Ashwin Rajagopalan
Apple’s decision to roll out the iPad OS (currently available on beta mode) wasn’t just long overdue but a strong recognition that tablets the need to take a more serious approach to productivity. Large screen smartphones and slow replacement cycles have hurt tabs, especially the smaller seven-inch tabs. But we’ve seen a bunch of 10-inch plus tabs debut over the last few months including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S5e. Both Samsung and Apple believe there’s still a niche for a tab that offers a strong work + play proposition.

First, let’s get the S5e’s Content consumption capabilities out of the way. This has traditionally been a strong area for tabs. The S5e is beautifully designed – at 5.5mm it’s super slim and also weighs just 400 gms. You won’t be weighed down by this tab as you flip through news apps like Flipboard or graphic novels on a weekend. The vibrant, 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display (1600 x 2560 pixels / 298 PPI/ 16:10 aspect ratio) is great for binge watching and gets a boost with quad-speakers tuned by ALG. You don’t have to worry about reaching out for the charger too often, even with those Netflix marathons. Our battery tests (with a mix of video and docs) are in line with Samsung’s 14-hour battery claim on its 7040 mAh battery. It all adds up, the Tab S5e is a great play device.

The Tab S5e opts for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 Processor that is not as formidable as the processors on the iPad Air or the iPad Pro. There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of Internal memory (extendable up to 512GB with a Micro SD card). It was enough firepower for most tasks including intensive gaming during our tests as long as we didn’t have too many apps running in the background.

The Tab S5e’s productivity creds are built on quite a few pillars. Our favourite is Samsung DEX, a feature that apes a desktop-type experience. We also found that MS Office Apps like Word and Excel are easier to work with on DEX mode. And then there’s Samsung’s POGO keyboard that doubles up as a book-type cover. Key travel is great but it’s slightly cramped (vis-à-vis a standard laptop keyboard), a small compromise for portability. You can also plug in external drives to transfer files or images without a fuss. I also enjoyed the convenience of hooking up a Bluetooth mouse and the ability to connect this tab to a large screen and run a presentation (with a HDMI connector). While these are all handy features, its time Android reimagined its UI to take tabs like the S5e closer to a laptop experience.

If you’re looking for an Android Tab, especially one that you can toss into your travel bag, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is probably your best bet. It’s a great entertainment device and more than handy to dash off those emails and edit an MS Word doc on the go.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is priced at Rs 35,999 for the Wi-Fi only variant and Rs 39,999 for the Wi-Fi +LTE variant. The POGO keyboard costs Rs 7,999. It comes bundled with the Tab S5e for Rs 3,599 as part of a launch offer (until July 31, 2019)

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