It's relatively easy to forget when the Galaxy S22 family and long overdue Galaxy S21 FE 5G are in the news almost all the time, but Samsung is also pretty successful in the tablet business
in addition to the global smartphone market
Likely due to the chip shortages
that have badly impacted the production of the aforementioned S21 Fan Edition
among others, the company has only released a couple of new Android-based Galaxy Tabs in 2021, leaving both its flagship models and main A-Series mid-ranger without sequels.
A familiar design and an almost unchanged list of specs
Of course, the Galaxy Tab S8, S8+, S8 Ultra
, and A8 (2021) are all still in the pipeline, and for that last name to stand, the follow-up effort to the Tab A7 (2020) will need to go official sometime in the next few weeks.
Then again, Samsung
could always decide to rebrand the rigorously leaked 10.5-inch slate
to Galaxy Tab A8 (2022) if a launch by the end of this year is not possible for some reason (cough, global chip crisis, cough). The problem with that is the unannounced device doesn't look particularly remarkable by 2021 standards, let alone 2022.
Yet another leaked Galaxy Tab A8 image
The most important change compared to last year's Galaxy Tab A7 10.4
comes in the processing power department, where Qualcomm's Snapdragon 662 silicon will apparently be replaced with a lesser-known Unisoc T618 chipset that may not prove very fast, even for a budget-friendly mid-end tablet.
Everything, yes, eve-ry-thing else is likely to go unchanged, from the respectable 2000 x 1200 pixel resolution of the 60Hz screen to the 8MP rear and 5MP front-facing cameras, as well as the 7,040mAh battery supporting 15W fast charging, and quad speaker system.
The Galaxy Tab A8 (2021) also looks virtually identical to its predecessor on the outside in all of the renders leaked so far
, which obviously means the 7mm or so profile and 476-gram weight will be retained too.
But wait, there is one reason to get (mildly) excited
In terms of retail pricing, the new tablet is today tipped to cost
anywhere between €240 and €360 on the old continent in a grand total of three paint jobs including pink gold, grey, and silver.
Because it's rarely useful to directly convert those figures into US dollars, it might be more relevant to point out that the Galaxy Tab A7 (2020) currently starts at €239 in major European markets like Italy. That suggests the base price will unsurprisingly also go unchanged, but while the Tab A7 packs a modest 3GB RAM count in its entry-level configuration, all Tab A8 variants are expected to offer 4 gigs of the good stuff.
This is last year's Galaxy Tab A7
We're talking 32, 64, and 128GB storage models, the former of which could match the $230 recommended price of its 3GB RAM forerunner stateside. That makes us (moderately) excited about this affordable device after all, which will obviously come with optional 4G LTE connectivity as well.
A side-mounted fingerprint scanner is another possible "upgrade", as the Galaxy Tab A7 (2020) came without any sort of reliable biometric recognition method. The rest of the stuff is pretty standard (at least for a mid-range Android tablet), including a USB Type-C port, microSD card slot, and good old fashioned headphone jack.
What we're curious about now is whether or not the modest slate could follow the example of the similarly belated Galaxy S21 FE
handset and make its overdue debut running Android 12 out the box
on the software side of things. That's definitely unlikely, but we are allowed to dream, right?