Galaxy Tab S4 vs Surface Pro 6 Best 2-in-1 Tablet 2020

In case you haven’t noticed yet: 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrids are now more popular than ever. They offer a very attractive blend of portability and productivity, positioning themselves as lightweight laptop replacements for people who want to create and consume content everywhere—not just behind a desk.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Samsung ElectronicsSamsung Electronics Galaxy Tab S4, 10.5Check Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface Pro 6Check Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface PenCheck Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface Pro Signature Type CoverCheck Price on Amazon

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Everyone interested in 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrids has to decide whether to go with an Android or a Windows device. In this article, we compare the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, a popular Android large-screen tablet with an optional keyboard cover, with the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, a best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, to see which of them deserves your money.

Build and Design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a 10.5-inch tablet with a Super AMOLED display and no physical home button. It’s just the right size and weight for comfortable use on the couch, but you’ll likely end up wishing for a larger device when editing documents or doing research on the internet.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has a 12.3-inch display and weighs nearly twice as much as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Using it on the couch is a great exercise but not great fun. But as soon as you say goodbye to fun and launch Word or Excel, the tablet starts to shine as the productivity workhorse it is.

Being a traditional, albeit beautiful, Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 doesn’t offer much in terms of connectivity. There’s just one port USB-C fast charging port, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. You can, however, do quite a lot with the single USB-C port, including transforming the tablet into a PC. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has one full-size USB 3.1 generation 1 Type-A port, a mini-DisplayPort, the proprietary Surface Connect port, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a microSD card slot.

Performance

It’s no secret that tablets are oversized smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and has 4 GB of memory and 64 or 256 GB of internal storage. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has the same specifications and very similar performance.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6, on the other hand, features the same hardware components that you can find in laptops. That includes a current 8th-generation chip from Intel, up to 16 GB of memory, and up to 1 TB of storage space.

With the might of Intel’s Core i5 or i7 processor at your fingertips, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 won’t limit your productivity in any way, and it can comfortably run even the most demanding Windows applications such as Photoshop and AutoCAD. As far as Android devices go, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is no slouch, but its performance is limited by its mobile DNA.

Software

You already know what’s possible on Windows, but you probably have no idea what the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 can do. It comes with Android 8.1 Oreo and supports Samsung DeX, which lets you turn your tablet into a PC-like experience with a single cable.

Samsung DeX gives you a big screen, a full-size keyboard, and a mouse, allowing you to use apps, review documents, and watch videos on a PC-like interface. You can copy and paste text between apps, resize app windows and have several of them displayed side by side, use keyboard shortcuts, and select multiple files and quickly drag and drop them into Samsung Email or your messages app, just to give a few examples.

To properly operate the tablet in DeX mode, you need a mouse or the S Pen, which Samsung kindly includes with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Not all Android apps support Samsung DeX, and DeX itself is far from perfect, but it represents a major leap forward for 2-in-1 Android tablets and provides a very compelling alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and other Windows tablets.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with a Wi-Fi connection costs less than the LTE version. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 price doesn’t include the  Type Cover.

Verdict

If you depend on certain Windows applications, don’t force yourself into buying an Android tablet. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 isn’t much more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, but it won’t limit you in any way. But if you’re happy with Android, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 gives you many reasons to add it to your shopping card. Its Samsung DeX mode is the best take on the concept of laptop-tablet convergence we’ve seen to date, and its powerful mobile processor shows that you don’t need power-hungry hardware to work and play without any limits.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Samsung ElectronicsSamsung Electronics Galaxy Tab S4, 10.5Check Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface Pro 6Check Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface PenCheck Price on Amazon
MicrosoftMicrosoft Surface Pro Signature Type CoverCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.