In the June 1, 2018 newsletter, I published a Plus Edition article entitled, (+) Will Your Next Primary Computer be a Tablet or a Smartphone? In that article, I predicted that smartphone and tablets had become so powerful in the past year or two that they could soon be used as a desktop computer by simply adding an external screen, keyboard, and mouse. That prediction wasn’t too far off. Today, exactly two months after I published that prediction, a new Android tablet was introduced that offers a docking station that converts it into a desktop computer that will perform most of the functions that most desktop users want. It provides the productivity of a PC with the mobility of a tablet.
The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Android tablet is fully multi-tasking, with multi-window capability, and includes familiar gestures like drag & drop. It also displays a task bar along the edge of the display screen, similar to that of Windows and Macintosh. It also works with a special “pencil” to function as a touch pad, digitizer, or touch keyboard.
The new tablet features a built-in 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4 gigabytes of RAM memory, gigabytes of internal storage that is used as a high-speed disk drive and the capability to add up to 400 gigabytes of “disk” storage through the use of an optional plug-in MicroSD card slot. Of course, like almost other computers, it can connect to essentially unlimited storage in the cloud. It also has a 13-megapixel f1.9 rear-facing camera.
Click on the above image to watch a video describing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4’s features.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has a detachable keyboard that converts the tablet into the equivalent of a laptop computer. When returning home, the keyboard can be detached and the tablet can be connected to external screen, keyboard, and mouse in order to function as a full-sized desktop system. When connected to a monitor, both the big screen and the tablet’s screen can be used simultaneously. In a short demo, Samsung showed how the device supports up to 20 open windows at once and how features like split screen and drag-and-drop can be used just as they would on a desktop PC.
It isn’t the most powerful desktop system available but it is more than powerful enough to run the apps that most computer users want: surf the web, read and write email, play thousands of computer games, full access to Facebook and tens of thousands of other web sites, the ability to read ebooks, a powerful word processor, a spreadsheet program, the ability to play YouTube videos on either the small built-in screen or on a large external display, and all the thousands of Android apps, including genealogy apps, plus a few more added by the manufacturer. It also offers wi-fi and Bluetooth capabilities.
The tablet carries a $649 price which seems a bit high priced until you consider that it functions as a tablet computer AND a laptop computer AND a desktop system as well. It is cheaper than Apple’s iPad Pro and appears to have more capabilities than the iPad Pro. The matching pencil and various cables and adapters will add a bit more to that price. Deliveries will start within a few weeks.
You can learn more about the new Galaxy Tab S4 at https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-tab-s4/ and at https://www.slashgear.com/samsung-galaxy-tab-s4-105-ipad-pro-tablet-release-01539753/.