The latest tablet offering from Samsung comes in at around half the cost of a Tab S6, the question is, how much did the compromises impact the experience for potential buyers. Let's take a closer look at the Galaxy Tab S6 Light.
From a hardware perspective the Tab S6 Light isn't going to wow you. As expected it's the step down from the regular Tab S6 in many ways. Everything from the display type, resolution, processor, RAM, cameras and number of speakers. Truthfully, potential buyers will probably be totally fine with these compromises.
No, the display isn't as vibrant and you don't get those inky blacks like you would on an AMOLED screen, but it's still a good-looking display. It gets bright enough to use outdoors and for streaming cable Netflix or YouTube it does the job. I'm just really not a fan of how it looks with the blue light filter on.
To my surprise, the two AKG speakers with Dolby Atmos sounds really good too. Even more surprising, they've included a headphone jack.
This isn't a device for heavy gaming, and you'll immediately notice the much longer load time. Fortnite max result at 30 frames per second, and playing on anything higher than medium graphics, means you'll drop down to as low as 8 frames per second at times. Call of Duty Mobile, on the other hand, actually ran relatively well on medium graphics, which is nice. Bottom line, light casual games are fine, just don't expect much more than that.
For everyday use the tablet handles perfectly fine with apps taking, maybe, a second longer to load in some cases. The only times you'll notice the tablet stutter and get jumpy is when you're installing apps in the background or immediately after you restart the tablet and everything has to load back up.
In terms of multitasking, setting up space green can sometimes feel a little sluggish, but I've been able to consistently run two apps and split view with 1/3 in a pop-up window with no real issues.
Battery life has been pretty good I've been averaging about eight to nine hours of screen on time. To fully charge up it takes just under two and a half hours.
Some compromises, however, aren't as easy to overlook. The cameras are fine for a tablet with my only complaint being the lack of a flash. Working professionals and students looking to scan or snap pictures of notes in darker rooms are going to have a tough time doing so.
Although a 2d Face Unlock is available the exclusion of a fingerprint scanner or any secure biometrics is a strange decision. For apps that require constant logins, it's a real inconvenience. There are also no connector pins, which means Samsung isn't providing a keeper cover of any source. So if you want to type up your notes you'll have to rely on a third party Bluetooth one.
The main reason you're likely drawn to the Tab S6 Lite is that it includes the S Pen and all its functionalities right in the box. No separate purchase needed. It's a redesigned battery free S Pen that magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet. I like the new mag rubbery texture for its grip and didn't find myself accidentally hitting the side button as much as I did on theTab S6 one.
Although there are apps like squid notes and one notes, I think students and casual note takers will find Samsung notes to be the best fit. It seems to offer the lowest latency with jotting down notes compared to other options. It's also the only one optimized for split-screen use. The note-taking experience itself is really good. The texture of the s pen tip adds a tiny bit of friction against the glass which I actually like. Holding down the S Pen button will activate the eraser, or you can just hit the undo button at the bottom. Things like handwriting to text change style and neat shapes are also all nice tools to have in your note-taking arsenal.
So comma scenario, let's say you need a diagram to go along with your notes, well find it on Google and use the s-pen smart select tool to crop and save exactly what you need. Then add it to your notes under the attachments, from here you can resize rotate move it around and even draw on it. If you want to record import an audio from a meeting or a lecture, you can do that too by attaching a voice recording.
If you don't need or plan on using the S pen they're close enough in price then I will lean more towards the older Tab S5e for the better screen quad speakers and keyboard cover. You'll also get Samsung's desktop mode, decks, which unfortunately isn't available on the S6 Light.
The Tab S6 Lite runs One UI 2.1 based off of Android 10, which includes things like quick share and gesture navigation. If you own a Samsung smartphone what are the perks of getting a Samsung tablet, well, the main thing is that you'll be able to make calls and send text messages right on the tablet. If you do pick up a Tab S6 Lite make sure you download Good Luck from the Samsung App Store. One-hand operation plus Navstar and TAS changer are all great additions especially on a tablet. I also downloaded a screen rotation app too for some apps to run in the landscape orientation, honestly, I feel like a lot of these features should really just be built into the software right out the box.
One of the main knots on Android tablets is that the apps aren't optimized for the larger display. While you will run into that from time to time like with the Twitter and Instagram app. If you mainly use Google or Samsung apps it really isn't an issue. I think the more justify complaint is the lack of pro level apps Procreates, Affinity Photo and Luma Fusion are some of my favorites on iPadOS and you just can't get anything close to those on the Android side.
With that being said for those of you who are heavily invested in the Google Play Store with apps games and content starting fresh with an iPad and spending on the Apple App Store the cost can really add up. The 10.2 inch (25.91 cm) iPad is right around the same price but then you also have to consider the extra cost of the Apple Pencil.
To summarize the Tab S6 Lite has two main things going for it. The price and the fact that you get an S Pen included in the box. It's a very capable Android tablet that's competitively priced. With my only real concerns being the lack of a fingerprint scanner for secure logins and no keyboard cover option for typing on the go. If you're heavily invested in the Google Play Store and your productivity at work or school can be improved with the use of stylus, I think the Tab S6 Lite might be worth a look.