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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 coming Sept. 18, starting at $649

This gaming-and-work-friendly tablet arrives later this month with a custom clip-on keyboard.

Juan Garzon/CNET

We already know a lot about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus, having previously tried a prerelease version of the higher-end Plus hardware and its excellent clip-on keyboard. Now we also know the S7 and S7 Plus are both coming Sept. 18, starting at $649 (£619) for the Galaxy Tab S7 and $849 (£799) for Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. Samsung says they'll be the first 5G-enabled tablets available in the US. 

In the few weeks since that earlier hands-on, we've already seen more interest in that often-ignored premium Android tablet territory, with Lenovo's announcement of the Tab P11 Pro, an 11.5-inch OLED-screen tablet with -- yes -- its own custom clip-on keyboard with touchpad and stylus. 

I haven't tried the Lenovo P11 Pro yet, but I did spend about a week with a nonfinal version of the Samsung Tab S7 Plus, using it for gaming, office work and media consumption. I thought the sold-separately keyboard cover was about as good as the one on the iPad Pro, and the improvements to Samsung's DeX platform for work and productivity tasks made for a decent occasional office computer, not that I'd recommend it for full-time writing or spreadsheeting -- plus it was very easy to wirelessly cast the DeX display to a larger screen.

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One interesting thing the Tab S7 can do (as can other Android tablets) is stream games from Microsoft's Xbox cloud gaming (formerly xCloud) service. It's still in beta, but it works well enough to offer a console-like feel on a tablet. The iPad and iPhone are currently not able to access the service -- nor similar cloud-based game platforms like Google Stadia or Nvidia GeForce Now -- for business reasons, not technical ones. 

Android tablets continue to have a small but consistent audience, divided between low-cost impulse purchases like the Amazon Fire line and premium iPad competitors like the Galaxy Tab S7. Note that our hands-on impressions of the Tab S7 Plus to date are based on nonfinal hardware, but we look forward to benchmarking and reviewing the finished hardware when it's available.