Credit: Florence Ion
It’s been a relatively quiet year for Android tablets. Besides the Nexus 9 and Dell Venue 8—both of which are about a year old—not many Android tablets have made waves. That’s why I’m glad that Samsung is doubling down on its Tab S series.
The Galaxy Tab S2 is one of the best Android tablets, though it’s only an incremental improvement over its predecessor. It offers solid performance, a stunning display, and comes in two very thin, very comfortable-to-hold sizes. As far as premium Android tablets go, Samsung still reigns supreme.
Light as a feather
The 9.7-inch Tab S2 is ridiculously light. Credit: Florence Ion
I was in love with last year’s 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab S. It was a stylish tablet and, with its snap-on folio case, it quickly became my daily gadget companion. I’d typically tether it to whatever smartphone I was using at the time to answer emails and get a little writing done on the train ride in to work. I also used it to play through the entirety of Peggle Blast.
Old versus new: the Galaxy Tab S on the left and the Galaxy Tab S2 on the right. Both tablets are winners in their own respect, though I prefer the plain Jane style of this year’s Tab S2. Credit: Florence Ion
Now I’ve switched up to the 8-inch Tab S2, though there’s a bigger, iPad-like 9.7-inch version too. It’s great for reading a magazine on Next Issue or playing Pokemon Shuffle—my new obsession. It’s so much lighter than its counterparts, too. The Wi-Fi-only versions of the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch Tab S weigh 0.648 pounds and 1.025 pounds, while the 8-inch and 9.7-inch Tab S2 weigh 0.584 pounds and 0.858 pounds, respectively. The Tab S was light, but a bit dense. With the Tab S2, I’m constantly checking to see if it’s still in my bag.
The plastic construction of the Tab S2 doesn’t feel hokey like older generations of Samsung devices—and there’s a fingerprint scanner embedded in the Home button. Credit: Florence Ion
To keep it lightweight, Samsung built the Tab S2 out of plastic and aluminum. The tablets aren’t as fancy-looking as the latest crop of Galaxy smartphones, but the plastic construction of the Tab S2 ensures it’s a bit more drop-resistant than its smartphone counterparts—which I know a thing or two about, because I’ve dropped both review units a few times in the last two weeks. Oops.
It’s my favorite show on the 8-inch Tab S2. Credit: Florence Ion
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