Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a few key features the iPad could use

What Samsung's newest tablet does that the iPad doesn't.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read

See the trackpad?

Sarah Tew/CNET

There aren't many good Android tablets, and Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S6 is aiming to be one of the best. After trying it out briefly in a demo in New York, I did admire a few things Samsung's doing with their newest tablet -- because they're things Apple's iPad still doesn't do yet.

All three would be helpful. But it's unclear when Apple would ever choose to incorporate them.


The trackpad is new to Samsung's tablet keyboard.

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The new keyboard has a trackpad (hint, hint)

Samsung's extra keyboard accessory for the Tab S6 is pricey at $179, but it also includes something I love: a trackpad. Much like Microsoft's Surface tablets or Google's Pixel Slate, the trackpad can be used to zip around and use a mouse cursor, or scroll through pages, or -- my favorite use -- it can be used in Samsung's more PC-like DeX mode (see below). Apple's iPad Pro has a good keyboard, and Apple's new iPadOS has a better, more PC-like web browser, but the iPad has no trackpad option. (The accessibility mouse support doesn't count.)


DeX allows a monitor to show other apps, all popped out in windows. It's a nice idea.

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Samsung DeX is the multimonitor support the iPad lacks

Plug in a monitor, and Samsung's Tab S6 can show a whole bunch of other apps on a second screen. They can be shown in multiple, scalable windows, too. Several web pages, a spreadsheet, games. This can be done while using another app in the Tab S6's main display. This isn't shocking rocket science, but it's what a PC user would expect by plugging in a monitor. Again, the iPad's monitor support just mirrors the iPad, or occasionally shows second-screen info from a few key apps... but won't run a different app in each display. I reviewed Samsung DeX a few years ago and ended up liking it a lot more than I expected to. I'm not saying it's a perfect solution, but the iPad should, at least, allow extra multitasking with more apps on a second display like Samsung DeX does.


It's not Face ID, but...I like fingerprint readers. Sorry.

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An in-screen fingerprint reader... seems helpful?

Apple's Face ID on the iPad Pro does work well, and it can be great for quickly accessing passwords for apps and web pages. But, it's not as fast or as easy for me as Touch ID was. It remains to be seen how well Samsung's new under-the-screen optical fingerprint sensor works on the Tab S6, but it shows that a thin-bezel, nearly all-screen tablet could use a fingerprint sensor. I'd still like a fingerprint option on the iPad Pro, just to avoid always having to use my face.