Samsung has a wide range of tablets, including the excellent Galaxy Tab S5e from last year, and the new Galaxy Tab S6 Lite fills a very welcome space for an affordable Android tablet that covers a lot of uses.
Set for release on May 8th in Canada, the Lite tablet looks a lot like the S6, with just a few changes to make it cheaper, while still keeping some of the best features, including the S Pen.
Is this the right tablet for you? That depends on what you need, but overall it’s excellent, with a slim, metal back, clean design, and minimal bezels. As a general-use tablet for entertainment, videos, movies, games, and even drawing or art, it’s a great buy at $429.
Here’s my breakdown on all the features and highlights, and a few things to consider. Have a question about my review? Drop it in the comments or send me a note on Twitter.
Like the Tab S6 and Tab S5e, the Tab S6 Lite is very slim. At just 7mm thick, the tablet feels premium, with a flat colour that’s modern and sleek.
Available in Oxford Gray, Angora Blue, or Chiffon Pink there’s also a good selection of unique colours to make your tablet stand out.
Held vertically, the top has the headphone jack slightly off centre, with the front camera in the middle of the bezel, power button and volume rocker on the right side, with the the MicroSD card tray under those buttons, and the USB-C port on the bottom.
Otherwise, the back camera is on the top-right corner, when it’s facing away from you.
On the top-right and bottom-right are the dual AKG speakers with Dolby Atmos surround sound.
The S Pen is slim and has a button about three-quarters of the way down. One flat side of the S Pen is magnetic and attaches to either the left or right long-edge of the tablet so you can keep track of it if you don’t have a case that holds it.
Display & Cameras
The Tab S6 Lite has a good 10.4″ WUXGA+ TFT display that delivers 2000 x 1200 pixels.
The display is bright, even outdoors, and features 16 million colours for true-to-life images and video.
While I would have loved for the tablet to have a 4k display, the S6 Lite looks great, and compares closely to the iPad 10.2″ that was released last year.
Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services look great on the tablet, and YouTube videos in HD at 60 fps look especially phenomenal. Sports, nature-documentary lovers, and gamers will all love what the display can do.
In terms of cameras, the S6 Lite offers an 8 MP rear camera, and a 5 MP front camera. Those are definitely both average quality these days for cheaper tablets, but you can get good selfies, participate in video chats, or capture quick photos for presentations or work.
With Live Focus on, and in decent lighting, I was able to get some pretty good selfies. Check the gallery at the bottom of the story for a few examples.
Battery & Performance
Samsung estimates that you will get up to 12 hours of use with the tablet, when you’re using it normally with internet on, which is very solid.
Over the course of a day, the 7,040mAh battery lasted me well, and I didn’t have to charge up again until the second day. That included watching some videos, Netflix, and gaming, as well as email and web browsing.
For the base $429, the S6 Lite comes with 64 GB of space, but you can get up to 128 GB of space for a little more. However, the MicroSD card slot supports up to 1 TB of space, so that’s the best investment for a little extra memory, if you plan to have a lot of photos, video, or other content on the tablet.
The tablet has 4 GB of RAM included, and that’s good enough for most activities. Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the S6 Lite worked very well for me, and it was very fast with no issues.
With the Samsung Exynos 9 Octa core processor, I didn’t have any slowdowns or issues like I’ve seen on some other, cheaper tablets. The processor and RAM can handle a fair bit, although you’ll notice it slow down a bit if you’re trying to use processor-heavy apps like a video editor.
Features & UI
Like the Note devices, I’ve always been a big fan of the S Pen, and I love what it allows you to do. For me, that’s the big selling point of the Tab S6 and now S6 Lite.
The Penup app is a great tool for anyone who likes to doodle, colour designs, or see what kind of art they can create, and the S Pen is very versatile.
I also love the S Pen for editing documents, photos, and taking occasional notes. Like other Samsung devices, the Screen Off Memo also means you can take notes without even turning on the screen.
For anyone who has a Samsung phone too, you can connect the tablet to your phone, so you can answer calls when you’re using the S6 Lite. It’s a small feature that means you won’t have to set the tablet down to find your phone when a call comes in.
The tablet also has SmartThings, for working with your smart home devices, AR Zone for playing with augmented reality doodles, and a multi-window tray you can slide out to jump between favourite apps quickly.
Whether you want to use the tablet with your favourite pair of Bluetooth headphones, like the Samsung Buds, or good, old-fashioned wired headphones, you also have that choice thanks to the built-in headphone jack, which is still a big plus to many users.
Overall, there are a lot of bells and whistles that make the tablet useful, and the settings are exhaustive, if you want to turn on extras likes Digital Wellbeing, face recognition, or Knox security.
Between the extensive features, great UI, good overall specs, and the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is designed so well, I think the tablet is a great buy. If you have a little more money to spend the S5e offers a little more, but it doesn’t come with the S Pen.
The S6 Lite works well for all-day users, the battery will last throughout your tasks, and for the price, it’s very affordable.
For more details and to order, visit Samsung.com.
Galaxy Tab S6 Lite photos
(More images to come shortly.)