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We found the ultimate tablet for Xbox games and it’s not an iPad

Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab S7 + a few months ago, which has it all. She has become our perfect companion to play within the Xbox ecosystem.

In the tablet market, tech experts often say there are Apple iPads… and the rest. Competition under Android is struggling to compete with the products of the Cupertino company, whose monitoring and software quality rarely cause regret in the purchase. As a bonus, the range is still accessible to all budgets: the iPad is excellent value for money, the iPad Air is a good intermediary and the iPad Pro can become a real productivity tool. In the camp opposite, there is little more than Samsung to offer good quality products.

In 2020, Samsung decided to launch a real challenger for the iPad Pro: the Galaxy Tab S7 +. We retain the “+” model as an unprecedented argument on the market: an AMOLED screen, as used by its high-end phones for several years. Another point that could appeal: Android tablet requires, the Tab S7 + is compatible with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass – as well as Remote Play (remote access to its console). This makes it a possible ultimate entertainment product, if we add the streaming applications available on the Google Play Store (Disney +, YouTube, Netflix…).

The Boys series on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 +: appreciate the really black bands // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

The screen of the Galaxy Tab S7 + is simply beautiful

It’s hard not to fall in love with the Galaxy Tab S7 + screen. The technology has sufficiently proven itself, whether in small (smartphones) or large formats (televisions). With its 12.4-inch diagonal at 16:10 ratio (longer) and high pixel density (2800 x 1752 pixels), the Galaxy Tab S7 + offers a more than comfortable display surface for watching a movie or gaming on the thumb (without forgetting the pixel density to facilitate reading, even small texts). OLED technology adds its benefits: really black blacks (forget the grayish bands on Netflix), perfect colors and irreproachable viewing angles (a plus for many to enjoy). We add a refresh rate of 120 Hz (beware of autonomy) and HDR10 + compatibility to obtain the tablet offering the best visual spectacle in 2021. Better than the iPad Pro, therefore.

In the parameters, you can adjust the display, opt for a “Vivid” or “Natural” rendering or even manage the white balance. We recommend the “Natural” option for films and series and possibly “Vivid” for video games. There is even a mode that automatically optimizes the image by playing on the colors in certain compatible applications (myCanal, Netflix, YouTube, etc.). What to remember: the display surface – 12.4 inches, as a reminder -, coupled with OLED technology, offers a breathtaking visual spectacle (superior to LCD televisions). The sharpness is incredible and the contrasts are perfect. Only the light power appears a tad behind the rest – the fault of the OLED. In addition, the Galaxy Tab S7 + is prone to glare.

A breathtaking visual spectacle

High-end tablet requires, the Galaxy Tab S7 + is compatible with the Dolby Atmos format, whether for films or video games, thanks to its four speakers signed AKG. On this feature, an iPad Pro goes a step further in terms of power and soundstage filling. The rendering offered by the Galaxy Tab S7 + is generally balanced, but struggles to offer sufficient amplitude. The presence of four speakers still makes it possible to ensure precise placement of effects (a real plus for Dolby Atmos). If ever the acoustic performance does not convince you, you can always invest in a high-end audio headset (be careful, there is no jack port).

The Xbox Game Pass application on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Tab + // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Xbox Game Pass’s Best Friend

At the end of 2020, Microsoft decided to integrate its cloud gaming technology into its Xbox Game Pass. This association allows it to offer its catalog of video games available by subscription to Android users, whether they use a smartphone and / or a tablet. By virtue of its intrinsic technical qualities, the Galaxy Tab S7 + presents itself as a showcase for Microsoft’s service. It’s not just about picture and sound quality, but also the display area. If the possibility of playing Xbox games on a smartphone remains appreciable, we have to recognize that some experiences are less suited than others to a small screen.

Gears 5 on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 + // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

For example, titles with lots of readable texts – like The Witcher 3 – look much better on a big screen. With its 12.4 inches, the Galaxy Tab S7 + does not have this problem, even if we lose the nomadic argument a little. With its dimensions and low thickness (185 x 285 x 5.7 mm), the Samsung tablet can easily slip into a bag. But it remains a big product when it is necessary to transport it, with measurements close to a laptop PC. One of the interesting sedentary use cases for the Galaxy Tab S7 + is to release the main TV, while still playing its games. On this point, the Xbox application includes the remote access functionality. It offers the opportunity to stream the games installed on its console (only condition: you need a good internet connection).

Ori and the Will of the Wisps sur la Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ // Source : Maxime Claudel pour Numerama

Of course, the Galaxy Tab S7 + is compatible with the official Xbox controller, including the latest version – the one delivered with the Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X. The accessory connects via Bluetooth in two steps three movements (follow our guide ). Better, by pressing the home button (the one that lights up in white), you will directly launch the Xbox Game Pass application. It’s intuitive, knowing that the ergonomics have been designed for the joystick: you can navigate through the different menus with the left analog stick or the directional cross. Keep in mind that this is still a beta feature, which may be greatly improved in the coming months. As it is, the basics are very, very solid and there is no better medium than the Galaxy Tab S7 + to take advantage of.

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