 Ultra or when you connect the S8 Ultra to an external display. Connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you can work across multiple windows with ease, making this oversized tablet feel like a traditional Windows or macOS-like device.
You can also use the Tab S8 series as an extended monitor for your Windows 11 computer, and with its large screen, it’s a perfect companion for a 15-inch laptop, giving you a portable dual-screen setup on the go.
The Tab S8 Ultra’s camera surpasses that of most tablets, even if it’s not on par with today’s flagship smartphones. The front and rear feature dual cameras, wide and ultra-wide modules. The rear cameras perform best because they have autofocus, which makes them more versatile. That said, Samsung is adding a cool feature to selfie cameras: auto-framing. Like Apple’s Center Stage feature, this feature automatically frames the video with you in the center, even if you move around a bit.
The tablet’s large 11,200 mAh battery keeps it going for around nine hours of video playback, and a few comfortable days with moderate usage. It charges at 45W with a compatible charger, but you’ll need to get one separately as Samsung’s latest phones and tablets don’t come with power bricks.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: verdict
With its stunning screen quality and 16:10 aspect ratio, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the best tablet for watching content. Its design is also incredibly slim considering how much power it packs, and the fact that it comes with a stylus is a great thing.
The Tab S8 Ultra costs €1,280. That said, it costs about the same as an iPad Pro 12.9, making it a direct competitor.
For anyone looking for a creative tablet first and foremost, the iPad Pro is the best option thanks to its far superior app support. This is especially true if you’re a Mac user who can take advantage of Apple’s cross-device integration.
However, if you have a Windows 11 laptop and an Android phone and want the biggest and best companion device money can buy, the oversized Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a marvel of modern technology. It pushes the boundaries, and gives you more screen (and in turn, canvas) than any other device on the market – so if you can fit it into your workflow, you won’t find anything else that can offer what it can.
The verdict 9 out of 10
An incredibly thin and sleek design, a bright, punchy display that’s expansive – perfect for viewing, editing photos, or sketching – and plenty of power make Samsung’s new Tab S8 Ultra stand out – if you can. integrate into your workflow. The iPad supports more creative apps and has a brighter screen, but can’t compete in terms of size and versatility.