Back in the day, tablets reigned supreme when it comes to content consumption. Its bigger screen not only makes it ideal for watching your favorite movies and shows but it also allows you to have a more immersive gaming experience as well.
Nowadays, phones have larger displays, and companies have allotted most of their time and resources into developing faster ones instead.
Still, there are some that would create tablets, and Samsung is one of those companies. Today, I am going to talk about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and what you need to know about it.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Among the tablets that Samsung has released thus far, this one is the cheapest tablet that comes with an S-pen.
The S-pen is pretty much Samsung’s foray into a tablet stylus and its performance, as a stylus itself, is pretty good.
It allows you to easily highlight important notes in a document and it also gives you the power to draw on the tablet itself.
Despite this tablet being a much more affordable variant than its bigger brother, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite still comes with a robust and svelte design.
The tablet has an all-metal frame and has a glass front that is responsive enough to the touch. Because of the metal construction, however, the tablet itself is heavy at 467 grams.
Its dimensions are 244.5 x 154.3 x 7mm so it is what you would consider a fairly standard size for an ordinary tablet. If you want to turn this into a laptop-tablet hybrid, well, it wouldn’t feel natural.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is great for media consumption because of its smaller bezels. So, whether you are creating a presentation or watching some movies, you will not be annoyed by any big black bars on the sides.
When holding the tablet in portrait mode, the camera is situated on the top-left corner of the device.
People that want to plug their favorite headphones will be happy to know that this device also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a USB Type-C port at the bottom for better data transfer and charging speeds.
The inclusion of the Type-C port is a welcome addition, especially considering that most ‘budget’ tablets still come with the now-archaic micro USB port.
You can choose from three different color variants: Chiffon Rose, Oxford Gray, and Angora Blue. If you want a subtler color, Oxford Gray would be a perfect fit for you.
As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with the S-pen. Although it is included in the box, keep in mind that the tablet itself doesn’t come with a port where you can insert the said pen into it. This is a minor inconvenience but it would still be nice if the tablet had the said compartment.
The 10.4-inch tablet comes with an LCD screen with a resolution of 2000 x 1200. While the LCD screen provides punchy colors, its contrast leaves much to be desired.
That is just the nature of LCD screens because if it needs to display some black colors, it would still light up the panel as opposed to an OLED where it would just turn off the lights if that is the case.
Anyway, the screen is still bright nonetheless and the colors are still pleasant to look at. It is not as saturated as the Apple iPad Pro, however.
People who want to watch content from streaming services like Netflix will be happy to know that the tablet’s 5:3 screen aspect ratio will allow you to enjoy it in all of its glory.
Despite the inclusion of the S-Pen, there are some noticeable lags when you switch to different areas on the screen.
Another thing to take note of here is that whenever you want to write or draw something on the tablet using the stylus, it will not register the palm of your hand as if it were a single unit.
Instead, it will register as two different inputs and will act accordingly. This means that you can accidentally draw a line here or there whenever you are using the S-pen.
You can work around the issue but it is still worth bringing up considering that people are going to use the stylus for various purposes.
- CPU: Exynos Octa-Core (4x 2.3GHz + 4x 1.7GHz)
- RAM: 4GB DDR4x
- GPU: Mali-G72 MP3
- Screen: 10.4 inches LCD Screen, 2000x 1200 resolution, 224 ppi
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB Internal, Up to 512GB Expandable
- Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz + 5GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C
- Battery: 7,040 Li-Ion, 15W Charger included
- Weight: 467 grams
- Audio: 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, two AKG speakers with Dolby Atmos Surround Sound
- Cameras: 8-megapixel, f/1.9 Autofocus rear camera; 5-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
- S-Pen Included
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is powered by the Exynos 9611 octa-core processor that the company has made in-house. This is also the same chip that comes with their other affordable phones such as the Samsung Galaxy A50s, for example.
Its performance does a pretty good job of handling daily tasks such as streaming, writing, and other non-intensive work.
However, once you play games, especially the most demanding titles such as Call of Duty or PUBG, you may experience severe slowdowns (unless you lower the settings considerably).
It is also supported by 4GB of DDR4x RAM and in most cases, it should be enough for tablet users.
Despite its respectable performance package, lags are still apparent, especially when you are transitioning from different apps and screens.
For instance, if you are to move between different home screens, you will have to apply considerable force and you have to ‘mean it’ when you swipe left or right just to get to different items.
You will get used to it after a couple of days but if you transition to other tablets like the iPad Pro, for example, the lag will definitely be noticeable.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with two cameras: one 8-megapixel shooter at the back and another 5-megapixel selfie camera at the front.
As you can probably tell, the camera performance is subpar at best. You will not be doing a lot of amazing photography with the included cameras. I think that the company just included them as a customary measure and nothing else.
Still, both of the cameras are able to record 1080p videos and the rear camera also comes with an autofocus feature as well.
However, if you are an influencer or someone that really wants high-quality photos, you are better off using your phone or a dedicated camera instead.
Every mobile device that is not made by Apple runs on the Android mobile operating system and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is definitely one of them.
It is not running a vanilla version of Android 10, though, but instead, the tablet is slapped with Samsung’s One UI overlay. The UI is one of the better custom overlays on the market, though liking the interface is a matter of personal choice.
I especially love the fact that you can tweak various behaviors when it comes to different things.
For instance, if you are using the vanilla Android 10, all of the apps that you download from the Play Store will be saved on the home screen.
With One UI, you will be given the option to not put any new apps on the home screen for a tidier interface.
Despite Android having matured since its inception, the said operating system does not focus on the tablet experience. This is evident if you are going to use the S-pen for multiple tasks.
As mentioned earlier, whenever you rest your palm on the tablet, it registers the pen and your palm as two different inputs which means that you might accidentally add something that you do not need on your current task.
Still, the S-pen is usable but you will have to contend with the lag on certain inputs.
One of the strongest points of the tablet is its amazingly huge battery. It comes with a 7,040 Li-ion battery that is definitely one of the biggest capacities on tablets today.
Samsung touts this device to last up to 12 hours with moderate use and upon testing, it has lasted 10 hours for me doing a combination of streaming, gaming, and light tasks.
The tablet can last you a day or two of full use and this is definitely great from a productivity standpoint.
My only gripe with this device is that it comes with a 15-watt charger only. Although it is still considered ‘fast’ charging, its humongous battery still requires nearly three hours of charging for it to be full.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is definitely one of the best affordable tablets out on the market today.
It has respectable specs, a huge battery, and an included S-pen which is a first for the company since this is considered a budget offering.
However, it is sometimes mired by performance dips, lags, the display uses LCD instead of the company’s OLED screens, and its cameras leave much to be desired.
Still, for $349.99, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a steal.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.
It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.
Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?
One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.
The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.
You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.
Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.
The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.
I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.
Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.
An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.
So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.
3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.
I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.
To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.
The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.
You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.
Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.
Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball.
For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.
You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.
You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.
Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.
The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.
You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.
Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?
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