The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 gets a lot right for an Android tablet. It has a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 ProcessorÂ and flexible storage with 128GB or 256GB, which can both be expanded up to 1TB with a microSD card. Samsung’s recent updates to itsÂ DeX modeÂ even make the Tab S6 a more viable laptop substitute than earlier models.Â
The Tab S6 is lighter and thinner than the previous Tab S4, which felt slightly clunkier despite having the same 10.5-inch AMOLED display. The Tab S6 has thinner bezels and rounded corners, giving it a more minimalist look, comparable to the iPad Pro.Â
Sign-ins are streamlined with an on-screen fingerprint scanner and a two-tap gesture to wake the tablet. Samsung may have streamlined too far by removing the tablet’s headphone jack, but it slightly makes up for it with the addition of quad speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos.Â
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In terms of battery life, the older Tab S4 had a larger 7,300-mAh battery than the S6’s 7,040-mAh battery. Samsung says the Tab S4 provided around 16 hours of use, while the new S6 provides closer to 15 hours. On CNET Labs’ streaming video test, the battery lasted for 10 hours, 59 minutes.Â
But even with these good-to-excellent features, choosing an Android tablet is a tough call these days. Microsoft’s Surface Pro line, Apple’s iPad Pro and newer Chrome OS tablets and two-in-ones have a lock on the market, and the Tab S6 doesn’t make a compelling case to switch, even if some features are as good or better.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 specs
Display size and resolution
10.5-inch AMOLED 2,560×1,600-pixel display
Weight and dimensions
420 grams, 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
6/8GB of RAM
128/256GB of storage expandable through a microSD up to 1TB
Android 9 Pie
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S Pen air ball Â
The S6 tablet comes with the updated S Pen stylus. Now with a more angular design, the S Pen remains a great tool for drawing or taking handwritten notes on the tablet. I didn’t find the new shape off-putting, but the pen’s light weight may be strange for people who are used to the heftier weight of a traditional pencil or another typical writing tool.Â
When in use, a small icon appears on the screen giving you direct access to productivity apps that work with the S Pen, including notes and on-screen writing, which makes it easy to quickly jot down any miscellaneous notes or to-do lists. Although writing on a screen does not feel the same as writing on paper, the stylus glides smoothly across the tablet while accurately recording the writing, so it gets the job done.
The updated S Pen now recognizesÂ Air Actions, gesture controls that were first introduced on the Galaxy Note series. You can perform certain actions like scrolling through media, changing camera settings or adjusting the volume on the S6 by moving the S Pen through the air. Although great in theory, the Air Actions are limited to a few apps and are difficult to perform clearly enough for the device to recognize the command. You’ll spend more time waving around the stylus than it takes to just tap on the screen.Â
To charge the stylus, the S Pen magnetically attaches to the back of the tablet for wireless charging. Just don’t leave it there full-time, it’s liable to get knocked off and roll under the sofa.Â
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About that new keyboard…
The sold-separately keyboard cover comes in two parts: the keyboard that attaches to the plug located on the left side of the tablet, and the back piece with the kickstand. Having two parts allows you to use the kickstand without the keyboard and gives you a place to keep the S Pen safe.Â
The new keyboard introduces a laptop-like trackpad and a row of function keys, including a quick-launch button for DeX, Samsung’s PC-like interface. Similar to the Microsoft Surface tablets or Google’s Pixel Slate, the added trackpad allows you to use a mouse cursor, which is definitely an improvement over last year’s cover. But, with the added trackpad, the keys are smaller, making it harder to use if you’re accustomed to the larger setup of a laptop or desktop.Â
Similar to the Tab S4, Microsoft’s Surface Pro and other tablets, the new Book Cover Keyboard is not included with the tablet, which is frustrating since it’s what makes the tablet feel like a reasonable laptop substitute. With the additional keyboard, it has a laptop price without the added benefits of an actual laptop with a desktop OS.Â
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A great Android tablet, but is that enough?Â
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 offers innovative features in a category that is not known for innovation. Most Android-based tablets like Amazon’s FireÂ lineup are made to be inexpensive media-consumption devices. The Tab S6 is the rare Android tablet that does more. It’s a great update to last year’s premium Tab S4, but it doesn’t quite make the case for choosing it over the iPad Pro or Surface Pro.Â
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes in gray, blue and blush. The base Wi-Fi-only model has 128GB of storage (plus microSD expansion) and 6GB of RAM for $649 or, for $729, you can get 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage. The S Pen is included with both, but not the keyboard cover, which costs $180. (In the UK it starts at Â£619 and in Australia at AU$1,099.)
The best VR games and experiences on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 – CNET
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a self-contained VR gaming console, the Oculus Quest 2 is your choice. The compact headset replaces Facebook’s 18-month-old Oculus Quest, but it reminds me more than ever that there are some really excellent games on the platform. VR can be an amazing escape, a workout or both. Over…
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a self-contained VR gaming console, the Oculus Quest 2 is your choice. The compact headset replaces Facebook’s 18-month-old Oculus Quest, but it reminds me more than ever that there are some really excellent games on the platform. VR can be an amazing escape, a workout or both. Over the last year at home, VR gaming has become an even bigger part of my life. Despite existing in a company-controlled walled garden (and increasingly Facebook-oriented login and data policies), the Quest has turned into quite a destination for the best VR games. (Note to access top PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx or Star Wars: Squadrons, you’ll need to plug into a gaming PC with a USB cable.) The rate of good games arriving has accelerated this year. The Under Presents is one of my favorite, weird, endless games in VR.
All of these games work with the year-old Oculus Quest and the new Quest 2, but many apps are receiving extra updates and graphic boosts for Quest 2 owners. We’ll continue to update this list over time.
Oculus Quest 2 is better and cheaper… with one Facebook…
I missed my chance to go to Disney and see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but ILMxLab’s Batuu-themed game is the next best thing. It’s not exactly a tour of Black Spire Outpost, but the incredible character acting, world design and intense blaster battles are an impressive feat. It’s over too soon, but it still costs less than most Disney souvenirs. (Also check out Vader Immortal, ILMxLab’s previous lightsaber-wielding adventure involving Darth Vader.)
Read our hands-on experience and interview.
Big Box VR
The multiplayer battle royale experience of Population One is very Fortnite-like. In fact, it’s extremely Fortnite-like. That’s a good thing. There are few large-scale multiplayer VR games right now, and this is one of the best. Dropping down from above, navigating the shrinking map, climbing and hunting for supplies, and excellent controls make this a must-play team shooter.
It’s expensive, and the file size can get up to 8GB on the Quest 2, but this is console-quality VR shrunken down into a portable headset. Saints & Sinners was already an acclaimed PC VR game, and the transition to the Quest keeps its polish and RPG-like feel. It’s freaky, but it’s also deep. There’s a lot more going on than simple shooting.
A lot of Quest games are expensive, but a surprising number are free. Rec Room is a social hub that’s also a doorway to tons of social games, with a seemingly limitless set of possibilities. Sometimes it feels a bit like Wii Sports or VR Roblox. There are mini-adventures, paintball games and more. I just want there to be improved parental-control features (there seem to be a lot of parents letting kids into Rec Room lately).
Read our original impressions of Rec Room, pre-Quest.
This is Oculus Quest’s killer app, and if you want to get moving, love lightsabers, or just want a fun dance challenge, this is it. There are plenty of tracks to keep you busy, the lightsaber tracking is fantastic, and there are extra music packs to buy if you feel compelled. I’m currently exhausting myself trying to beat my nephew’s high scores.
Bullet time, grab the gun, wait — the faster you move, the faster everything else moves. Get it now? Superhot was one of the first games that hit the Quest, and it’s still amazing. Runner-up pick: Pistol Whip. (Sorry, I still like Superhot more.)
For Fun Labs
Seriously, ping-pong in VR is so good. The table physics, the size of the play area, the way VR matches what you need perfectly — who knows? You can play online with real people, and the gameplay is shockingly unforgiving.
If you’re up for a creepy dive into mysterious puzzle boxes, this all-new VR game from the makers of the hit game series called The Room is a fantastic and spooky mental challenge (it’s not great for kids, though). There are lots of other escape room games on Quest, including the excellent I Expect You To Die, and a ticketed live multiplayer escape-room experience from Adventure Labs, too.
Read our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter.
The synesthetic Tetris Effect was one of the best games of 2018, and the Quest version is mostly as good. It’s intense, the music is amazing, and even though the levels are frantic, it’s also weirdly zen. This is a perfect way to unwind.
Read our review of Tetris Effect.
Oculus’ zero-gravity ultimate frisbee game is a relentless three-on-three experience that gave me vibes of Rocket League, but in VR. The controls, which rely on your hands to catapult around, are brilliant. The open beta is free right now, and it’s great. But expect to lose.
Moss is about a small mouse with a sword who goes on a quest. You’ll follow him through levels that feel like dioramas you can peer down at. Walking around and exploring the beautiful worlds is half the fun, but the game itself is also great and plays like a console platformer, but in 3D.
With other people in your home, VR can be a solitary disconnect. Keep Talking involves others by having people not in VR handle a bomb-defusing manual while the person in VR tries to communicate and stop the bomb in time. It feels like a weird board game, which is something most VR games never succeed at.
An endless and randomly generated set of castle enemies meet you every time you play, and this roguelike game uses a bow and arrow as your only method of navigation and attack. The mechanics feel great, and being surrounded by enemies you’re firing arrows at can be incredibly intense.
If you miss miniature golf (or real golf), Pro Putt’s courses feel like a pretty great stand-in. The courses are cartoonish, but not mini-golf crazy. The putting realism is surprisingly good. I find the whole thing a little meditative.
Talk about a game that never seems to get old. While Space Pirate Trainer has been around since the launch days of the HTC Vive, the simple arcade design is perfect. You stand still, shoot at aliens and shield yourself. Survive as long as you can. It’s perfect.
Want to revisit ’90s games, including the experience of sitting on the floor with a controller playing games on a TV? You can do that already with a little retro 16-bit console, but Pixel Ripped pulls it off uncannily in VR. You’re a kid in a home, playing games that don’t exist. Then you enter the pixel world, and it gets stranger. The original 80s-set Pixel Ripped 1989 is now inside as add-on DLC, too.
VR can turn your sense of reality inside out, and A Fisherman’s Tale is the best type of out-of-body experience. A room with puzzles to solve also has a dollhouse, which is a perfect model of the room you’re in. You can reach into your own space and as you do, a larger hand from above enters your room. It’s like living in your own weird puzzle dollhouse universe, and it’s fantastic.
Red Matter was one of the best-looking Oculus Quest games, and an update for Quest 2 pushes the graphics even further. The puzzle-solving, atmospheric, brooding adventure is set in an alternate-timeline Cold War in space. Your tool-filled space suit glides around and grapples with the brilliantly evoked world, which often has Half-Life vibes.
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More VR and gaming advice
Mi 11 and Mi 11 Pro Launch Announcement by Xiaomi Likely for Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020
Xiaomi is likely to announce Mi 11 as its next flagship smartphone at Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 that will be virtually held between December 1 and 2. While the Chinese company hasn’t yet provided any details about its launch plans, Qualcomm has confirmed that Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun will join the annual…
Xiaomi is likely to announce Mi 11 as its next flagship smartphone at Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 that will be virtually held between December 1 and 2. While the Chinese company hasn’t yet provided any details about its launch plans, Qualcomm has confirmed that Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun will join the annual conference to announce its next-generation product developments. The Mi 11 is speculated to accompany the Mi 11 Pro, and both new phones are likely to come with Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon processor rumoured to be the Snapdragon 875.Qualcomm has posted details on Weibo that highlighted the presence of Lei Jun at the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020. An official image shared by the San Diego-headquartered company on the microblogging network shows that the executive will announce Xiaomi’s latest product developments for global customers alongside sharing its long-term partnership with Qualcomm.The product announcements are likely to be around the Mi 11 as Xiaomi at the Snapdragon Tech Summit last year announced the Mi 10. The new Mi flagship phone is expected to be among the first models to come with the next-generation Snapdragon SoC.A listing on benchmark site Geekbench recently suggested the existence of the Mi 11. It showed Android 11 and 6GB of RAM. The phone also received a single core score of 1,105 and a multi-core score of 3,512.The Mi 11 is speculated to come along with the Mi 11 Pro. Both new Mi phones are rumoured to come with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and an enhanced image stabilisation. The Mi 11 Pro is also tipped to feature a QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate.In addition to its announcement, Jun is expected to reveal some key specifications of the Mi 11 series at the forthcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit. The flagship phones, however, may take some time to reach global markets.Is Redmi Note 9 Pro Max the best affordable camera phone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Black Friday 2020 Fire tablet sales: Amazon Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition are both $80 – CNET
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family. The Black Friday deals are finally here! Actual Black Friday may be a few days away according to the calendar, but the shopping holiday price cuts, including…
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
The Black Friday deals are finally here! Actual Black Friday may be a few days away according to the calendar, but the shopping holiday price cuts, including Fire tablet deals, are already going strong. Are you in the market for a new Amazon Fire tablet or want to give one as a gift for a special someone? Several of the models have returned to their lows first seen during last month’s Prime Day sale. Specifically:The Fire HD 10 (10-inch tablet) is now $80 ($70 off)The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is now $130 ($70 off)The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is now $80 during Prime Day ($60 off)The Fire 7 Kids Edition is now $60 ($40 off)The Fire HD 8 will also be returning to its Prime Day low of $55 by Cyber Monday. Thus far, Amazon hasn’t confirmed Fire HD 8 Plus tablet discounts, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see these Amazon devices return to their Prime Day lows over the next few days: The Fire HD 8 (8-inch tablet) will be returning to $55 ($35 off)The Fire HD 8 Plus was $75 during Prime Day ($35 off)Note that the Fire Kids Editions include a case and a year of Amazon’s Kids Plus subscription service, a $36 value.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Amazon has come a long way from the first Kindle Fire tablet. The Amazon Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s biggest tablet with a 10-inch screen size and powerful speakers (and it now charges via USB-C). Just like its smaller 8-inch sibling, the Fire HD 8, the tablet is packed with benefits for Prime subscribers, making it easy for members to stream and download movies, TV shows and games. The Fire tablets don’t use a pure version of Android, but instead Amazon’s Android-based Fire operating system, and pull apps from the Amazon App Store. You can still get apps from Google Play, but you’ll have to install the store yourself — meaning gaming enthusiasts have access to all of their favorite mobile games for an excellent gaming tablet experience.
This child-friendly version of the Fire HD 8 tablet adds a padded case, parental controls, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to Kids Plus (formerly known as FreeTime Unlimited), which normally costs $3 a month and gives you access to a bunch of kid-friendly content. It’s not really suitable for remote learning, but it’s a much more affordable option than giving a young child a full-on iPad.
This has all of the same extras as the HD 8 above, but it’s the childproof version of the smaller, more affordable Amazon Fire 7. You’re getting a 7-inch screen instead of 8, and a less robust processor.
The Fire HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and more RAM (3GB instead of 2GB), with performance that improves on the standard Fire HD 8. The tablet should charge just fine on most wireless charging pads.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review.
The Fire HD 8 was updated earlier this year with a faster processor, USB-C charging, better Wi-Fi performance, 2GB of RAM (up from 1.5GB) and a bump from 16GB to 32GB of storage in the base model. Its HD screen is sharper than the entry-level Fire 7, but it’s not nearly as sharp as iPad displays. The HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and slightly better performance, thanks to 3GB of RAM.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review.
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