When I first walked into the testing area for the new Galaxy devices, ready to get my hands on the new S22 or Tab S8, it was in fact, the Ultra Tab S8 that immediately caught my eye. I had never seen anything like it before.
Why? Because it’s absolutely huge. With its nearly 15-inch screen, it makes the 12.9-inch iPad Pro look puny. You could surf on that thing.
In fact, it’s so big, that it couldn’t stay in portrait position on the stand Samsung presented it on without completely toppling over. It bears repeating: this thing is massive.
Too big? No, three big
Now immediately, I thought, "what’s the point of having a tablet this big?" Is there any added value that comes with the increase in size? The Galaxy Tab S8 and S8 Plus, after all, hover in the low, single-digit-inch sizes - and some people might find even the Plus to be too big. But after testing the thing, I think I get it.
First of all, for any type of art-related work, having a digital canvas this large was really quite useful. I could sketch in different areas without having to zoom in and out of my sheet. I also had loads of space for long swooping strokes.
Equally, for note-taking, I was never in danger of filling up a page straightaway. I could scrawl and scrawl and scrawl without fearing that I would run out of space.
I also imagine that a display this size is great for streaming, though that’s not something I actually tested.
You could set the device up on a desk and easily binge-watch sitcoms or YouTube videos while doing something else - I personally love to watch videos on a side screen while I play video games, so a tablet this size for streaming would be particularly useful for me.
A portable work station
When I’m not gaming and/or watching videos, I’m working, and I can see the Tab S8 Ultra being useful for that too.
You see, when the pandemic lockdown began, I was using a tiny laptop for work - and occasionally, a medium-sized tablet as a second screen. When it became clear that I’d be working from home for ages, I upgraded to a giant monitor - which made the tablet just too small as a secondary display.
I don’t see that being the case with the Ultra-sized tablet. I reckon I could put it alongside my big PC monitor and actually use both screens for work.
Because it’s wide-screen, I can see myself split-screening two apps on the tablet pretty easily - maybe a work chat app and my emails - and being able to see both at the same time.
Sure, the tablet is ludicrously expensive, so I don’t see it being a useful productivity tool that fits everyone. But after testing it, this tablet’s giant screen doesn’t seem as unnecessary as I initially thought - and I'm looking forward to soon trying it out for longer.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.