Does it make sense today, in 2019, to spend some money to buy a tablet? This is the question I asked myself when the new one was proposed to me in tests Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. After a short period of use, I can tell you that, despite my initial reluctance, I have changed my mind slowly and now I am convinced that, for the right price, solutions like the one I am going to say in the next few lines can be very useful, at least for some categories. of users.
This Tab S5e is actually a tablet with a double soul, with an interesting multimedia sector and a combination of hardware and software capable of encouraging its use on the move. Obviously, it is not a product with which to do video editing or professional photo editing, but for more common operations such as email management, web browsing and use of the Office suite is more than adequate, : the interface Dex.
FINE AND INCREDIBLE LIGHT
But we will order. I start by telling you a bit about how I came across this tablet from the point of view of theergonomics and materials. The first thing you notice when the strip of the box is undoubtedly its very small thickness and its incredibly low weight. Let's talk about it alone. 5.5 mm for less than 400 grams of weight; almost a record for a device with a 10-inch diagonal display. The shell is then entirely made of aluminum and this detail gives the Tab S5e a good resistance to mechanical stress.
The other detail that surprised me positively is the size of the edges of the screen. Each of the 4 sides of the screen has a only 8.8 mm thick. This also helps to contain the overall dimensions of the product, which can be held with one hand and easily used without the support of a support surface. Could the pictures be further reduced? Technically, yes and theoretically yes, but during use, one of them would probably have many involuntary touches with the hand holding the tablet.
Although reduced in thickness, the frame of this Tab S5e houses the connector USB Type C 3.1, useful for recharging, the connection to the PC and a whole series of useful accessories to make the most of the DeX mode, which I will tell you about soon. One of the two long sides is characterized by the presence of POGO connector, which makes the tablet compatible with any keyboard cover or similar accessories. While the opposite offers housing for the cart to insert the microSD card and, in the version with data connection, the nano-format SIM. The jack is missing 3.5 mm, but in the packaging we found the adapter for Type-C.
In this same side we also find the volume rocker and the button on / off, which integrates the sensor for fingerprint recognition to unlock your tablet. A sensor that proved to be very accurate and fast enough, but which I particularly appreciated for its position easily and of course achievable with the index finger. We also have the option to activate the unlock via facial recognition. It's a 2D recognition system, less secure than the fingerprint sensor, but equally fast.
And so let's not forget the loudspeaker, which are four and were made in collaboration with AKG. The audio we get is obviously stereo and really made a great impression on both volume and quality. Highs and lows are obviously predominant with regard to basses but present but which, as with all solutions of this type, suffer from the reduced dimensions of the loudspeakers themselves. It is then possible to obtain an additional amplified stereo effect by placing the tablet on a flat surface and then used as a resonance box.
A BEL DISPLAY OF 10.5 INCHES
Samsung has always been a guarantee regarding the displays we found in their products and this Galaxy Tab S5e definitely should not be surpassed. The panel provided is a Super AMOLED 10.5 inches diagonal with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels and a consequent density of 287 ppi. The definition is therefore good: the icons, the texts and, more generally, all the elements of the interface are absolutely clear and, even if we get too close to the viewer, we can not distinguish the individual pixels.
The advantage of AMOLED panels is obviously that of having an infinite contrast ratio due to the absolute blacks that characterize them. The panel of this Tab S5e is also bright enough, with a maximum value of over 300 cd / sqm. This leads to good visibility in all situations, even under the sunlight.
Usually we speak, however, of a panel endowed with bright colors, tending slightly to the cold tones when used in the standard mode, which is the Adaptive. It may therefore be useful to know that at the technical level the most correct way is Cinema which is therefore preferred to view multimedia content. The graphics shown above, in fact, show that the average Delta E for both color and grayscale is significantly lower in Cinema OLED mode compared to the adaptive ones enabled by default at the time of purchase.
Considering the high density and the excellent definition of the characters, I can recommend using Tab S5e also for the reading of electronic books. In this case, however, I recommend turning on the blue light filter and the adaptive brightness control to lessen the eyes.
THE POWER YOU NEED AND A GREAT AUTONOMY
Inside the Galaxy Tab S5e we find a Qualcomm processor Snapdragon 670, maximum operating frequency of 2 GHz octa-core. This is not the top of the range chipset and perhaps Samsung could have gone a little further with a Snapdragon 7xx series. I was expecting a strong and positive response in the multimedia scenario and it was, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well this platform can adapt to more complex operations.
I am obviously referring to productivity and multitasking. All applications run smoothly, even when we enable split-screen mode and interact with two of them simultaneously. Charging times are short and I 4GB of RAM is enough to keep 4 or 5 applications open in the background. The storage is equivalent to 64 GB, already sufficient, but still expandable via microSD. These are memories EMMC with average read and write speed (292/202 MB / s).
GALAXY TAB S5e TECHNICAL SHEET
- display: WQXGA 1060 "sAMOLED 2560×1600 at 16:10, density of 287ppi
- SoC: Snapdragon 670 octa-core 64-bit (2 2.0 GHz and 6 1.7 GHz)
- memory: 4 + 64 GB (expandable up to 512 GB)
- ports: USB 3.1 Type-C, POGO pin
- cameras: 13 MP Rear, 8 MP Front
- connectivity: 4G LTE Cat. 16, WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, VHT80 MIMO, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS + GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou
- dimensions: 245.0 x 160.0 x 5.5 mm for 400 grams (WiFi only), 483 grams (LTE)
- drums: 7040 mAh with quick-charging stand
- Operational system: Android Cake 9
- audio: 4 speakers 1.2G AKG with Dolby Atmos
- Accessories (not included): Book Cover Keyboard, POGO Loading Dock, Slim Cover and Book Cover
Thanks to this well-optimized but not excessively energy-intensive hardware, the 7040 mAh battery of this Galaxy Tab S5e can guarantee very interesting autonomy. Considering a use primarily made of web browsing, YouTube and Netflix content viewing, and listening to streaming music with Spotify, this tablet's battery allows us to reach the 10 hours of use with active screen and WiFi connection.
Considering using offline during a trip on an intercontinental flight, it will not be a problem to reach the destination without having to recharge the tablet. Rapid loading is also supported, which allows us to increase the level from 0 to 100% in about two and a half hours.
Two words also in cameras which are often "despised" when it comes to tablets. Because of ergonomics, it is in fact often a little used element in such a product, and manufacturers are led to use modules of much lower quality than smartphones. In fact, the photos taken by Tab S5e are not bad, both when talking about the front camera and the case of the main module.
As you can see above, in fact, the rear module with 13 megapixel sensor than the 8-megapixel front can take sharp, well-contrasted and colorful photos. In most situations, we get perfect images to be shared on social networks and generally aligned with those of most smartphones in the mid-market segment.
A UI AND DEX, GAINING COUPLED
The operating system with which this Galaxy Tab S5e is equipped is obviously android, already upgraded to version 9 Foot and equipped with the March security patch. To make the software more interesting and complete, there is then the user interface launched by Samsung in its latest smartphones, here adapted for use on a larger screen. I speak of the new A user interface which compared to the Samsung Experience improves the graphic impact and above all the usability and responsiveness.
There are options to increase or decrease the size of the characters and elements of the interface in order to adapt them to your needs and make the most of the space available, and more generally we find all the customization settings that we have seen aboard the latest smartphones Samsung. The multitasking screen was then redesigned to better adapt to the form factor of the product and the user experience is always rewarding in portrait and landscape mode.
However, the real strength of this solution is the DeX Mode This has improved over time, becoming more fluid and responsive, and is now able to replace the notebook in many of the more common and less expensive operations. Let's say it's still an environment with limitations, and if you need more computing power, you'd better think of a different device. If instead you use your laptop primarily to navigate, write texts, manage emails and work on PowerPoint presentations or with not very complex Excel spreadsheets, you may already consider replacing it with this tablet, which ensures considerably more portability.
The advantage of this product compared to a smartphone is that of be able to use the tablet's own screen to work in DeX mode. The 10.5 inches are actually enough to hold a couple of open windows side by side and work easily using a mouse and keyboard connected in bluetooth. Therefore, we do not necessarily need to connect the Tab S5e to an external monitor; option that still remains viable in case more room for maneuver is needed.
Samsung ONE UI
I would also recommend that those who wish to try using DeX mode in a really complete way can activate the forced scaling applications within the DeX Labs in the settings menu. In this way, it is possible to extend the entire screen also the applications that would not normally support this mode.
the only criticism that I feel I can advance to Samsung is tied toabsence of S-Pen support in this model (we find this however in the Tab S4). A tablet with this potential would surely have benefited greatly from the possibility of combining such an accessory. Remember, it is still possible to use any touch pen, but the result will not even be remotely comparable to what can be achieved with the S-Pen. In fact, we will not have control of the pressure levels, nor does palm recognition technology avoid involuntary touches while using the pen.
To summarize, therefore, I feel that defining this Galaxy Tab S5e as a product that manages to make the multimedia soul coexist in a satisfactory way with the operative. The display, speakers and full compatibility with Netflix and YouTube high-definition content, guaranteed by the presence of Widevine L1 DRM, are elements that enable a satisfying experience in the use of multimedia content. DeX mode, combined with discrete computing power and certainly important autonomy, allows you to use the tablet to perform some basic work activities, with all the benefits of extreme portability.
All right, but how much does it cost? However, the list price remains high, although lower than that of last year's S4 tab: 419 euros for the WiFi version and 479 euros for the WiFi and LTE version. As always, however, we must take into account the maintenance of the street price and this Galaxy Tab S5e, although not yet officially available in Italy, is already available for about 370 euros. At this price, maybe not yet, but As soon as it falls below 350, it will be a solution to consider.
PRO AND CONTRO