Technophile

Samsung Galaxy Tab A: Big, basic, and bulky device

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 03, 2018 Published on October 03, 2018

This 10.5-inch tall tablet is underwhelming and more expensive than the basic iPad

With phones being as large as they are, the market for tablets is shrinking. Many have been joking that Apple’s new iPhone XS Max is almost as big as its iPad Mini, which has merit to it. So those who are still selling tablets are doing the smart thing and setting more stock by their larger tablets, like Samsung’s Tab A (2018). Even if individuals are not sure to snap these up, enterprises have lots of use for tablets and all can’t afford iPads. Look around you and see how there are restaurants using them for menus and ordering, airlines and hotels using them for putting all their services in one place for a customer, and so on.

The Tab A, refreshed every year for the past few years, is now in a 10.5-inch size and can actually be docked to a keyboard cover for those who need an on-the-go work device. It’s nothing like its more premium relative, the Tab S, now in series 4. That comes with a pen, is thin and light, and has a hi-res display and higher specifications. The Tab A is the ‘cheaper’ version that is meant for another segment.

The Tab A is actually quite heavy. If you plan to hold it in one hand and say, read a book for a long session, it’s quite tiring. The back is a softened rubbery material, which makes gripping easier but you can’t grip it for long. To watch a movie, it’s best to prop it up with something, including the keyboard cover case. The tablet feels quite tall in portrait mode and has plenty of screen space for web pages or work-related documents and forms to fit. Don’t expect a premium display — it’s Full HD (1920x1200) but you can see that it isn’t crisp and vibrant and nor does it have perfect viewing angles. Well, everyone doesn’t need that, and it’s a perfectly workable screen. The tablet is flanked by four speakers making the audio experience good for watching movies.

Although the Tab A works with Android 8.1, it only has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. This is too little considering phones that cost half the amount now have much more. The processor is only a Snapdragon 450, which even budget phones have moved on from. It’s okay for basic tasks and rather nice for browsing, but with the given specs can’t be pushed too far. I found the touch sensitivity a bit iffy and often had to jab repeatedly at the screen to select something. The battery too is a little inadequate for a tablet this size, at 7,300mAh. But it does support fast charging.

At its price, the Tab A is more expensive than an entry level iPad — and that’s a problem, given the specs and performance and App Store that comes with the iPad. It will be smaller than this tablet, but a better experience.

Price: ₹29,990

Pros: Can connect to optional keyboard case, supports fast charging, form factor nice for browsing and videos

Cons: Underwhelming specs, no fingerprint sensor or home button, inadequate battery, needs better display especially for sunlight visibility, heavy, poor touch sensitivity

Published on October 03, 2018

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