Like the first electric car in 1828, some things are simply ahead of their time, and this is definitely the case with the Galaxy Tab S4. With a desktop-like interface and expansive app store, there’s not much that the Galaxy Tab S4 can’t do.
The Galaxy Tab S4 represented Samsung's approach to elevate Android tablets onto an entirely new level, with the integration of 2-in-1 desktop-inspired software, the cutting-edge Dex interface and the Korean brand's iconic S Pen stylus. Although this device arguably struggled to capture the imagination of users following its launch, it has since evolved into a neat and purposeful tablet that can more than hold its own in the live marketplace. If you want to see how a tablet can age like a fine wine, take a look at our refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.
Microsoft remains the standard-bearer for laptop-inspired, 2-in-1 tablets, and to this date the Galaxy Tab S4 is the only device of its type that sits within this category. To this end, it can serve equally as both a tablet and a portable laptop, providing both enhanced performance and portability in equal measure. Designed to create a new product niche for Samsung and compete more aggressively with Apple's finest iPad, it definitely made a splash in the market following its launch in August 2018.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Galaxy Tab 4 is the built-in Dex mode, which revolutionises the traditional Android look and transforms this into a desktop-like interface. More specifically, you'll find that your apps left-aligned, just as you would when navigating the desktop of a Windows PC. Clicking on your app also opens customisable windows, while the innovative app dock and system tray at the bottom of the screen between all open programs. You can also configure a huge number of quick settings through this interface, enabling you to work more efficiently even when you're on the move!
While we'd argue that the Galaxy Tab S4 offers genuine value as a standalone tablet, additional features such as the coveted S Pen and Samsung's Book Keyboard Cover provide convenient multifunctionality (albeit as an additional purchase in the case of the latter). The S Pen stylus can also be used in conjunction solely with the tablet if you prefer, while its sleek and rounded design is undoubtedly an upgrade on the iteration included with the preceding Tab S3. This neat little accessory even comes with its own holster, which clips onto the keyboard and requires absolutely no charging (or should that be loading?) whatsoever.
As sure as night follows today, you can rest assured that Samsung and Apple will continue to mirror each other in terms of the designs and specifications of their devices. In the case of the Tab S4, there's little doubt that Samsung had the iPad Pro 10.5 firmly in mind during the design stage, as they replicated both the display size and the price point of this model.
To this end, the Tab S4's 10-5-inch display has eliminated the physical home button and a wealth of needless bezel, creating a stylish, edge-to-edge design that's as smooth as silk. The integration of Super AMOLED technology also adds an extra dimension to the quality and appeal of the display, by creating superb colour contrasts and superior optimal brightness.
Even on a fundamental level, the Tab S4's 7,300mAh power pack represents a significant upgrade on the Tab S3, enabling you to use the tablet and all of its innovative accessories without worrying about the battery being drained. This was borne out during testing, which proved that you could effectively stream a 90-minute looped HD video while experiencing a minimal (and largely impressive) 12% decline in battery life. This 2-in-1 tablet also supports fast charging, which enables you to recover an average of 18% of its battery life (from a starting point of 0%) in just half-and-hour.
The Tab S4 undoubtedly comes with an exceptional camera app (especially for a tablet device), with the 13MP rear lens capturing clear imagery and capable of capturing video in 4K. Selfie lovers can also bask in the glow of the 8MP camera located at the front, with this enabling them to capture their best side at all times and film video at 1080p. This is more than adequate for video conferencing and live interactions through platforms such as Skype and FaceTime, so long as the software in question allows for screen rotation!
While this impressive 2-in-1 tablet may have confused some customers and failed to scale the heights of similar devices since its release in 2018, it has actually become increasingly relevant since. After all, there's now a huge and bustling market for portable, 2-in-1 tablets in the current market, and the inclusion of accessories such as the S Pen, keyboard and intuitive Dex mode are certainly ideal for professional users.