We used the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 for a few weeks, courtesy of Samsung Malaysia for loaning the tablet over. And I have to say for a tablet, it did things very well and it sure is an ambitious little tablet. However, being ambitious isn’t enough because, at the time of releasing this review, it’s safe to say that the small Tab S9 has been overshadowed by many and made this one a forgettable tablet. Honestly, that’s a bit sad. Let us explain.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Review

It’s a Great Tablet in and Out

Samsung sure did go above and beyond in solidifying their tablet lineup and it became apparent with the Tab S8 and so did with the S9 Series. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is one solid tablet with great construction and it just might be much more solid than the Ultra version as it’s also thin and looks like it’s about to snap into two halves. But coming back to reality, it’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 that the majority would go for.

On top of that, the hardware choice for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is pretty good – you get a stunning display which I enjoyed watching while I was sick from a “mysterious” disease for three weeks. It uses a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a feisty processor that aims to deliver the performance you need. In fact, this time they have brought a bunch of pro-apps to take advantage of the performance.

The IP68 Certification on a tablet is a welcoming feature and I can expect many to take their tablet to watch shows or read a book as they soak themselves in a bathtub. The best part is that this is the first time we see SIM support in their tablet, as they have finally (I cannot stress this enough) done it. So, an independent internet connection on your tablet while your laptop doesn’t have – makes it the most connected device ever. Oh, and it has a MicroSD Card slot.

And yes, it has S Pen Support – so, signing documents, writing, sketching or simply doodling is going to be fun.

The Keyboard Sleeve is decent but needs Work

Personally, the Book Cover Keyboard has been a hit-and-miss experience for me. While the typing experience is all okay, the lack of a backlight feels like a huge blow to the experience in 2023 when other tablet manufacturers (even the ones without Google) have keyboards with backlight. While this may seem like a “nitpicky” thing to point out, it is still a dealbreaker in my experience as most events and places we go to at night are dark and it helps with the typing.

So does the Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung should revert back to their fingerprint sensor on lock buttons vs the display kind we see here and I am not a fan of it. That’s all I can say.

iPad is still winning battles, but the Tab S9 is a good contender

There’s a reason why I say that the iPad is still winning battles – especially since using one for a whole year has made me realize that the tablet experience has vastly changed from what I knew once upon a time. My past experiences with tablets made me not want to get one as well. While the iPad is absolutely great at unifying experiences such as connecting your phone seamlessly and keeping things in sync, support for applications which never see the light of day out of proper PCs and now with AAA title gaming experience – it is winning.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is a good contender because, unlike any other Android tablet manufacturer, Samsung seems to be the only one who understands how to make a completely usable tablet and perhaps make a device that could “potentially” replace your laptop (although there’s a long way to go for that in the Android realm). The Samsung DeX feature completely annihilates every tablet in this range by giving a different user experience. In fact, it’s the mode I kept the Tab S9 almost 85-90% of the time.

In fact, it just might be the only Android Tablet you should Get

As we mentioned earlier, Samsung Galaxy Tablets are the only Android tablets in my personal opinion, you should be getting. And we specifically mean the S Series (As we have not reviewed an A Series tablet in a while now). Right out of the box, setting it up to getting it ready to use – you get a complete package: the Tablet, the S Pen and the Book Cover Keyboard (Depending on the model).

When you can get all of these in one package, and it gives you the versatility to switch between different modes – it is one tough tablet to beat in the Android realm.

However, it’s being Overshadowed by…

… by its own brethren. Since Samsung’s attempt to make the Tablet lineup more bombastic, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ and S9 Ultra overshadow the S9 – making things tough to begin with. With the current consumer mentality of going for the “most expensive is the best” in certain parts of the world, no one is looking at the S9. In fact, because of the Ultra, the S9+ too suffers the same fate. This feels exactly the same as how the smaller S Series smartphone gets overshadowed most of the time.

At the time of Publishing this Review, the S9 and S9+ are not Available…

You read that right – if you were to go to Samsung Malaysia, in fact, you can click here – both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 and Tab S9+ are listed as “Coming Soon”. This only makes me wonder that, what if consumers who are looking for these tablets are running high and low to get it and is it really discontinued? But if it is, what are my alternatives? Lucky for us, we have one… well, two actually.

What about Alternatives?

The Tab S9 FE and Tab S9+ FE

While the FE experience doesn’t quite match up to what the true S Series tablets, it is still an S Series tablet in more ways than one and does quite well – at such a better price point even. It has a 90Hz display, much more funky colours, and still has IP68, you can choose between the WiFi or SIM models but runs Samsung’s in-house Exynos 1380 processor.

This could be the reason why we don’t see units available for the Tab S9 and S9+.


Since the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is not an easy product to acquire at the time of posting this review, we can’t recommend it solely due to its unavailability. As we mentioned earlier, your next best bet would be the Fan Edition tablets.

However, this is definitely one of the nicest tablets I have used from the Android realm in a long time with good performance, decent experience overall and well worth the premium price tag at RM 4,349 for the 128GB and RM 4,849 for the 256GB (SIM Variants).

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