Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite review: A better Android tablet for everyone

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Samsung’s 10.4-inch Android tablet isn’t light on features.

Josh Goldman / CNET

After spending a few weeks using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, I have decided that the tablet’s capabilities exceed its name. I mean, it’s lighter in features and performance than the full-fledged Galaxy Tab S6, so in that sense it’s a “lite” version. But the name does a disservice, because I’ve never felt like I lacked features. Maybe it’s because the S6 Lite isn’t trying to be a two-in-one Android laptop and instead just does more than I expected from a mid-range Android tablet, and that’s what makes it unique.

Like it

  • The included S Pen is useful for taking notes, drawing and more
  • High quality display and audio
  • More than 11 hours of battery life

I do not like

  • Palm rejection needs to be improved
  • Samsung’s book cover is expensive on its own

The Tab S6 Lite starts at $ 350 with 64GB of storage or $ 430 for 128GB. Both have microSD card slots to expand storage by up to 1TB and include the full-sized S Pen and four months of ad-free YouTube Premium service. It’s $ 70 for Samsung’s book cover, although you can probably find it cheaper with a bundle. Costco, for example, sells the 128GB model with the cover for $ 450. You’ll probably want the case because it not only protects the tablet, but it holds it upright – horizontally and vertically – and gives you a safe place to store the pen. The cover also gives you a place to grab the tablet without actually touching the display. (There are cheaper options too.)

In comparison, the current basic model The 10.2-inch iPad costs $ 329 with 32GB of storage, but the 128GB version is the same as the Lite at $ 430. It doesn’t include Apple’s $ 99 pencil or cover with ($ 160) or without ($ 50) a keyboard. So, as is usually the case, Samsung is offering you more for your money against that iPad, at least in hardware. Of course, if you don’t care about writing and drawing on a screen or being overly productive, you might be better off Amazon $ 165 Fire HD10. However, the Tab S6 Lite is more than just an entertainment tablet.

Productivity in a different light

One of the biggest differences between the S6 and the S6 Lite is that the latter lacks Samsung’s DeX, which gives its Android tablets a “desktop operating system” feel. For example, there is support for a touchpad or mouse. For this reason, it might seem like the Lite isn’t good for the job and it might be the case for some people, but not for me. I decided to use the S Pen more.

The pen is as comfortable to hold as a normal pen. It is responsive, with a noticeable delay in my experience. I’m not much of a draftsman when it comes to illustrations, but I uploaded Autodesk’s Sketchbook to test the S Pen and was able to draw straight lines without flickering, shade accurately with varying amounts of pressure, and create wide or narrow strokes. angling the tip. My biggest problem was that it didn’t push my palm back to the screen incredibly well, so I accidentally opened menus or moved the drawing from time to time.

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Josh Goldman / CNET

As a productivity tool, the S Pen is great. You can write notes on the screen without unlocking the tablet or launching the Notes app or other pen-enabled tools by shortening the Air controls on the screen that appears when you swipe the pen over the display.

I used the pen to write part of this review in Google Docs using the built-in write-to-text translation. Likewise, you can highlight your writing in the Notes app and turn it into text. The results will vary based on how sloppy your handwriting is, but it works well. While I was watching a slide presentation recently, I used the Smart Selection tool to draw a box around a slide, which could then be used to extract the text from the slide. With the Screen Write option, I could take a screenshot of the presentation and then write notes on the image to include more details.

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Paired with a small Bluetooth keyboard, the S6 Lite is fine for sending emails or editing Word documents.

Josh Goldman / CNET

As I said before, you can be productive with the S6 Lite without a keyboard and mouse, you just have to take advantage of what the S Pen can do. If you want to type though, Samsung makes a $ 99 keyboard cover for the S6 Lite, but any Bluetooth keyboard will work. I paired it with this $ 20 Arteck keyboard which is about the same size as the tablet, so it’s good for traveling when you want a full keyboard. Basically, what I’m coming up with is that you don’t necessarily have to spend more on the high-end Tab S6 just to get a good tablet for the job.

Pen game

Tablets are generally great for entertainment, and the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is no different. When you’re ready to lay the S Pen down and relax, the 10.4-inch LCD and AKG tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos support have first-class looks and sound for the money. The top-notch Super AMOLED display and four-speaker system on the higher-end Tab S6 are better, but the Lite will likely be fine for the most part.

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The book cover of the S6 Lite holds the display from two different angles.

Josh Goldman / CNET

Likewise, you’ll likely get a more immersive gaming experience from the S6, but that didn’t stop me from playing Modern Combat 5 and Asphalt 9 for hours. I would have liked a little more screen brightness, but between using a Bluetooth controller and the two book cover position options, I was able to adjust the viewing angle to mitigate reflections.

Battery life is another plus for the tablet. In our video streaming test, the S6 Lite ran for 11 hours, 17 minutes with the display brightness set to 50% and the audio playing through the earphones with the volume set to 50%.

In the end, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite you get a complete tablet that’s good for both entertainment and productivity. It may not replace a laptop like the Tab S6 tries to do, but you can easily use it for lessons, commuting, and more – especially if you’re ready to grab your pen.

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