Tablets have undergone a significant transformation, shifting their focus towards enhanced productivity by incorporating features such as a keyboard, an active stylus, and a large, high-precision display, positioning them as formidable contenders to traditional laptops. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series offers a choice of three screen sizes – 11″, 12.4″, and an immense 14.6″.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 has refreshed with a new 11″ 120Hz AMOLED 2X instead of LCD, a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, an IP68 water dust resistance rating, and a bumped-up battery capacity.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Specification
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
- GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 740
- Memory: 8GB / 12GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 128GB UFS 3.1 / 256GB UFS 4.0 (microSD supported)
- Display: 11″ 2,560 x 1,600 Dynamic AMOLED 2X, Adaptive 120Hz, HDR10+, 750 nits Peak Brightness
- Cover Display: 3.4″ 720 x 748 SuperAMOLED
- Rear Camera: 13MP f/2.0, 1/3.4″, Auto Focus
- Front Camera: 12MP f/2.4 Ultrawide
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
- Battery: 8,400 mAh @ 45W Fast Charging
- Dimension & Weight: 165.8 x 254.3 x 5.9mm @ 498g~500g
- Color: Graphite / Beige
- Price: RM 3,699 (8GB+128GB, WiFi) / RM 4,199 (12GB+256GB, Wi-Fi+Keyboard) / RM 4,349 (8GB+128GB, 5G) / RM 4,849 (12GB+256GB, 5G+Keyboard)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 all come with a standard package that includes user manuals, a USB-C charging cable, a SIM tray ejector pin, and the S Pen. Additionally, the 256GB variants, regardless of whether they support Wi-Fi only or with 5G connectivity, are bundled with a keyboard – for the Malaysian market.
When comparing it to its predecessor, there aren’t many noticeable updates. Both versions retain their hard edges and aluminum frames.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 features quad AKG-tuned speakers located along the body’s edges, with Samsung asserting that they are now 20% louder.
Located on the rear is a camera bump that accommodates a 13MP camera with autofocus capabilities. The S Pen’s rear-attached charging mechanism would angle the slate higher while offering protection to the rear camera, safeguarding it from scratches or bumps.
With the new use of an AMOLED display on the Galaxy Tab S9, the fingerprint scanner is now moved to an in-display optical fingerprint sensor. I’m still a sucker for the physical fingerprint scanners on the power button that has lesser failure rates. The power button and volume rocker are positioned on the top left.
It also has a feature that a regular device could never offer—a dust and water IP rating. The Galaxy Tab S9 boasts an IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, which may seem unnecessary for some but is absolutely crucial for those embarking on adventurous journeys that might involve exposure to rainstorms or desert conditions. Speaking of durability, the slate is protected with durable Samsung Armor Aluminum and strong Corning Gorilla Glass.
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
The shift from LCD to AMOLED is a game-changer. The colors displayed on the 11″ 2.5K Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen are incredibly vivid, and the 16:10 aspect ratio is arguably the optimal size for both productivity and enjoying content.
There won’t be any issue for gaming as it pushes a super-smooth refresh rate of up to 120Hz and is paired with powerful internals.
Speaking of performance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. It’s the same tuned-up and slightly overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip found on the Samsung Galaxy S23 series and Galaxy Z Fold5 & Flip5. In my review of the Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G and Galaxy Z Flip5 5G, this is one gaming powerhouse chip that makes light work of heavy games.
The 128GB storage variant is paired with 8GB of LPDDR5 memory while the 256GB storage is coupled with 12GB of LPDDR5 memory. There’s also a microSD card slot, if you need more storage space for all your library contents.
Cameras would be the last thing to be concerned about on a tablet. I’m sure you won’t be holding a huge slate chasing a cat to take photos or videos.
I’m not saying the camera is bad, matter of fact, the 13MP f/2.0 wide lens can take decent photos with enough lighting and it is great for document scanning thanks to the autofocus support.
As for the front 12MP f/2.4 ultrawide camera, it excels in video meetings, and it probably outperforms whatever’s on your laptop.
Coming to software, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 runs on Android 13, overlaid with Samsung’s custom One UI 5.1.1 interface. It’s brimming with features and functionalities, representing the pinnacle of Samsung’s personalization efforts. Notably, it now supports customizable lock screens and offers deeper interface customization options. If you’ve interacted with a Samsung device featuring One UI recently, you’ll find yourself right at home when using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9.
Moreover, the S Pen brings an additional layer of functionality, enabling tasks like note-taking, creative screenshot annotations, and much more. There’s a collection of exclusive apps tailored for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, such as the iOS-exclusive GoodNotes, LumaFusion, Clip Studio Point, and ArcSite, which make excellent use of the tablet’s capabilities.
Like Samsung’s other flagship and upper midrange devices, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 will receive four major Android updates as well as five years of security support. So expect updates all the way up to Android 17 and security protection until 2028.
The slight bump up from 8,000 mAh to 8,400 mAh battery capacity offers me about 4 days of usage with an average of 6 to 7 hours of screen-on-time. On the weekend, I attempted to finish an entire series of Uncanny Counter Season 2 and it only lasted me 7 episodes when it prompted low battery. That closed to 9 hours with 15% battery life.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 supports a charging speed of up to 45W and would need to get a separate Samsung 45W charger or my daily driver GaN charger for all my electronic devices, the UGREEN GaN Charger.
Where to buy
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Review
These tablets are expensive with a starting price of RM 3,699 but the Samsung Galaxy S9 series is the only Android tablet that flavors with the best yet most powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and grandeur AMOLED screen. In addition to that, the S Pen stylus comes as part of the package.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 may be slightly pricey but the new upgrades make it worthwhile; newer powerful yet efficient chip, AMOLED display, IP68 water dust rating, and larger battery size.