Samsung's rugged Galaxy Tab Active3 makes its US debut with an equally robust S Pen in tow

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Samsung's rugged Galaxy Tab Active3 makes its US debut with an equally robust S Pen in tow
UPDATE: As promised, the Galaxy Tab Active3 has already gone up for sale via Samsung's official US e-store, albeit in a single Wi-Fi-only configuration with 64 gigs of internal storage space for the time being.

By the looks of the company's website, we expect the 128GB non-LTE-enabled variant to become available fairly soon as well at a recommended price of $509.99, with cellular-capable SKUs likely to keep eager buyers waiting a little longer. Our original story follows below.

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Apart from mass-oriented devices like the high-end Galaxy Tab S7 duo and mid-range Tab A family that have helped Samsung gain quite a bit of ground on Apple lately in the global tablet market, the company also sells a number of Android slates targeted specifically at a niche audience.

We're talking about businesses and individuals in need of gadgets built like tanks, capable of withstanding the harshest of environments while delivering a decent amount of raw power (at the very least), as well as unrivaled security and various other productivity-focused features and tools.

Enter the Galaxy Tab Active3, Samsung's long-awaited sequel to the 2017-released Tab Active2 and budget-friendly alternative to 2019's Tab Active Pro. If this "new" rugged tablet looks familiar, that might be because it's not actually entirely new, having seen daylight in "select" markets across Europe and Asia several months back before finally expanding to the US today.

Priced at a fairly reasonable $489.99 and up, the muscular 8-incher is not technically up for grabs stateside at the time of this writing, although Samsung should start accepting orders through its official regional website any minute now.


Naturally, the entry-level Galaxy Tab Active3 version merely comes with Wi-Fi support, while a $589.99 model adds 4G LTE speeds to the connectivity equation. Powered by the same in-house Exynos 9810 SoC as the Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note 9, this thing aims to strike the best possible balance between performance and affordability, thus making a series of very important compromises when compared to the likes of the "mainstream" Tab S7.

Billed as a "sleek" and "lightweight" device (for its niche), the rugged Tab Active3 can handle everything from water to dust, extreme temperatures, low pressure, high altitude, as well as various types of vibrations and shock. Tipping the scales at 426 grams (compared to the 653-gram weight of the 10.1-inch Tab Active Pro) and measuring 9.9mm in thickness, this 8-inch slate packs a decently sized 5,050mAh battery.... that any user can replace with ease.

Meanwhile, its glove-friendly touchscreen sports an excellent resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, and to help with your outdoor scribbling needs, the tablet includes a ruggedized S Pen as standard. 

Secured by Knox, the Galaxy Tab Active3 also has a neat programmable key going for it for an extra touch (pun intended) of productivity and versatility, not to mention wireless DeX support, Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, and a bold promise of up to three major OS updates and up to five years of security patches.

That being said, it's certainly a little disappointing to see the otherwise feature-packed slate make its 2021 US commercial debut with Android 10 out the box, as well as only 4 gigs of RAM under the hood. At the end of the day, however, Samsung simply doesn't have a lot of top-tier competition in the rugged tablet market segment to have to push the envelope much further with this Galaxy Tab Active3 model.

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Galaxy Tab Active 3
  • Display 8.0 inches 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 9810 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5050 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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