Given the company’s previous tablet release schedule, there's been some head-scratching as to where the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is. While the Galaxy Tab S7 emerged in August of 2020, it seems that Samsung has skipped a new tablet release for 2021.
But the good news is that it looks like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra version will be worth the wait, if new leaked specifications from SamMobile (opens in new tab) turn out to be correct.
First of all, it sounds like it might be a proper Apple competitor, even if it may apparently feature the dreaded camera notch. SamMobile reports that the 14.6-inch tablet will have extremely thin 6.3mm bezels, and the body will be thinner still at 5.5mm. To put that into perspective, the 11-inch iPad Pro is 5.9mm thick.
But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and one benefit of the later release date is that Samsung can pack the tablet with more powerful internals. Sure enough, SamMobile claims that the tablet will be using the brand-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and there will also apparently be three different variants for the RAM and storage hungry: 8GB/128GB, 12GB/256GB and 16GB/512GB.
The 11,200 mAh battery will apparently support 45W fast charging, and there will reportedly be a total of four cameras, equally divided between the front and back. The supposed main 13MP camera might pair with a 6MP ultra-wide lens, while the front could feature dual 12MP lenses (again, one for ultra-wide shots).
It's likely that the S Pen will once again stick magnetically to the back of the tablet when not in use, and Samsung will probably add a couple of new tricks within the One UI 4.1 skinned Android 12 OS, too.
SamMobile says that it will bring "new customization and personalization" options, as well as adjustable app window transparency, the ability to launch apps from a taskbar and an Extra Dim mode for reduced eye strain when using your tablet in the dark. It will also allgedly be the first tablet to feature the Samsung Health app, apparently, with a dedicated tablet-friendly layout featuring three columns.
Samsung’s DeX (“Desktop Experience” — the mode that allows you to plug your device into a monitor with mouse and keyboard support) will reportedly return, but now has support for both landscape and portrait mode, too.
Availability could be one small fly in the ointment. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is rumored to be a marquee product, but not one that’ll be widely available. The tablet will reportedly only be available in certain regions, in limited quantities and isn’t guaranteed new stock when units run out.
Even if that report proves accurate, strong sales figures could, of course, change Samsung’s mind. We’ll just have to see how it performs when we get the tablet in our hands, which will hopefully be early next year.