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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a $649 2-in-1 Android tablet for multitaskers

Switch to a desktop-style experience when you're not binge-watching Netflix.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
3 min read

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 uses Android and a little Samsung software magic to take on Apple and Microsoft. 

Like Microsoft's Surface line and  Apple's   iPad Pro , this premium Android tablet is for more than entertainment. Borrowing capabilities from the DeX dock and pad Samsung makes for its Galaxy  phones , the Tab S4 has DeX features that changes the tablet's Android interface into a desktop-style experience. 

Attach the $150 Book Cover keyboard (no, it's not included) and the interface changes, letting you run multiple apps side by side and resize their windows, and even drag and drop content between them. Samsung will offer an HDMI-to-USB-C multiport adapter for a secondary display (also not included).  

Watch this: Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 is an Android tablet that wants to be a laptop

Connect to an external monitor and you can use the Tab S4 as a giant touchpad, or grab the included Samsung S Pen and use the S4 like a Wacom tablet. You can also continue to use it as an Android tablet, so you could keep a video playing on the tablet while you continue to work on a PowerPoint presentation on another display. There's Bluetooth mouse support, too, so you don't have to rely on the touchscreen for navigation.

While there is plenty here for mixed use of home and office, Samsung is also pitching this as a tablet for enterprise use such as retail or healthcare. This is also where Samsung's Knox security platform comes in handy for keeping data safe for these applications. 

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the Tab S4 is essentially an Android competitor to Windows 10 two-in-ones like the Asus NovaGo,  HP Envy x2 and the Lenovo Miix 630 ($850 at Amazon.com). The big selling points for those is long battery life and optional LTE connectivity so you can work anywhere. The performance on them was unimpressive, though, especially when you consider their prices. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung claims up to 16 hours of video playback from the Galaxy Tab S4's 7,300-mAh battery and it supports fast charging via its USB-C port, and there is an LTE version. While I had a little hands-on time with it, going by specs alone, I'm not sure the Tab S4 is worth the $650 asking price, especially when you factor in the additional cost of the keyboard. 

Key specs

  • Snapdragon 835 processor 
  • 4GB of memory
  • 64 or 256GB built-in storage; support for up to 400GB microSD cards
  • 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front cameras
  • 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • LTE version available
  • Android 8.1 (update to Android 9.0 at a later date)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is ready to dazzle for work or play

See all photos

Bigger screen, better sound

Moving up in size from the the 9.7-inch Tab S3 (which had a screen ratio of 4:3), the S4 has a 16:10, 10.5-inch, 2,560x1,600-pixels Super AMOLED display -- 32 percent larger. With its narrower bezels, though, it's similar in size to its predecessor.  Samsung  paired the screen with AKG-tuned speakers -- four of them -- with Dolby Atmos sound, so whatever you're watching or listening to will be as immersive as possible. 

The bigger screen gives you more room to use the bundled S Pen and, like Samsung's Note 8, there's support for screen-off note-taking, meaning you can write on the screen without opening an app or even unlocking it. 

The Wi-Fi-only version of the Galaxy Tab S4 will be available in the US starting at $650 on Aug. 10 from Amazon , Best Buy and Samsung's website. (It starts at £599 in the UK, which converts to about AU$1,060.) The LTE version is a Verizon exclusive to start, but will come to other major carriers including Sprint , T-Mobile and US Cellular later in Q3 2018. 

You can preorder starting today, and you can also get half off the Book Cover keyboard through Sept. 8 when you buy it with the Galaxy Tab S4.