Galaxy Book and Tab S7 FE are perfect for university students going into a year of ‘blended’ studying

Student takes selfie on bed with Samsung Galaxy Book in front of her
(Image credit: John Lewis)

When Covid-19 hit, the pandemic caused all sorts of disruption to working, studying and learning, with university students forced to adapt to a different way of taking their courses, involving studying remotely from home or off-campus. 

Now that the UK’s lockdown restrictions have been lifted in many respects, things are starting to get back to at least some semblance of normal, but of course life is still very different. 

A good deal of jobs still rely on remote working, and for university students, the prospect of online lectures – rather than attending them in-person – is set to continue in the next academic year. 

What’s broadly expected going forward is a model of ‘blended’ learning: a mix of traditional and remote studying, but the latter is not going away.

Hopefully, this shift to a blended or hybrid model will mean fewer problems around isolation for students, and while remote learning may also cause various headaches or even frustration with technical issues in some cases, avoiding the latter problem is often a simple matter of having the right tools for the job. 

Given the right hardware, studying remotely can be a far more streamlined, convenient, and generally more pleasurable task.

To this end, Samsung has a number of freshly released devices which can help. So let’s dive in and look more closely at what the firm’s laptops and tablets offer students – not just in terms of work, but also play – and why these pieces of hardware are a particularly compelling value proposition right now.

Tremendous Tab S7 FE

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE with stylus

(Image credit: John Lewis)

The first stop for a Samsung device that delivers on all a student’s needs, whether it’s remote learning, or relaxing with a bit of gaming or movie watching, is the Galaxy Tab S7 FE - a brand-new tablet for 2021.

The Tab S7 FE is made to please Samsung fans – literally, the FE of the name stands for ‘Fan Edition’ – and it comes packing a 12.4-inch WQXGA display, an expansive and high-quality screen which is ideal for watching a film, particularly considering that it’s paired with AKG-tuned speakers on the audio front. 

And those elements are equally a boon for gaming, too, with the Tab S7 FE’s octa-core processor keeping things suitably smooth when playing Android games.

Naturally, that processor and sizeable amount of screen real-estate come in very handy for apps and productivity use, where a larger tablet is definitely a good thing.

Tablets can often be hampered by smaller displays which don’t make for very comfortable viewing when it comes to, say, reading a document or perusing a spreadsheet or website.

Being productive isn’t just about a screen, though, and Samsung’s S Pen comes boxed with this Galaxy Tab model, a stylus which is designed to not just look like a normal pen, but to give the feeling of writing with one. 

It’s excellent for quickly jotting notes on the touchscreen, or indeed drawing for that matter. Oh, and it’s worth noting that the stylus attaches to the tablet’s body magnetically, and that’s not just a handy storage method, it’s also the way in which the pen is charged up.

On top of that, the S7 FE supports Samsung’s DeX technology, which emulates a desktop interface and experience – essentially meaning that the tablet can be used like a full PC in this mode when needed (and again, that’s where the large screen comes in handy). It can even act as a second screen to your Samsung laptop!

Note that there is also a Book Cover Keyboard accessory for the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, providing a compact keyboard and kickstand combo for using the tablet like a laptop.

5G support is also here to keep the Tab S7 FE online when out and about, plus there’s a battery just as capacious as that screen. This 10,090mAh power pack delivers enough juice to last for a full working day (as we found when we evaluated the tablet).

Finally, for those occasions when video chatting is required, perhaps with a tutor, there’s a good quality 5-megapixel front camera (plus an 8-megapixel snapper on the rear for photo duties).

All the above functionality (and more besides) is delivered for a price tag of £589 at John Lewis, but to add further value, there’s a seriously tempting offer currently running on the Galaxy Tab S7 FE and other Samsung products, which you can find out about at the end of this article. 

First, though, let’s look at another Samsung offering which is ideally pitched for students, and in this case, it’s a laptop.

(Galaxy) Book Smarts

Samsung Galaxy Book on bed

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Samsung may be a name that some folks still more readily associate with phones and tablets, but the company’s Galaxy Book laptops have been carving out quite the reputation for quality in recent times, reaching fresh heights of performance with the latest model.

The new Samsung Galaxy Book for 2021 has been upgraded with Intel’s cutting-edge 11th-gen processors, starting with a speedy Core i5 CPU. This Tiger Lake chip will cut through any computing task with ease, from web browsing through to working on documents or photo editing.

Furthermore, the Core i5-1135G7 is capable of boosting to clock speeds of 4.2GHz, and this quad-core processor also has integrated Xe graphics, meaning that it’s capable of handling casual gaming. The CPU is backed up by 8GB of system RAM.

The rest of the Galaxy Book’s spec includes a roomy 15.6-inch screen with smartly slim bezels and a Full HD resolution. 

This display is great for watching videos or movies, perusing photos, gaming, or of course working – and it’s complemented by stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos to give the audio a bit more pep, too.

Plus there’s a front-facing camera (and mic) to make video calls with, or take part in tutorials or meetings online if needed. 

The cherry on top is that this 15.6-inch notebook is impressively svelte and lightweight, making it easy to carry anywhere, and it offers plenty of battery life when out and about (a claimed 11 hours, which is impressive stuff for battery longevity).

Samsung’s Galaxy Book carries an affordable price tag for a premium-quality laptop, namely £699 – with it being even better valued thanks to the offer John Lewis is currently running, and the entire range comes with a 3-year warranty.

(Another quick point to note – John Lewis also exclusively sells the denim blue coloured model, as well as the silver one).

Budding offer

Samsung Galaxy Book on bed

(Image credit: John Lewis)

As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is on sale at John Lewis for £589, and the Samsung Galaxy Book is available for £699 from John Lewis

Both of these – and in fact a whole host of Samsung Galaxy Book and Tab S6 Lite or Tab S7 family – come with an offer that allows the buyer to claim a free pair of Galaxy Buds Live (with a two-year guarantee). 

These are premium wireless earbuds which normally retail at £159, so that’s an impressive freebie for those who want a seamless solution for listening to their favourite songs, audiobooks or whatever.

Bear in mind that the Galaxy Buds Live offer is subject to the following terms as laid out by Samsung: “Purchase between 28.07.21 – 24.08.21 from a participating retailer. Claim online from Samsung between 0 – 60 days from the date of purchase. UK/ROI. 18+ only. See here for full Ts&Cs. Subject to availability.”

Note the ‘subject to availability’ mention at the end, which suggests that if keen, any would-be purchaser should move sooner rather than later (and certainly before August 24 when the offer runs out). Don’t forget that the offer must be claimed within 60 days after making a purchase, too.

Finally, it’s well worth noting that purchasing from John Lewis provides a two-year guarantee, which also comes with any of Samsung’s laptops or tablets bought from the retailer – many of which are equally good options for students, spanning different price ranges and budgets. 

As it’s double the length of the manufacturer’s standard one-year warranty, it’ll doubtless grant some very welcome extra peace of mind.