Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Tab S7 FE, a 12.4-inch tablet positioned as a more affordable option to the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. While it may not be as premium as those models, the new Tab S7 FE flaunts some impressive specs and features. We'll need to test the tablet before saying anything definitive, but based on what we know so far, you might consider this slate before spending your hard-earned money on an iPad Air or Surface Pro 7.
Slotting above the budget "Galaxy Lite" series as Samsung's sub-flagship tablet models, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE will attempt to strike the same balance as the Galaxy S20 FE; a $700 smartphone widely considered one of the best values in mobile. At $529 to start, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE is no budget tablet but it undercuts the most premium options from Apple and Microsoft while delivering some of the best features of the Galaxy Tab S7 at a lower price.
Highlights of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE include a 12.4-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel display, S-Pen support and optional 5G. The Tab S7 FE isn't meant to replace your laptop (it runs Android 11 without DeX), but the large display and high-speed connectivity could make it a great companion for consuming content on the go. We're eagerly awaiting a review unit, but until then, here is what we know about Samsung's latest tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE price and availability
Samsung will sell Wi-Fi-only and 5G variants of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, with the latter arriving later this week.
If you don't need high-speed cellular speeds, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE (Wi-Fi) will be available to pre-order on Thursday, August 5 starting at $529. The tablet, available in Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Green, and Mystic Pink, will ship at the beginning of September.
The Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G will be available for purchase in the U.S. on August 5 starting at $669. You can order this pricier config (in Mystic Black only) at Samsung.com, AT&T and Verizon. It will be available at T-Mobile, USCellular, and others "in the coming days."
Those who purchase the Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G or pre-order the Wi-Fi version will receive $80 in Samsung credit.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
|$529 (Wi-Fi); $669 (5G)
|12.4 inches, 2560 x 1600-pixel (WQXGA) TFT LCD
|Qualcomm SM7325 (Wi-Fi); Qualcomm SDM 750G (5G)
|64GB (up to 1TB via microSD)
|8MP (rear); 5MP (front)
|5G (optional); 802.11ac; Bluetooth 5.0
|S Pen (included); Book Cover Keyboard (optional)
|11.2 x 7.3 x 0.25 inches
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE design
I haven't seen the tablet in person yet but it looks almost identical to the pricier Galaxy Tab S7 based on press photos. Images of the front reveal thin bezels surrounding a large display and a webcam positioned on the longer end of the tablet.
What excites me most about the design are the new color options. Available on the Wi-Fi model are Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Green and Mystic Pink (see top image). Those last two are particularly intriguing.
I'm also glad to see the teardrop-shaped magnetic stylus holder return after its omission on the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. This magnet holds the S Pen in place and charges the stylus when it's not in use. Also on the back of the slate are an oblong camera module and subtle Samsung branding.
Echoing its premium sibling, the S7 FE has a unibody metal design that weighs only 1.3 pounds and is 0.25-inches thick. For comparison, the iPad Air weighs 1 pound and is 0.24-inches thick.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE battery life and charging
No runtime estimates were provided, but Samsung is promising "long-lasting battery life" out of the 10,090mAh cell. When it drains, you can top off the Tab S7 FE via its USB 3.2 Type-C port, which supports Fast Charging.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE display
Big is better. Despite its mid-range price, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE flaunts a massive 12.4-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel TFT LCD display. Why is this such a big deal? Because Apple only sells one tablet with a large panel, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that costs $1,100.
This isn't the gorgeous Super AMOLED panel you get on the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, but if it's anything like the LCD display on the regular 11-inch Galaxy Tab S7 then expect a bright, vivid picture.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE S Pen and accessories
Included in the box is an S Pen stylus for drawing, taking notes or navigating the web without smudging up that large screen. Samsung pre-installs several drawing apps on the Tab S7 FE and tablet owners also get a 6-month trial to Clip Studio Paint.
If you want to turn your tablet into something of a laptop replacement, Samsung sells a Book Cover Keyboard accessory. It looks cramped based on the photos we received and there is no touchpad, so functionality is limited. On the bright side, the case protects the slate and has an S Pen holder so the stylus doesn't get knocked off when you slide it into a backpack.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE performance and 5G
Don't expect blistering performance out of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which uses a Qualcomm SM7325 (Wi-Fi) or 750G (5G) chip depending on which model you buy. These processors are found primarily in smartphones.
We'll put the Galaxy Tab S7 FE through our benchmarks to see how it fares against the competition, but don't place any bets on it competing with the iPad Pro no less the iPad Air. What you do get is the option for 5G connectivity covering mmWave and sub-6Ghz bands for the fastest and widest-reaching mobile support.
Rounding out the specs are 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that is expandable to 1TB via a microSD card slot.
The Galaxy Tab S7 FE looks to accomplish what the Galaxy S20 FE smartphone achieved by delivering 90% of the flagship experience at a reduced rate. It flaunts a large 12.4-inch display, adopts the premium design of its flagship siblings, includes an S Pen in the box and even supports 5G (at an extra cost).
With a starting price of $529, the Tab S7 FE isn't exactly a budget pick — falling between the cheaper "Lite" version and the pricy Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. However, the large display and premium features could make this the value pick for those who need a tablet for consuming content and basic productivity work.
We're expecting a unit to arrive soon so check back in with us for our full review with comparisons against the iPad Air.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.