Samsung Galaxy TabPro S in-depth review - When S is for style

Supremely smart with a bundled-in cover, the TabPro S pits itself against the might of Apple with its two pro tablets, Huawei's MateBook and Microsoft's heavies the SurfaceBook and Surface Pro 4 and comes off not too badly...

 Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Review - When S is for style
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Review by Sunetra Chakravati,6/14/2016 7:56:59 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

9

out of 5

Ease of use

9

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Chic looks | Bundled-in cover | Windows 10 | Samsung Flow

Cons:

Doesn't have all the ports required | Battery could be better | Intel M processor not v powerful

- By Sunetra Chakravarti

Samsung's Galaxy line has changed considerably since the earliest Galaxy S range of phones. With the Galaxy S6, their phones did a 360 degrees in terms of their look and feel and have now turned into sophisticated smartphones built using premium materials and the best in design and so it is little surprise that the Galaxy TabPro S is a stunner too...

Look and feel

The way Samsung have gone about turning their devices around has been nothing short of extraordinary. Absolutely stunning looks, metal-clad with a faux-leather case (in the case of the Galaxy TabPro S) equate to the kind of design smarts most manufacturers struggle to come up with. 

 

 At 693 grams, the tablet is heavy, but its weight is more of the reassuring type than just bulk, like it is with the Dell Venue 10 Pro. 

The tablet comes bundled with a keyboard which wraps around to form the cover with a slot cut out for the camera lens on the back. Made out of faux-leather, it grants a certain gravitas to the tablet making it a device you will be happy to take along to meetings and presentations. 

The keyboard which can set you back by as much as £100 elsewhere fits the tablet using magnets and the keys have a very good amount of purchase, and do not feel flimsy at all. The only reason I would mark it down is because it can only be set up at two angles whereas its closest competitor, the Surface Pro 4 can be tilted back at any angle required, owning to its hinged kick-stand.

Processor and battery

The TabPro S packs an Intel M3 processor onboard and at £849, I would have expected an Intel I processor to give it the smarts to take on the likes of the Huawei MateBook and iPad Pros. Exactly why Samsung opted for the M-series I am not sure but it isn't a major fly in the ointment because there are other more pressing issues here- like the teeny tiny 4GB RAM.

The OnePlus 3 smartphone costs £300 and has a 6GB RAM- I am not saying it will be more powerful than the TabPro but there is also the ultimate money-no-bar Microsoft SurfaceBook with its 8GB RAM. If Samsung wanted the TabPro to be the laptop replacement they are hoping people buy it for then they should have thought about the brains in it a bit more.  

Battery-wise, however, there is no issue because the 5,200mAH battery lives up to all that you expect it to. From commute to work and then back home, it lasted for 10-ish hours each day and I was never really worried about it running out of charge or taking too long because there is a quick charge adapter included in the box which charges the tablet from 0-100% in under 2 hours. 

Camera, audio and productivity

If you buy this tablet for work it is unlikely that you will be taking pictures on it. Hopefully. And even if you do, the camera on here is just fine. Both cameras have 5-MP sensors and are more than sufficient for Skype calls. They are also able to record video in Full HD and playback 4K videos you might have taken on your fancy smartphone.

Windows 10 Pro comes pre-loaded and you will be able to use the Microsoft Dock and its Continuum feature with the TabPro because of the USB C-type connectivity.

Samsung also have their homegrown Samsung Flow app on there so if you own a Galaxy smartphone then you are able to synergise your tablet and phone to handoff and work together. Just enable NFC on your phone and tablet to be able to use the fingerprint sensor on the phone to  unlock the tablet, enable mobile hotspot when your Wi-Fi connection drops and view notifications from the phone and reply to your messages directly from the TabPro S.

The 'Pro' version of Windows means you are able to use full whack Photoshop, InDesign and other applications that you wouldn't be able to touch on the 'Home' edition. However, the lack of an array of ports is the TabPro's biggest falling down point. 

When I reviewed the Apple iPad Pros, I said they could never be taken seriously as a work laptop replacement and I will say the same here. No SD card port means I am not able to transfer photos from my SLR camera, lack of USB ports mean that I have to save magazine PDFs on the hard drive and the lack of even a micro-USB port is a major down marker for me.

You can buy multiport adapters in shops but then that is yet another device you need to carry with you on your commute- the lack of ports renders the TabPro toothless.

While watching Netflix or videos online, the two speakers on either side of the tablet deliver crisp and clear audio and even though the tablet doesnt have the kind of smarts you get from the likes of the HTC 10 and LG G5.

 The incredible display on the 12-inch screen is just something else because it is the same Super AMOLED screen that you get here with its rich colours and crystal clear resolution. As with all high-end devices, media guzzling on this tablet is an absolute pleasure.

 Samsung TabPro S Verdict

I love that Samsung pack a robust keyboard cover alongside the tablet and that the TabPro S has a great battery life but then the Core M3 processor isn't the fastest or the smartest and we all know that Windows is not without its issues. However, Samsung do what Microsoft has never been able to do very well- make hardware that is covetable and looks the part. But in the same breath I must mention that you can get similar specced products for a lot cheaper.

The TabPro is a good product but it isn't the best or the cheapest. You could get a laptop for the price and the TabPro S is many things but it ain't a laptop replacement.

And for these specific reasons it will will face a daily struggle in attracting customers to part with their cash for it. Unless Samsung cut prices so deep that buying the tablet makes it a no-brainer. 

 

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S specifications

Website: samsung.com

Price: £849.99

Operating System: Windows 10 

Dimensions: 290.3x198.8x6.3mm; Keyboard 290.3x198.8x4.9mm

Weight: 693g

Resolution: 2160 × 1440 

Display: 12" Super AMOLED Full HD+

Processor: Intel® Core™ M3 Processor 2.2 GHz

Camera: 5-MP primary and front-facing. Video recording: FHD (1920X1080); Playback: 4K (3840X2160)

Memory: 4GB RAM + 128GB SSD; 4GB RAM + 256GB SSD

Battery: 5,200mAh

Fingerprint sensor: Yes

Misc: Available in White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, Rose Gold; LTE Cat.6; Type C USB 3.1