Android tablets may not be nearly as popular as Apple’s iPad, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung from continuing to dish out new models on a fairly regular basis. Today, the company is announcing its latest high-end Android tablets: the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus. Both models will be available in silver, black, or bronze this fall for $649.99 and $849.99, respectively.
Like the Tab S6 from last year, the Tab S7 and S7 Plus are meant to pull double duty as both content consumption devices and productivity machines. As a result, they both have optional keyboard cases available ($199.99 for the S7, $229.99 for the S7 Plus) that allow you to use them like a traditional laptop. Both models also come with Samsung’s S Pen stylus in the box, which magnetically attaches and charges on the back of the tablet.
The most noticeable difference between the Tab S7 and S7 Plus is their sizes: the S7 has an 11-inch display, while the S7 Plus has a 12.4-inch model. Look closer, and you’ll spot other differences, like the fact that the Plus model has an OLED panel, while the S7 makes do with a more traditional LCD. Both run at 120Hz for smooth visuals, and both are larger than the 10.5-inch screen that was on the Tab S6. But they have a 16:10 aspect ratio, which makes them better suited for watching video than productivity, and both models have considerably smaller surface areas to work with compared to their iPad Pro counterparts.
Another difference between the two is the Tab S7 Plus has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, while the Tab S7 has one built into its power button. Samsung has tweaked the design of the tablet as well, sharpening the edges and trimming down the S Pen to a sleeker cylinder.
Samsung has given the internals an upgrade to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of internal storage. (A microSD card slot is also available to expand the storage further.) Both models will be available in Wi-Fi or cellular versions, complete with millimeter-wave and sub-6 5G connectivity. Both have quad speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning and support up to 45-watt charging on their USB-C ports. Neither has a headphone jack, unfortunately.
As Android tablets, the Tab S7 pair both run Android 10 with Samsung’s OneUI customization on top of it. They also support Samsung’s DeX interface, which provides a more desktop-like experience when you’re using a keyboard case. DeX, which has been around in various forms since the Galaxy S8 smartphone in 2017, has long been an interesting idea without the execution to back it up. We’ll have to see if Samsung’s improved it enough on the Tab S7 to see if it finally does live up to its promise. Samsung also says the Tab S7 can double as a secondary display for your Windows PC later this year.
We’ll also have to see if Samsung’s traditional strengths — great displays, excellent sound — are enough to justify the high cost of the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus. Last year’s Tab S6 was a tough sell at $650, and now the company is asking even more money, at least for the larger model. They still aren’t as expensive as Apple’s iPad Pro models, and they come with the stylus in the box, which is an extra charge in Apple’s world. But once you add on the cost of the keyboard case, you’ll be over $1,000 for the base Tab S7 Plus, which is a lot of money for a tablet — no matter who makes it.
We’ll have more coverage on the Tab S7 and S7 Plus, including some real-world experience with a preproduction model and a full review in the future, so stay tuned.
Update August 5th, 10:51AM ET: Added that the S7 will double as a secondary screen for Windows PCs.