Why buy a tablet today? For example, because their larger screens than readers for electronic books and magazine advertisements simply provide more comfort. At home, tablets are also used as internet-capable “second screens” – for example, when the coaching is not what everyone is interested in on the big-screen TV.
And as “work tools”, the smart boards make it easier to operate complex apps and, for example, help with smart home control and monitoring. These arguments still draw: after all, according to the market data portal, Statista sold around 36 million units in the third quarter of 2018.
Two New Hope Bearers
The chances that Samsung’s current tablet generation can boost the market again are good – even if the Koreans call for their top model, the Galaxy Tab S4, 759 euros. The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 lists Samsung for 389 euros. Its orientation is clear: It wants to be like Apple’s iPad a bestseller.
Anyone who does without an LTE radio modem can save 60 euros with the WLAN version of the 10.5-inch model. The screens now take up more space with around 80 percent of the front surface. The narrower frames lately have neither room for the brand lettering nor for additional keys on the front.
On a fingerprint sensor, Samsung dispenses with both models. Instead, the biometric sharing of the screens is done through facial recognition, which works reliably if you do not tilt the tablet. In the Galaxy Tab S4, an additional iris scanner increases security when unlocking.
The solid case of the Galaxy Tab A10.5 feels nice and handy with its soft, non-slip plastic surface (soft-touch). Measured by the price the quality of touch is always right. But it gets even better: The slim, seven millimeters slim, the lighter case of the premium model looks more elegant with its robust glass back and the metal frame.
In addition, the construction is torsionally rigid. Class differences also arise in the storage quotas and the system chips. Samsung does not use SoCs from its Exynos family here. The premium model owes its high power reserves to a Snapdragon 835. This is no less than Qualcomm’s top chip of the 2017 vintage.
4 GB of RAM and almost 50 GB of individually usable flash memory convince. At manageable middle-class levels, the ingredients of Tab A10.5 move. Its Qualcomm SoC, an SDM450 type of eight-core, also brings smartphones like the Motorola Moto G6 to the front.
The operation runs smoothly, although apps started here in the direct comparison somewhat slower and the benchmark values are partly by a factor of two to three lower. The 3 GB of RAM and about 22 GB for your own data and apps are (still) okay, especially – as in Tab S4 – there is room for a micro SD card.
There is agreement on the choice of operating system (Android 8.1) and the user interface. Samsung’s Experience 9.5 offers fine customization options and useful extras, including the Safe Folder application.
Extras For Productive
InDeX mode, at least the Galaxy Tab S4 sends to retire the PC. To do this, the Premium Tablet is connected to a computer monitor via a suitable USB Type-C HDMI cable. The user interface then shows a different face on the larger screen, windows, and extras like a taskbar are reminiscent of a Windows screen.
PC mice and keyboards can be connected via a USB hub or via Bluetooth. If required, the tablet’s touch screen can also replace the mouse. Samsung offers a keyboard case for 150 euros: the Book Cover Keyboard docks via the integrated POGO contacts.
Common office equipment relies on Microsoft’s office programs. They are already available on both tablets. If you want to work with Word, Excel, and Co, you need an Office 365 subscription. These apps can not be removed.
Added Value Through The S-Pen
The pen input of the Galaxy Tab S4 promises further productivity gains. The rounder S-Pen for painting, drawing and hand writing is part of the delivery. Spontaneous flashes of inspiration can be scribbled directly on the standby screen. The additional functions known from the Galaxy Note Phablets are also available via the S-Pen.
Missing only a pen holder on the slim tablet case. The Galaxy Tab A10.5 has to do without S-Pen and the DeX mode. Here, the focus is on popular Internet applications and entertainment for the whole family. There are also the little ones included, as the children’s mode shows. This allows parents to limit tablet usage to age-appropriate content and applications via an additional PIN.
Compared to the smartphone there is a larger portable movie pleasure. When video streaming both tablets, for example, Youtube clips in the maximum 1080p format again. The respectable sound is provided by four loudspeakers, which are housed in pairs in the narrower frame sides.
If necessary, you can switch in the settings Dolby Atmos for a more spacious sound impression. The tuning of the AKG acoustic specialists, however, brought the Galaxy Tab S4 in our listening comparisons no significant advantages. Both candidates achieved a comparably good level. For the classic connection of an optional headphone, Samsung provides jack sockets.
The main camera of the Galaxy Tab S4 has a slightly larger sensor with 13 million pixels. Video recordings can also be made in the finer 4K format. The nominally weaker 8 MP camera of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 nevertheless achieved a similarly acceptable image quality in our test images – albeit with different characteristics. Selfies shone better the equally finer-resolution 8-MP front camera of the Tab S4
Great display differences
An AMOLED display with a respectable pixel density of 287 ppi, deep black and formidable dark contrast is reserved for the Galaxy Tab S4 alone. In the test lab, however, the self-luminous ad could not meet the high expectations.
Good: A filter that can be switched on in the quick settings reduces blue light components for a more eye-friendly reading. Thanks to its blue filter, the LC panel of the Tab A 10.5 is also well suited as a reader, but with its lower dot density of 216 ppi, it can not match the premium model in terms of sharpness. But the measured brightness and contrast values in brighter surroundings could be more than enough – compliment!
The LTE variant of the Galaxy Tab S4 can theoretically download up to 1 Gbit / s (Cat 16) with downloads via mobile phone every tempo. The support of the standards WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB 3.1 also shows that the top model is on the fast lane.
The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is content with the lower data rates of the LTE category 6, the Bluetooth version 4.2 and the slower USB 2.0 transmission over its Type-C port. In the home network, it can keep up with Wi-Fi ac fully.
The powerful 7300 mAh batteries have a positive effect on endurance in both cases. The Galaxy Tab S4 has 11:42 hours in the measurement logs. The cheaper Tab A 10.5 even outperforms this brand with an outstanding 15:24 hours.
It is only to be welcomed that Samsung in the device category Tablet obviously puts more effort into it. With larger 10.5-inch screens, both models stand out more clearly from many Phablets or smartphones, which have also increased in screen size.
Both Android Tablets are at the top of the current connect ranking. The fact that the much cheaper option emerges from the supposedly unfair comparison as a winner is a real surprise, but shows again that more expensive – at least the bottom line – does not always have to be automatically better.