Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 almost makes tablets interesting again
Building on last year's premium Tab S4, the 10.5-inch tablet adds some innovative features for work and play.
Joshua GoldmanManaging 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.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
The tablet market in general is in decline but Samsung's tablet shipments -- Android and Windows -- remain strong, coming in just behind Apple's iPad shipments for Q1 2019, according to analyst group IDC. At least part of the slide is attributed to a lack of innovative features within the category, which is something the Tab S6 attempts to attack.
The included updated S Pen stylus, for example, can be used as a wireless shutter release for capturing photos and video with the tablet's dual rear cameras -- a first for a Samsung tablet. The pen magnetically snaps strongly to the rear of the tablet for storage and to wirelessly charge it. Samsung says a 10-minute charge will get you through a day of use.
DeX goes hand in hand with the Tab S6's new Book Cover Keyboard. A huge improvement over the S4's keyboard cover, the new version adds a touchpad (DeX has mouse support), a row of function keys and a quick-launch button for DeX. It also has a free-angle kickstand so it can be used in more than one position.
Along with working more comfortably, you can work longer. Samsung claims up to 15 hours of battery life and it'll quick-charge through its USB-C port.
Gaming on the Tab S6 with the Snapdragon 855 is also improved from the S4. A Game Booster with AI capabilities lets you optimize for smoother performance or better image quality on 16:10 2,560x1,600-pixel resolution display. Samsung also has an exclusive partnership with game chat platform Discord so you can live chat through the tablet's Game Launcher app.
There are a handful of other things, too, like the quad speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos and an on-screen fingerprint scanner for quick sign ins. Plus you can wake the table with two taps on the screen. About the only thing missing is a headphone jack.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes in gray, blue and blush. It'll be available for preorder online at Samsung.com on Aug. 23 and available in stores and online on Sept. 6. The base Wi-Fi-only model has 128GB of storage (microSD expansion available) and 6GB of RAM for $650 or, for $730, you can get 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage. The S Pen is included with both, but not the keyboard cover, which costs $180. An LTE version is expected later this year.