Yet another Samsung tablet -- but this one has the S Pen

Samsung makes the Tab A more powerful, throws in S-Pen stylus.

Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Patrick Holland
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch with S Pen will be available in the US starting October 28.

Screenshot by Patrick Holland/CNET

So here's a question: how does Samsung follow up the battery debacle of its Note 7? Well, release something that's not a phone: the Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch with S Pen.

Over the years, Samsung has offered tablets in a wide range of sizes, capabilities and price points. Which is great if you are paying attention, but a little confusing if you're not. Samsung's Tab lineup can quickly become overwhelming to decipher.

Then, there's the S Pen. This summer, one of the things we liked about the Note 7 was the new S Pen -- you can write, draw and even select/animate a GIF. The Tab A 10.1-inch brings all these new S Pen features to a tablet. It includes a new app called Samsung Notes -- combining its previous apps Action Memo, S Note and Scrapbook into one place.

The Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch fits nicely into Samsung's lineup -- just under the higher-priced and higher-specced Galaxy Tab S2 and Windows-based Galaxy TabPro S. It brings increased features and value to its Tab A line. The specs are not mindblowing, but they are a significant improvement over last year's models:

  • 10.1-inch WUXGA display with a resolution of 1,920x1,200 pixels
  • Exynos 7870 octo-core processor
  • Android Marshmallow 6.0
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16GB of storage
  • Expandable microSD storage up to 256GB
  • 1.22 pounds (553 grams)
  • Wi-Fi-only
  • Antiglare screen with blue light filter

The Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch comes in two colors: black and white. It has a 7,300mAh battery which according to Samsung allows the Tab A 10.1-inch to get 13 hours of video playback. Of course, until we get our hands on one to test, we won't know for sure.

The Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch with S Pen will be available in the US for $350 starting October 28. It will be interesting to see how the public will react to this and future products after Samsung's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer and fall.


The Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch with S Pen will come in black or white.

Screenshot by Patrick Holland/CNET