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

News For You
News For You

Pros and cons of an 8.7-inch foldable Galaxy Z tablet


Last updated: June 19th, 2024 at 13:25 UTC+02:00

We believe Samsung has entered a new era of experimentation, even though its slab-type phones might not show it, as they follow a true and tested design path. Nevertheless, the company is tinkering with AI and new device categories, such as smart rings and VR headsets, and is even said to be working on expanding its foldable device portfolio.

As we shared earlier this week, if Samsung intends to release a foldable tablet in the slightest, we believe this might be the best time to do it. I like the idea of a big-screen device that can fold to become more portable, but the question is, what would such a device look like, exactly? What are the risks involved in developing such a tablet, and would enough people want one?

The foldable Galaxy tablet design hasn't been tested or proven yet, and we can conceive several form factors that could succeed or fail. Of the bunch, we picked three, and today, we're exploring the pros and cons of a possible 8.7-inch foldable tablet.

8.7-inch foldable Galaxy Z tablet: The pros

Samsung's smallest rigid tablet right now is the Galaxy Tab A9. For the purpose of this exercise, we're going to ignore the tablet's low-end hardware specifications and only use it as a size template.

For reference, the Tab A9 is equipped with an 8.7-inch display, measures 211 x 124.7 x 8mm, and weighs around 330 grams. Fold it in half, and it should measure roughly 105 x 124.7 x 16mm. Add a hinge, and it might weigh a little more.

Here are the main reasons why we think an 8.7-inch foldable tablet could work:

  • An 8.7-inch tablet offers the most compact design — great for people who travel often and business users who need a slightly bigger screen (with S Pen support) they can take anywhere.
  • Large enough to outperform the Z Fold series' inner screen as a tablet. Small enough to be easier and cheaper to manufacture than, say, a foldable laptop.
  • A foldable 8.7-inch tablet would offer a purer Android tablet experience — unlike the Galaxy Z Fold series, which delivers more of a large-screen phone experience than a tablet due to it running phone apps that scale up to the size of the foldable screen.
  • Higher durability. Plus, in case of a foldable screen failure, the relatively compact 8.7-inch wouldn't cost too much to replace.
  • There would be no need for a dual-hinge system for this size. One hinge should be enough. Fewer hinges result in lower costs and fewer potential points of failure.
  • The relatively small body and a single hinge design wouldn't make the tablet too heavy and unwieldy. Portability is key and must be one of the greatest selling points of foldable tablets.
  • An 8.7-inch display would be small enough that pairing the tablet with a phone-sized thin S Pen rather than a thicker tablet-grade S Pen might not seem out of place. The S Pen could be holstered inside the tablet's body and included in the default experience out-of-the-box.
  • It might be the safest way for Samsung to test if the market is ready for and desires a single-screen foldable tablet device.
  • It could be a great mobile gaming device. Not too heavy and difficult to use but large enough for a more immersive gaming experience. And highly portable.
  • An 8.7-inch foldable Samsung tablet might steal the attention away from Apple and the iPad Mini. Apple is rumored to finally replace the 2021 iPad Mini with a new model this year.

8.7-inch foldable Galaxy Z tablet: The cons

Unfortunately, creating an 8.7-inch foldable Galaxy tablet doesn't seem to be without risks. After long consideration, we believe these might be the biggest risks Samsung would face if it were to create such a device:

  • The 8.7-inch tablet size isn't very popular among high-end tablet users, who usually gravitate toward larger screens. By popular vote, 8.7-inch tablets normally belong to the low-cost segment, and releasing an expensive foldable tablet with high-end specs might be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It could fail due to this reason alone.
  • A foldable 8.7-inch tablet could be too small to convince prospective buyers that they need one alongside a phone. Instead, they might prefer buying the hybrid Galaxy Z Fold, which combines both.
  • Fitting a hinge on such a relatively small slate could potentially result in smaller batteries and battery life losses that would seem unreasonable and unjustifiable for the tablet segment.

Final thoughts. Can or should it be done?

Even though there seem to be more pros than cons to an 8.7-inch foldable Galaxy tablet, this isn't a numbers game. One single pro or con could tip the scales and make or break our theoretical device.

We can't predict how such a foldable tablet would perform, but at the very least, a smaller 8.7-inch device seems like the safest investment for Samsung and prospective buyers.

Then again, the device might be too small for a high-end tablet, and in the end, none of its qualities might matter if too few high-end tablet users want one. Samsung might have to take bigger risks for its first foldable tablet to succeed.

Join us in the coming days as we explore the pros and cons of other foldable Galaxy tablets that could exist, including 10.5 and 14.6-inch models.

OpinionTablet Galaxy Z Fold 4Galaxy Z Fold 5 Buy the Galaxy Z Fold 5 Now
Scroll for more related content
News For You

You might also like

Best Samsung Phones in July 2024 – Picked by experts

Best Samsung Phones in July 2024 – Picked by experts

Given the sheer number of devices that it releases every year, finding the best Samsung phones can often prove to be a challenge for most customers. It doesn't matter if you want a flagship or a budget device. Samsung offers plenty of options for all price ranges. To make it easier for you to find […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 3 hours ago
Galaxy AI could power Galaxy Z Flip 6, Fold 6 to record-high sales

Galaxy AI could power Galaxy Z Flip 6, Fold 6 to record-high sales

Later today, Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and the Galaxy Z Fold 6. Most of their specifications have already leaked, and they will probably not bring any major hardware improvements. However, thanks to Galaxy AI, their sales are still expected to reach record-high levels. Record-high Galaxy Z Flip 6 and […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 12 hours ago
One UI 6.1.1 makes smart use of cover screen for language translation

One UI 6.1.1 makes smart use of cover screen for language translation

Earlier today, detailed Galaxy Z Flip 6 specifications were leaked. Now, some more features of the upcoming foldable phone have been leaked, revealing a new feature that uses the cover screen intelligently during language translation. One UI 6.1.1 uses Galaxy Z Flip 6's cover screen intelligently for language translation Thanks to the marketing images of the […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 7 days ago
5 ways Samsung Galaxy AI can help or even save you while traveling!

5 ways Samsung Galaxy AI can help or even save you while traveling!

Samsung has taken major strides to make the user experience on its smartphones more about the, well, experience rather than fancy hardware and specs. Galaxy AI is probably one of the best examples of that goal in recent times. Galaxy AI packs a bunch of features that can be helpful in everyday life. You may […]

  • By Abhijeet Mishra
  • 1 week ago
Samsung recounts Galaxy Z Fold improvements, hinting thinner and lighter Z Fold 6

Samsung recounts Galaxy Z Fold improvements, hinting thinner and lighter Z Fold 6

Samsung was the first major smartphone brand to launch a foldable phone globally. It launched the original Galaxy Fold in 2019 and made consistent improvements each year. Now that it is time to announce the Galaxy Z Fold 6, the company has recounted the improvements it brought to the Galaxy Z Fold series. Galaxy Z […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 2 weeks ago
Why Samsung may want to create or avoid a 14.6-inch foldable tablet

Why Samsung may want to create or avoid a 14.6-inch foldable tablet

This year, Samsung appears more open to experimenting with new products and form factors than usual. But amid this hard push toward innovation, one device category seems absent in Samsung's growing portfolio: The foldable tablet. Foldable smartphones have been around for half a decade. And as these hybrid phones continue to gain popularity, we'd like […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 3 weeks ago