Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab S4 should really run Windows 10
We're still laughing at the asking price for this latest Android tablet.
Android just isn't that good on tablets. It really isn't. I've dabbled with them since the god-awful days of Honeycomb, Google's first attempt at "properly" getting its mobile OS onto larger screens.
Android tablets have never been as good as the iPad, and that's still the case today. But nowadays you also have Windows 10 tablets, which, also aren't really as good as the iPad, at least in some ways. But Windows 10 puts a full PC onboard, so it certainly has its benefits.
Enter Samsung, again, with another attempt at a premium Android tablet. The Galaxy Tab S4 has just been announced and there is one overriding point I cannot shake: It would have been good with Windows 10 on it.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 hands-on at Android Central
Windows 10 on ARM-ready specs
I haven't actually seen this tablet yet first-hand, for that you'll need to hit the link above to check out Android Central's excellent coverage. But on paper, the Galaxy Tab S4 meets all the basic requirements for Windows 10 on ARM.
It runs a Snapdragon 835 processor, it's got 4GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 256GB of internal storage. It's got superb speakers, a gorgeous display, support for a digital pen, and LTE.
The Snapdragon 835 might not be the best for Windows 10 on ARM with the dedicated Snapdragon 850 on the way, but the current crop of devices are all using it.
Samsung is also clearly positioning the Tab S4 as something you can use like a laptop. The $150 Book Cover adds a keyboard, it supports a mouse and even Samsung's desktop like DeX mode which automatically launches when you're using the keyboard.
There's no denying it's a premium tablet, but it's a premium tablet that's limited.
Why would you spend $650 on an Android tablet?
Why buy this at $650 over even the lowest priced iPad or something like the Surface Go? I think you'd be foolish, too, frankly. And our pal Daniel Bader, managing editor over at Android Central, words it perfectly:
Toss in the keyboard cover (albeit not totally necessary) to go full Surface-like, and you're in for $800. That's an obscene amount of money for a device that is hampered by the software it uses.
Amazon's Android tablets (opens in new tab) are an easy recommendation because they're cheap, and they're good value for using in tablet-friendly cases like consuming media. The Tab S4 could very well compete with the iPad or Surface, or other similarly priced Chromebooks or Windows laptops/2-in-1s, but it's pretty easy to imagine it won't.
I've owned a Galaxy Tab in the past and will happily admit to liking quite a bit of what Samsung does. But outside of Samsung, Google and big players like Microsoft, tablet apps on Android are a disaster.
The Surface Go starts at $399
If you're attracted to the idea of a tablet you can also use like a little laptop, there's really only one way to go: Windows. The iPad doesn't even support mouse input! Samsung has put out some nice Windows 2-in-1s in recent years, too. Both the Galaxy TabPro S and Galaxy Book were really nice tablets running Windows 10 and offering keyboard and pen support.
It's also a coincidence that Microsoft's Surface Go has just gone on sale, which is both a premium tablet and a little laptop. And even with the more expensive model and a keyboard, it's still less than the comparable price of the Galaxy Tab S4. Spending potentially $800 on an Android tablet with a keyboard is foolish. If you shop around you can probably get the Galaxy Book for that!
Meanwhile you have the Surface Go which is properly useful and small. And a fair bit cheaper.
See at Microsoft (opens in new tab)
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
Concerning music there is a spotify app on the windows store though I don't know if it is any good.
And yeah Microsoft tends to ignore non-America a bit too much (while ironically that is where they sometimes are most popular, e.g. a few years back with Windows phone in Italy).
software but I think Samsung probably is waiting to use the 850 CPU to run a
Windows version of the Galaxy S4 . The Performance of the snapdragon 835 running
Windows 10 on ARMs software has not been that great. Personally I am waiting for
the Qualcomm snap dragon 1000 CPU to run Windows 10 on ARMs software before
I even consider buying an A Windows 10 on ARM CPU device
Android fell off the map once the iPad became affordable. After all why buy an Android tablet when a premium iPad is going for $330. Android premium tablets were few and now overpriced compared to the iPad. In my opinion there is only 1 modern premium Android tablet that competes with the iPad on price, specs and performance, and that is the M5. The tab s4 is overpriced, and older ones have worse performance.
So when PWA is a real future , why pay Microsoft for Windows 10 license when Android is capable for that too.
Because fanboys will always buy any junk coming from MS regardless of its usefulness
Android sucks but Windows 10 on ARM is almost useless.
Besides that most basic apps are covered and the browsers choice is the best on Windows 10.
- local apps and banking/payment apps. Though most people do this on their phones anyway. Or use the browser.
- Maps app. This is indeed a bit lacking though you could use your phone or the browser.
- mobile games. Some are covered on Windows 10 (win store, gog, steam) but of course many not, however you do get access to many indie and older games with many playable on smaller screens too (you already have a keyboard anyway this tablet).
- smart home apps. Only a bit covered on Windows 10 (however sometimes you can use the browser I think), though I doubt many people use this.
The critique I also have with Windows 10 touch is that touch games (especially filtered by genre) are indeed not easy to find, especially e.g. on GOG where touch isn't even a choose-able filter (or perhaps a hidden one). But than again, just as you say with Android you have to navigate through all the freemium garbage titles which in the end might cost you the same of amount of time.
I guess I don't understand in what way would a 10 inch windows device would be better than android or ios. Outside some professionals that have a puely windows environment. I was one of the few that liked windows rt and wish windows would have continued on with it and grown their store to be closer to android or ios. Having a locked down touch focus device for screens 10 inch and under and then keep everything above running regular windows.
Now using windows on a small mobile device can be frustrating. Running updates in the background chewing performance, update fails, can't run this program because you need windows version xx. When I pickup a mobile device i just want it to run. I don't want to fiddle with it or wait on it. I also don't want to be required to use a keyboard just to use a program either.
Anyway if you prefer Android, than by all means stick to it, people's preferences differ from each other anyway.
As for the interface, open source GestureSign helps to add some much needed gestures and tablet mode and scaling for bigger buttons etc.