Last Updated on March 29, 2020
Where some other manufacturers have been hesitantly dipping their toes in the tablet pool, Samsung has been busy making as big a splash as it can. Hoping to provide a selection that truly offers something for everyone, Samsung has built up an arsenal of tablets of varying size, specs and price. The Galaxy Tab 2 line, while not significantly different from the original Tab line, was generally well-received and featured solid, affordable devices. With the new Galaxy Tab 3 suite of products, Samsung has added even more options and a number of decent upgrades to its flagship line.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0
The most immediately obvious thing about the seven-inch Galaxy Tab 3 is, unfortunately, the display’s paltry resolution. It retains the 1,024-by-600 pixel resolution of its predecessor, which is not a good thing. It’ll do for casual users, but don’t expect the sort of brilliant, sharp display that can be found elsewhere. Taking cues from the Galaxy S4, the Tab 3 looks pretty stylish. The overly plastic construction makes the device less comfortable than it should be and the narrow aspect ratio makes for odd-looking pages while browsing the internet, but it lends itself quite well to gaming and movies. The processor receives a slight boost over the Tab 2, and the Marvell PXA 986 1.2-gigahertz chip does deliver somewhat better performance. The small form-factor lends itself well to reading, but consumers may want to search out a similarly sized tablet with a crisper, more eye-friendly resolution.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
New to the Galaxy Tab family for this generation is the eight-inch form factor. It’s a nice compromise between usability and screen real estate, and it ought to be appealing for those who find the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 a bit too unwieldy. The eight-incher is much like the seven-inch tablet, which is to say that it looks flashy but doesn’t feel particularly good to use. The 1,280-by-800 display is a step up from the Galaxy 7.0 and it’s more than adequate, but it certainly won’t knock your socks off. The Exynos 4 processor handles most tasks commendably, but again, it won’t deliver top-class performance. Samsung has included several new features that have been brought over from the Galaxy S4, including driving mode, multi-window support and a universal remote feature. In terms of size, it’s a little bit thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 8.0. The eight-inch form factor is likely to become a popular choice given that it offers the usability of the seven-inch tablet with the same resolution as the larger 10.1.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
While the eight-inch Tab 3 ventures into new territory with a convenient size, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 rests almost entirely on familiar ground. The device features the same Galaxy S4-inspired look and uncomfortable plastic feel, and unfortunately also sports a larger version of the same 1,280-800 display found on the 8.0 tablet. It still offers very good viewing angles, good color and contrast and even adequate sharpness, but that isn’t a very compelling selling point. The 1.6-gigahertz Intel processor is fairly snappy and handles routine tasks well enough, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 exists simply for the sake of having a 10.1-inch tablet. Most consumers are likely to find the 8.0 more appealing for everyday use, and those who want more screen space can find it in other devices with much higher quality panels. Like its smaller relatives, the Tab 10.1 includes a few Galaxy S4 features, but several others are inexplicably left out.