Does iPad have competition? Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra seems to think so

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Unpacked is finally here, and with it comes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra start at $799, $999, and $1,199 respectively. That's a $100 bump for all three models, making them easily the priciest Android tablets around.

The tablets officially launch on August 11, but are available for pre-order starting today with some enticing offers that may take the sting out of that price bump like a free storage upgrade, up to $650 off with a trade-in, 50% off a Book Cover Keyboard Slim, and $40 off a pair of Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. 

With that out of the way, here's everything we know about Samsung's new tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 / S9+ / S9 Ultra: What we know

Get ready for some words, folks, because there are quite a few differences between these tablets.

Let's start with display — that's what we care about the most, let's be honest. However, apart from size, they aren't all that different, featuring Dynamic AMOLED 2X (60~120Hz) panels. The Samsung Galaxy S9 comes in at 11 inches, the S9+ is 12.4 inches, and the S9 Ultra stands at 14.6 inches.

Now what do those display sizes mean for their actual size and weight? It varies. Despite their differences, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 (1.1 pounds, 10.01 x 6.53 x 0.23 inches), Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ (1.28 pounds, 11.23 x 7.30 x 0.22 inches), and Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra (1.61 pounds, 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.21 inches) all weigh under two pounds and actually get thinner the bigger they are. The colors aren't all that, unfortunately, offering either Beige or Graphite options.

The cameras also vary. For the rear, all models feature the 13MP AF shooter, but the Tab S9+ and Tab S9 Ultra also offer an 8MP UW camera. For the front, all models offer a 12MP UW lens, but the Tab S9 Ultra is the only one that features an additional 12MP camera.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9/S9+/S9+5g/S9 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Okay, now let's jump into components. All models feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, but everything in between is a little muddy. The Galaxy Tab S9 can be outfitted with either an 8GB/128GB or 12GB/256GB (RAM/Storage). The Tab S9+ has options for the 12GB/256GB or 12GB/512GB, while the Tab S9 Ultra includes those as well as a 16GB/1TB model. Additionally, all tablets feature microSD slots that can hold up to 1TB of storage.

There are stark differences to the batteries within each tablet, but we don't have any battery life claims. The Tab S9 comes with a 8,400mAh, the Tab S9+ with a 10,090mAh, and the Tab S9 Ultra with a 11,200mAh. You might think that the bigger the tablet, the better the battery life, but that's not always the case. Since the screen is bigger, more battery is going to get drained. The bigger batteries might offset that effect, but we'll have to see.

Now let's dive into some commonalities between the tablets. They support LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, and Wi-Fi Direct Bluetooth v 5.3 connectivity. They feature quad-stereo-speakers with Dolby Atmos, Samsung Knox for security, on-screen fingerprint reader, and loads of compatible accessories.

Accessories include the S Pen (BLE, Inbox), S Pen Creator Edition Book Cover Keyboard, Book Cover Keyboard Slim, Smart Book Cover, Outdoor Cover, Notepaper Screen, and Privacy Screen.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra have a lot of potential to draw eyes back to Android in the tablet game. Apple has been dominating with the iPads for such a long time, and as much as I hate to admit it, they are better.

Will the new slew of Galaxy tablets rise up to the challenge? We'll have to find out when these puppies get through our lab.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.