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Best Samsung tablets to buy right now (2018)

Best Samsung tablets to buy right now (2018)
Are you looking for a good Samsung tablet in 2018? Well, we've got good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that there's not a lot of models to choose from, but the good news is that what's on offer covers pretty much all the bases!

Whether you're looking for a premium Android slate, a capable 2-in-1 that runs Windows, or an affordable alternative, there's likely something for you on this list. It's been a slow couple years for Android tablets as a whole, but maybe this year we'll see something new and interesting not only from Samsung, but from other big names as well.

But let's focus on the now. What are your options if you're looking for a Samsung-branded slate right now? Let's have a look!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3


Best Samsung tablets to buy right now (2018)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Galaxy Tab S3

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Multitasking isn't all that great
  • Samsung's Android skin is prone to lag

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is hands-down one of the best Android tablets you can get right now. Boasting an ultra crisp, 9.7” Super AMOLED display—which Samsung claims is the world's first HDR-ready panel on a tablet—as well quad stereo speakers, the Galaxy Tab S3 is pretty excellently suited for multimedia consumption and entertainment.

Furthermore, the Tab S3 also comes with Samsung's trademark S-Pen, which leverages the perks of the tablet's outstanding display. It's perfect for note-taking, that's a given, but it's also a powerful tool for artists. Coming from the now-ancient 12.2” Galaxy TabPRO, I found the Tab S3 to be a tad small for drawing with its 9.7” screen, but even if it's not the first choice for artists, it's such a well rounded device otherwise.

As far as looks are concerned, the tablet has a glass and metal design that channels that classic Samsung look, which we're seeing less and less of these days, with the bezel-less craze in full swing, and I quite like it. Would it have looked better, had Samsung shaved a bit more on the sides, top and bottom, leaving the frame thinner? Perhaps it would've, but it's not a bad-looking device as is.

The Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor, which is not quite up to par with the current top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835, but it's still more than capable of delivering an adequately smooth experience. That being said, Samsung's Android skin is as usual prone to lag at times, so keep that in mind.

The tablet comes with 32GB of on-board memory and is powered by a 6,000 mAh battery, which is able to deliver average battery life of around seven and a half hours of video at full charge. You can also turn the Tab S3 into a 2-in-1 if you opt to attach a keyboard ti it, but the keyboard's sold separately, so it will run you extra on top of the tablet's already premium price.

Samsung Galaxy Book 12


Best Samsung tablets to buy right now (2018)

Samsung Galaxy Book 12-inch

Galaxy Book 12-inch

Cons

  • Keyboard kickstand is a bit wobbly
  • Battery life not great
  • Gets quite hot after prolonged periods of use

The Samsung Galaxy Book is a 12-inch 2-in-1 with a fantastic HDR-ready, 2160 x 1440 Super AMOLED display and horsepower to match. This tablet is aimed at power users who want to do a lot on the go. As such, it runs Windows 10, instead of Android, which could either be a good thing or a deal-breaker, depending on your preferences, but it's safe to say that the people who are buying this product are not getting it primarily for entertainment. Although Windows 10 can feel somewhat clunky on a touch screen device at times, it's much better-suited for actually doing work.

And to supplement the power-user-nature of the operating system, the Galaxy Book comes with both a keyboard kickstand and an S-Pen out of the box, which is really nice. The keyboard kickstand is, however, not as solid as we had hoped. It does the job but can feel a bit flimsy at times, especially compared to Microsoft's solution for the Surface Pro. But then again, this one is included in the box!

For a 12-inch device, the Galaxy Book is relatively compact, sporting a sleek profile that manages to keep things thinner and lighter than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. At the core of the Galaxy Book is a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU clocked at 2.5Ghz, paired with an Intel HD 620 GPU and either 4 or 8 gigs of RAM, depending on the version. There's also two SSD storage options available – 128GB and 256GB. The all-around performance of this premium 2-in-1 is good for productivity and creative work, but as you would imagine, it is not very well-suited for running more demanding games. However, most of the stuff that you'll find on the Microsoft Store should run just fine.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2


Best Samsung tablets to buy right now (2018)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch

Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch

Cons

  • Subpar battery life
  • Throwaway cameras


The Galaxy Tab S2 is the predecessor of the Galaxy Tab S3, and although it's a bit older, it still offers a lot of what makes the S3 great, and at a lower price point! It sports a crisp, 2048 x 1536 Super AMOLED display with admirable brightness and punchy colors. Just like the S3, it is a 4:3 panel, instead of 16:9, which makes it good for web browsing and reading, although most videos will be letterboxed due to the difference in aspect ratios.

The Galaxy Tab S2 comes in 8" and 9.7" versions, and is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Exynos 5-series processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable on-board storage. It's enough to get smooth performance out of this slate in most scenarios, but do keep in mind that the device is not completely lag-free. Stutters intrinsic to Samsung's heavy Android skin are present on the Tab S2.

All in all, if you don't want to drop the money for a Galaxy Tab S3, its predecessor is a very good alternative, that still delivers a good overall experience at a lower price point. 



Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2017)


Best Samsung tablets to buy right now (2018)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2017)

Galaxy Tab A (2017)

Cons

  • A tad bulky
  • Performance matches price tag

If you're on a budget and are looking for a recent, yet affordable Samsung slate, the Galaxy Tab A (2017) might be the one for you. It is an entry-level device with an 8" display with a rather modest resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, but it's also priced to reflect that.

On the inside, the tablet packs a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB of expandable on-board storage. The Galaxy Tab A (2017) has a 8-megapixel camera on the back and a secondary 5-megapixel selfie camera. Samsung included a generous 5,000 mAh battery inside and Android 7.1 Nougat is running on board.

Expect no miracles from this slate, it's simply a nice budget option for those who want an adequate tablet at a low price point.

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