Advertisement
Advertisement

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review - a flawed rival to the Surface Pro 4

Richard Easton
7 Apr 2016
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S lead 2
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
849
inc VAT

The Galaxy TabPro S is a decent first attempt at a 2-in-1 hybrid from Samsung, but it's not without its flaws

Advertisement

Tablet and Design

As far as the tablet component goes, the TabPro S is surprisingly svelte at just 6.3mm. That’s thinner than the Surface Pro 4 (9mm) and the HP Spectre x2 (8mm). It weighs just 693g, too, which is also significantly less than rivals, but this does jump to 1.09kg with the keyboard attached. It’s still very travel-friendly, however, and the tablet feels well-balanced in your hand.

The back is made from plastic, with a magnesium frame around the edge, which is a little disappointing coming from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, which used magnesium throughout. It still feels well-constructed, though, as I couldn't see any signs of flex whatsoever.


Samsung Galaxy TabPro S side

It's rather lacking in ports, though, as it has just one lone USB-C connection. This is another area of annoyance, as this is used for both charging and data transfer. Even worse, there's no USB-C to USB-A cable in the box either, so if you have USB flash drives or any peripherals you want to connect to the TabPro S, you’re out of luck until you buy an adaptor. For comparison, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 includes full-size USB ports, whereas HP had the good grace to include an adaptor with the Spectre X2. You’ll also need to consider the added expense of a USB-C dock if you want to connect another display.

Those looking to take notes using a stylus will also be disappointed, as you’ll need to purchase Samsung's optional Bluetooth C pen. Again, this is something that comes as standard on both the Surface Pro 4 and HP Spectre X2.


Samsung Galaxy TabPro S tablet

Performance

The one thing you needn't worry about with the TabPro S is getting confused over different configurations and prices. With the Galaxy TabPro S, Samsung's kept things simple with one just specification, which includes a dual-core 900MHz Intel Core m3-6Y30 that can Turbo Boost to 2.2GHz when temperatures allow - the very same processor as found in the HP Spectre x2 and the entry-level Surface Pro 4 - 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.

Much like the Spectre x2, the fanless m3-6Y30 proves a capable performer for basic Windows tasks. Day-to-day productivity and media entertainment is certainly well within the TabPro S’ capabilities but, as evidenced by its score of 32 in our difficult 4K-based benchmarks, it’s going to strain under anything more taxing.


Samsung Galaxy TabPro S upright

It’s worth noting that the TabPro S performed better than the Spectre x2, even though they have identical specifications. The Spectre x2 only managed 24 in our benchmarks, likely indicating the TabPro S has better cooling to allow its processor to operate at faster clock speeds for longer periods.

Its integrated Intel HD Graphics 515 will you get by with some light gaming, but you’ll need to make certain sacrifices where it comes to image quality in order to get playable framerates.

Battery life was good, too, especially considering our battery test involves video playback. The Galaxy TabPro S managed to last 6 hours 53 minutes when the screen brightness was set to our usual figure of 170cd/m2, which is an hour more than the Spectre x2. It's quick to charge, too, as Samsung's fast-charging technology means you can go from 0 to 100% in just 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to like about the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S. Its beautiful display comes top of its class, it has great battery life, and its superior performance came as a very welcome surprise. As an inaugural 2-in-1, Samsung has got off to an impressive start.

However, it’s difficult to overlook some of the TabPro S's shortcomings, such as the disappointing keyboard cover and its rather wobbly docking mechanism. As a Windows-based tablet, it’s wonderful; as a laptop, not so much.


Samsung Galaxy TabPro S lead

The solitary USB Type-C port also feels limiting, and this is only exacerbated by Samsung’s miserly decision not to include an adaptor. The lack of a stylus, too, feels miserly considering its price, which, taken together, means it's simply not as good value as many of its rivals. At around £100 less, the HP Spectre x2 gives you a lot more for your money, even if its screen and performance aren't quite up to the same standard. Alternatively, if you can stretch to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, this still hasn’t been toppled as our current king of the 2-in-1s. If the Galaxy TabPro S had a better keyboard cover, it might be a different story, but it looks like we'll have to wait for the inevitable TabPro S2 before Samsung's hybrid really comes into its own.

Core specs
ProcessorDual-core 900MHz Intel Core m3-6Y30
RAM4GB
Memory slots (free)N/A
Max memory4GB
Dimensions290x199x6.3mm
Weight693g (tablet), 1.09kg (laptop)
Sound3.5mm headset port
Pointing deviceTouchpad, touchscreen
Display
Screen size12in
Screen resolution2,160x1,440
TouchscreenYes
Graphics adaptorIntel HD Graphics 515
Graphics outputsNone (possible via USB type-C adaptor. not included)
Graphics memoryIntegrated
Storage
Total storage128GB SSD
Optical drive typeNone
Ports and expansion
USB ports1x USB-C
BluetoothYes
Networking802.11ac
Memory card readerNone
Other portsNone
Miscellaneous
Operating systemWindows 10 Pro
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyOne year RTB
Price inc VAT£849
Detailswww.samsung.com
Supplierwww.very.co.uk
Part numberSM-WE700XZKABTU

Read more

Reviews