Galaxy Tab A8: Samsung Malaysia’s new sub-RM1,000 tablet runs on an unfamiliar processor

·3-min read
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is officially priced at RM999 in Malaysia. — Picture courtesy of Samsung via SoyaCincau
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is officially priced at RM999 in Malaysia. — Picture courtesy of Samsung via SoyaCincau

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Samsung Malaysia has introduced the Galaxy Tab A8, their new budget tablet that’s priced under RM1,000. It appears to be a refresh of their previous Galaxy Tab A7 but it now runs on a rather unfamiliar processor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 Malaysia pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is officially priced at RM999 in Malaysia. You can buy it on the official online store as well as eCommerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee. As part of Samsung Malaysia’s introductory offer, Galaxy Tab A8 buyers will get a Clear Edge Cover worth RM99 and 1-year Samsung Care+ worth RM110 for free until 28th February 2022, while stocks last.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is currently offered as a WiFi-only device with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It is offered in either Pink Gold or Dark Grey.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 specs

Compared to the previous Galaxy Tab A7, the new Galaxy Tab A8 comes with a slightly larger 10.5″ TFT display that pushes 1920×1200 pixels resolution (WUXGA) in a 16:10 aspect ratio. Instead of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chip, the updated tablet runs on an unspecified 2GHz Octa-Core processor which Samsung claims to offer 10 per cent better CPU and GPU performance.

There’s a good reason why Samsung isn’t disclosing the processor on its official product page and global press release. According to Sammobile, the Galaxy Tab A8 is running on a 12nm Unisoc Tiger T618 chip which is slightly better than the T610 that’s powering the Nokia T20 tablet. If you haven’t heard of Unisoc, you’re not alone. The company makes low-cost SoCs that are typically found on ultra-budget devices.

Similar to the Galaxy Tab A7, the Galaxy Tab A8 is offered with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage which is expandable via microSD card up to 1TB. In the camera department, it gets a single 8MP main camera at the rear and a front-facing 5MP camera for selfies and video calls. For audio playback, it still gets a quad stereo speaker setup with support for Dolby Atmos and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Despite being a budget device, the tablet still offers several notable features including Samsung Kids, Multi-Active Window with Drag & Split support as well as the ability to copy and paste across other Samsung devices signed in to the same account. Out of the box, it runs on Android 11 with Samsung’s skin on top.

Powering the tablet is a 7,040mAh battery and it supports 15W adaptive fast charging via USB-C. Unfortunately, the faster 15W charger is not included and Samsung appears to be bundling a slower 7.8W charger. The device supports 5GHz 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0. Overall, it weighs 508g and is 6.9mm thick.

For the price, it is disappointing that Samsung is not giving its sub-RM1,000 Galaxy Tab A series tablet a major upgrade for 2022. With its decision to switch to a Unisoc processor, it isn’t clear if the Galaxy Tab A8 would be able to get long-term software updates.

If you do plan to spend RM1,000 for a tablet, it would make more sense to get an entry-level iPad which starts from RM1,499 for the 64GB WiFi version. Not only you’re getting a more powerful processor, but you can also be assured of continuous iPadOS and security updates for at least 3-5 years. If you’re a student, Apple is also offering student pricing and the iPad 64GB WiFi is going for RM1,409. — SoyaCincau

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