Samsung Tab 5S e Tablet REVIEW
Samsung Tab 5S e Tablet REVIEW
PAT PILCHER gives the skinny on Sammy’s latest tablet and finds that it’s both nicely priced and packed with clever tech.
$899 (Wi-Fi Only), $999 (4G/Wi-Fi)
As a category, tablets may not have the glamour they once had, but there’s a lot to like with the Tab S5e. Its 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display is gorgeous, and the audio cranked out of its AKG-tuned speakers is good too. It also has a slim design that’s not unlike last year’s iPad.
There’s no shortage of bells and whistles on this affordable tablet. Both Bixby and Google’s assistant are baked in, and it can also be connected to a monitor/TV to deliver a PC-like experience using Samsung DeX.
Although it has a big 10.5-inch screen, battery life is around 14 hours. Its rear 13-megapixel snapper shoots good pictures while the eight-core CPU and 4GB of RAM make it a joy to use. All told, the Tab S5e feels very fresh and dare I say it, even a little exciting.
Perhaps the most noticeable thing after powering up the TB S5e is its AMOLED display. Sporting a 1600 x 2560 resolution, it’s both bright and vivid. Being AMOLED, on-screen colours pop too. Deep dark blacks and dazzling brightness levels deliver crispy contrast, and this makes everything look just that much sharper. An 81.8 per cent screen-to-body ratio represents a significant improvement over the Tab S4, which sported chunkier top and bottom bezels. The screen ratio is 16: 10, which makes it ideal for catching streamed content. The excellent display, lightweight design and thin bezels make it feel like a slim and very holdable interactive display.
When I say slim, I’m not kidding. At just 5.5mm thick and weighing in at 400g means binge-watching shows or extended gaming sessions happen with little discomfort. Curved edges also make it comfy to hold, while its gunmetal grey coloured alloy chassis lends it an upmarket feel.
Powering it up reveals several security options. Perhaps the most secure is the fingerprint reader built into its power switch. Switching it on and unlocking it can be done in a single smooth action. Along its bottom is a USB-C charger connection, which makes use of Samsung’s fast charging tech. There is one absence worth mentioning – the 3.5mm headphone jack. There isn’t one. There is an adapter in the box, but for sheer ease of use (and not having to carry a dongle about) Bluetooth cans are best.
As well as being expandable via micro-SD cards, my loaned review unit came with built-in 4G, making it functionally like a Galaxy phone with a growth hormone habit. Running the show is a Snapdragon 670 chipset along with 4GB of RAM, and the combination allows the Tab S5e to perform well with games and makes catching HD movies/TV and music effortless. On the OS front is Android 9 Pie, which uses Samsung’s ONE UI. It is the product of generations of refinements and tweaks. Because of this, it runs smoothly, and most importantly, doesn’t get in the way.
The 8m front and 13mp rear cameras also do a passable job. While daylight shots delivered accurate exposure and colour levels as well as good detail, low light shooting lacked saturation, and in some cases, pixel noise was noticeable.
If you live in the Android eco-system and are looking for a reasonably powerful but affordable tablet with decent build quality and a gorgeous display, the Tab S5e is one of the best choices around right now.