While the price of a new iPad Pro is through the roof, you may wonder if you need to empty your wallet to get a good tablet. The answer to that rhetorical question is “No” as there are several alternatives that get the job done and won’t break the bank. A fine example of that would be the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e.
The Galaxy Tab S5e offers everything you need from a tablet and comes with a price tag that’s lower than that of most smartphones. I do admit, however, that it’s probably not as versatile as the iPad Pro but do you really need all those additional features? Probably not. Let’s take a look at the specs and features of the S5e to know if it’s really the tablet for you.
Design & Display
Samsung has decided to keep it conventional when it comes to the design of the Galaxy Tab. You get a familiar aluminum unibody with slightly rounded edges and corners. You also get some antenna lines, which hint of some network connectivity in the LTE variant. The rest of the back is simple. You get a single 13MP f/2.0 camera on the top-right, a Samsung script in the very center and an AKG audio badge in the bottom-center.
On the right side, you get the power button/fingerprint scanner along with the volume rocker below it. Also on the right side, you get a MicroSD/SIM card tray. On the left, however, there isn’t anything particularly useful as everything is on the right. You do get some contact points for POGO connectivity. On the bottom, you just get a USB-C charging port along with the stereo speakers. Unfortunately, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack.
Come to the front and you’re greeted with a massive 10.5″ 2560×1600 Super AMOLED display. If there’s one thing I’ll buy this tablet for, it’s this display. It’s no secret that Samsung makes the best displays and this is definitely no exception. The colors are vibrant, the quality is sharp and it leads to an exceptional content consumption experience.
Around the display, however, you do get a bit of a bezel. It isn’t exactly something you can’t live without but I do wish it was thinner. Up top, in the center, you get a single 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera for video calls and, well, selfies.
I will warn you beforehand that the Galaxy Tab S5e is, in no way, a benchmark setting performer. It has decent specs, that are good for its price, as you shall see as we go along. Under the hood, you will get a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 670, which is a good chipset but is nowhere near the 800 series. It will, however, run about any app or game you throw at it but will probably start to struggle after a year.
Same is the case with RAM and storage. As a base, you get a 4GB/64GB configuration, which isn’t recommended if you intend to play games or multitask a lot on your tablet. However, if you cough up a bit more cash, you can have the 6GB/128GB variant. This one is a lot better for this day and age but, like its CPU, will start feeling outdated after a year or so. Thankfully, for storage, you do have the option to expand it up to 512 GB through a MicroSD card.
Thankfully, while the rest of the performance specs were underwhelming, the battery on the S5e is nothing short of exceptional. Inside it, sits a massive 7040 mAh unit that is rated to last up to 15 hours of continuous use. That is a massive plus point for the Galaxy Tab and it doesn’t end here. You get a 20W fast charger in the box and, as mentioned earlier, it supports POGO charging.
Price & Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e start at an impressive $399. For this price, you can also have the entry-level Apple iPad 9.7 or the Microsoft Surface Go. However, in terms of overall functionality and versatility, the Galaxy Tab is the way to go. The variant I would recommend going for would be the 6GB/128GB non-LTE one as it has all the adequate specs you’d need and sits at a sweet spot, in terms of pricing.