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Can the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra be Your Next Laptop?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is quite the beast of a tablet with a snappy Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset along with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, both of which can be expanded if you're using it for work and media. Complementing these configurations are the bundled book cover keyboard and the Samsung DeX mode, making it one of the best Android tablets for work. Now, I've been using it as our laptop for one whole week so let's see if it can be your next laptop?

First of all, the obviously big 14.6" display puts it on par with many laptops out there, giving us plenty of space to open and place multiple windows to our convenience. This is an AMOLED display with a very smooth 120Hz refresh rate and an 1848 x 2960 resolution so browsing information online and launching multiple apps are a breeze, and watching videos or binging dramas are very pleasant. In fact, the display easily surpasses some laptop screens we've seen before.

To let the tablet function like a real laptop, you have to use the 2-in-1 detachable book cover keyboard with one half helping the device stand like a laptop for you to see content at different viewing angles and the other half a keyboard and a touchpad. Luckily for us in Malaysia, Samsung is giving you the book cover keyboard for free! To begin with, the keyboard is large and spacious, which is good especially for someone with big hands like me. Samsung didn't neglect the responsiveness of the keyboard and we love how it really acts like a solid keyboard found on laptops with a decent amount of feedback.

When I first look at the kickstand, I was actually concerned if it can properly support the huge tablet but it proved me otherwise. You can open the kickstand at various angles and it still stands firmly on the working desk.

To accommodate you working with the Tab S8 Ultra like working with a laptop, Samsung adds the DeX mode that changes the Android interface to resemble a Windows desktop. At the bottom, there's the app tray at the left corner, recently opened apps in the middle, followed by the control panel and notifications at the right corner. Downloaded apps are automatically placed on the left side of the screen like Windows.

At work, I was able to log into my Google work account and access Gmail, Google Docs, and Sheets as I rely heavily on these for work. It didn't take me a long time to get used to the interface and how things work on this device, and it actually runs smoothly. Despite the enjoyable experience with Samsung DeX, it still can't completely replace your Windows device because some softwares or websites are not designed for the Android interface and some may not provide complete functions available on Android.

For instance, you can drag Google tabs to rearrange them and drag them out to launch a new window. But you can't do that on DeX mode. Instead, you'll need to launch the Chrome app again and open the website you wish to open on a separate window. A little hassle but not a big problem.

So, is the Tab S8 Ultra ready to be your laptop? First, it's qualified in terms of specs. You get a large screen, a spacious and responsive keyboard, and great performance. While Samsung provides its best to give you a desktop-kind of experience with DeX, it still takes some time for more websites to support the system and I'm sure Samsung will improvise it. Still, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a worthy tablet.


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