5 reasons a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 can replace your laptop

With the advent of tablet-notebook hybrid devices, Chromebooks and even the release of the iPad Pro, more people are turning away from traditional laptops for both work and fun. This is especially true for those who just need Internet access and some basic productivity apps to get work done. Tablets are the most natural shift when looking for something less powerful than a notebook but suited to business and personal use -- and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is no exception.

In fact, Samsung even markets the S2 as a work-friendly device, and with its compact size and weight --less than one pound - that means you won't have to lug around a three-pound notebook and charger when you travel. There's also a host of connectivity options and strong performance, which guarantee you won't miss a beat while multitasking for work. If you aren't quite sold on a tablet, or if you're interested in making the shift but need a nudge, here are five of the biggest reasons to use the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 at work.

If you travel a lot for work, or consider yourself road warrior, you probably know it's a lot easier to tote around a small tablet than an entire notebook. If you aren't a power user, and really just need to check email, edit or create documents and have reliable access to Wi-Fi, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 delivers.

Measuring 9.34 x 6.65 x .22 inches and weighing just 10.51 ounces, it's easy to throw this tablet in a carry-on or briefcase and you won't be weighed down while catching a plane or hailing a cab. While the compact size might be a deterrent if you feel you need more screen space, if youdon't mind a screen just shy of 10 inches, and are more interested in travelling light, it's a great option.

When compared to the iPad, you have more connectivity options with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, as you do with most Android tablets. You can connect to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, or even a wired set using a mini USB to full USB connector. These connectors are easy to find and inexpensive if you shop around. Using this setup lends to a more natural notebook experience, similar to the Microsoft Surface lineup. With the trackpad or a mouse, you won't have to reach up and tap the screen every time you need to change apps or highlight some text.

Samsung even has a proprietary keyboard case that includes a trackpad, and while it isn't the most accurate trackpad, it works in a pinch. The keyboard also has a number of the features built into it, such as the back button, home button, app switcher and a button that will bring up the app drawer, so your hands rarely need to leave the keyboard.

And with the Samsung Multimedia Dock, you can even use this tablet at your desk by connecting the device to a monitor with an HDMI port. It also features three USB ports, so you can hook up a full-sized keyboard, mouse and external storage drive. This is a great option if you travel between offices or simply don't need the functionality of a full operating system like Windows or OS X. It's also a way to stream movies, TV shows and more to your TV and entertainment center, once you're out of office.

Galaxy devices haven't always been known for their high-end designs, but the S2 bucks that perception with a sleek, light, thin design you would expect from a premium device. It's still plastic on the back, but Samsung avoided adding any textures like they have in the past on similar devices. Instead, the plastic almost looks like brushed aluminum at first glance. The plastic delivers a little added grip that you won't get from a device featuring an all-aluminum body. Samsung also added an aluminum bezel around the front of the tablet, which gives it that high-end quality look and feel that you would see with the Apple iPad Air 2.

In terms of performance, the S2 boasts 3GB of RAM, which is fast enough to let you stream video, multitask and keep multiple tabs open in your browser without issue. In benchmarks, the S2 does fall behind the Apple iPad Air 2, but in testing, it was nearly impossible to notice a real difference between the two. Transitions between apps are fast, so you won't experience any lag, and it was easy to keep multiple tabs open in a browser as each page loaded quickly. The tablet was highly responsive in testing, with minimal app crashes and offered clean and speedy transitions between apps. Even the on-screen keyboard is highly responsive, and with the thin, portfolio design, it's easy enough to type out a quick message using just your thumbs.

Now that Microsoft has opened up its productivity apps to Android, including the latest Outlook app, it's easy to stay connected to the programs you need, whether its Excel, PowerPoint, One Note or Word. You won't have any trouble quickly creating, editing and sharing documents on the go or drafting and responding to your email. And with the seamless multitasking, you won't have any issues switching between apps if you need to grab data from a spreadsheet and input into a PowerPoint. Couple that with the media dock, and you can have a near-desktop experience up and running in no time.

A lot of people use their devices for both personal use and work. While it's certainly convenient, there are security and privacy risks that can rise from BYOD approach to the mobile enterprise. But with Android for Work, you can separate business apps and personal apps, so that both your work life and personal life remain separate and secured. That means IT can access the work side of your tablet, but they can't see or erase personal data, photos or anything else that isn't included on the "work side" of your tablet. Plus, with a microSD card slot for easy expanded storage up to 128GB, you can easily swap out SD cards for work and personal to keep files and data even more separate.

There's also Samsung Knox, which offers enhanced mobile security for the enterprise. It offers a ton of features, whether you're an employee looking to comply with IT security standards at your company or you're an IT manager looking to bring Android devices into the workplace. It offers all the security features businesses need in order to feel comfortable deploying Android technology and Samsung devices in the workplace.

As with any device, there are a few downsides. For one, this device does trail the iPad Air 2 slightly in performance, but with 3GB of RAM, you really aren't going to notice the difference. And Android does have fewer tablet-ready apps when compared to the iOS App Store, but you'll find that most apps find their way to the Google Play store sooner or later.

On the plus side, you can currently find the 32GB Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 for less than the iPad Air 2 16GB model at around $400. And it's important to note that the S2 base model offers 32GB of storage that you can expand up to 128GB with a microSD card, something Apple charges a premium for. And on the pro side, you've have the capability to use a mouse with this device, which you cannot do with the iPad. The host of connectivity options might seal the deal, giving you the flexibility of a notebook when you add a keyboard and mouse, but the portability and functionality of a tablet.


Sarah K. White

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