Mobility

4 essential business features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

The new tablet from Samsung, the Galaxy Tab S4, is the first to use DeX. Samsung hopes that it will entice you to give up your PC.

Samsung has a new flagship 2-in-1 tablet, the Galaxy Tab S4, and it's for far more than just entertainment. With this new device, Samsung is directly targeting business users.

This is the first tablet to feature Samsung DeX; previously, it was only available on some Samsung smartphones. DeX is what makes this tablet highly functional for business professionals because it gives users a PC-like experience.

The Galaxy Tab S4 replaces the smaller Galaxy Tab S3 that came out last year, and Samsung hopes that it will entice users to use it instead of a PC. And with a price of about $800 with the essential book cover keyboard accessory, Samsung might just accomplish its goal.

SEE: Photos—Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 features up close (TechRepublic)

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Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4

Image: Derek Poore/TechRepublic

The Galaxy Tab S4 has four key features that will appeal to business users.

1: DeX

While this is an Android tablet with a 10.5-inch screen, most users won't use the standard Android interface; instead, they'll likely spend much of their time using it in DeX mode, which is an Android-based interface that feels like you're using a PC. Using the included multiport adapter, DeX makes it easy to connect to an external monitor. DeX can also be used by simply launching it from the Quick Panel. The fastest way to use DeX is by attaching the optional book cover keyboard accessory. Any external monitor needs an HDMI port.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

With Samsung DeX, users can open multiple desktop-style windows for Android apps, including the Microsoft Office suite, and resize them if needed. It's easy to drag and drop content between apps and use keyboard shortcuts and commands. It allows for floating windows for apps and pinned files on the desktop.

There's also a USB port, which is great for attaching a mouse or an additional keyboard.

2: Productivity features

The tablet offers productivity features to make it easier for mobile users in a range of industries. Eric McCarty, vice president of mobile product marketing at Samsung Electronics America, said most employees are away from their desk 50% of the time, and more people want to use the same device for work as they do for play.

For retail and finance, it has a dual mode enabled by DeX to create a different user experience for sales and customers. In healthcare, it can be used at a patient's bedside to fill out forms, as well as for notes and records access. For mobile sales, it's great for presentations.

SEE: Samsung marries new Galaxy Tab S4 with DeX for productivity boost (ZDNet)

The large memory, with a microSD offering up to 400 GB, will benefit enterprise users who still want on-device storage.

3: S Pen

The S Pen is a stylus that debuted on Samsung's Note line of smartphones, and it gives added functionality so users can take on-screen notes, draw pictures, and more.

SEE: Samsung S Pen reflections: A differentiator in a saturated smartphone market (ZDNet)

The newest version of the S Pen is included with the Galaxy Tab S4 and allows you to take notes on the fly through the Screen-Off Memo feature, as well as navigate, translate, and organize notes through Samsung Notes, and send personalized texts through Samsung Live Message.

Samsung includes the S Pen with the tablet at no additional charge.

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The S Pen in action on a Galaxy Tab S4.

Image: Derek Poore/TechRepublic

4: Device security

Samsung is touting the security of the Galaxy Tab S4. It uses Samsung Knox, which is a defense-grade mobile security platform.

Additional security is essential because so many employees breach IT policies and use their mobile devices in a way that can put a company at risk.

SEE: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

The tablet doesn't have a fingerprint scanner or physical home button on the front, so that can take some getting used to. There is an iris scanner and face scanner for biometric ID if you prefer to unlock the device that way. The face scanner works seamlessly; however, the iris scanner can be difficult to use, and doesn't always result in a usable scan.

How to get a Galaxy Tab S4

The Galaxy Tab S4 is a great tablet, with plenty of usable features for the enterprise and beyond. If you're thinking about an alternative to a PC, this might be the tablet you need.

The Galaxy Tab S4 Wi-Fi version will be available in the US starting at $649.99 on August 10, 2018, at Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung.com. The Galaxy Tab S4 LTE version will be available for purchase starting on August 10, 2018, at Verizon, along with other major wireless providers including Sprint and US Cellular later in Q3 2018.

Consumers can reserve a Galaxy Tab S4 through August 9, 2018, on Samsung.com. Through September 8, 2018, consumers will receive 50% off on the Book Cover Keyboard (MSRP: $149.99) when purchased with the Galaxy Tab S4.

Samsung has not yet released info on when the Galaxy Tab S4 will be sold outside the US.

Specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

  • Display: 10.5" WQXGA (2560x1600) sAMOLED
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa Core (2.35GHz + 1.9GHz)
  • LTE support: LTE Cat.16 DLCA, 4X4 MIMO
  • Memory/Storage: 4 GB + 64 GB / 256 GB, microSD up to 400 GB
  • Camera: 13MP AF + 8.0MP, Flash
  • Port: USB3.1 (Type C), POGO
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, RGB, Proximity, Iris Scanner, Hall Sensor
  • Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth® 5.0
  • GPS: GPS + GLONASS, BEIDOU, GALILEO
  • Dimensions/Weight: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm; 482g (Wi-Fi) / 483g (LTE)
  • Battery: 7,300mAh, Fast Charging
  • OS/Upgrade: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Accessories: S Pen (included)
  • Video: Recording: UHD 4K (3840x2160) @ 30fps; Playback: UHD 4K (3840x2160) @ 60fps
  • Audio: 4 speakers tuned by AKG, Dolby Atmos

About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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