Join us on Telegram | Early Samsung Black Friday deals, check them out right now!

SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Laptop replacement? Samsung tablets make the iPad Pro look useless

Opinion
By 

Last updated: August 9th, 2021 at 09:17 UTC+01:00

I’ve been moving house over the past few days, meaning the circumstances turned my PC from a versatile workhorse into a lifeless corpse in need of a hauling. And it just so happens that the only large-screen portable device I’ve had on hand was the 2020 iPad Pro. The larger, 12.9-inch model, with the accompanying “Magic” Keyboard to boot.

As my day-to-day mostly comes down to working in text editors and WordPress, I figured that combo would be a sufficient replacement for a short while. Even the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) came close to serving my writing needs early last year. And that thing was bundled as a bonus for extending my carrier contract. Had it only arrived with a physical keyboard, no matter how cheap, I’d have probably kept it to this date.

Apple makes a ton of money from keeping Safari useless

That and a brief sting with a year-old Galaxy Tab S6 Lite were my most recent tablet exeriences before buying the said iPad primarily as a Procreate machine. Stupid, right? Perhaps, but not as stupid as picking up the Magic Keyboard months after the fact and expecting the thing to become anything akin to a laptop. Even a barebones MacBook would have sufficed.

Alas, the hectic nature of last week made me forget about one key factor at play here: Apple makes a lot of money from the App Store. Safari? Not so much. And the closed nature of iOS means every browser available on the iPad is just a reskinned version of Safari. Aka the new Internet Explorer of the frontend world; the thing holding back the web technologies the most these days.

To say Safari—especially this watered-down version of it running on iOS—is terrible would be a gross understatement. The last season of Game of Thrones was terrible. Trying to interact with a text area through Safari… life’s just not long enough to bother. I do miss that entry-level Galaxy slate, Samsung Internet is pretty much the anti-Safari.

It’s all kind of hilarious to think in retrospect, because my attempts to use the four-times-as-expensive iPad Pro fell flat way before the typing experience even came into play. Which is what made me decide to sell the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (its keyboard covers were just too inconvenient to acquire).

To illustrate, consider the following requirements:

  1. you need to write something
  2. you need to publish that something online
  3. both of those things need to be doable on the go

The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite hardly offered the best-in-class typing experience, but it did the job and had all of those points covered. Unfortunately for me, I’ve only had it for a few days in order to root it, then returned it to its owner. But over in Apple’s domain, Cupertino expects you to open the App Store, search for “write and publish something on the go”, then hope you get lucky. “Lucky” in the sense that the exact functionality you’re looking for has already been appified for your particular use case and domain.

One-size-fits-all doesn’t exactly work in publishing. Or most other fields, for that matter. And even beyond the ridiculous appification, the inability to keep more than two apps open at the same time bordered on infuriating. 13 inches of screen real estate and the best you can do is a split view? Even my Galaxy Note 10 could run three pop-up windows from day one.

Overall, if you need a tablet-sized portable computer, I’d probably advise you to go with Microsoft’s Surface line these days. But for this particular use case, Samsung’s entire portfolio just straight-up laughs at the iPad. Courtesy of having access to a 21st-century browser. Anyone else made a similar mistake? Was I just using this thing wrong?

Opinion AppleGalaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020)Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Load 12 comments

You might also like

Q3 smartphone shipments to Europe declined but Samsung kept the lead

Demand for smartphones in Europe appears to be declining, but Samsung maintained the lead in Q3 2022 despite considerable losses. The European smartphone market shrunk by 16% year-on-year, with market watchers saying that shipments were just a little over 40 million units due to economic challenges. Xiaomi capitalized on the Russian market to rise to […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 1 day ago

Apple finally brings Samsung-like AoD implementation for iPhone 14 Pro

Apple’s iPhones didn’t have the Always-On Display (AoD) mode that has been present on Samsung’s Galaxy phones for generations. With the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple finally brought AoD, but the phones consumed a lot of power. And that’s because Apple’s implementation of AoD was unnecessarily flashy compared to Samsung’s. It displayed dimmed versions of the […]

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 3 days ago

Samsung to increase QD-OLED production, aims to get orders from Apple

Earlier this year, Samsung revealed its first QD-OLED TV, and it went on to become among the highest-rated TVs of the year. It uses the QD-OLED panel made by Samsung Display, the company’s display manufacturing arm. Now, it is being reported that the company will increase its QD-OLED production. According to a report from UBI […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 week ago

You can now natively browse your iCloud Photos library on your Samsung Windows 11 laptop

A month ago, Microsoft announced that Apple is bringing Apple TV and Apple Music apps to Windows PCs. It had also revealed that Windows 11 will feature native integration with Apple’s iCloud Photos library. The integration is finally rolling out to all Windows 11 users. The iCloud Photos integration with the Photos app on Windows 11 […]

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 1 week ago

Best Samsung Galaxy Tablets in November 2022

Nobody makes Android tablets the way Samsung does. The company is an outlier as it still comes out with a flagship Android tablet every year. As part of the company’s vision to offer something for everyone, Samsung’s lineup also includes mid-range and affordable options. Its flagship tablets have really come into their own over the […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 2 weeks ago

Samsung closed the gap on Xiaomi in India during the 3rd quarter

Amid declining smartphone shipments to India throughout Q3 2022, Samsung closed the gap on Xiaomi and became the only smartphone brand — among the top 5 — to have experienced annual growth. The Korean tech giant also continues to lead combined handset shipments (smartphones + feature phones) in India with an 18% market share. Market research shows that […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 2 weeks ago