At CES 2021, Samsung launched its new enterprise tablet, the Galaxy Tab Active3. The Galaxy Tab Active3 targets the mobile workforce. In 2021, much work is getting done in odd places. In the front seat of a car, in an office, or outside on a construction site. The Galaxy Tab Active3 will serve those types of workers in industries ranging from retail to transportation and beyond.
Samsung sent me one of its new Galaxy Tab Active3 to review. I admit I am not a huge tablet user, but rather an enterprise PC fanatic due to my work nature. With that said, I do enjoy using a tablet for checking email, browsing the web, streaming entertainment, and snapping pics. I spent a couple of days using it in addition to my PC, and below is my experience.
I will start by outlining my configuration. My Galaxy Tab Active3 came with an 8″ display at 1080P resolution, Exynos 9810 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, 5050mAh battery, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Like most Samsung devices, there is the ability to add up to an additional 1TB of storage via microSD. There are 4G LTE enabled versions of the system available, but mine was the standard Wi-Fi configuration. The Galaxy Tab Active3 comes with IP68 water and dust resistance certification and MIL-STD-810H military-grade certification as well.
The Galaxy Tab Active3 comes in Samsung’s signature packaging with a system image on the front and an S Pen draped down the box’s side. Once I took the system out of the box, I installed the removable battery, replaced the back covering, and dropped the tablet into the rugged case that comes with the Galaxy Tab Active3. The tablet didn’t feel very rugged until I dropped it into the case. I noticed immediately that this case feels durable and fits the tablet like a glove. It was tough to get the case off once I put it on, I guess even more reason to leave it on. I felt like a could drop this tablet down the stairs and not sweat it a bit. I was able to toss the tablet into my backpack with no worry of cracking the display or denting the device. Overall, I like the design of the Galaxy Tab Active3. The device is sleek, lightweight, and, most importantly, durable.
The system comes with a USB-C charging port, Pogo Pin, audio jack, power button, volume up and down, and a programmable button. The Galaxy Tab Active3 also comes with a 13MP rear camera with flash and a 5MP front camera.
The Galaxy Tab Active3 has an 8″ display at 1920 x 1080P resolution. It isn’t edgeless like Samsung’s smartphone lineup but instead has thicker edges. The display borders aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is worth calling out. I found the display to be extremely responsive to touch. The virtual keyboard onscreen was surprisingly easy to type on. The individual keys were a little too small for my liking, but it worked well when I did use the keyboard. I was impressed with the S Pen pairing with this display. I used the S Pen to scroll through Forbes articles and switch between YouTube videos with ease. There was very an instance where I felt uncomfortable using the pen with the display. Another plus is that the S Pen fits conveniently into the top of the case. It is sometimes hard to pull the pen out, so don’t worry about it falling out of the case.
Performance and battery life
Both the fingerprint scanner and biometric face login were smooth to use. I had no trouble using either option as a secure way to log in. As far as performance goes, this tablet was able to do everything I asked of it. I mostly used it for light productivity workloads like checking email, watching YouTube videos, and snapping pictures. But for those workloads, I never had a hiccup or lag. I felt comfortable using the tablet for all my G-Suite apps like Google Hangouts, Google Meet, and Google Drive. The photos that I captured on the devices didn’t blow me away, but the tablet will work well for scanning barcodes or snapping a quit picture of a document at work. I was getting around 6 to 7 hours of battery life on a day’s typical use. When I upped the display brightness and streamed more video content, that brought me into the 5-hour range. You can always purchase an additional 5050mAh battery and swap it out for more uptime. The benefit with the swappable batteries is that all you’re swapping is the battery, not the full device. While this equates to more batteries, you won’t need too many spare devices. The audio on the device came through loud and clear. I was 10+ feet away from the tablet while listening to a YouTube video, and I could hear the audio clearly with ease. The Android 10 OS worked great for my use case and but I welcome the upgrade to Android 11 soon.
Another welcomed addition is “glove mode.” The mode allows users the ability to use the display while wearing gloves. I turned on glove mode in display options under the device settings, and it worked well. I was able to swipe and navigate on the device with a high degree of touch accuracy. I can see anyone working on construction sites, oil and gas sites, or anyone working in outdoor occupations loving this feature. I understand I am not the target audience of this tablet, so take my statements about performance and battery life with a grain of salt.
The Galaxy Tab Active3 is available now in the U.S. for purchase. The system’s standard Wi-Fi configuration will start at $489.99, while the LTE-enabled version starting at $589.99.
All in all, I was pleased with my experience with the Galaxy Tab Active3. There is something oddly satisfying about having a rugged device, knowing that it is still likely to perform if you drop or abuse the machine. The Galaxy Tab Active3 had a great display and good battery life wrapped in a small, durable form factor. I was impressed with the enterprise features and capabilities of this new tablet-like Samsung wireless Dex, Wi-Fi 6, and a programmable key. I can see this tablet being used and abused by mobile and frontline workers, and I believe it is up to the task. I do not doubt that this tablet can contribute to some meaningful productivity boosts to enterprise users.
If you’re an enterprise with a mobile workforce or frontline workers, The Galaxy Tab Active3 needs to be on your consideration list.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.