After Apple proved that the iPadOS can fix (some of) the shortcomings of a tablet, does Android’s poster boy stand any chance?
But Android or not, if you want a tablet, there’s a lot of room for doubt. Will it change the way you work? Does this glass and metal slab of beauty have what it takes to send your laptop to the trash can? These questions have already been answered in our review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. So expect the Galaxy Tab S6 to be a beefier version of the same-same little cousin.
Although it becomes a fantastic device for gaming and doodling, both of which we tried and tested in this review.
Body and Screen
The tablet is cladded with Samsung’s finest and we have no complaints. A 10.5in beautiful display on a beautiful metal body is just screaming premium in every direction. Sadly, the headphone jack is sent to the grave and all you get is a USB Type-C port.
The QHD display is an absolute belter. There’s no other way to describe this display. It’s best in class and has the same quality as the Tab S5e. Spoiler alert: We loved that too. The OLED is refined with fantastic colours and blacks. Watching Netflix really spoils you here.
There’s an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner now, something it borrows directly from its palm-sized cousins – the Galaxy S10s and Note 10s.
Keyboard and pen
The keyboard (sold separately for ₹10,999) has now been updated with a trackpad that works effortlessly with Samsung’s One UI. If your work is drafting emails and mashing keys to tell the world about a fantastic tablet (like this reviewer), then you’ll feel right at home. No offence to keyboard aficionados, but if you can deal with the cramped keys, this manages to replace laptop quality typing experience fairly well. There’s even key travel and keyboard shortcuts to keep the feeling wholesome.
We recently reviewed the Note 10 that Samsung announced alongside its new pen and this has the same gesture wizardry to wave the pen around in different directions to control the camera UI among other things, just like Harry Potter. But tablets are for serious working folks too, so it imbibes the same principles of Hogwarts but with a flair for extra pressure sensitivity (4,096) that kept our designers prying throughout the review. The pen comes included with the Tab S6 and magnetically attaches on the backside.
The audio is where the Tab starts to feel like a wholesome package, gracing us with not two but four stereo speakers with Dolby audio. There’s a massive difference in the quality of sound compared to other tablets, and all for the better. Play Netflix and YouTube and you’ll find a full-bodied sound with an emphasis on highs and punchy bass with excellent soundstage to sweeten the deal. Kick it into Dolby audio mode and it’ll deliver a surprisingly good stereo separation.
Performance and OS
There’s a Snapdragon 855 doing all the heavy lifting inside. Apps open and work without any hiccups and even Call of Duty: Mobile works buttery smooth.
Samsung’s One UI is quite friendly and easy to use, and with the DeX mode, this could potentially be a good replacement for lugging around a chunky laptop. We wrote half of this review on this very tablet without any issues. Obviously, Google Docs is not a worthy test, so we tried to download Adobe Rush for some video editing. Weirdly, the Tab doesn’t support Adobe Rush. It’s not compatible.
For heavy-duty office work, Samsung DeX mimics a desktop pretty well, but we still don’t see the point. Even with a trackpad on the keyboard, things just don’t feel refined. Apps need to be restarted to open in DeX mode and the whole thing is just… unnecessary. Same amount of work can be done on the native One UI as well. Unless you really, really need to use the trackpad to drag powerpoint templates around. Spoiler alert: The tablet has a touchscreen.
In contrast, Apple’s iPadOS lets you do a lot more – like opening multiple tabs on Safari akin to the browser version. We even enjoyed the multitasking with multi-window on the iPadOS than the One UI.
There’s no stopping Apple’s iPadOS, but Samsung’s best tablet till date is not far behind. If used for entertainment, the Tab S6 can quite honestly convince you to ditch the telly. The screen is our absolute favourite and it only feels better with the fantastic audio quality.
Designers and on-the-go button mashers can’t argue about being left out either. Samsung’s included the Pen in the box and the keyboard is worth the extra dosh.
We think One UI needs to probably follow Apple’s footsteps to introduce tablet specific features. DeX, although an acceptable and a good idea at first, needs to be a bit more user friendly and sophisticated. This is a great tablet for Android users and Apple-phobes.