Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review: Super screen, but it’s no Surface Pro

Price when reviewed

The Microsoft Surface was revolutionary when it first debuted four years ago. The idea of a wraparound keyboard case on a tablet that ran Windows meant that – in theory at least – you could forgo the laptop for a lighter, much more portable device.

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then it’s a testament to Microsoft that the design is now commonplace, and no longer limited to Windows devices. With the iPad Pro, Apple has at last conceded that a keyboard and stylus is sometimes handy, and now here is Samsung’s alternative. Running Windows 10, it’s a direct competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and HP Spectre x2. So how does it do?

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Appearance

Retailing at £850, the Galaxy TabPro S is expensive for a tablet, even a 12in one such as this, so it’s just as well it looks the part. The detachable tablet is curved on the edges and flat on the back – like someone took a rolling pin to the Galaxy S7 in the best possible sense. It doesn’t have any physical home button, unlike a phone, and the bezel is perhaps a little thicker than I’d like, but it still looks the part.

Unlike some of its rivals, it’s also pretty cleanly designed, having as it does a single USB Type-C port, used for data connections and charging. This presents its own problems, but in terms of appearance, it keeps things streamlined and minimalist.[gallery:5]

Add the faux-leather keyboard case that comes bundled with it and things look, if anything, more stylish. Just as with Microsoft’s Surface series of tablets, the keyboard sits completely flush against the table when it’s folded up and adds barely any heft at all to the machine as you carry it around.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Screen

The main selling point of the Galaxy TabPro S is its stunning AMOLED screen, and it’s the main reason you might consider buying one ahead of its rivals. Anyone who has used a recent Samsung Galaxy S phone will know what to expect here: perfect contrast with true black, impeccable colour accuracy, and sharp, vibrant image quality.

The Galaxy TabPro delivers. At 12in across the diagonal, it’s around four times the size of your average smartphone with the same resolution (2,160 x 1,400); the pixel density is a little lower, but bear in mind that it’s still a higher resolution than the majority of televisions. In other words, it’s sharp enough for most people’s needs, and just as adding 4K to a smartphone screen is just plain silly, it would be overkill here as well.[gallery:3]

So, onto the numbers. In our tests, we registered a top brightness of 363cd/m2, which is extremely high for any laptop screen, and it covers 99.9% of the sRGB gamut. Being AMOLED, its contrast ratio is perfect too. In other words, you’d be hard pushed to find a better display on a device this size, be it a tablet, laptop or convertible.

It’s also stylus-compatible, just like the Surface Pro 4 and HP Spectre x2, although Samsung’s Bluetooth C-Pen stylus isn’t included in the box, which is disappointing.  

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