Samsung Targets iPad Pro with Galaxy Tab S4

Posted on August 1, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 23 Comments

Samsung apparently didn’t get the memo that the future of productivity-focused Android tablets is with Chrome OS. Today, the consumer electronics giant announced the Galaxy Tab S4, a new tablet with an optional keyboard case that appears to look and work much like Apple’s iPad Pro.

“People are doing work differently than they’ve ever before,” Samsung’s Alanna Cotton said at a media event today. “Our goal is to power the individual, to power the enterprise.”

At a high-level, the Galaxy Tab S4 appears to mimic the iPad Pro pretty closely: It’s a 10.5-inch tablet with four speakers, two cameras, 64 or 256 GB of storage, and an active pen. The display looks decent, with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio. You can add an Apple-like keyboard case to use the device sort of like a laptop.

But the Galaxy Tab S4 also diverts from the iPad Pro playbook—and, conspicuously, from the rest of the Android/Chrome OS ecosystem by supporting Samsung’s proprietary Dex technology. So instead of running Android apps in windows on a Chrome OS desktop, you can run Android apps in Windows on an Android-based Dex desktop, complete with mouse and keyboard support. (That said, the keyboard case doesn’t come with its own touchpad.)

Curiously, the Galaxy Tab S4 is based on the previous-generation Snapdragon 835 that powered smartphone flagships in 2017, and not the newer and more powerful Snapdragon 845. Pricing also seems a bit high, starting at $650. Or $800 including the keyboard case.

I’m not particularly interested in Samsung’s proprietary side-trips away from the Google standards, so it’s unlikely I’ll be buying this device. But I do like seeing Apple’s chief rival going after the iPad Pro like this. And I’m curious to see whether the Galaxy Tab S4 is at all successful.


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