If I had to pick one pad to watch video on for the rest of my life sentence, I would pick the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. Samsung packs buzz-worthy features like S Pen and HDR support into its raw premium Galaxy Tab S3, but without a keyboard packed in, it ‘s still more about content pulmonary tuberculosis than creation. Despite the hype, HDR contented is not available on the tablet yet. bombastic games take time to load. The keyboard addition is an expensive extra. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is an elegantly designed pad that comes with a capable stylus. It has a stun AMOLED screen, fingermark detector for extra security and gratifyingly loud quadruplet speakers. It ‘s besides the first HDR-ready tablet.

It ‘s a fashionable, all-glass pill with an impressively crisp and vibrant shield and four speakers, making it an excellent portable movie field. It ‘s besides the first HDR-ready tablet, although there are a few asterisks to that fastball degree. ( HDR stands for high active image, which means a outstanding, noticeable difference in contrast and coloring material range in comparison to regular HD. ) That type of high-quality video contented is n’t even close to becoming arsenic commonplace as HD contented is today, even Samsung is calm flexing this future-forward feature as an advantage over high-end tablets such as the Apple iPad Pro 9.7, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Google Pixel C. Included in the $ 600 infrastructure price is the revamp Samsung S-Pen stylus, a real treat for those who still relish good antique note-taking. The addition of the S-Pen adds a dash of productiveness and creativity to a device that ‘s otherwise best used for easy activities. Samsung has n’t announced official UK and australian pricing and handiness, but that base price directly converts to £480 and AU $ 790. blow up image Using the S Pen with coloring apps is about therapeutic. Josh Miller/CNET For a premium-priced Android pill, there are a few missteps. apart from the dearth of available and compatible HDR content, gaming performance is n’t adenine snappish as it should be for a high-end tablet. The sold-separately keyboard case ( $ 130 ; converts to £105 or AU $ 170 ) is an underwhelming performer. Though it costs the same measure as the Apple iPad Pro 9.7 and Google Pixel C, it ‘s not at the front of the pack in operation. But if a shrill screen, great audio and an excellent stylus is on your must-have features tilt, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a top option for indulging in binge-watching style, wherever you go. enlarge picture This is a pad worth binge-watching with. Josh Miller/CNET

Cutting-edge video quality

The Galaxy Tab S3 shines outdo when watching video. HD content looks razor acuate, colorful and bright. The excellent video quality is complemented by four speakers, featuring AKG by Harman Kardon ‘s adept tune. With one loudspeaker at each corner, they sound gratifyingly forte and gain, though it ‘s best to avoid cranking it to max book as the audio tends to sound tinny when pushed to its limit. According to Samsung, the pill features positional audio, which rotates what comes through the four speakers as you turn the tablet. It ‘s supposed to push the dialogue and vocals to the top two speakers, no matter whether you ‘re holding it in portrait or landscape mode. But I did n’t notice a remainder in audio between one orientation course and the other. blow up visualize Four speakers, one on each corner. Josh Miller/CNET The Galaxy Tab S3 proudly claims the title of the first ( and as of now, only ) HDR-ready pad. This means it ‘s able of playing HDR contented, which is like HD content but on steroids. HDR television has increased range of color and enhanced contrast between highlights and shadows, resulting in sensationally bright word picture quality .

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Display details

  • 9.7-inch Super AMOLED
  • 2,048×1,536-pixel resolution

Those with 4K TVs might be more familiar with HDR, because that ‘s presently the lone way to watch it. At the time of review, there ‘s no Samsung native HDR content or easily accessible way to view HDR content on tablets. According to Netflix, it does n’t have any plans to support HDR on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. Amazon and FandangoNow both plan on supporting the feature, simply stating that HDR capacity will be available “ soon. ” When reached for comment, VUDU did not clarify whether or not it would make its UHD capacity available for the pill. No HDR contented means settling for HD — for now. Josh Miller/CNET What ‘s the point of buying an HDR-ready pill if there are no HDR movies or television receiver shows to watch on it ? great question ! buying this tablet for HDR contentedness is like showing up to the hottest newfangled restaurant in township before it ‘s even been furnished. While it ‘s an impressive future-forward have, it ‘s besides new for you to actually take advantage of and enjoy. But even without a catalogue of HDR message, you ‘re inactive getting one of the best ocular experiences on any riddle, because this is an AMOLED display, which is a close cousin of the OLED displays found in the identical best television, and starting to turn up in some phones and laptops. The tablet ‘s design is exchangeable to the Galaxy S7 earphone. Josh Miller/CNET

Sexy like an S7

According to people I showed the Galaxy Tab S3 to, it looks like an iPhone. To me, however, it ‘s more like the Samsung Galaxy S7. No matter which call you think it looks like, one thing is for sure : It ‘s one good-lookin ‘ tablet .

Ports and connections

  • Fast-charging USB-C
  • Fingerprint sensor on home button
  • Headphone jack

Most tablets are made of fictile or aluminum. The Galaxy Tab S3 is made of field glass ( just like the S7 ) and comes in silver or black. The pad ‘s unique, all-glass design is besides comfortable thanks to its smooth, rounded aluminum edges. It has one USB-C port that supports flying charge . Josh Miller/CNET The review whole I had was silver medal and smudges were n’t visible on its back panel, but I ‘ve besides seen the black version of the Tab S3 and I decidedly ca n’t say the same thing about that exemplary — it ‘s a fingerprint magnet .

New and improved S Pen

alike to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the Galaxy Tab S3 comes bundled with a stylus — and a few stylus tiptoe replacements for good measure. The vamp S Pen, previously exclusive to Samsung ‘s Note series, has one button and is brusque and oblong in shape to prevent it from rolling off a desk. It ‘s comfortable to grip and writes like a satiny legato ballpoint penitentiary. The fact that it never has be to synced or charged is the icing on the cake. The S Pen is included in the base price. Josh Miller/CNET There ‘s some software integration that makes the Galaxy Tab S3 stylus-friendly. When the filmdom ‘s unlock, pressing the S Pen ‘s release and tapping the screen launches a customizable carousel that you can load with your favorite apps. Notes can besides be easily jotted down, tied when the tablet is locked. When the screen door is in rest modality, tapping it with the stylus while pressing the S Pen ‘s button ( as you would to launch the carousel ) opens a simplify black and white note-taking sieve, about like a digital blackboard. The simple software integration met all of my needs. Josh Miller/CNET honestly, I was n’t expecting to like the S Pen deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as I did. I ‘ve never been a big stylus fan but found myself actively enjoying the feeling of writing with the S Pen. The smooth movement of the rubber tip on the glass felt queerly therapeutic for coloring apps. Writing with it flowed like ink on newspaper. Apple ‘s iPad Pro Pencil and the stylus included with Microsoft ‘s surface products are besides excellent in their own ways, but offer unlike features and have a different feel. There ‘s a act of a determine swerve when it comes to applying the right total of imperativeness, but otherwise it ‘s easy to get the hang of. Best of all, the basic software integration satisfied all of my note-taking needs. While I was excited to try the Galaxy S3 for its high-end screen, it ‘s the stylus that kept me coming back for more. The digital notepad I never knew I wanted. Josh Miller/CNET

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Keyboard? You can keep it

One of the most disappointing things about the Galaxy Tab S3 is its everyday Pogo keyboard case. It ‘s like to the iPad Pro 9.7 ‘s, connecting magnetically to its border without Bluetooth. It feels cramped to type on, does n’t mechanically shut off the riddle when closed and can be unresponsive despite being connected by rights. Plus the keys are n’t backlit and it only offers one see angle, so it ca n’t be adjusted to your liking if, for model, you ‘re using it on your lap. Its lone deliver quality is that it offers a place to store the S-Pen stylus. I suggest a hard sink on the Galaxy Tab S3 ‘s keyboard. Josh Miller/CNET To add insult to injury, the keyboard caused performance issues. After disconnecting the pill from it, the on-screen keyboard would occasionally fail to appear. I was distillery able to tap the area where the on-screen keyboard would be and letters would appear in text fields, but the on-screen keyboard would remain invisible. I had to restart the tablet to get it back to normal. Another irritate problem was how disconnecting the pad from the keyboard would cause it to go to sleep. I often casually transition between tablet and laptop mode ( and vice versa ) in one seance. When switching from laptop mode to tablet, I would have to annoyingly re-enter my pin or scan my fingerprint merely to continue what I was doing. It magnetically connects and does n’t require Bluetooth. Josh Miller/CNET The keyboard is sold individually and it ‘s not a deal breaker, unless you truly want a keyboard with your tablet. In that case, keep your options open. But to be a “ laptop surrogate ” a tablet in truth does need a keyboard. We may fare better with the approaching Galaxy Book, a Windows-based sister product that comes with its own, different, keyboard breed. At least it gives you a place to store the stylus. Josh Miller/CNET

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Better than most, but not the best

When it came to note-taking, surfing the web, checking electronic mail, streaming HD video recording and playing simple mobile games such as Pocket Mortys and Leo ‘s Fortune, the pill performed smoothly. Larger, more complex games such as N.O.V.A. 3 : dear Orbit and Hearthstone were a bit decelerate to launch, but graphics looked spectacular and smooth during gameplay. In comparison to the Google Pixel C and Apple iPad Pro 9.7, it falls behind the battalion in 3DMark benchmarks. While games look big on its beautiful screen, its performance is n’t as firm and snappish as the rival ‘s .

Geekbench 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

6787

Apple iPad Pro 9.7

4818

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

3883

Google Pixel C

2965

Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

66061

Google Pixel C

40922

Apple iPad Pro 9.7

34794

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

22786

Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Google Octane

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

27221

Apple iPad Pro 9.7

21420

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

8612

Google Pixel C

8385

Note: Longer bars indicate better performance
We ‘re still in the midst of testing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 ‘s battery, but so far it looks good — actually beneficial. After one test, looping a local 720p file in airplane manner, the pad lasted 12.4 hours. Anecdotally, while streaming video it lasted about 7-8 hours. Check rear when we ‘re done testing for the concluding results. My time with the pad was marred by some unexpected bugginess. A few games initially crashed upon launch ( Suicide Squad : extra Ops, Hearthstone and Asphalt 8 ) and I had to uninstall and reinstall 3DMark because it kept crashing when attempting to run the Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark test. due to its performance, it ‘s better for capacity consumption, not universe. Josh Miller/CNET Some of the issues can be fixed with future over-the-air updates, but if I, personally, barely spent $ 600 on a new tablet, I damn sure would n’t want to deal with this type of mess. tack on the previously mentioned keyboard issues and the Samsung feels besides expensive for what you ‘re getting. For the same price, the iPad Pro 9.7 and Pixel C may not include a leading stylus, but at least their performance lives up to the expectations of a high-end tablet. And, the new 9.7 edge iPad ( a successor to the iPad Air 2 ), captures a draw of the high-end feel for hundreds less, although the display and television camera are n’t american samoa well, and there ‘s no stylus support. Come for the stunning HDR screen, stay for the satisfy stylus.

Josh Miller/CNET

A premium and posh portable TV

The fashionable and future-forward Galaxy Tab S3 provides an excellent, alone experience for watching your favored television shows and movies on the fit, thanks to its OLED sieve and excellent quadruplet speakers. With its S-Pen stylus in tow, it can besides work as a high-end digital notepad. The much-touted HDR video recording support is little more than a market fastball point for nowadays, but holds future promise. For the same price, you may choose to invest in a different tablet with more productivity potential. The iPad Pro 9.7 and Pixel C both offer better keyboard accessories and snappier gaming performance. not everyone wants or needs a pad for typing or gambling, though. If you want a great pad chiefly for watching video recording, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is my newfangled front-runner .

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