Looking for a great tablet without breaking the bank? Of course! The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 WiFi tablet pretty much has it all (except for a name that is not confusing). While it falls into the mid-range category, you’ll be quite surprised what this thing’s packing. High resolution ultra-vibrant display? Check. Long battery life? Oh yeah. Lightweight? Surprisingly. Latest version of Android? Yep, KitKat. Quad-core processor? You better believe it.
The first thing you’ll realize after going hands-on with the Tab 4 8.0 is how light it is. It doesn’t have the premium build quality of an iPad, and it feels mostly plastic, but it’s impressive how little it weighs (11oz) and how durable it still feels. After exclaiming how light it is, you’ll then realize how thin it is and how it looks like a gigantic s5 (then you’ll pretend it is a phone and make a couple pretend phone calls). The face of the device is beautiful–the screen almost runs border to border. The perimeter is clean glossy white (or black) with a chrome bezel running around. There’s a few buttons on the bottom of the face, and a sensor and camera on the top.
While everyone has different tastes, the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is a fantastic size. It fits easily in one hand, and without your hand getting tired. It can fit in a hoody pocket (or even my men’s jeans front pocket). The screen and resolution is large enough to view just about anything comfortably. It’s just a bit narrower than iPad Mini.
The screen is an 8 inch WXGA TFT display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It’s vivid and the colors are loud. The pixel density isn’t up to Apple Retina standards, but at 189 pixels per square inch it’s solid, especially for the price point.
There’s a front and rear camera, for when you need them. Neither are anything to write home about. There’s a good chance your phone will be the better option. On the front is a 1.3 megapixel camera and on the back is a 3 megapixel camera, no flash. You’ll find a lot of the usual features like digital zoom, geotagging, automatic uploading, and even 1080p video recording.
The Tab 4 8.0 is WiFi only, which makes for a dramatic improvement on tablet. Let me start by saying with minimal use the tablet has lasted me a couple weeks. It’s packing a large 4450mAh battery. With nonstop internet usage it’s rated to last about 12 hours.
Inside the 8.0 there’s a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, not too shabby. There’s 1.5GB of RAM, which is also pretty impressive. The system earned a respectable score of 8416 under Quadrant. There’s 16GB of onboard storage, which isn’t a ton, but there’s an expandable microSD memory card slot for up to an additional 64GB of space. Not surprisingly, there’s wireless-n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.
The 8.0 is running the latest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat, with Samsung’s UI TouchWiz software on top of it. There’s all the features you could possibly expect out of an Android, plus more. It has a built-in IR blaster so you can use it as a universal remote. There’s multi-user mode that works for up to 8 different user profiles that personalize apps, themes, and email accounts. There’s also kids mode and a kid-friendly interface where parents have total control and monitor how long the kids spend playing. The last key feature is true multi-tasking where you can open up two different apps side by side. Of course, this baby will do pretty much anything your standard smartphone can do. After all, it’s a well powered Android.
For a tablet priced comfortably below $300, the Galaxy Tab 8.0 is a solid choice. It’s super thin and light, and yet it’s still durable enough (even for the kids). It’s running the latest version of Android, which is always a good sign. It has Samsung’s TouchWiz software, but it’s not too bloated, and it can handle the enhancements with ease. We never experienced much (if any) lag or sluggishness. We found the interface to be pretty user friendly and intuitive. First-time tablet or Android owners: fear not. The screen’s vibrance makes up for it’s lower-than-retina details. Also, this tab is a lifesaver in the living room with its IR blaster and remote control functionality (Logitech charges a lot for their remotes to do this). Of course, there’s better (technically) tablets out there with more features and such, but this Tab 4 8.0 is loaded with just about everything your average techie really needs (other than cellular data). If you’re looking for a bigger tablet, that’s another story. If you’re looking for a smaller tablet, get a large phone. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is currently available with a white face or black face and retails for $269.99, but can from Amazon for as little as $242.19.
The Good: Thin, light and sleek design, solid software U.I. with neat multi-window features, comes running the latest version of Android, Long lasting battery, good performance and the system runs smoothly, Expandable storage, Micro-USB charging, Built-in IR blaster
The Bad: Cameras and camera features are underwhelming, No Samsung S-pen compatibility, Multi-window mode is limited to certain apps, display is good but could be better