Samsung has been the leading player in the Android tablet market by providing top-tier hardware and software experience, but do expect to fork out a premium price tag. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE fits perfectly in the same category by delivering a similar high-end user experience that caters to the needs of non-power users, like myself, at a more affordable price.
Here’s my review of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Specs
- CPU: Samsung Exynos 1380, 5nm Process
- GPU: Mali-G68 MP3
- Memory: 6GB/8GB
- Storage: 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2 (microSD Card Slot)
- Display: 10.9″ 2,304 x 1,440 TFT LCD, Adaptive 90Hz, HDR, 720 nits Peak Brightness
- Rear Camera: 8MP, Autofocus
- Front Camera: 12MP Ultrawide, Fixed-focus
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3
- Battery: 8,000mAh @ 45W Fast Charging
- Dimension & Weight: 165.8 x 254.3 x 6.5mm @ 523g
- Others: Corning Gorilla Glass 5, IP68 Water Resistant, S Pen Included
- Colors: Mint, Lavender, Gray, Silver
- Price: RM 2,099 Wi-Fi (6GB+128GB) / RM 2,399 Wi-Fi (8GB+256GB) / RM 2,699 5G (6GB+128GB) / RM 2,999 5G (8GB+256GB)
The construction and design of the Tab S9 FE echo Samsung’s commitment to a sleek and appealing aesthetic. Encased in an aluminum chassis with a sharp gray colorway, the tablet boasts an attractive profile. The tapered edges, antenna lines, and thoughtful placement of ports and buttons contribute to a visually pleasing and ergonomic design. The inclusion of an S Pen adds to the tablet’s versatility.
Comparing the Tab S9 FE to its predecessor, the Tab S9, the slight increase in thickness is negligible, considering the significant cost savings. The Tab S9 FE’s single-lens camera might not match the capabilities of the dual-camera setup on the Tab S9, but for the average user, this is a minor trade-off.
The screen, while not AMOLED, still impresses with its 10.9-inch size and 90Hz refresh rate. The TFT LCD panel may lack the black-light performance of OLED, but its performance is more than acceptable for daily use. Adaptive brightness may pose a minor issue, but it’s easily manageable, and the overall display quality remains satisfactory.
One UI & Performance
Running on One UI 5 based on Android 13 out of the box, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE delivers a seamless big-screen experience. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve had the tablet as my main PC for all my daily work tasks like responding to emails, script writing, and even some basic photo editing. This is possible with the Samsung DeX mode where I get a PC-like experience while paired with the ASUS Marshmallow KW100 Bluetooth keyboard.
There’s a collection of exclusive apps tailored for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series, such as the iOS-exclusive GoodNotes, LumaFusion, Clip Studio Point, and ArcSite, which make excellent use of the tablet’s capabilities.
The device’s internal specifications, featuring 6GB/8GB RAM configurations and up to 256GB of storage paired with the Exynos 1380 processor, ensure smooth performance for everyday tasks. With the 5G connectivity option, you will stay connected and updated whenever you switch on the tablet.
The inclusion of the S Pen adds a valuable dimension to the user experience, although a slightly stronger magnet would enhance its attachment to the device.
Here are the synthetic benchmark test results:
If you are already a Samsung Galaxy user, you will further enhance the user experience with the Samsung Galaxy Ecosystem.
You can skip the 5G variant as you can always share your Samsung Galaxy smartphone internet with just a tap away. You will also enjoy seamless audio switches between your Galaxy Tab and Galaxy smartphone with your favorite Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Stereo earphone.
To top that off, you can move your mouse cursor to your smartphone via the Samsung Multi Control feature. This comes in handy when you are working in DeX mode and want to retrieve media from your smartphone.
The tablet’s 8,000 mAh battery, combined with fast charging, offers impressive endurance, providing easily 7-8 hours of screen-on-time usage on a single charge.
It may not come with a power brick, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE does support Samsung 45W Fast Charging and if you plan to get one, I would highly recommend you to get the 100W UGREEN GaN charger which I rock as my daily charger for all my electronic devices.
Where to buy
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Review
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE is a more than capable tablet that delivers entertainment and productivity tasks. Best paired with keyboard input like the Samsung Smart Cover Keyboard or any compact Bluetooth wireless keyboard. It can provide a high-end experience just like its top-tier Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 but at a more comparatively reasonable price.
I really wish Samsung would offer the Samsung Smart Cover Keyboard at a more affordable price. It would cost RM 899 and that’s 43% of the cost of the base model.