Can working on a laptop be replaced by using a more portable and lightweight device such as a tablet or cellphone? This question may have arisen in the minds of some people including myself.

Many products have been released to present solutions to these questions, but most have failed. Samsung also participated in trying to present the solution by releasing the Galaxy Tab S4 tablet that uses the Android operating system.

Galaxy Tab S4 is different from most other Android tablets. If most Android tablets look more like Android phones but with larger device sizes, Samsung takes a somewhat different step by presenting various features and accessories on the Galaxy Tab S4 that are useful for productivity.

There are 3 main strengths of Galaxy Tab S4: S Pen, keyboard accessories, and Samsung DeX. S Pen on this tablet allows users to freely do drawing or writing activities by hand while the keyboard makes typing activities much faster and more convenient.

The last and most important strength in the Galaxy Tab S4 is the Samsung DeX mode. With DeX, the appearance of the tablet interface totally changes to look more like a desktop operating system with a task bar and multi windows. Doing more complex work and multi-tasking is more convenient than using the standard Android interface.

Galaxy Tab S4 - Design

In terms of design, nothing stands out from the Galaxy Tab S4. This tablet looks like an ordinary tablet with a large size and bezel that is still quite wide. Weighing only 482 grams, but so if used with one hand for a longer period will be enough to make a sore hand.

The screen size is 10.5 ″ with a resolution of 1600 × 2560 pixels and uses Super AMOLED technology. This makes the Galaxy Tab S4 can display bright images and the size of the screen will feel useful when using DeX mode.

Galaxy Tab S4 - S Pen

By default, the Galaxy Tab S4 has been pinned with an S Pen. The appearance and size of the S Pen is similar to a pen. S This pen functions to cross out write or write writing by hand. However, the S Pen on the Galaxy Tab S4 is not as sophisticated as the Galaxy Note 9, which already uses Bluetooth technology.

Sketching, signing documents, and editing photos to add text and scribbles is not difficult and feels natural in the Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen instead of using a finger.

I myself could use the Galaxy Tab S4 and S Pen when repairing a house to photograph areas that need to be repaired, then the important points in the photo I gave additional information as a reference to the builder. As a result, coordinating with a builder for home improvement has become much easier.

Although the S Pen is very useful for making handwriting, it doesn’t help for typing matters. This is where the Book Cover Keyboard accessories from Samsung go into action. This accessory functions as a protective case for the Galaxy Tab S4, tablet stand, S Pen storage area, and physical keyboard as well.

The keyboard in this Book Cover can be connected to the Galaxy Tab S4 via the available POGO pin. When the keyboard is connected, the Galaxy Tab S4 will automatically enter DeX mode. The keyboard size is rather small to adjust to the size of the Galaxy Tab S4. But once the keyboard is still comfortable to use and even when typed the button feels quite natural.

Unfortunately, this Book Cover Keyboard is sold separately at a price that is quite expensive. Need to spend around 1.5 million rupiah to get it. These accessories are likely to be cheaper if you buy a Galaxy Tab S4 tablet and Book Cover Keyboard.

There is one additional accessory needed to help the performance of the Galaxy Tab S4 as a productivity tablet, the mouse, but Samsung has not released their S Mouse accessories. Fortunately, a standard USB mouse can be used by connecting to the Galaxy Tab S4 via the USB On-The-Go feature.

Galaxy Tab S4 - Slot

A tablet that can be used for work besides requiring complete features also needs strong viscera. For performance, the Galaxy Tab S4 entrusts it to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset which is already quite fast in performance but still one generation behind the chipset used by the latest Samsung flagship such as the Galaxy Note 9.

To support the use of tablets for a long time, Samsung embed a 7300 mAh battery capacity. The battery can be used to work all day without the need to charge. I myself can get a screen on time for 7 hours 42 minutes from the level of 100% to 15% for the use of working in DeX mode which incidentally requires more battery power.

However, due to its large battery capacity, charging the Galaxy Tab S4 is quite time consuming. It takes 2 hours 48 minutes to charge the battery from the level of 14% to 100% using the built-in battery charger.

The storage capacity on the Galaxy Tab S4 is only 64 GB and 4 GB RAM. If the storage capacity is deemed lacking, a MicroSD slot is available to expand the storage on this tablet. The back camera and front camera are available on the Galaxy Tab S4 but the quality is standard. This is understandable because tablets are usually not used for photographs.

One thing that is somewhat disturbing about the camera in the Galaxy Tab S4 is when the tablet uses the Book Cover Keyboard and the tablet is set horizontally. If you make a video call with this configuration, the results of the camera feel a bit less natural because the perspective is too down. This can be tricked by positioning the tablet vertically using the help of the Book Cover Keyboard accessories to make it stand tall.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 - DeX

With all the accessories and hardware innards that are presented, then what surf is this tablet when used to work replacing a laptop? For work around writing, writing and drawing, the Galaxy Tab S4 is quite comfortable to use.

As mentioned earlier, DeX mode is the primary key that turns the Galaxy Tab S4 into a productivity device. With the appearance of an overhauled Android interface to make it more similar to the desktop display makes the Galaxy Tab S4 able to provide convenience for use as a working device.

The DeX mode in the Galaxy Tab S4 is somewhat different compared to the one in the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. DeX mode can be directly activated via a shortcut in the notification area without the need to connect to an external monitor. This can happen because the size of the Galaxy Tab S4 is already large enough to accommodate the DeX mode.

Combined with the Book Cover Keyboard and mouse make the Galaxy Tab S4 like a mini laptop but with more minimal features than a Windows or Mac based laptop.

Using a variety of applications in DeX mode is quite smooth although the application loading process is a bit slower than in normal Android mode. Some applications have been designed to be used in DeX mode and for other applications will be automatically made compatible with DeX. However, there are still applications that cannot run at all in DeX mode.

Some productivity applications that are already compatible with DeX include Microsoft Office application packages, Adobe Photoshop, Google applications. Unfortunately for Office applications in DeX mode, you need to subscribe to Office 360 ​​first. If you want to stay free, you can use alternative applications such as WPS Office or Google Docs.

To surf the web in DeX mode, it’s more convenient to use Samsung’s default web browser. The destination website will be directly displayed using desktop mode. Popular web browsers like Chrome still look a bit cluttered in DeX mode and can’t automatically open websites in desktop mode.

In order to make work data on the Galaxy Tab S4 safe, Samsung uses their own homemade security platform, namely Samsung Knox, in addition to the standard security from Android. For tablet access protection, Samsung provides an iris scanner on the Galaxy Tab S4 as found in the latest Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series.

Galaxy Tab S4 - Keyboard

After I used it for some time for my various jobs, in my opinion Galaxy Tab S4 can only satisfy the needs of working for people with certain types of work. Not all types of workers can use this tablet to work to replace a laptop.

Galaxy Tab S4 is more suitable for those who work more in the writing area to write and draw or scribble with simple application requirements. Some examples might be those who work as book writers, article writers, and sketchmakers.

If the work requires more complex equipment such as programmers or animators it will be difficult to work using the Galaxy Tab S4 because both the applications available and the software features are still less than a laptop.

With the price is quite expensive especially coupled with its accessories, is it worth buying a Galaxy Tab S4 compared to a laptop? If it is concerned with portability and light weight, the Galaxy Tab S4 is an attractive choice as long as the work area is suitable for this tablet.

Maybe if later Samsung DeX and Android have developed further, the Galaxy Tab S4 will have a wider range of types of work that can be supported.