Tested: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra - A Cinema To Go?
September 18, 2023
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is not just another tablet; it's Samsung's ambitious attempt to redefine the Android tablet experience. Manufactured by the renowned tech giant, this tablet is positioned as a high-end device aimed at users who demand top-tier performance, a stunning display, and a wide array of features. It's clear that Samsung wants this tablet to be the go-to choice for Android enthusiasts, but does it live up to the hype? Let's find out.
- Stunning 14.6-inch AMOLED 2X display with HDR10+ support
- Exceptional performance powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
- Long-lasting 11,200 mAh battery
- Included stylus for enhanced productivity
- Premium price point, especially when adding accessories
- Heavier than most ultra-portable laptops when paired with its keyboard case
- Lack of app optimization for the large display
- Size and weight make it less portable for many users
Design & Ergonomics
The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is a hefty device, weighing in at 732 grams. Its premium metal build gives it a luxurious feel that screams quality. However, the weight and dimensions make it less portable and more cumbersome to hold for extended periods. What sets it apart is its IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, a feature not commonly found in tablets.
While the design is undoubtedly premium, the size and weight could be a deal-breaker for some. In my opinion, the build quality is fantastic, but once paired with its keyboard case, it becomes heavier than my daily driver MacBook Air 15. You probably wouldn't want to carry this and a laptop with you.
Performance & Software
When it comes to performance, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is a beast. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, this tablet handles everything from multitasking to resource-intensive apps with ease. It comes with up to 16GB of RAM, ensuring a smooth user experience. The tablet runs on Android 13, layered with Samsung's One UI 5.1, which brings a host of proprietary features. However, the software experience is marred by the lack of app optimization for the large display, which can be a letdown.
DeX is a very fleshed-out and proficient productivity system, and in my view, the Tab S9 Ultra could easily replace a traditional laptop for those who primarily work with Microsoft Office and other web applications. Honestly, unless you're an illustrator or graphic artist, there's no compelling reason to choose a tablet over a standard laptop for creative work.
Display & Media Support
The display is one of the standout features of the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. The 14.6-inch AMOLED screen boasts a resolution of 2960 x 1848 pixels, a 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+ support. The colours are vibrant, and the sharpness is exceptional, making it a delight for multimedia consumption. Personally, this is probably the most compelling media consumption device I have ever reviewed. The enormous and vibrant display, coupled with great speakers, makes it a true pleasure to watch movies and TV shows away from home.
Battery Life & Charging
The tablet is equipped with an 11,200 mAh battery. It offers impressive longevity. It can easily last a full day of mixed usage, whether you're working, streaming, or gaming. While it doesn't support wireless charging, the fast-charging capability ensures that you're not tethered to a power outlet for long. The battery performance is robust and reliable, making it one of the tablet's strong suits.
Connectivity & Extras
Connectivity is another area where the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra shines. It supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, ensuring fast and reliable connections. Additionally, it offers a microSD card slot for storage expansion, a feature often missing in high-end tablets. The tablet also supports face recognition and offers a range of special accessories like the Book Cover Keyboard, which is sold separately but is almost essential for a complete experience.
Rating: 8/10 - Highly Recommended
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is a powerhouse in the Android tablet market, offering a premium experience in almost every aspect. However, its price and some software optimization issues prevent it from achieving tech perfection.
Disclaimer: This review is the outcome of 1 month of hands-on experience with the Samsung TAB S9 Ultra, which was kindly loaned to us for the purpose of this review. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of our editorial team, based on our assessment and experience with the product. The manufacturer or retailer has not influenced the content of this review in any way.
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