Graphic tablet for beginners part 3 – SamsungJuly 7th, 2021 / Graphic on a budget, Graphics Basics
Some time ago, I reviewed the Apple iPad PRO 4th generation tablet for you. Thank you for your response, but there were also signals that this equipment is definitely too expensive for some of our readers. Some of you would also like to see fewer technological details in the reviews. To meet your expectations, today I am focusing on a model that is definitely more budgetary, and therefore affordable. I will try to write about it in a more accessible way.
SAMSUNG GALAXY Tab A 8.0 (with Pen S)
April 2019 was the moment of the premiere of this tablet from Samsung. The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (hiding under the name Galaxy Tab A Plus 2019 in some markets) is on sale in two variants, with and without a pen. We will focus – for obvious reasons – on the version with the S Pen attached.
The tablet has dimensions of 201.5 x 122.4 x 8.9 mm and its weight is 325 g, so it is light and compact equipment. Built-in cameras (5 and 8 Mpx) and speakers will not knock you over with their quality, but as for equipment from this price range, you cannot fault them too much.
It is available in black and gray.
As in the case of the iPad PRO, we get copies equipped only with a Wifi module and those with Wifi + LTE. If you plan to paint outdoors, I would suggest the LTE version, which is a little bit more expensive, because you will not always have access to the city Internet.
The pen variant has a built-in 3 GB RAM (1 GB more than the non-stylus version) and an internal memory of 32 GB. If you think that this is not enough, Samsung also offers a microSD card slot with a maximum capacity of 512 GB in its tablet.
We get an 8 ”(20.32 cm) LCD screen with IPS technology, a resolution of 1920 × 1200 pixels (283 pixels / inch) and 16 million colors. It is worth adding that the colors visible on the screen of the version with the pen are much higher quality. It also has a clearly higher resolution. Its display is simply better than its poorer stylus variant not only in terms of colors and resolution, but also viewing angles and brightness. The latter can be described as great, because at the maximum level it will allow you to work with the tablet comfortably even in maximum sunlight.
The battery in the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (with a pen) is a 4200 mAh lithium-polymer battery that will allow the tablet to work in the range of 7 to 9 hours – depending on the intensity of use and the set brightness level. The battery in the version without the pen will last longer, because the battery itself is larger there. In the copy with the pen, it had to be reduced in order to make space for building a tunnel for the stylus.
The tablet powers the Exynos 7904 octa-core chipset on Android 9 (an upgrade to version 10 is planned in the future) and One UI version 1.1. All this means a satisfactory smoothness of the application and browser operation, however, it is clearly smaller compared to the already reviewed iPad PRO from 2020. It is not something that should surprise conscious buyers. We are talking about equipment from the budget shelf.
TO DRAW OR NOT TO DRAW?
Definitely draw. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is very good for digital sketching. In my opinion, it was designed especially for graphic designers who are looking for an “honest” drawing tablet, and do not intend to invest a small fortune in equipment with an apple.
The pen included in the set is small, relatively accurate, but definitely not comfortable due to its size. Thin and tiny makes sketching for long periods of time just uncomfortable.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 offers quite satisfactory support for the pen attached to it in the form of numerous UI functions or dedicated applications.
The pen has a built-in button for switching between the drawing function and the eraser. Its tip is rubberized, but it wears out relatively quickly, especially with systematic use. As a plus, I must admit that it gives the impression of using a “real” pen – unlike Apple styluses.
In the long run, I would like to consider buying one of the compatible replacements – Staedtler Noris Digital or even a Samsung pen from the Galaxy Tab S6 model.
The drawing area is slightly smaller than the traditional A5 sketchbook, but in my opinion it is sufficient. However, I do not advise you to cover the screen with any protective foil or such inventions, because on such surfaces the pen often “goes crazy” and does not work properly.
The tablet I am discussing is an aesthetic, solid structure, but also light and handy. There is no such thing as any breaking or bending of the tablet case, as was the case with the iPad PRO of the older generations. We are talking about budget class equipment, which makes it a tasty morsel for amateur graphic designers who want to purchase equipment for fun and everyday use at the same time. In my opinion, in the price / quality ratio, the Samsung Galaxy A 8.0 with a stylus is currently one of the best proposals on the market.
Finally, an important note! If you buy a tablet without a stylus, and then buy a pen, it will not work, so be sure to buy it wisely!