Mobile devices seem to have quite a bit of cross over with each other these days. Some phones are getting bigger and verging on tablet territory, while you can also get tablets which are only a fraction larger than a phone. A hybrid between laptops and tablets is the next natural combination and one that would be pretty useful. A number of brands have released their own iterations of them, and Samsung have recently released theirs in Australia; the Galaxy TabPro S. We’ve been testing one out to see how it fares as a device which they’ve touted as being both a fully functional mobile office and personal movie theatre.
First off, when it comes to specs, the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is pretty impressive. It runs Windows 10 on a 12-inch Super AMOLED display, with a 128G solid-state drive and a 6th Generation Intel Core M processor. It also features a 5mp front and rear camera. The tablet, sans the keyboard and cover, feels pretty solid without being at all weighty, which to me already makes it seem really premium. Combined with the black frame, the TabPro S is a pretty sleek looking device.
A big point of difference between the Galaxy TabPro S and other laptop / tablet hybrids is the fact that the keyboard is included with the device. Samsung’s competitors make you buy a separate keyboard / case which is pretty annoying if you want to use the product to its full potential. While I definitely appreciate the inclusion of this fairly vital component, it can be slightly frustrating to use at times. The case, which turns into the stand when using the keyboard, only adjusts to two angles so you can’t view the screen the exact way you might need. This isn’t a totally insurmountable issue though, and certainly doesn’t detract from the rest of the device.
When it comes to actually using it, I’ve found the machine itself to be nice and quick. It’s easy to switch between tablet and laptop mode with just a simple swipe of the screen to get to the different settings options. I’ve used it a few times to do some work while in a cafe and was pleased with how quickly it started up; I was usually typing away by the time my coffee order was even taken. Working remotely is also made easier by the fact that the device is so light, weighing in at only roughly 690 grams, so I can comfortably carry it around in my bag all day.
The display is super sharp and colours appear saturated and clear. When I’m not using it for work, I strip the device of the keyboard and use it in tablet mode to catch up on some shows on Netflix. The picture quality is really impressive, and so is the longevity of the battery, even after quite a few consecutive episodes of House of Cards.
The TabPro S utilises a USB Type-C connection to charge the battery which offers a couple of advantages over the usual USB Type-A / micro USB connection. Most noticeably, Type-C is skinnier, allowing the profile of the tablet to remain slim. It also charges the battery a lot faster, so you’ll go from empty to full in roughly 2.5 hours.
The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S has a new feature called Samsung Flow, which basically allows you to connect the tablet to your Galaxy S7 phone via Near Field Connectivity (NFC). You can log into your tablet with your phone, plus you can receive phone notifications from selected apps on the tablet and respond directly from there instead of your phone. This is a handy feature to have and it’s saved me quite a bit of time when working. It’s mitigated my need to constantly switch between the two devices to read and reply to notifications.
When it comes down to it, I think the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is a great option if you’re in need of a mobile office. It would also be an ideal secondary device to carry around if you’re on the run a lot, or if you want something which can serve the purpose of being for both work and play.