Although Apple’s name takes the lion’s share when it comes to discussions about product design in consumer electronics, Samsung’s devices also do get some time in the limelight, though not always in good ways. It’s nearly time for the company to unleash one of its worst-kept secrets of a phone, but designers might want to pay special to one particular newcomer. More than just yet another Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could be Samsung’s ticket to endearing its large slates to a new category of users: designers.
Large Screen with a Small Catch
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will be Samsung’s largest Android tablet to date, at least one that’s not meant to be an odd kitchen display. The AMOLED screen will span 14.6 inches, nearly the average size of many laptops, and will have a resolution of 2960×1848 pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz.
What these figures mean in practice is that it could be Samsung’s best display yet for a mobile device, one that will have particular appeal to artists, designers, and digital content creators. The company’s display panels have always been top-notch, especially the bright and colorful AMOLED type. Having a large span means you’ll have a larger canvas for working on and more space to display your content alongside references or even notes.
There is also one new thing on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s face, a notch that makes its first-ever debut on a tablet. Samsung will most likely make the typical excuses about reducing the space taken up by the bezels while still having some room left for at least two cameras. It looks considerably smaller than the much-criticized MacBook Pro notch, and given how Android’s user interface works, it doesn’t get in the way that much. Still, it might look like an affront to some who prefer completely straight lines without humps around their screens.
Hardware to Match
Without going into the technical details, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will also pack hardware that is clearly aimed at using the tablet for work more than just for watching videos. In addition to the large display, the rather beefy specs also encourage multitasking. Multiple windows, including some floating ones, could help keep references and notes always accessible without having to switch back and forth between apps.
Samsung is also expecting the tablet to enamor workers on the go. There will be a variety of cases and covers available, including one with a detachable keyboard. The large 11,200 mAh battery is good for all-day work, and the 45W fast-charging speeds will help it minimize downtimes. The latter is actually a major improvement for Samsung, which has stuck with the slow but safe side of battery charging technologies so far.
The biggest hardware feature that would appeal to designers, however, is the new and supposedly improved S Pen. According to leaked information, Samsung will be making its biggest attempt to reduce the latency of its stylus. To date, the Apple Pencil has been the gold standard for tablet styluses (outside of Wacom’s excellent pens), and it will be interesting to see how the promise will match reality.
Samsung’s tablets have tried to match Apple’s iPads for years, but the iPad Pros have always been the preferred mobile tool of designers from all fields. Part of the reason for that is the selection of apps available on Apple’s App Store. There is, of course, a strong set of apps that designers can use, and Samsung is expanding this roster to the benefit of all Android users.
Clip Studio Paint has long been available on Android, but Samsung device owners get some preferential treatment. With the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and its smaller siblings, a new feature is being added if you own a Samsung Galaxy phone as well. You will be able to use the phone as a separate display that shows only tools and icons, almost like a dedicated keyboard or controller, leaving the main display free for your canvas, references, notes, and content.
For designers that need to create video clips of their concepts, LumaFusion is making its debut on Android through Samsung’s new tablets. This is one of the most popular video editing apps on Android, and it could give Adobe Premiere Rush a run for its money. Either way, it will be a welcome new addition to the Android family.
The Galaxy Tab S8 will also be Samsung’s most sustainable tablet yet, even if the steps it is taking sound small. The company proudly announced that it would be recycling ocean-bound plastics, particularly discarded fishing nets, for its upcoming devices, and these new tablets will be the first in line.
The company’s commitment to sustainability also extends to the packaging and the accessories. Some covers, for example, use antimicrobial polyurethane leather rather than less environment-friendly materials. The packaging, which uses “sustainably-sourced paper,” is also boasted to be Samsung’s slimmest for a tablet, reducing the number of materials used and wasted, not to mention carbon emissions. These aren’t exactly big, radical steps towards sustainability, but every little bit helps, especially from a company making thousands of devices and boxes year after year.
Designer: Samsung (via Evan Blass)