Having recently reviewed the Google Pixel Tablet, I've had Android tablets on the brain, and with rumour of Samsung launching its Galaxy Tab S9 series in the very near future, it's got me pondering what the Korean giant could do to make its new slates the best tablets ever made.
Unbelievably, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is more than a year old now, missing the year-on-year cycle that's so typical in product lifespans. So what's the company got cooking? While I don't yet know, as it's all rumour, that hasn't stopped me pulling together the three features I'd love to see in the next-gen Galaxy Tab to make it a game-changer for me...
1. 4K resolution
While 4K content is now pretty standard, especially on streaming services such as Netflix, most tablets don't offer native Ultra-HD resolutions. Which, with the opportunity to put a larger tablet within viewing distance to benefit from the increased resolution, seems a bit backward.
So the first thing that I'd want from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, especially a plus-size one such as the Ultra, would be added resolution so I can watch the best Netflix shows in native resolution. That'd be far preferable to pulling out my MacBook Air 15 to watch new shows.
And because I'm being greedy I'd want HDR (high dynamic range) to be possible from a high-brightness panel. And why not make it an OLED panel for the richest black levels. Basically I want the next-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab to be as good as my living room TV but in the palm of my hand. Is that too much to ask? Probably.
2. Software revelations
Android tablets have improved heaps over the years, as Google's software has historically not been great on larger screens, but has certainly improved. However, what I'd really like Samsung to do for the Galaxy Tab S9 would be to go all-in on software.
The Korean company has a history of adding features that no other manufacturer offers, in its Galaxy S23 Ultra flagship phone, for example, by including stylus pen functionality to make note-taking and sharing between apps even quicker and more logical. More of that type of multi-screen and natural use-cases would be ideal in a tablet – especially if you're adding accessories.
And while I wouldn't want accessories bundled in order to keep the price down, an obvious thing that the Tab S9 could do to beat the best Apple iPad models would be to get the software to a laptop-beating level of functionality. Then not only have I got that 4K screen for content consumption, perhaps I can leave the laptop at home altogether.
3. An included dock
While I found the included dock in the Google Pixel Tablet to be potentially divisive, the more I've thought about it, the more I believe that such an extra would actually bring increased value to a Galaxy Tab too.
It'd be ideal for popping the tablet onto for charing in-between main uses, so it'd always be ready and available should anyone else at home wish to use it. Tablets are quite different to the best phones anyway, acting more like a device of all trades, often a less personal ultimate crossover if you will.
As Samsung Smart Things already offers a great way to control your smart home devices, having a tablet open and available for such controls would give it an additional, clear family-wide function. That would make the Tab S9 the ultimate home hub, mobile Netflix-watching machine, and software-advanced laptop-replacement all rolled into one.
Wishful thinking? We'll see, I suppose, as and when (or if?) the Galaxy Tab S9 series is announced. Here's hoping for a competitive price too, as the previous Tab S8 series, which I've listed in a dynamic shopping widget below, are still on the pricey side. They're worth it, mind, if you're looking for a truly premium Android tablet. But I can't wait to see what the updated models have to offer...