The Best Tablets – 2023 Update

Great | Differentiating Features
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. 120Hz, Super AMOLED display. S-Pen included. Android updates until 2027.

Good | Most Have It
Sleek design, good battery life, cameras, and speakers.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Android on tablets is still in the shadow of iPadOS. Performance still can’t match Apple’s flagship. Pricey.

The Galaxy Tab S8+ has been hailed as the best Android slate ever built, and it’s easy to see why. The Galaxy Tab S8+ uses a Super AMOLED panel that makes content look fantastic, with vibrant, gorgeous colors and perfect blacks that are ideal for outdoor viewing. It’s even got an in-screen fingerprint reader similar to those found on modern phones.

Much like in the phone business, Apple’s main rival in the tablet market is Samsung (well, except for Microsoft). We’ve opted for the “plus” model as it’s got a few advantages over the smaller Galaxy Tab S8 in addition to its 12.4-inch (2800 x 1752, 266ppi) 120Hz, 16:10 display.

Storage starts at 128GB, and it comes with a USB-Type C port, 8GB of RAM, four speakers, and a 5G option. The front-facing camera has been upgraded to 12MP ultra-wide from 8MP, and the ultra-wide at the rear to 6MP, alongside to the same 13MP snapper of the S7 line. An advantage over the iPad Pro is that Samsung’s stylus is free in the box rather than requiring another $99 outlay. Latency has been improved to 2.8ms from the previous model’s already respectable 9ms.

If you prefer screen size and multitasking capability over portability and value, the new 14.6″ Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the one for you. Other than size, the Ultra’s advantage is that RAM grows with storage, to 12GB with 256GB of storage, and 16GB with the 512GB storage option. It also has an additional 12MP ultra-wide camera in the front. The downside is obviously price, starting at $1,100 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The Galaxy Tab S8 line is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is more powerful than the previous Snapdragon 865, but not in the same performance ballpark as the iPad Pro’s M2 chip. Battery life remains impressive, but you still have to deal with the somewhat disappointing software.

Android on tablets has come a long way, and you do get DeX mode, so compatible apps work in windowed versions, but iPadOS remains superior. The real upgrade in terms of software is the promise of OS updates until 2027. But if you’re in the market for a premium Android tablet, the Galaxy S8+ is a sleek device with an unmatched screen.

One Step Down: Older or Smaller?

If you want to save some money, the Galaxy Tab S7+ is available at $500 for the base model with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, and will keep getting Android updates until 2024.

Yet, we believe the basic Tab S8 will be a better purchase in the long-term, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, software updates until 2027, and 8GB of RAM even on the cheapest version with 128GB of storage. The more traditional 11″ LCD display still looks great with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, and it has the same 12MP ultra-wide front camera of the S8+.

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