SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S8 ULTRA REVIEW — THIS IS BIG

Samsung"s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a massive and powerful app android tablet but can it replace your laptop?


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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a massive, powerful tablet that wants to lớn replace your laptop. Though it doesn"t achieve that goal, it"s arguably Samsung"s most impressive slate yet.

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Price:from $1,099CPU:Snapdragon 8 gene 1Display:14.6 inch (2960 x 1848) Super AMOLED, 120HzRAM:8GB/12GB/16GBStorage:128GB/256GB/512GBPorts:USB-C, microSDBattery life:9:22 (tested)Accessories:S Pen stylus includedDimensions:12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inchesWeight:1.4 pounds


Samsung must have taken the phrase “go big or go home” khổng lồ heart when conceptualizing the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. This 14.6-inch beast is easily one of the largest tablets we’ve ever reviewed. But beyond its monstrous size, the Tab S8 Ultra has enough power nguồn packed into its thin chassis to potentially turn it into a máy tính replacement.


But can the Tab S8 Ultra actually become your primary work machine? While its screen size and processing power certainly make it seem like a máy vi tính in everything but name, the apk operating system isn’t up to par with Windows or macOS. The fact that you need to buy an expensive keyboard attachment if you want lớn use the slate as a laptop is also a detractor.

Flaws aside, this is one of the best android tablets (and one of the best tablets in general) we’ve reviewed thanks lớn its performance & elegant design. If you’re invested in Samsung’s ecosystem, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is worth considering – if you can afford it.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Price và availability

Price starts at $1,099 (less with trade-in)Wi-Fi only in the U.S. Right now; cellular models coming in 2022

The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is available lớn purchase from Samsung’s website (opens in new tab) for a starting price of $1,099, though you can get a discount by trading in a qualifying device. This configuration has 8GB of RAM & 128GB of storage & comes in graphite. Configurations featuring 12GB of RAM / 256GB of storage and 16GB of memory / 512GB of space are currently sold out.


As with the Galaxy Tab S8, Samsung is only selling Wi-Fi models of the Tab S8 Ultra. It will offer the tablet with cellular connectivity through AT&T and T-Mobile sometime later this year.


To complement the Tab S8 Ultra, you can purchase the Book Cover Keyboard for $349 (opens in new tab). This, combined with DeX mode, effectively converts the tablet into an android laptop.

Samsung sent us the most kitted-out Tab S8 Ultra, which has 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM, along with a Book Cover Keyboard Pro. If you were to lớn buy the same mã sản phẩm yourself, it"d cost you a cool $1,399 plus $349 for the keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Design

Large but thinMinimal number of buttons và portsNo tai nghe jack

At 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a gargantuan tablet. It’s so big that you can imagine Moses bringing it down from Mount Sinai. However, despite its biblical size, it’s surprisingly light at 1.04 pounds. Though it’s difficult holding it in one hand, it"s comfortable holding it with two hands.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a huge tablet. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The Tab S8 Ultra shares the same light & slim chassis that Samsung’s flagship slates are known for. The tablet retains its overall svelte look even when connected to lớn the Book Cover Keyboard. It’s easy to carry around, whether it’s in your backpack or in your hands.

You’ll find the power & volume buttons along the right side of the slate. There’s also a microSD card slot near the bottom right side, though you’ll need khổng lồ use the included tool to mở cửa the compartment housing the slot. The back of the Tab S8 Ultra has rear-facing cameras và a magnetic strip khổng lồ hold the S pen. A USB-C port và two speakers rest at the bottom edge. There’s no tai nghe jack khổng lồ speak of, meaning you’ll need khổng lồ connect headphones via the USB-C port or wirelessly through Bluetooth.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Display

Massive screen perfect for watching contentNearly as bright as táo bị cắn dở tabletsVivid mode may be too bright for some

The ginormous 14.6-inch (2960x1848) 120Hz AMOLED display is the Tab S8 Ultra’s defining feature. Its screen is bright và vibrant và makes whatever you’re looking at – from YouTube videos, streaming nội dung and games – look absolutely stunning. The 120Hz refresh rate ensures that website pages scroll smoothly and that apps xuất hiện quickly, though you can lock it khổng lồ 60Hz khổng lồ conserve battery.


Movies look phenomenal on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra"s display. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Per our testing, the Tab S8 Ultra archives an average brightness of 337.7 nits in the center, but when we shined a flashlight on it with adaptive brightness turned on, the brightness kicked all the way up to lớn 583 nits. In comparison, the Galaxy Tab S8 achieved a peak brightness of 480 nits in the center and 565 nits when we shone a flashlight on it. Neither of Samsung’s new tablets matches the brightness of the 11-inch (571 nits) or 12.9-inch ipad Pro (562 nits).

Though Apple’s slates are brighter than the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the screen is still bright enough for indoor & outdoor use. In most cases, I kept the brightness slider at 50 percent with the display set to Natural. Vivid turns up the brightness và makes colors pop more, but I found it off-putting.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Performance

Powerful Snapdragon 8 gene 1 CPUDeX mode isn"t as responsive as Windows

Samsung is sale the Tab S8 Ultra as a máy tính xách tay replacement. The Snapdragon 8 gene 1 chip, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space in my review unit certainly give the slate enough power to lớn run & navigate through apps seamlessly. I’ve used apk tablets for years and found the Tab S8 Ultra with its app android 12 operating system as snappy & responsive as I’m used to.

The Tab S8 Ultra scored 3,380 when we put it through the Geekbench 5 multicore benchmark test. This is higher than the Tab S8 & Lenovo Yoga Tab 13, which scored 3,288 & 3,128 (respectively). However, it couldn’t match the ipad tablet Air 4’s impressive 4,262 score.


DeX mode makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra function like a laptop. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

As a tablet, this slate functions as well as expected. That isn’t the case when using the Tab S8 Ultra as a máy vi tính via DeX mode. Dex mode readjusts & repositions apps và windows to lớn make a tablet or phone display look more like a desktop or proper laptop. It’s a clever feature that mostly works as intended. However, if you frequently use laptops, you’ll find DeX mode lacking. It’s responsive enough to lớn use, but it doesn"t feel as snappy or as fast as Windows.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Audio

Loud & clear audioBass sounds thin

The Tab S8 Ultra’s speakers get reasonably loud when you crank the volume up to max. Sound unique is clear & crisp, no matter if you’re watching your favorite content creator or listening lớn music. There’s also Dolby Atmos support, which you can enable in the Settings menu.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra"s speakers can get plenty loud. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

With that said, I wasn’t a fan of how thin the bass sounded when listening lớn tracks lượt thích Dream Theater’s “Alien” và Opeth’s “Wreath.” Perhaps it’s because I primarily listen lớn heavy metal và hard rock, but I’ve never been satisfied with the way my favorite bands sound on tablet speakers. If you’re going to listen to lớn music, you’re better off using wireless headphones.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Software

Android 12 is good but not stellarYou can ignore Samsung"s installed software

The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes pre-installed with game android 12. I found the latest iteration of the operating system functional. It’s not better than previous versions, nor is it worse. If you’re used to game android then you’ll know what to lớn expect. If you never liked Android, then android 12 won’t convert you.

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The slate also comes with the usual slew of Samsung apps. I use Samsung tablets & phones almost exclusively but have almost never used any of the company’s pre-installed software. I prefer using Google’s apps instead. But if you like Samsung’s software then you’ll be happy with the offerings on the Tab S8 Ultra.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has a suite of note-taking options. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Samsung Flow is a standout piece of software that allows you lớn transfer files between Samsung devices and to PCs. I connected my PC lớn the Tab S8 Ultra via Samsung Flow over Wi-Fi & liked how seamlessly I was able khổng lồ move files from one machine khổng lồ the other. I also received Tab S8 Ultra notifications on my PC and vice versa, which is a neat và handy feature.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able khổng lồ connect my điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh to my PC or to lớn the Tab S8 Ultra – perhaps due to it being an ancient Samsung Galaxy S7. But when everything works as intended, you can use your computer lớn respond to lớn messages on your phone, making Samsung Flow a useful productivity tool.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: S Pen

S Pen is almost as good as a real penGreat for creative projects

The S Pen is a handy tool that (thankfully) comes bundled with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Digital pens have never felt as precise as old-school pencils khổng lồ me, but the S Pen works very well with the Tab S8 Ultra. Thanks to the pen’s thickness, it felt like holding a proper pen và not a fragile stylus.


The S Pen magnetically locks khổng lồ the back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Creatives will make good use of the S Pen, especially with such a large canvas khổng lồ work on. I’m not artistically inclined but I found scribbling notes lớn be rather enjoyable. The S Pen isn’t something I’d use for everyday work (or play), but it’s a solid tool for those who need it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Book Cover keyboard

Helps Tab S8 Ultra function like a laptopS Pen compartment is handy$349 is a lot lớn askCan"t match Apple"s Magic Keyboard

My review unit came with the Book Cover Keyboard. This accessory is the key khổng lồ making the Tab S8 Ultra function lượt thích a laptop. The downside is that it costs $349. Considering how the tablet costs $1,099 without a trade-in, the added $349 will make your wallet whimper.

But if you can stomach the price, you’ll find the peripheral indispensable. The large keyboard feels good to type on & gave my big hands enough space khổng lồ move. I also liked how the back cover has a compartment for the S Pen. The Book Cover Keyboard looks great on the Tab S8 & keeps it protected against accidental drops.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with Book Cover Keyboard. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

However, the Book Cover Keyboard isn’t on par with the táo bị cắn Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard keeps an ipad locked in place và the keyboard portion provides a solid & sturdy base. Samsung’s peripheral feels flimsy in comparison. Because the kickstand on the Book Cover Keyboard is so thin, it can sometimes be difficult khổng lồ prop the tablet up without it falling over due khổng lồ its size. I could’ve forgiven the kickstand"s finicky nature if the peripheral was priced lower, but for $349, I expect a product on par with Apple"s Magic Keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Cameras

Cameras produce chất lượng photos/videoAuto-tracking works very wellGreat for đoạn clip calls

The Tab S8 Ultra has two front-facing 12MP cameras capable of shooting regular và ultrawide shots. On the back, you’ll find 13MP và 6MP cameras. The cheaper Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8+ have the same rear cameras, but the Ultra is the only one with two cameras on the front. All cameras can record đoạn phim at up khổng lồ 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second. Auto-framing công nghệ pans the camera to keep you in the frame and worked very well when I used the Tab S8 Ultra to participate in a work meeting.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra"s front-facing 12MP cameras make you look your best during clip calls. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

I used the front-facing cameras in our well-lit office & was impressed by the quality. đoạn clip calls are the only thing I’d use the front-facing cameras for since I’m not exactly a fan of taking selfies with a tablet – especially one this gigantic. But if you want to lớn snap a couple of photos of yourself, you won’t be disappointed. The rear cameras also vì chưng a good job of capturing details.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Battery life

Battery lasts less than 10 hoursCharges quickly

The Tab S8 Ultra has good, but not great battery life. In our battery test, which tasks the tablet with endlessly surfing the internet over Wi-Fi with its screen set to lớn 150 nits of brightness, the tablet lasted 9:22:58. Those values were derived with the keyboard attached và with the Tab S8 Ultra locked to 60Hz. The slate lasted for 9:47:44 with the keyboard on và when locked to lớn 60Hz.

That doesn’t compare favorably khổng lồ other tablets we’ve tested, such as the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 (14:03) and the máy tính bảng ipad 2021 (11:59). Even the Tab S8 Ultra’s little sibling, the Tab S8, lasted for 12:59. Clearly, the Tab S8 Ultra’s massive screen sucks up a lot of power.

While our testing revealed the Tab S8 Ultra"s battery life can"t match the competition, the tablet lasted long enough to get me through a normal workday. Granted, I only used word processors & watched the occasional YouTube video.

Per our charging speed demo using the tablet’s included 45W charger, the Tab S8 Ultra charged up to 15% in trăng tròn minutes và 41% in 30 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Verdict

The Tab S8 Ultra is an impressive machine, but its kích thước and price will be a barrier for some people. Being an Android fan (yes, we exist!), I was stoked lớn get my hands on the Tab S8 Ultra. While I appreciate its form size and power, it’s made me question whether bigger is always better. After all, tablets are supposed khổng lồ be relatively portable devices. The Tab S8 Ultra isn’t hard khổng lồ carry around, but it’s also not as discreet as an ipad tablet Air. While the large OLED screen makes nội dung look amazing, that same size is also a hindrance.

I also have to question Samsung’s claim that the Tab S8 Ultra can replace your laptop. While it can certainly mimic the máy tính xách tay experience, proper laptops are simply more responsive và performant. App android OS isn’t as terrible as some say, but it’s not topping Windows or macOS anytime soon.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra"s included S-Pen lets your creative side shine. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Price is another factor. You’ll need to shell out over $1,500 for the Tab S8 Ultra and the Book Cover Keyboard. As we previously wrote, you can buy the hãng asus Zenbook 13 OLED with an intel i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM và 512GB SSD for $1,099 or a decked out Dell XPS OLED with a chip core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM & a 1TB SSD for $1,800, which is close lớn what a maxed-out Tab S8 Ultra would cost. There are other alternatives I can mention, but suffice it to lớn say that you can buy a number of great laptops for about the same price as a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

If you’re a die-hard Samsung enthusiast who needs the most bad-ass tablet the company has produced, then you’re going to lớn want the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra — if you haven’t already bought one. But if you’re looking for a more affordable, portable app android tablet that isn’t trying to lớn be a laptop, then the regular Galaxy Tab S8 is a better fit.


Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, & iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing đoạn clip games, reading speculative fiction novels, & spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to lớn NYC bars with friends và colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as máy tính Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.