Samsung’s updates to the latest, top-of-the-line Tab S-series Android tablets are here in the Galaxy Tab S9. While not a huge step up from the Tab S8 series, they still maintain the lead on the highest-end Android tablets out there. If you’re an Android fan looking for an alternative to the iPad Pro, this is what you should turn to.
Samsung has pulled off something with its tablets even Apple hasn’t: All the screens in the Tab S9 tablet series (Tab S9, S9+, and S9 Ultra) are now OLED, instead of just the top-end model. These new 2K resolution OLED screens are the biggest attraction this year. The screen sizes stay the same: 11 inches on the Tab S9, 12.4 inches on the Tab S9+, and 14.6 inches on the huge Tab S9 Ultra. They are all 120Hz refresh rate screens, with an aspect ratio of 16:10. To go with the new screen are updated quad-speakers, which are now 20% larger than before and support Dolby Atmos. The S Pen still comes free in the box (unlike the Apple Pencil).
They are all powered by a Samsung-exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which is Qualcomm’s top-tier processor. The base model of the 11-inch S9 comes with 8GB of RAM; the rest of the lineup has 12GB, while the S9 Ultra comes with 16GB RAM. When it comes to storage options, the Tab S9 comes in 129GB or 256GB versions. S9 Plus has 256GB and 512GB versions, and the Ultra can be configured to 1TB internal storage as well. All tablets support microSD card for storage expansion, and come with wifi 6E and 5G-support as well, though the connectivity will depend on your carrier.
The tablets are now IP68-certified, a dust- and water-resistance that’s comparable to flagship smartphones. This is rare to see in the tablet world, and something that makes the Tab S9 series unique in the current crowded Android tablet market.
Samsung is also trying to stand out with new software features (which will later come to older models as well). They are focusing on enhancing productivity, and there’s better support for things like split-screen multitasking, where you can now run three apps side-by-side (something that Pixel and OnePlus tablets can’t do). There’s a new Multi Control feature that lets Samsung users easily copy and paste images to compatible Samsung smartphones wirelessly.
The only thing that might deter new buyers is the price. The base model Tab S9 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage starts at $799, and it only goes up from there. The S9+ model with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is priced at $999, and the top-of-the-line S9 Ultra with all the bells and whistles (and a laptop-size display) comes in at $1,199 for the model with 256GB storage.
You can pre-order any of the three tablets starting today, and they’ll be available for purchase starting Aug. 11: