Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen Review – A good mid-range Android tab
Buying a mid-range tablet doesn’t mean you won’t be getting something really, really good. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen is proof of this – it’s a nice-looking tablet that’ll do what you need it to without breaking the bank or slowing down.
That’s because it’s driven by an eight-core Exynos7870 processor and 3GB of RAM, a combination that propels the tablet along regardless of task at a breezy clip. 3D games play well too thanks to the embedded Mali-T830 MP2 GPU, putting a surprising amount of power in the end-user’s hands without a huge price tag. This is definitely a tablet for everyday use.
Samsung is particularly proud of the S Pen accessory that ships with the Tab A 10.1, a stylus that is cleverly hidden inside the tablet’s body for easy retrieval, which makes creating – and even navigating – just that much easier.
The 10.1-inch touchscreen has been given a slightly higher-than-1080p resolution of 1920 x 1200. That’s actually a fair number of pixels per inch (224), and thus the Tab A’s display is sharp enough for web-surfing, mobile game-playing, video-watching and email-reading. This covers the majority of tasks most tablet users require from their tablets.
An interesting inclusion is the presence of AC-class WiFi and the option of hooking the cellular version up to an LTE network for super-fast internet speeds. AC WiFi and LTE connectivity have traditionally been the reserve of higher-end tablets, so it’s really good to see them on a device aimed more at the middle of the market.
But of course there are other hints at the Tab A’s mid-range credentials: its screen technology is TFT-based, so you won’t be getting the colour “pop” of Samsung’s more vibrant (and expensive) Super AMOLED panels seen on the company’s higher-end devices such as the Tab S2 9.7. But even so, imagery is still pleasantly colourful.
So while the Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen doesn’t have the premium finishes of Samsung’s higher-end tablets and features things like a smooth plastic backing and a screen that’s not as bright or sharp as those devices it’s so well-priced and performs so well you probably won’t mind.
This mid-range tablet has some surprisingly good hardware under the hood that delivers better-than-expected performance for the price.
- Excellent all-round performance
- AC-class WiFi and LTE connectivity options
- Decent resolution and pixel density
- S Pen accessory is genuinely useful
- Flimsy plastic back cover
- TFT display technology
- Thicker than Samsung Super Slim Tab S2 9.7