Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus guide: A tablet for the new normal of remote work

Larger screen, more RAM/storage, improved DeX experience and 5G make the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus very effective laptop alternatives.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with S Pen and Galaxy Buds Live

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with S Pen and Galaxy Buds Live

Credit: Samsung

The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus were unveiled at Samsung Unpacked 2020 on Aug. 5. The new Tab S tablets were announced along with a host of other Samsung products including the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra phones, Galaxy Z Fold2 5G foldable phone, Galaxy Watch 3 wearable and Galaxy Buds Live earbuds. This year’s Unpacked event was completely digital due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to data cited by Samsung, since the beginning of the pandemic, U.S. in-home mobile data usage has grown by almost 50% and more than 25% of professionals report they have either started using video conferencing or are using it more often. Of people employed before the pandemic, about 50% are now working from home and 87% of mobility decision makers expect their employees will continue to work remotely.

“There’s been a real shift in the way that we work and live. And with that shift, technology has played a crucial role in helping us stay connected, be productive and manage our day to day,” Drew Blackard, vice president of product management at Samsung Electronics America said. 

For many, Samsung expects these changes to be permanent and wants to offer consumers devices that help them merge work and play. The Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus are designed to help achieve that goal by blending a laptop-like work environment using Samsung DeX and an improved keyboard with the entertainment qualities of a tablet.

Indeed, Samsung hopes the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus will be a laptop replacement for many and shared that one third of Galaxy Tab S6 buyers started out looking for a PC. “That number will grow as more workers become remote and as more businesses assess their needs,” Bob Escalle, head of product management, Mobile B2B, Samsung Electronics America said.

Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus new features and hardware upgrades

The most important new feature for Samsung’s 2020 Galaxy Tab S tablet is that there are now two models to choose from, the Tab S7 with its 11″ LTPS TFT display and the Tab S7 Plus with its 12.4″ Super AMOLED screen. For comparison, last year’s Galaxy Tab S6 had a 10.5″ display.

Along with the larger screens, Samsung packed plenty of other hardware upgrades into the Tab S7 and Tab S7+. Both tablets have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 5G Mobile Platform processor, come with either 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and have higher-capacity batteries than last year’s Tab S6. Samsung has also added 5G support to both the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7, and Galaxy Buds Live

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7, and Galaxy Buds Live

Credit: Samsung

The S Pen, included with both the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus, also got an update. The new S Pen is larger, features a “more comfortable grip” and has reduced latency. Samsung has also added support for five new Air Actions (motion gestures) to the S Pen. Users can now trigger Back, Home, Recent, Smart Select and Screen Write commands with the flick of their wrist.

Samsung Notes has also been updated to take advantage of the new S Pen. You can now import PDFs into Samsung Notes and write directly on the PDF, an incredibly handy feature for signing digital documents. You can use Audio Bookmark to sync voice recordings with written notes, better manage your notes with folders and sync your notes across your tablet, phone, and PC via Samsung Cloud.

Multitasking has been improved with a Multi-Active Window feature that allows you to use up to three apps simultaneously via split view. You can also use App Pair to automatically launch up to three apps at the same time.

The Samsung Book Cover Keyboard has also gotten a significant update, with a larger trackpad that supports multi-finger gestures and more standard computer keys.

The 8MP front camera has been moved to the center of the tablet’s right side. When oriented in landscape mode, this puts the camera at the top of the screen like you find on most laptops.

A full list of hardware specifications for each tablet are available at the bottom of this article.

SEE: Photos: A first look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ (TechRepublic)

Samsung DeX on the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus

Samsung DeX is getting two big upgrades with the launch of the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus.

First, when you connect the Book Cover Keyboard to the tablet, DeX can automatically launch in a new standalone mode that provides a more desktop-like UI, with a unique task bar, keyboard shortcuts, and adjustable screen settings.

Second, like the Samsung Note S20 and Note S20 Ultra, DeX on the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus can connect wirelessly to a smart TV that supports mirror cast, which includes any Samsung smart TV from 2019 onward.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy S20: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 vs Tab S7 Plus: Which one should you buy?

The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus are similar in many ways. Both tablets have the same processor, the same storage and RAM options, identical cameras, four speakers, a USB-C connector, and run Android 10. An updated version of Samsung’s S Pen is also included with both devices. The Tab S7 and S7 Plus versions of the new S Pen are larger than the Note20 and Note20 Ultra. There are new versions of Samsung’s book cover and keyboard book cover (sold separately) are also available for each tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 in Mystic Bronze

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 in Mystic Bronze

Credit: Samsung

The more-expensive Tab S7 Plus differentiates itself with a larger Super AMOLED display, higher-capacity battery, bundled Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G connectivity, and a fingerprint scanner built into the display. You also get a more laptop-like experience with the S7 Plus thanks to the 12 Function keys available on the S7 Plus version of the Book Cover Keyboard.

Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus available colors

The Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus are available in three colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze.

Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus pricing and availability

The Galaxy Tab S7 has a starting price of $649 (US) with the Tab S7 Plus starting at $849 (US) and will be available this fall.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

Galaxy Tab S7 hardware specs

  • Operating system: Android 10
  • Screen: 11″ 2560×1600 (WQXGA) LTPS TFT, 120Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 5G Mobile Platform
  • RAM/Storage: 6GB/128GB or 8GB/256GB, microSD up to 1TB
  • Battery: 8,000mAh
  • Rear cameras: 13MP (main) + 5MP (ultra wide) + flash
  • Front cameras: 8MP
  • Wireless connectivity: 5G 
  • Connector: 1 USB-C (3.2 Gen)
  • Speakers: Quad speakers sound by AKG, Dolby Atmos
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, light, Hall sensor, fingerprint (on the side key)
  • Accessories: S Pen (included); Book Cover and Book Cover Keyboard (sold separately)
  • Weight/Model: 486g (Wi-Fi), 500g (LTE), 502g (5G)
  • Dimensions: 253.8mm (W) x 165.3mm (H) / 6.3mm thick
  • Colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Bronze
  • Cost: Starts at $649 (US)

Galaxy Tab S7 Plus hardware specs

  • Operating system: Android 10
  • Screen: 12.4″ 2800×1752 (WQXGA+), sAMOLED, 120Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 5G Mobile Platform
  • RAM/Storage: 6GB/128GB or 8GB/256GB, microSD up to 1TB
  • Battery: 10,090mAh
  • Rear cameras: 13MP (main) + 5MP (ultra wide) + flash
  • Front cameras: 8MP
  • Wireless connectivity: 5G 
  • Connector: 1 USB-C (3.2 Gen)
  • Speakers: Quad speakers sound by AKG, Dolby Atmos
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, light, Hall sensor, fingerprint (on the display)
  • Accessories: S Pen (included); Book Cover and Book Cover Keyboard (sold separately)
  • Weight/Model: 575g (Wi-Fi, LTE, 5G)
  • Dimensions: 253.8mm (W) x 165.3mm (H) / 6.3mm thick
  • Colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Bronze
  • Cost: Starts at $849 (US)

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