When the Galaxy Tab S9 line-up pre-orders arrived, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the smallest model. I was able to save hundreds of dollars on it because I had a Galaxy Tab S7+ to trade-in, plus there was a special $50 bonus that helped drive the price further down. After using the Tab S7+ for a couple of years, the timing seemed almost too perfect to not go ahead and upgrade.
In my previous write-up about changing to the Galaxy Tab S9, I talked about all of the reasons I wanted one. For one, the Tab S7+ I had was too big for daily use and going with the smallest Tab S9 would hopefully lead to me grabbing it more often. And for the first time, Samsung put an AMOLED display in the smallest one, so you weren’t getting the downgrade in display by choosing the smallest model like in years past. Since they were also offering an upgrade in storage and RAM at no cost, I was looking at a smaller tablet with a nice display and all of the memory and storage one could ask for.
I’ve now had the Galaxy Tab S9 for a couple of weeks and so far, I’m really enjoying it. This was the right choice even if it’s not a massive upgrade over my Tab S7+. If anything, the change in size has meant that I’ve used it more and that is why the switch was worth it.
The size really is great
A couple of weeks into owning one, I’ve found time almost every day to grab the Tab S9. Whether that’s to play some games or just browse my typical line-up of apps, the tablet is a joy to use. Again, I think the size is what’s drawing me most to it. With the Tab S7+, it was too damn big to use comfortably, especially if you were holding it in a single hand. This Tab S9 can be held in one hand for extended uses without issue, especially when using it in a portrait position.
Over the past year or so, I had mostly put my Tab S7+ down in favor of an iPad Pro because the iPad was easier to handle. This new Tab S9 is only slightly longer than the iPad, but shorter and less square. That has meant, at least for me, a more comfortable usability as well. This thing is pretty darn light too, feels premium in the hand, and presents media in a more familiar, landscape format.
Everything else is lovely too: Display, performance, battery life
Obviously, size isn’t everything when it comes to owning a tablet. Even if you love holding the thing, it needs to be fast, responsive, last a long time, and look good too, right? So far, this regular Tab S9 is delivering in all of those areas.
Long gaming sessions don’t seem to really hammer on the battery. I tend to top up my tablets regularly anyway, but I think I’ve only dropped this thing down to 50% or so a couple of times. Battery life just hasn’t been a worry.
The performance, touch responsiveness, and display all play well off each other to deliver a high-end experience. Stutters are tough to find, scrolling text or swiping within an app all look as smooth as ever, and the colors you get are punchy enough to be satisfying.
Still solid Galaxy Tab S9 deals to be had
That initial pre-order deal that I took advantage of is now gone, so I hope most of you were able to take advantage of it. If not, Samsung is still offering pretty solid discounts if you have another tablet to trade-in, like I did. They are now tossing in a free Keyboard Slim Cover too, which would normally cost you $140.
Here’s the best deal I’m seeing at the moment:
- Up to $650 off: Trade-in a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and you’ll get $650 off. The other two Tab S8 models will get you $500 off. The Tab S7 line, like I had, will get you $350 off still.
- Free Cover Keyboard Slim: If you think you might want a keyboard/cover for your Tab S9, Samsung is giving you the Cover Keyboard Slim for free. It normally costs at least $140, so that’s a nice little perk. You can see the cover at Samsung’s store.
- Students save 15%: Students! You get the good Samsung discount as always, and can save 15%.