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Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 the iPad Pro killer Android’s been waiting for?

A new line of premium tablets has arrived, but is it enough to take on Apple's finest?

Samsung has unveiled an Android-powered tablet that’s a true rival to the iPad Pro.

Enter the Galaxy Tab S4 – a premium, 10.5-inch tablet designed for productivity. In other words, a tablet that can replace your laptop.

With the iPad Pro firmly in its sights, Samsung has certainly upped the ante by producing a tablet that aims to be a master of all trades. Combating the success and svelte lines of the Pro is some ask, though. Read on to see if the Tab S4, on paper at least, has what it takes.

It’s not just the iPad Pro Samsung has to worry about, as you can see in our round-up of Best Buy tablets.

Galaxy Tab S4: features and price

While most people are perfectly happy with their £100 tablet from two years ago for a bit of iPlayer, Samsung reckons there’s a market for people who want to spend more than £700 on a tablet that can replace a laptop. And it isn’t doing it by halves.

The Tab S4 is the successor to the Tab S3, which was more of a premium media consumption tablet than a work device. In fact, the two tablets are so different, the S4 is almost a completely new line of tablets.

It’s more sensible to think of the Tab S4 as a giant Samsung Galaxy Note. The 10.5-inch tablet comes bundled with a stylus that can be used for taking notes and drawing on the screen, much like the Note, and the tablet has various software features that are geared towards doing work.

The main software feature that differentiates this tablet from any other on the market is Samsung DeX. DeX allows you to use your tablet like a laptop, with programs in separate windows, the ability to drag and drop pictures and text between programs, and support for a keyboard and mouse. Attach a keyboard, and the tablet will immediately switch from the handheld-friendly Android mode into Dex, which supports all the same apps as Android, but makes many of them easier to use in a laptop environment.

The keyboard accessory is a £119 addition, although anybody who pre-orders the Tab S4 will get it for free. The stylus comes bundled at no extra cost.

There are four speakers on this tablet, apparently tuned by audio company AKG for a fuller sound. The screen is a high-resolution 2,560 x 1,600-pixel panel. That makes this tablet taller in portrait mode and wider in landscape mode than the average tablet, further enhancing its work credibility, allowing you to fit windows side-by-side more easily.

This model is similar in many ways to Samsung’s Windows 10-powered Galaxy Book line, but features a more premium design.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 vs 10.5-inch iPad Pro

The Galaxy Tab S4 is a key rival to Apple’s iPad Pro, especially given that it undercuts the iPad by more than £200 when all accessories are taken into account. The table below compares the key features and prices of both models.

Specs Galaxy Tab S4 iPad Pro (10.5)
Procesor 2.35GHz Qualcomm MSM8998 Apple A10 Fusion
Ram 4GB 4GB
Storage 64/256GB (+ microSD) 54/256/512GB
Screen size 10.5 inches 10.5 inches
Resolution 2,560×1,600 2,224 x 1,668
Operating system Android 8 iOS 11
Weight 482g 469g
Keyboard £119 addition (free with pre-order) £159
Stylus Included £89
Tablet price (cheapest option) £599 £619
Price with stylus and keyboard

£718

£927

Both models go toe-to-toe in most areas, and ultimately it will come down to personal tastes (and budgets) as to which you’ll prefer. iOS is known for its smooth running and excellent software design, plus there is a huge range of iPad-specific software available. Samsung, meanwhile, has the advantage of excellent keyboard and mouse support.

Read our full 10.5-inch iPad Pro review for more information.

The Galaxy Tab S4 goes on sale on 10 August in the US, but a UK date has not yet been confirmed.

While you’re waiting, why not browse the cream of today’s crop in our Top 5 Tablets for 2018.

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