Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four evaluation: nice display, disappointing battery life

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

We frequently tease Samsung concerning the seemingly arbitrary method it divvies up its pill choices — not content material with spherical numbers, it is launched tablets which are 10.1 inches vast as an alternative of 10, eight.9 as an alternative of 9, 7.7 as an alternative of eight, and so forth. And so too is the case with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four, whose additional zero.four inch appears unnecessarily tacked on. But, this leads to a sixteen:10 facet ratio that makes it nicely-fitted to watching films, which makes us prepared to forgive its silliness. Plus, even when that weren’t sufficient to sway us, there’s a lot else to love about Tab Professional eight.four that the odd display measurement is however a minor element. Certainly, whereas Samsung launched its newest Galaxy Tab Professional line of tablets in each 10.1 and 12.1 inches, it is the eight.four-inch mannequin that is more likely to win the hearts of most.

Why do I say that? Easy: Portability. Identical to the iPad mini with Retina show, the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four provides a pointy pill in a journey-pleasant type issue. Besides, in fact, the Tab Professional eight.four runs Android, and is thus an alternate for many who’d like a premium eight-inch pill with out having to lock themselves into iOS. And that is not all that the tiniest Tab Professional has going for it: The show is pin-sharp; the design is good-looking; and the quad-core processor is to not be sneezed at. However at $four hundred, it isn’t precisely low cost and it is also acquired some critical competitors.

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Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four

Execs

  • Slim and light-weight 
  • Unbelievable show
  • Nice efficiency

Cons

  • Journal UX and Samsung apps expertise won’t be for everybody
  • Disappointing battery life
  • Worth is on the costly aspect

Abstract

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four has a pointy show, beautiful attractiveness and nice efficiency. Nevertheless, its poor battery life and excessive price ticket diminish its attraction.

Hardware

I did not assume that additional zero.four inch would differentiate the Galaxy Tab Professional from earlier fashions just like the Galaxy Tab three, however it does. The Tab Professional is noticeably taller, and like an adolescent sporting an sick-becoming go well with, it seems to be just a little, nicely, stretched out. As soon as I began utilizing the pill regularly nevertheless, that further size quickly turned an asset relatively than an oddity. It offers only a contact extra head area when searching prolonged net pages and when turned on its aspect, its sixteen:10 facet ratio lends itself properly to watching films and TV exhibits.

However earlier than I get to the show, let’s take a quick tour of the hardware. Like final yr’s Galaxy Notice three and the lately launched Notice Professional 12.2, the Tab Professional has a fake-leather-based exterior — the whole lot from the pebbled again to the “stitching” on the edges is definitely made out of plastic. But, as a lot as I hate to confess it, this design trickery provides the Tab Professional a premium really feel that units it aside from the final era of Galaxy Tabs, whose shiny plastic left a lot to be desired. Add in some metallic accents and the Tab Professional seems like it will match proper in at a Parisian style home.

Talking of trend-ahead seems to be, I might be remiss if I did not point out the Tab Professional’s slender, light-weight construct. Measuring eight.sixty two inches lengthy, 5.06 inches extensive and zero.28 inch thick, the pill options rounded corners and tapered edges, each of which make it straightforward to carry within the hand. Scratch that: I ought to say palms as an alternative, because the slate’s eleven.eighty five-ounce weight and additional size make it a lot too prime-heavy to make use of one-handed.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

The entrance of the Tab is straightforward and uncluttered. Samsung’s emblem is proudly displayed up prime close to the entrance-dealing with 2-megapixel digital camera. Alongside the underside are the standard process-administration and again navigation tender keys plus a barely raised residence button. The show takes up a big chunk of the pill’s floor, leaving a comparatively slim bezel round it. Nonetheless, when holding the Tab Professional in portrait mode, my thumbs naturally rested on the display’s edge, far sufficient to the aspect that they by no means received in the best way. In panorama mode, nevertheless, I discovered myself continuously dodging the contact-delicate tender keys, particularly when settling in to observe a video. It is a minor sufficient quibble, however it may show to be fairly annoying should you’re utilizing the Tab Professional on the subway.

Breaking the monotony of the fake-leather-based again is an eight-megapixel digital camera together with an LED flash. In the meantime, the sides are residence to the standard array of ports and buttons. In portrait mode, the three.5mm headset jack sits on prime, whereas the facility, quantity buttons and IR blaster sit alongside the proper aspect. On the pill’s base are a pair of stereo audio system and a micro-USB charging port that does knowledge transfers at USB 2.zero speeds. Final however not least, there is a microSD reader on the left aspect, which is completely essential in a tool that solely comes with 16GB of inner reminiscence (there may also be a 32GB model, however the worth has but to be introduced). Apart from that, the Tab Professional eight.four homes a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a non-detachable four,800mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four Dimensions eight.sixty two x 5.06 x zero.28 in. Weight eleven.sixty eight oz Display measurement eight.four inches Decision 2,560 x 1,600 (359 ppi) Display sort IPS LCD Battery As much as 10 hours Inner storage 16GB / 32GB Exterior storage microSD card (as much as 64GB) Rear digital camera eight-megapixel AF Ahead digital camera 2-megapixel fastened-focus Video seize 1080p NFC N/A Bluetooth four.zero SoC Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU 2.3GHz RAM 2GB WiFi Twin-band 802.11a/ac/b/g/n Wi-fi charging No Working system Android four.four Particulars right as of March 2014

Show

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

I am going to minimize straight to the purpose: The Galaxy Tab Professional’s show is beautiful. I used to be dazzled from the minute I turned it on. Like the remainder of the Galaxy Tab Professional line, the eight.four boasts a powerful 2,560 x 1,600 decision. However, as a result of the eight.four-inch mannequin has the smallest display of the lot, its pixel density is the sharpest, topping out at a powerful 359 pixels per inch. That makes the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four probably the most pixel-dense slate we have ever seen, and it exhibits. Icons and pictures are so crisp and lifelike that they appear painted on. Additional, the Tab Professional makes use of a TFT LCD as an alternative of the Tremendous AMOLED present in earlier Samsung tablets, which leads to far more pure colours, a welcome change from AMOLED’s hyper-saturated hues.

This was particularly obvious once we used the Tab Professional to observe films and TV exhibits from Netflix and HBO Go. The pill’s smaller display didn’t deter from the expertise in any respect — actually, its sharpness and readability made it a downright pleasurable expertise. If you need a pill with probably the greatest shows available on the market, you need to undoubtedly be wanting on the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four.

Software program

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

The Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four ships with Android four.four KitKat, however as is typical with Samsung merchandise, it additionally consists of the corporate’s customized TouchWiz UI. This time, nevertheless, the Tab Professional makes use of an interface referred to as Journal UX, which you will additionally discover on the brand new Galaxy Word Professional 12.2. It nonetheless has that acquainted Android house display everyone knows by now, however now, with a easy swipe to the left or proper, you will be introduced with a Flipboard-type format that exhibits tiles from three totally different sources: information feeds, apps or social media. As we identified in our evaluate of Notice Professional 12.2, a few of these information sources are actually from Flipboard itself. So Journal UX primarily is Flipboard, simply with out the identify.

Of these classes, your choices are restricted to what Samsung has picked out for you (solely 9 apps are listed as alternatives, for instance), however they at the least embrace necessities like calendar, e-mail, Twitter, Information and Sports activities. When you set them up, you’ll be able to flip by way of them virtually precisely like you’ll be able to with Flipboard.

Whereas I somewhat appreciated Journal UX after enjoying round with it for a couple of days, its expansive tile-like format is probably extra nicely-fitted to tablets with bigger shows just like the Word Professional 12.2. On bigger units, there’s room for extra textual content in information excerpts — you’ll learn a lot of the story’s lede paragraph without having to click on by means of to the article. That is not the case with the Tab Professional eight.four. Nonetheless, in the event you’re a fan of Flipboard, you may have the ability to tolerate such a compromise. Sadly there is no approach to actually disable it, however then once more, it isn’t mapped to your property button, so it is easy to disregard.

We’re not carried out with the software program thrives simply but. As with different current Galaxy units, the Tab Professional has a Multi Window function that allows you to view a number of purposes directly. Swipe left from the proper bezel, and a tray of software shortcuts will seem. From there, you’ll be able to drag and drop the apps to the primary display space. You’ll be able to resize them in order that they take up two halves of your show, or just allow them to float round like pop-out home windows. When minimized, the home windows are decreased to tiny round icons you can place anyplace on the display.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

Samsung’s Sensible Display eye-monitoring options are right here as properly. When enabled, you possibly can have the display keep on and never fall asleep once you’re taking a look at it, have a video pause mechanically whenever you look away or just trigger the display to rotate to whichever mode you are taking a look at it. As for enter strategies, the Tab Professional eight.four comes with the Google Keyboard and SwiftKey choices by default. Google’s Pinyin enter software program can also be put in in case you want it.

Although you possibly can simply use the Galaxy Tab Professional to observe films and take heed to music, Samsung would really like you to think about using it for extra critical duties too, if solely to justify the addition of “Professional” to the product’s identify. Certainly, the pill ships with a slew of enterprise-centric apps akin to WebEx, e-Assembly, Hancom Viewer (for modifying paperwork) and Distant PC, a function that allows you to remotely management your PC or Mac out of your pill. There are different extra leisure-oriented apps too, like Flipboard, Journal Right here & Now (a location-based mostly information aggregator that is just like Google Now) and Samsung’s WatchON, which acts as a second-display distant in your residence theater. For those who simply cannot get sufficient Samsung apps, there’s the Samsung App Retailer along with the standard Google Play storefront and, nicely, it is precisely what it feels like.

Efficiency

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

With a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, the Tab Professional eight.four theoretically provides loads of energy. And after spending some critical high quality time with the pill, I’ve to agree. Swiping and flipping across the pill’s numerous apps and screens felt gloriously clean for probably the most half, and launching most software program took mere seconds. For instance, in slightly below two seconds, I used to be capable of launch the digital camera app and begin taking pictures. Snapping footage is virtually instantaneous as properly, which is nice if it’s essential to seize that good second.

I used to be particularly impressed with how the Tab Professional fared throughout multitasking. I launched a number of apps utilizing Samsung’s Multi Window function, with two taking over the whole display and some extra pop-up home windows hovering above. I did issues like surf the online with Chrome, play YouTube movies, verify e-mail and chat with buddies utilizing Hangouts all on the similar time. And on the entire, I used to be capable of do these duties with out critical points. I even tried enjoying two or three movies concurrently (with YouTube, Chrome and the constructed-in video participant), and to my shock, the movies did not stutter in any respect.

That stated, the extra apps I launched, the extra the efficiency began to lag; resizing home windows and shifting them round took a bit extra endurance than traditional (in the event you recall, the identical factor occurred once we examined the Notice Professional 12.2). Chrome additionally crashed as soon as throughout my little multi-window experiment. Whereas I would not advocate utilizing Multi Window on a regular basis, it is at the very least strong sufficient for infrequent, lighter use.

As for the system’s audio system, I used to be pleasantly stunned by how loud and wealthy the stereo audio system sound. To my non-audiophile ears, I did not detect a lot tinniness, and located them completely acceptable for listening to tracks from Rdio and Spotify. I would not substitute your greatest Bluetooth audio system with them in fact, however they will do in a pinch.

Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four LG G Pad eight.three Nexus 7 (2013) Quadrant 2.zero 23,433 10,504 6,133 Vellamo 2.zero 1,735 2,218 1,597 AnTuTu four 34,930 21,277 19,755 SunSpider 1.zero.2 (ms) 768.7 1,226 602 CF-Bench 35,177 22,926 15,366 *SunSpider: Decrease scores are higher.

As you’ll be able to see from the desk above, the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four stands up properly to different equally sized quad-core tablets in artificial benchmark checks similar to Quadrant, AnTuTu and CF-Bench. Its Vellamo rating, in the meantime, although not the very best, was very respectable as properly.

Battery life

Pill Battery Life Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four 7:thirteen Microsoft Floor 2 14:22 Apple iPad Air 12:forty five (LTE) Apple iPad mini 12:forty three (WiFi) iPad mini with Retina show eleven:fifty five (LTE) Apple iPad (late 2012) eleven:08 (WiFi) Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX (7-inch) 10:forty one Apple iPad 2 10:26 ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime 10:17 Samsung Galaxy Observe Professional 12.2 10.07 Apple iPad (2012) 9:fifty two (HSPA) / 9:37 (LTE) Nexus 7 (2012) 9:forty nine Microsoft Floor for Home windows RT 9:36 Apple iPad 9:33 ASUS Transformer Prime Infinity TF700 9:25 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 eight:fifty six Sony Xperia Pill Z eight:forty Hisense Sero 7 Professional eight:28 Galaxy Tab 2 7.zero 7:38 HP Slate 7 7:36 LG G Pad eight.three 7:19 Samsung Galaxy Word eight.zero 7:18 Nexus 7 (2013) 7:15 RIM BlackBerry PlayBook 7:01

The Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four has a four,800mAh battery, which is a slight bump over the Tab three’s four,450mAh energy pack. In our commonplace battery check the place we play a video on loop with 50 % brightness whereas having notifications for e-mail, Fb and Twitter turned on, the Tab Professional lasted for seven hours and thirteen minutes. That is considerably lower than the iPad mini with Retina show and although it is about on par with the LG G Pad eight.three, it fares a lot worse than Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Hearth HDX, which lasted properly over 10 hours. We admittedly did not set the brightness as excessive as we should always have with the eight.9-inch model of the HDX, however that being stated, it did handle 15 hours in our battery check, which is greater than double what the Tab Professional eight.four is able to.

With average use — by which I imply checking e mail, browsing the online and refreshing my Twitter feed — the pill simply lasted by way of an entire day. I left it principally idle all through the weekend, and the battery barely dipped under 50 %. That stated, the poor displaying in our battery check is slightly disappointing given the pill’s in any other case stellar efficiency.

Digital camera

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

Let me be clear: I might by no means advocate truly utilizing a pill to take photographs. It simply does not make sense, when a smartphone might do a greater job. If all you had was the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four, nevertheless, it will work in a pinch. As on earlier Galaxy merchandise, the digital camera is provided with various presets like Magnificence Face, Greatest Face, Sound and Shot, Drama and Eraser. For many of my checks, although, I used Auto mode, simply because that is what most shoppers are more likely to do. Even then, the rear eight-megapixel digital camera takes fairly good photographs — my pattern footage seemed crisp and colours appeared correct and lifelike.

As quickly as you attempt to use the digital camera in low mild, nevertheless, the standard drops significantly. In darker environments, pictures seemed fuzzy and grainy, and I needed to maintain the pill tremendous nonetheless to be able to get a shot that wasn’t too blurry. The LED flash did not assist issues both, because it typically resulted in photographs that have been blown out. As for the two-megapixel entrance-dealing with digital camera, it is alright for selfies and the occasional convention name, however I actually would not use it for anything given the low decision. Surprisingly, although, the Tab Professional data fairly respectable 1080p video. It captures movement easily sufficient, and it data ambient sound fairly clearly.

The competitors

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

The Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four is certainly not the one eight-inch pill available on the market, however it has sufficient going for it to face out from the pack. When in comparison with the LG G Pad eight.three, for example, it is simply as properly-designed, however sports activities a a lot greater display decision (2,560 x 1,600 in comparison with the LG’s 1,920 x 1,200) and is quicker because of a Snapdragon 800 processor (the G Pad has a Snapdragon 600 chip). Seeing as how the G Pad eight.three is nearly simply as expensive at round $350, we might give the sting to Samsung on this one.

Taking a look at the remainder of the market, the Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX eight.9 comes near the Tab when it comes to specs; it has an identical display decision and processor. Nonetheless, if we need to get nitpicky, the Tab Professional’s 359-ppi display is sharper than the Kindle’s 339-ppi show, and its 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor is a hair quicker as properly. So far as pricing goes, Amazon’s providing is about $20 cheaper at $379, however — and this can be a massive “however” — you will not have entry to the Google Play Retailer.

In fact, we might be remiss if we did not point out Apple’s iPad mini with Retina show, which additionally prices $399. It is similar to the Tab Professional in virtually each respect. The Tab Professional’s 359-ppi display does edge the iPad’s out by about 33 pixels per inch, however the iPad presents for much longer battery life. As ever, your determination right here will largely come right down to which ecosystem you’d quite spend money on.

Wrap-up

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review: great screen, disappointing battery life

Regardless of my trepidations concerning the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four’s fake-leather-based stitching and skinned UI, I regularly got here to simply accept — nay — fall in love with it. It has premium written throughout it, from its crisp show and glossy exterior to a strong processor that greater than retains up with the pill’s multitasking capabilities. The draw back, in fact, is that it comes at a price, with a worth that is proper up there with the Retina show iPad mini. Additional, its battery life is poor in comparison with the competitors — on the very least, there is a three- to 4-hour distinction between the Tab Professional and units just like the Retina show iPad mini and each of Amazon’s Kindle Hearth HDX tablets. Nonetheless, if you need a skinny and lightweight pill with prime-tier efficiency, the Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four is an effective selection. Simply be ready to plug it into an outlet extra typically than you may like.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this assessment.