There are several tablets in the market today, but none better than the Galaxy Tab S6. This is thanks primarily to the sharp AMOLED display that goes into the tablet. However, Microsoft changed the game to some extent with the announcement of the Surface Pro 7. An equally capable, if not better (on paper) device, the Surface Pro 7 brings the best of Surface and takes it to the next level. So it’s only fair that we compare the two devices to ascertain how they perform against each other, especially given that they’re the latest tablets from Samsung and Microsoft, respectively. So let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the two devices.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 10.5
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|NEW Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - 12.3
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Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Surface Pro 7 Best Tablet 2020
Display and Design
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the display is one of the biggest strengths of the Galaxy Tab S6. Its sports a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. The display has an aspect ratio of 16:10 with a pixel density of 287 pixels per inch. Samsung has made some significant improvements in the field of design with the tablet featuring an almost all-bezel design. This is because Samsung isn’t using a hardware button with a fingerprint scanner and is using an under-display optical fingerprint scanner instead. This tech is also seen on Samsung’s 2o19 flagship handsets like the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10.
Processor and RAM
The Galaxy Tab S6 runs the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, which makes use of the Adreno 640 GPU to handle graphics-heavy games and apps. The entry-level model of the Galaxy Tab S6 comes with 6GB of RAM while the top-end variant sports 8GB of RAM. It’s pretty clear that this tablet is built for productivity, and Samsung is driving that point home with the Galaxy Tab S6.
The tablet packs a non-removable 7040 mAh battery, which can last the entire day, depending on your usage. Samsung mentions that the Galaxy Tab S6 can run for around 15 hours on a single charge, which is also thanks in part to the AMOLED display, which keeps the screen efficient. Samsung provides a 15W fast charger with this tablet, which can juice up the Galaxy Tab S6 within a few hours.
This is an area where the Galaxy Tab S6 has plenty to talk about. In addition to being an excellent tablet on its own, Samsung is also offering its iconic S Pen stylus along with the device. This allows customers to draw, sketch, take notes, or doodle using this unique stylus while also handling some UI elements with the embedded button. Since there’s no silo or slot for the S Pen stylus, Samsung has made it magnetic, which means it can easily stick to the back of the tablet. Samsung also specifies that this tablet comes with a set of four speakers that are tuned by AKG, while it also features Dolby Atmos sound. Not every day do we see a tablet with four speakers, so it’s apparent that this is a media powerhouse and one of the closest rivals to the Apple iPad.
Samsung’s optical fingerprint scanner makes an entry here as well, which can register your fingerprint with astounding accuracy. The real goal with the Galaxy Tab S6 is to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. This is why Samsung also sells a keyboard case for the tablet (purchased separately), which can turn this Android tablet into a workstation. This tablet supports Samsung’s DeX standard, which allows you to use your phone/tablet in a desktop-like user interface. This is worth considering if you’re looking to use this to work on a monitor or display.
Also new to the tablet is a dual-camera setup on the back. This consists of a 13MP and 5MP sensor while the front uses an 8MP camera for selfies and video calls. The tablet uses the reversible USB C 3.1 port, which means it can offer rapid data transfer speeds in addition to the aforementioned fast charging capabilities. This device runs Android 9.0 Pie by default with Samsung’s custom One UI skin on top. Given that this is a 2019 device, one can expect the tablet to receive the Android 10 update reasonably soon. The tablet is available with 128 or 256GB of internal storage, which doesn’t matter much because the company also provides a MicroSD slot that can work with cards of up to 1TB in capacity.
The Galaxy Tab S6 can be bought via multiple retail channels, including Amazon. The online retailer is currently offering the tablet in Mountain Gray, Rose Blush, and Cloud Blue colors. Both the storage variants are available from the retailer. A standard 1-year limited Samsung warranty supports the tablet.
Display and Design
The Surface Pro 7 is the newest of the two devices, and it comes with a fair bit of upgrades that make it one of the best tablet-notebook hybrids available in the market today. It has a premium magnesium unibody construction. It is relatively bigger than the Galaxy Tab S6, which is also because it holds together a bigger 12.3-inch PixelSense 10-point touchscreen display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824, which roughly translates to a pixel density of 267 PPI, so it’s slightly lagging behind Samsung in this regard. While the bezels are not entirely gone, they’re minimal here, although we prefer Samsung’s implementation better.
Processor and RAM
This is an area where the Surface Pro 7 gets hard to beat. It features desktop-level hardware, including choices between Intel’s 10th-gen Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. These are available in dual and quad-core variants, respectively. In terms of RAM capacity, customers get to choose between 8GB or 16GB, giving it a significant advantage over the Galaxy Tab S6.
While Microsoft doesn’t specify the battery capacity of the Surface Pro 7, it mentions that it can last for 10.5 hours on a single charge, which is reasonably impressive considering the hardware it’s running. However, performance may vary depending on the tasks/apps you run as well as other factors like display brightness and active use. Microsoft claims that the battery can go from 0% to 80% in just over one hour, which is pretty spectacular for a device like this.
While the Surface Pro 7 doesn’t have a fancy dual-camera setup like the Galaxy Tab S6, Microsoft has made sure to include a camera on the front and back, respectively. Users will get an 8MP camera on the back, and a decent 5MP front camera for high-definition video calls on apps like Skype. The Surface Pro 7 also falls behind the Galaxy Tab S6 in terms of speaker quality. While Microsoft has included dual 1.6W stereo speakers, it probably cannot replicate the sound of the powerful quad-speakers of the Galaxy Tab S6.
The Surface Pro 7 doesn’t come with a fingerprint sensor but has an equally capable Windows Hello face authentication sensor which utilizes the front camera. This can let you effortlessly sign in to the device or authenticate passwords and compatible apps. Microsoft has learned from its past mistakes. Consequently, they have included a USB A port in addition to the reversible USB C port. The device also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which the Galaxy Tab S6 lacks, so the Surface Pro 7 has managed to pull things back in its favor quite decently.
The Surface Pro 7 runs Windows 10 Home by default and also includes a free 30-day trial for Office 365. The tablet/laptop hybrid also comes with dual far-field studio microphones to listen to your voice commands even from a distance. Microsoft provides an additional accessory called the Type Cover, which has seen multiple upgrades and is undoubtedly one of the best add-on keyboards available in the market right now.
As you would imagine, the Surface Pro 7 can be bought from practically any electronics store in the U.S., although online options are significantly better and somewhat cheaper. Amazon currently offers the Surface Pro 7 in 128 and 256GB storage variants with 8GB of RAM. You get the choice between Intel i5 and i7 processors with the latter option costing you much higher due to the boost in performance.
While both devices have their benefits and shortcomings, it ultimately comes down to what you want from your next tablet-laptop hybrid. Windows 10 Home is much more optimized for desktop-level tasks like typing long documents or sending emails while also catching up with friends and family using a wide array of social media apps.
The Galaxy Tab S6 runs Android 9, which undoubtedly has a more significant collection of games and apps to choose from. While there are a healthy amount of games for the Surface Pro 7 as well, Android devices appear to be better optimized for now, especially with all the new games launching in 2024. So as you can see, these two tablets serve entirely different audiences. But if you’re seriously torn between these two devices, we recommend checking them out both personally at a store near you before making your decision. You certainly can’t go wrong with either tablet.