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Samsung Galaxy TabPro S hands-on and first impressions

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Handsome and compact. Two words that you’re going to hear us say quite a lot during this hands-on. A fully fledged Windows 10 makes its way onto the Galaxy TabPro S. We’ve said it before, that manufacturers are going to start making use of Microsoft’s new operating system and it’s exemplified perfectly here.

In the past few months there have been a couple of tablets that were released running Windows instead of Android – yes, that’s a good thing in our books. Google somewhat hindered the Pixel C and learning from their mistake, electronic companies are now embracing the productivity-inducing Windows OS.

Build

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Tall, dark and handsome. What’s not to love? Well you could also opt for the white (knight) coloured variant but that’s all up to preference. The black drew us in better – just saying. Picking up the tablet you’ll be captivated by how compact it is: 6.3mm thin and 693 grams in weight.

Even at that footprint, this sleek device manages a 12-inch Super AMOLED (2160 x 1440) screen. Holding it horizontally, you’ll find it easy on the hands and nice to hold as the sides are rounded.

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The body is mainly made surrounded by magnesium though the rear will have some plastic elements. Nevertheless, just because it has some plastic, it’s still quite handsome in a business fashion kind of way.

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On the tablet itself, you’ll find only two ports: USB Type-C and headphone jack. There’s also a single SIM-tray slot and dual-side firing speakers on either horizontal sides. On the top left, you’ll locate the power button and volume rockers that sit side by side. Sitting near the top right of the tablet is a single button that lets you go to “the start menu” when in tablet mode.

Many will be shouting that Samsung could easily paste another USB Type-C slot but maybe on the TabPro S 2? Anyway, the rear and front 5-megapixel cameras are basic and will suffice for video conferencing. PLEASE, unless absolutely necessary do not take photos with this tablet.

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On the bottom, you’ll find a Pogo pin system that bears a resemblance to the Surface’s proprietary connectors that allow you to attach, pair and type on the included keyboard cover.

In a pinch, it’ll do but you’ll notice in the picture above that when you adjust to the two different viewing angles the plastic connector strip looks a bit scary when moved. We’re not sure how durable the magnetic keyboard cover will be.

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Performance

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Yes, it’s a large customer. When holding something that has a screen that’s 12-inches, you’re definitely holding a large slab. If you love consuming media in front of your face, this is definitely a worthy companion. Its Super AMOLED display doesn’t hurt either, allowing it to get really bright. Black pixels will be as true as can be since it’s an AMOLED panel.

A fanless number thanks to the Dual-core Intel Core M processor that’s clocked to 2.2GHz, the tablet will rarely be noisy. To help with multitasking 4GB of RAM and a 128/256GB SSD is onboard as well.

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This Windows tablet supports a single-SIM slot that’s capable of 4G LTE Cat6 speeds. Samsung made this feature proof by making WiFi 802.11 ac MIMO enabled too. Other connectivity options include NFC and Bluetooth 4.1.

Samsung shouts about the 150 minute charging time of the tablet that has a 5200mAh capacity battery but we didn’t spend enough time with it to touch bases on that. Maneuvering around the OS on the tablet was smooth with little hiccups but it didn’t have any heavy-duty apps on it in the first place.

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When typing on the keyboard cover, we found that it was made fairly well (aside from the plastic connectors we highlighted) but the 6-rows of full sized keys don’t really have much travel and typing won’t be the best experience. You should still tip your hats to Samsung as they included it out of the box, unlike the Surface Pro tablet.

There wasn’t a lot of positive takeaways from the trackpad either, it was jumpy and when touching it, we found that it wasn’t as smooth as some of the proprietary 2-in-1 keyboards out there.

Would we buy it?

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Well, the South Korean tech giant decided to leave out any availability and pricing details. If you want us to base it on German pricing sets it at €999 (RM 4,506.30). The aforementioned pricing refers to the base WiFi model while the LTE model adds another €100 (RM 451.10).And upgrading to the Windows 10 Pro costs an additional €100 (RM 451.10).

That’s a whole lot of dough to burn considering that the tried and true Surface Pro 4 (Intel Core M / 4GB RAM / 128GB Storage) costs RM 3,999 (w/ GST). That’s without the keyboard which fetches an additional RM 529 – totaling to RM 4,528. That’s a slightly more expensive but remember that the Surface Pen comes bundled.

If Samsung sets the price lower than Germany’s, as they do with most of their devices sold in Malaysia, consumers will likely to try out the convertible but the thing that could deter them would be pricing.

We’ll let everyone know when we manage to review this tablet – hopefully together with the add-on stylus and multi-port adapter.