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Past the Alphabet

Android Central's LLoyd with a projection with a Google logo

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Past the Alphabet is a weekly column that focuses on the tech world each in and out of the confines of Mountain View.

Over the previous 10-15 years, we have been seeing the gradual decline of smaller gadgets in favor of ones with bigger screens. “Greater is best” is the motto that many corporations now dwell by, and the identical sentiment rings true with tablets. There are just a few exceptions, akin to Apple’s iPad Mini, however normally, if you would like the most effective pill expertise, particularly on Android, it is large display screen or bust.

One may surmise that the will to make use of tablets as laptop computer replacements has led to bigger and extra obnoxious display screen sizes. Sadly, there are nonetheless compromises to be discovered even with the most effective tablets. I imply, it is absurd to me that Samsung does not provide the Galaxy Tab S9 Extremely with mobile connectivity. That is reserved for the Tab S9 Plus, which is ok, however the Extremely is definitely extra of a laptop computer alternative than the Plus. 

For essentially the most half, if a pill is launched and is smaller than ten inches, it most likely options middling or laughable specs. This wasn’t at all times the case, because the Nexus 7 from 2013 and the Galaxy Tab S3 from 2017 have been each flagship tablets with sub-10-inch screens. 

Nexus tablets

(Picture credit score: Android Central)

These days, a pill bigger than 10 inches often implies that it is a flagship pill with extra energy and higher screens. There are apparent exceptions to this rule, akin to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus, that are each above my made-up measurement threshold whereas utilizing Exynos chips.

I’ve typically questioned why that is the case, particularly as flagship processors proceed to get extra environment friendly whereas nonetheless offering loads of energy. Take the Lenovo Y700, for instance. It was launched in China final yr and provides an 8.8-inch show and a 2560 x 1600 decision. Powering the Y700 is the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, paired with both 12GB or 16GB of RAM.

Lenovo Legion Tab (2024) lifestyle render

(Picture credit score: Lenovo)

Lenovo lately introduced a refreshed mannequin (Legion Tab) that retains the identical internals however swaps out the shiny show for a “micro-nano etched” glass. From every thing that I’ve seen, it appears fairly just like the etched glass discovered on the higher-end Steam Deck configurations. For what it is price, this goals to reduce the glare with out compromising the standard of the show.

Sure, I am additionally conscious that the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is an outdated chip, because the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 now powers lots of the greatest Android telephones. However, I’d argue that there is nonetheless area out there for tablets that bridge the hole between price range and flagship.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE next to Galaxy Z Fold 5

(Picture credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

For reference, the Legion Tab is priced at €599, which interprets to nearly $640. With out accounting for any offers or trade-in promotions, the Tab S9 FE Plus retails for $600 however is not precisely the best couch-surfing pill. For an additional $40, I might fairly go together with the Legion Tab, even when it lacks the additional software program polish and options present in One UI.

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