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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review: Can Android Tablets Be Tools for Productivity?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review: Can Android Tablets Be Tools for Productivity?

Compared to the iPad and Surface, the software of the Android tablet is not so friendly. From the beginning of the popularization of smartphones until now, only Samsung, Huawei (including Honor), several brands are still operating the tablet product line. 

Is it impossible to use an Android tablet as a tool for productivity? I want to use this Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 to test the feasibility of using the Android tablet as a productivity tool.

Appearance: being light and thin is the key to winning market

The first feeling I have when I touch the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is that it is light and thin. If it is a productivity tool, then thinness, lightness, and portability are the factors that everyone needs to consider when choosing. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, weighing only 420g, is more appealing to me than the laptop as a tool to process documents.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is equipped with a 10.5-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. It is believed that many people still using a laptop with a screen resolution of 720P. 

The screen has always been the advantage of Samsung. The delicateness and color saturation of this screen would make you want to throw away your laptop immediately and choose it instead.

The interface design on both sides of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 also shows that Samsung has positioned this tablet as a more professional product in the field of productivity. 

Just above the front of the tablet is a front camera; on the right side are the power button, volume button, SD expansion card slot; on the left side is the magnetic interface for the keyboard connection; on both the top and the bottom are two symmetrical speakers. 

In the middle of the bottom is the Type-C interface. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 does not retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. At the top left corner of the back is the rear camera. In the area below, the camera is the place where the stylus is attached and charged.

Of course, the keyboard and stylus are major features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.

The keyboard is connected to the tablet through the magnetic contact at the bottom of the tablet, and the stylus S Pen can be attached to the groove on the back of the keyboard. 

There is also a flat back cover attached to the back of the tablet by glue and magnet. There are two functions of this flat back cover: for protecting the tablet and the Pen, and for supporting the tablet when the back cover is opened.

The difference between the keyboards of Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 and iPad Pro is that Samsung also has a touchpad for more precise touches. Moreover, the layout of the entire keyboard is closer to the computer keyboard. 

Keyboard keys rebound faster. Therefore, the Samsung keyboard is more responsive than the iPad Pro.

The S Pen writes on the tablet well, no matter whether it is painting or writing, it won't smear and lag. Long press the button on the Pen near the pen tip, the camera will be opened. 

Moreover, the function of that button can be changed in the settings. On the other side of the Pen is the adsorption point corresponding to the groove on the back of the tablet when it is attached to the tablet. 

When the Pen is not in use, it can be directly connected to the back of the tablet to be stored, and the Pen will be charged at the same time. The back cover of the keyboard can also ensure that the Pen does not fall when being moved.

To verify whether the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 can be a tool for productivity, I've done a lot of things with it deliberately. But before that, we need to understand the critical components of a productivity tool: hardware performance and software.

Productivity: Hardware is the foundation

In terms of performance, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, with either 6 + 128GB or 8 + 256GB memory. 

If the memory is not enough, you can extend the storage memory by using memory cards. With such configuration and performance, it wins most old household PCs hands down. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is equipped with a 7040mAh battery, as for me, it only needs to be charged once per day, or once every two days. 

As a tool for productivity, battery life is essential, especially when you need to travel, or there's no power supply to be found. The long battery life means that the battery won't die.

The combination of 13MP + 5MP dual rear cameras and 8MP front camera meets your needs for photography. You feel more excited when using the tablet to take photos than using a mobile phone. 

The pictures on the screen of a tablet appear way better than the ones on the phone.

After talking about hardware configurations, I want to share my experience with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.

At first, I felt the smoothness and comfort because of the thin body and excellent screen. No matter it's for watching TV series, playing games, or writing articles, everything feels right. 

This very article was written while I was using Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 in a coffee shop. The tablet is fully capable of processing office work, bringing better experience than most laptops.

Then there is this Pen, S Pen. For consumers who are still used to writing, S Pen should be the reason why many people buy Samsung Note series products. 

The S-Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is similar to the S Pen of the Samsung Note series. Pull out the S Pen from the back of the back, and the menu will pop out, displaying various functions. 

It can be said that Samsung has given the user every feature of this Pen that they could think of and realize, As Samsung has been developing S Pen for so many years, these refined functions are the "core functions," which are highly practical.

One of my favorite features is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 also allows users to write on the locked screen so that you can quickly take notes of your thoughts, such as inspiration, shopping list, to-do list. 

In comparison, it is impossible to use the S Pen to write on the screen directly, and you also need to press and hold the button on the Pen to open the memo APP for writing. This one more step will affect the smoothness of the writing experience.

In terms of hardware, I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is qualified to be a tool for productivity.

Productivity: perhaps software is more important than hardware

In the view of software, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is equipped with the latest One UI 1.5 version and supports both full screen and virtual buttons. 

Samsung has quite complete functions in all aspects regarding the system. It can be said that the issues of the system in previous years have been solved. 

Samsung not only optimized the original "bloatware" but also developed various practical functions. What's more, the UI design is also attractive.

Of course, there comes another problem, the cost of learning.

After taking a screenshot with S Pen, there are a lot of options. You need to know which one you use often, and what you can do with it. 

For example, the automatic text recognition function after screenshot could be a shortcut to solve a lot of problems after you are familiar with this function.

Another feature is to which both Samsung and Huawei have started shifting their focus: how to turn a mobile phone tablet into a larger office tool through a display or TV. 

You can connect Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 to the monitor or TV screen through the patch cord. Then, open the Samsung Dex function, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 will enter a similar mode as the PC desktop, prepared for much more professional office work.

In addition to the development of their systems and applications, the compatibility with third-party apps is the top priority for a tool of productivity.

Many software vendors are reluctant to adapt and optimize apps for tablets, resulting in many applications of the Android tablets is a magnified version. Firstly, it looks terrible; secondly, it does not make use of such a large screen.

I downloaded some apps that are commonly used on mobile phones, most of which are directly stretched. If I didn't download the HD version of video software, it would still be shown on a vertical screen. It is the same case with the iPad, except that the situation is slightly better.

However, it has little effect on applications such as Office and WPS. The only problem is that the functions are not varied enough. 

I have not encountered problems in the process of writing this article, but if you want to use complex functions for writing papers or making Powerpoints, you might have difficulties.

There is also a disadvantage of Android tablets, which is a lack of customized applications for tablets. 

If Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is set to become a more professional tool for productivity, Samsung needs to do more than update or optimize its system and hardware. It also needs to encourage third-party developers to make an adaptation of the apps for tablets.

Summary: Light office work might be the future

Could tablets be used as a tool for productivity, a replacement of laptop to complete writing, video editing, etc.? Barely any, but apparently, our needs are more than those I just mentioned. 

What we hope is that we can efficiently meet these needs by using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 tablet. 

Yet, as for now, if you are doing some office paperwork such as writing an article, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a perfect choice. You could even leave your laptop at home because Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 will not let you down. 

Android tablets are just like the iPad. There are still many problems to be solved before they can truly become a more professional tool for productivity to replace the laptop. However, many people certainly hope that the day will come soon, just like I do.

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