Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review: 2-in-1 tablet to rival Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S Windows tablet is the latest in a line of devices including the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro designed to persuade customers to ditch their laptops once and for all.

And while the TabPro S is up against some stiff competition, it succeeds by offering a decent all-round performance at a reasonable price.

With its 12-inch display, the TabPro S is a little smaller than the 12.3 inch Surface Pro 4 (not to mention the 12.7 inch iPad Pro), but is 2mm thinner and an impressive 70 grams lighter than its Microsoft rival.

Its Super Amoled display offers the image quality we’ve come to know and love from Samsung, with deep blacks and vivid colours that leap off the screen, the trailer Captain America: Civil War rendering beautifully.

The performance of the Tabpro S’s Intel Core M processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM is solid if not spectacular, and trails both the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4. Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, its performance is more than adequate for the average daily workload.

The TabPro S’s keyboard case is where it struggles a little against its Microsoft rival.

It’s great that Samsung has included the case as standard but the typing experience falls a little short of the benchmark set by the Surface Pro 4, even if it is far more convincing that Apple’s iPad Pro’s keyboard cover.

The TabPro S retails for Dh3,899 for a Wi-Fi only version with 128GB of storage (with an LTE version available for an extra Dh100). This makes it about Dh600 cheaper than an entry-level Surface Pro 4 and Dh300 cheaper than the (albeit larger) 12.7 iPad Pro with equivalent storage.

Power users with a budget may still want to opt for the Surface Pro 4, given its superior keyboard, and the iPad Pro is still my choice for media consumption. But for those wanting a solid Windows 2-in-1 tablet at a decent price can’t go wrong with the TabPro S.


How does the TabPro S measure up in the looks department?

The tablet’s design is solid but unspectacular, with a magnesium trim and a pretty flat looking plastic back. On its own it doesn’t hold a candle looks-wise to the iPad Pro or the Surface Pro 4, but with all three devices wrapped up in their keyboard cases, it’s debatable how much that really matters. And before you ask, it does not come in “rose gold”, only black and white.

That’s a pity. What other specifications should I know about?

The TabPro S has front and rear 5MP cameras. Like Apple’s Macbook range, the TabPro S comes with just one USB-C port for charging and data transfer, putting it roughly on a par with the iPad Pro in terms of connectivity options but behind the Surface Pro 4.

You said that the iPad Pro was a better device for multimedia?

Make no mistake, the TabPro S has a brilliant display that I could watch all day and is more or less on a par with the iPad Pro. Sound wise, however, the iPad Pro is streets ahead of its rivals, with a depth and quality that others, including the TabPro S, can’t match.

And remind me: what’s the big deal about these 2-in-1 tablets? Is anyone actually buying them?

Very much so. While the 2-in-1 segment is a tiny fraction of the overall tablet market, it’s the only segment that is actually experiencing a growth in shipments, according to industry analysts.

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