[REVIEW] The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Is One of The Best Budget-Friendly Android Tablets

It's packed with features without breaking the bank.

Cover image via Calvin Khor/SAYS

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With some tablets becoming as pricey as laptops these days, many people are thinking twice about getting a tablet

This is why the return of Samsung's Fan Edition devices, particularly the Galaxy Tab S9 FE, is timely and highly anticipated, as it offers consumers a more affordable way to experience many of Samsung's most popular features

With an 11-inch screen size, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE strikes the perfect balance between an immersive viewing experience, portability, and comfortable one-handed use

The aluminium build of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE keeps it incredibly lightweight, yet it still feels durable and sturdy in the hand, despite its mere 6.5mm thickness.

In our experience, the bezels actually helped with one-handed use. While they are typically associated with a poor viewing experience, the added bezel around the display prevented accidental touches without impeding our Netflix sessions.

The TFT LCD display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE is surprisingly good, offering reasonable brightness and vibrant colours

However, unlike its flagship counterparts, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE does not feature an AMOLED display. While the screen is not as bright or vibrant, overall image quality remains uncompromised. The TFT LCD is still surprisingly good, offering adequate brightness and rich colours. In fact, for most users, the difference between an AMOLED display and a TFT LCD is negligible.

However, TFT LCDs have narrower viewing angles compared to other display technologies such as AMOLED. This means that the device's image quality may not be as good when viewed from the side or at an angle.

But fret not: the Galaxy Tab S9 FE's large display size mitigates the effects of its narrow viewing angle. During our tests, we experienced noticeable image degradation only when viewing the display at extreme angles, which almost never happens during normal use.

The Dolby Atmos feature gives the Galaxy Tab S9 FE's sound quality a major boost, providing users an immersive and captivating experience

One of our favourite features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE is the Dolby Atmos feature surround sound technology. It is enabled by default, and a quick comparison shows that it is simply better to leave it on.

Upon closer inspection, the Dolby Atmos feature offers three selectable modes: Movie, Music, and Voice. However, leaving the setting at the default Auto allows the software to seamlessly switch between modes based on the content that you are consuming.

Despite being powered by the mid-range Exynos 1380 processor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE can handle multitasking, including the more demanding DeX mode, like a charm

Best paired with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Book Cover Keyboard or a wireless keyboard and mouse setup of your own, the DeX mode turns the tablet into a fully functional desktop. You can even connect it to a monitor via USB-C for a richer experience.

Designed primarily for productivity and media consumption, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE's Exynos 1380 processor managed to handle our most demanding tasks, such as running multiple apps simultaneously, switching between them rapidly, and playing picture-in-picture video while editing photos. It is unlikely that you will encounter any performance issues during your everyday use.

For scribblers and artists, the S Pen is a valuable addition to an already impressive device

While we've used the S Pen mainly for photo editing so far, the overall experience was smooth and responsive, which is definitely better than finicking with the sliders with just fingers.

The S Pen has 4,096 pressure sensor levels and is sensitive to tilt, so you can create detailed sketches and illustrations. The S Pen also magnetically sticks to the back of the tablet for convenient storage.

The icing on the cake is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE's 8,000mAh battery, which can supposedly last up to 18 hours on a single charge

However, in our tests, the tablet achieved a more modest battery life of 14-15 hours before requiring a charge. This included mixed usage conditions, mostly encompassing both productivity and media playback.

However, with 45W fast charging, you can fully recharge the tablet in an hour and a half, eliminating the need to constantly look for a power outlet.

Starting at RM2,099, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE's large immersive display, incredible Dolby Atmos audio, and desktop-like DeX mode make it the perfect tablet for anyone looking for a versatile and powerful device

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE is a compelling alternative to a laptop, especially when paired with the Galaxy Tab S9 Book Cover Keyboard. It offers essential features for mobile workers while taking up less space than a conventional laptop would.

If you are primarily interested in media consumption, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE excels, delivering stunning visuals with its high-resolution display and praiseworthy audio, thanks to Dolby Atmos.

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