The Galaxy Tab S7 FE is the answer for those looking into jumping into Samsung’s competent One UI tablet space with all the basics covered, the right price range and definitely more.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G
4GB RAM / 64GB Internal or 6GB RAM / 128GB (microSD up to 1TB)
12.4-inch 2K IPS LCD @ 60Hz
WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio, Samsung DeX
One UI 3.1 (Android 11)
10900 mAh with 15W charger in-box
64GB – RM 1899 128GB – RM 2199
Black / Pink / Silver
What to love
The form factor of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE comes in huge at 12.4 inches, similar to the Tab S7+ . It features an unified aluminum body with flat sides. The major difference would be the charging area for the S-Pen. The Tab S7 FE charges on the side like most tablets, whereas the S7+ has a dedicated charging bed at the back. The S7 FE definitely takes after the S7+’s premium finish, and that’s a good move on account that the S7 FE is aimed to tackle the mid-range market from the sub RM 2K price tag.
The heft isn’t inconvenient, even at this size. It’s reasonably thin and the screen is plenty huge, making it superbly ideal for doing work, web browsing, some gaming and watching videos.
As much as Samsung lists that the Tab S7 FE just uses a TFT LCD panel, it’s not the case here. It’s actually IPS, and moves up to 60Hz in refresh rate. The 2560 x 1600 resolution is pretty sharp, bringing lots of crucially needed clarity. I knew it was an IPS because TFT panels simply don’t produce such great blacks and color, which the S7 FE was able to showcase.
I was also able to enjoy the 2nd season of the The Witches on Netflix here thanks to the Widevine L1 DRM that the tab comes with. You’ll also be able to view YouTube on crispy HDR as well.
With Samsung’s own Desktop Mode (DeX), you’re able to enjoy both the laptop and tablet experience from a quick flick ‘n tap in the settings. One UI’s come a long way, and seems to be one of the few top operating systems that has constant refinement and updates to the desktop experience. Whether you’re going to connect a keyboard, mouse or even just use the S Pen, the gap of choosing between a laptop or tablet gets even closer, and we foresee that the DeX experience will only improve from here. You can even pair your laptop to the Tab S7 FE is you wish to have an extra ultra portable screen.
The Battery and Performance
Packing a robust 10,090 mAh battery unit, the Tab S7 FE can confidently last 2 days under moderate, typical use. The bulk of my use was primarily on Spotify, YouTube, Netflix and Moon+ Reader Pro. Occasionally I would slip in an Office sesh or two and the tab was able to perform consistently with no delay at all.
It’s a solid workhorse of a tablet that can last a respectable amount of working hours on a single charge. Putting some time into gaming takes some hours away, but not by much, as the Snapdragon 778 chipset puts in a good amount of effort running any game or app no matter how intensive it can be .
You may find yourself leaning to the 128GB version over the 64GB, as you’ll definitely benefit from having twice the storage space and more RAM to keep things smooth. I do advice to only use the internal storage for apps, as you’re able to slot a microSD card to keep your media files free and flexible. This alone is a definite positive, especially for those who need to pack their media files everywhere they go and not prefer them on their laptop.
What I didn’t love
The Charging Speed
The provided 15W charger takes about over 3 hours to fully charge and therefore its not for jet-set use. It does support 45W fast-charging but sadly that’s not included in the package. I even tried using a 25W charger I had lying around and that managed to shave more than an hour off the 15W’s slow charging speed!
You SHOULD always carry a powerbank (which i’m sure most of you do) and use it for a quick 15-20 minute top up to get a couple hours of more use.
The Keyboard Case (Not Included)
The one thing that always grinds my gears when it comes to tablets are the accessories. Sure, you might get a case in the package most of the time, but it is not the case (pun intended) with the Tab S7 FE. There’s a keyboard case available, but what it offers is just a slim form factor with a very basic typing experience. The official keyboard case is connected via POGO pins and connects seamlessly to the Tab. It doesn’t come with a touchpad which means you’ll still have to get an extra mouse or just use the stylus if you’re not big on spending more. It only goes up to 60° in terms of angle and costs a whopping RM 659. For what it does, you’re better off buying a book-style case and connecting a Bluetooth keyboard for way less.
The Tab S7 FE should appeal to the mainstream market. It managed to build itself up as an affordable alternative to the Tab S7+ which costs an easy double. As much as we are missing some divine high-refresh rate AMOLED goodness, the screen is still gorgeous enough to watch movies on and getting some work done. The low-latency S-Pen offers a lot of users, from precision to comfort. We would have loved to see the 256GB variant come to the Malaysian market but it might be a slow-burn due to the fact that all variants have a microSD card slot to bump up the storage at the consumer’s own pace and future expense. We also would have loved it if Samsung included a higher wattage charger but I guess that’s all part of being lower in retail price.
Still, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE captured our hearts as tablet that’s big on feature while being not too big on investment.
I’d say the true rival in the Android tablet market would only be the Xiaomi Pad. The Xiaomi Pad is definitely a different experience for a different kind of user. For a slightly lower retail price you’re getting a Snapdragon 870 chip, fixed storage and a smaller high refresh rate screen. You also won’t be getting a stylus out of the box and that’ll cost an additional few hundred Ringgit to obtain.