When it came to designing the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, Samsung must have taken the motto “go big or go home” to heart. This 14.6-inch monster is undoubtedly one of the most massive tablets we’ve ever seen. However, despite its huge size, the Tab S8 Ultra packs enough power into its tiny body to make it a viable laptop replacement.
Is the Tab S8 Ultra, on the other hand, capable of serving as your primary work machine? The Android operating system isn’t up to pace with Windows or macOS, despite the fact that its screen size and processing power make it seem like a laptop in all but name. The fact that if you want to use the tablet as a laptop, you’ll need to purchase a costly keyboard attachment is also a drawback.
With its performance and attractive design, this is one of the greatest Android tablets (and one of the best tablets in general) we’ve reviewed. If you’re a Samsung fan, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a viable option — if you can afford it.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Price And Availability
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra starts at $1,099 on Samsung’s website (opens in new tab), though you can save money by trading in a qualified device. This graphite-colored variant offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Configurations with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, as well as 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, are now unavailable.
The Tab S8 Ultra, like the Galaxy Tab S8, is exclusively available in Wi-Fi variants. Later this year, it will make the tablet available with cellular service through AT&T and T-Mobile.
For $349, you can get the Book Cover Keyboard to go with the Tab S8 Ultra (opens in new tab). When paired with DeX mode, the tablet effectively transforms into an Android laptop.
Samsung sent us the Tab S8 Ultra with the most features, including 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM, as well as a Book Cover Keyboard Pro. The same model would set you back $1,399 + $349 for the keyboard if you bought it yourself.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Design
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a massive tablet, measuring 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches. It’s so massive that it’s easy to imagine Moses carrying it down from Mount Sinai. Despite its biblical proportions, it is remarkably light, weighing only 1.04 pounds. Though it’s challenging to hold it with one hand, it’s much easier to do so with two.
Samsung’s top slates are known for their light and thin construction, and the Tab S8 Ultra is no exception. Even when linked to the Book Cover Keyboard, the tablet maintains its slim profile. It’s simple to transport, whether in a bag or in your hands.
The power and volume buttons are located on the right side of the slate. There’s also a microSD card slot towards the bottom right corner, though you’ll need to unlock the compartment housing the slot with the provided tool. The Tab S8 Ultra’s back contains rear-facing cameras as well as a magnetic strip that holds the S pen. The bottom edge houses a USB-C port as well as two speakers. There is no headphone jack on the device, so you’ll have to use the USB-C port or Bluetooth to attach headphones.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Display
The Tab S8 Ultra is distinguished by its massive 14.6-inch (2960×1848) 120Hz AMOLED display. It has a bright, vibrant screen that makes everything you’re watching – YouTube videos, streaming entertainment, and games – look just gorgeous. Although you can lock it to 60Hz to save battery, the 120Hz refresh rate guarantees that web pages’ flow smoothly and apps load promptly.
The Tab S8 Ultra has an average brightness of 337.7 nits in the centre of our testing, but when we put a flashlight on it with adaptive brightness turned on, the brightness shot up to 583 nits. The Galaxy Tab S8, on the other hand, had a peak brightness of 480 nits in the middle and 565 nits when we shone a flashlight on it. Neither of Samsung’s new tablets has the same brightness as the iPad Pro 11-inch (571 nits) or 12.9-inch (562 nits).
The screen on Apple’s slates is brighter than the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, but it’s still bright enough for both indoor and outdoor use. Most of the time, I kept the brightness slider at 50% and the display at Natural. Vivid increases the brightness of the screen and helps colours pop more, but I found it distracting.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Performance
The Samsung Tab S8 Ultra is marketed as a laptop replacement. My evaluation unit’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage space provide plenty capability to operate and move between apps with ease. I’ve been using Android tablets for a long time and found the Tab S8 Ultra’s Android 12 operating system to be just as quick and responsive as I’ve come to expect.
When we ran the Tab S8 Ultra through the Geekbench 5 multi-core benchmark test, it received a score of 3,380. This is higher than the scores of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Lenovo Yoga Tab 13, which were 3,288 and 3,128 respectively (respectively). It couldn’t quite match the iPad Air 4’s 4,262 score, though.
This slate performs admirably as a tablet computer. When utilising the Tab S8 Ultra as a laptop via DeX mode, this isn’t the case. Dex mode resizes and repositions programs and windows on a tablet or phone to make it appear more like a desktop or laptop. It’s a nice feature that, for the most part, performs as expected. DeX mode, on the other hand, is insufficient if you routinely utilize laptops. It’s responsive enough to use, but it lacks the snappiness and speed of Windows.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Audio
When you turn up the volume on the Tab S8 Ultra’s speakers, they get quite loud. Whether you’re watching your favourite content creator or listening to music, the sound quality is clean and sharp. There’s also support for Dolby Atmos, which you can turn on in the Settings menu.
That said, after listening to Dream Theater’s “Alien” and Opeth’s “Wreath,” I wasn’t a fan of how shallow the bass sounded. Maybe it’s because I mostly listen to heavy metal and hard rock, but the sound of my favourite bands on tablet speakers has never satisfied me. If you’re going to listen to music, cordless headphones are the way to go.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Software
Android 12 comes pre-installed on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. I discovered the most recent version of the operating system. It’s neither better nor worse than earlier iterations. If you’re used to Android, you’ll be familiar with what to expect. Android 12 will not convert you if you have never liked Android.
The slate also comes with Samsung’s standard suite of apps. I nearly exclusively use Samsung tablets and phones, but I’ve never utilized any of the company’s pre-installed software. Instead, I prefer to use Google’s apps. If you prefer Samsung’s software, though, you’ll be pleased with the Tab S8 Ultra’s offers.
Samsung Flow is a notable piece of software for transferring information between Samsung devices and PCs. I used Samsung Flow over Wi-Fi to connect my PC to the Tab S8 Ultra and was impressed with how easily I was able to transfer data from one computer to the other. I also received notifications from the Tab S8 Ultra on my PC and vice versa, which is a useful feature.
I was unable to connect my smartphone to either my PC or the Tab S8 Ultra, possibly due to the fact that it was an old Samsung Galaxy S7. When everything is working well, you can use your computer to respond to messages on your phone, making Samsung Flow a valuable productivity tool.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra With S Pen
The S Pen is a useful feature that is included (happily) with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. I’ve never found digital pens to be as precise as traditional pencils, but the S Pen works well with the Tab S8 Ultra. The pen’s heft made me feel like I was holding an actual pen rather than a delicate stylus.
With such a large canvas to work on, creatives will make good use of the S Pen. Despite the fact that I am not artistically inclined, I found jotting notes to be quite fun. I wouldn’t use the S Pen for everyday work (or play), but it’s a useful tool for those who require it.
Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Book Cover Keyboard
The Book Cover Keyboard was included in my review unit. This add-on is essential for turning the Tab S8 Ultra into a laptop. The only drawback is the $349 price tag. The extra $349 will make your pocketbook whimper, especially since the tablet costs $1,099 without a trade-in.
However, if you can afford it, the peripheral will become vital. The huge keyboard is comfortable to type on and provides ample room for my large hands to move around. I especially appreciated the S Pen drawer on the back cover. The Book Cover Keyboard adds style to the Tab S8 while also protecting it from drops.
This keyboard isn’t as good as the Apple Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard secures an iPad and provides a robust base. Comparatively, Samsung’s device is weak. Due to the Book Cover Keyboard’s narrow kickstand, it can be difficult to support up the tablet without it falling over. For $349, I expect a product on par with Apple’s Magic Keyboard.
S8 Ultra Review: Cameras
The Tab S8 Ultra boasts two 12MP front cameras that can snap conventional and ultra wide photos. Back cameras are 13MP and 6MP. The Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8+ have the identical rear cameras, while the Ultra has two front cameras. All cameras can record 4K video at 60 frames per second. When I used the Tab S8 Ultra to join a work meeting, the auto-framing feature kept me in the frame.
The quality of the front-facing cameras in our well-lit office amazed me. I’d just use the front-facing cameras for video calls, as I dislike snapping selfies with a tablet, especially one this big. But if you want to take some selfies, you won’t be disappointed. The rear cameras also capture details well.
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Battery Life
The Tab S8 Ultra’s battery life is adequate. In our battery test, the tablet lasted 9:22:58 while accessing the internet over Wi-Fi at 150 nits. The Tab S8 Ultra was set to 60Hz with the keyboard attached. With the keyboard active and at 60Hz, the slate lasted 9:47:44.
Other tablets we’ve examined, such the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 (14:03) and the iPad 2021, do better (11:59). The Tab S8, the Tab S8 Ultra’s smaller brother, lasted 12:59. The Tab S8 Ultra’s large screen clearly drains battery.
But while the Tab S8 Ultra’s battery life isn’t up to par with the competition, it lasted me all day. I only used word processors and occasionally viewed YouTube videos.
The Tab S8 Ultra charged 15% in 20 minutes and 41% in 30 minutes with the bundled 45W charger.
Finally – The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
The Tab S8 Ultra is a powerful machine, but its size and price may deter some. The Tab S8 Ultra wowed me as an Android aficionado (yes, we exist!). Its size and power have made me wonder if bigger is always better. Tablets are designed to be portable. The Tab S8 Ultra isn’t as discreet as an iPad Air, but it’s not as bulky. The huge OLED screen is both a help and a problem.
That the Tab S8 Ultra can replace a laptop is likewise questionable. However, real laptops are simply more responsive and performant. Not as bad as some suggest, but not as good as Windows or macOS.
In addition to that, The Tab S8 Ultra and the Book Cover Keyboard cost nearly $1,500. The Asus Zenbook 13 OLED with Intel i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD costs $1,099, while the Dell XPS OLED with Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD costs $1,800. I could list more options, but suffice it to say that a quality laptop can be had for roughly the same price as a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
If you’re a die-hard Samsung fan who wants the company’s most powerful tablet, you’ll want the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – if you haven’t already. The normal Galaxy Tab S8 is a better choice if you want a cheaper, portable Android tablet that isn’t a laptop.