Artist Review: Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022)

Review unit on loan from Samsung Singapore

This is my artist review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022).

Samsung released the Galaxy Tab S6 in Aug 2019, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite in May 2020 and now the updated Galaxy Tab S6 Lite in May 2022.

Official retail price here in Singapore is SGD 598. And since this tablet has already been out for months, you can even find it at lower prices. At the time of this review, it's SGD $518 on Samsung Singapore website. The lowest I can find is around SGD 450 on Lazada Singapore and Shopee Singapore. Just make sure you don't mistake the 2022 for 2020 since the packaging does not clearly mention the year, so read the specs before you buy.

The main upgrade is from Exynos 9611 to Snapdragon 720G. According to benchmarks, Snapdragon 720G is about 40% faster than Exynos so that's an extremely welcome upgrade.

My review unit actually came with Snapdragon 732G which has comparable performance to Snapdragon 720G.

Other than the processor upgrade, the rest of the specs looks similar and here they are:

  • Processor: Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 732G
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB
  • Display: 10.4-inch TFT LCD
  • Resolution: 2000 x 1200 @ 60Hz
  • Colour support: 16 million colours
  • Camera: 8MP main, 5MP front
  • MicroSD card slot: Yes
  • Port: USB 2 type C, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Speakers: 2
  • Android OS 12
  • Battery capacity: 7040mAh
  • Weight: 465g

Things included


Thing included in the box may vary according to countries.

Here in Singapore, items included are 8W charger, USB-C to USB-A charging cable, earphone headset, quick start guide and the Samsung S Pen.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022) is a good looking tablet with solid build quality. The design is identical to the earlier model.


The corners including the LCD are rounded off. Bezels are thin and uniform on four sides. The weight of 465g is considered lightweight for a tablet at this size. You can add a case and the weight is still manageable to draw with while you're holding the tablet.


On the top you will find a 3.5mm audio, one speaker and a 5MP camera.


At the bottom is another speaker and a USB 2.0 type C port.


Since the port only has USB 2.0 speeds, this tablet does not support video output, and hence SamsungDex (above) cannot be used with an external display. I find SamsungDex to be more useful when used with an external display so not being able to do that is a downside for me.


The Samsung S Pen is included and can attach magnetically to the side of the tablet. Samsung including the S Pen is a huge selling point when other companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo are all selling their pens separately, and some are more than US $100.


The Samsung S Pen is one of the more dependable stylus in the market with consistent performance across all devices that support this pen.


This pen has tilt (above), 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. The pen is not powered by battery so no charging is required. The pen does not need to be paired with the tablet.

This particular model of S Pen is lightweight, has a good thickness for comfortable grip and is matte textured. Replacement nibs are inexpensive and easy to find.


The pen tip is actually rubberised and provides some friction on the glass which makes the pen easier to control. The rubberised tip also dampens the tapping sound.

Note that the display is laminated so there's no gap between the glass and the LCD beneath. When drawing, there's no gap between the line and the pen tip.


The display is quite reflective as there's no anti-reflective coating on it. I don't think a matte screen protector is needed for this tablet because the rubberised pen tip already provides the extra friction for more control. A matte screen protector will wear off the rubberised pen tip real fast. There's no tactile experience though when drawing with the S Pen on this display but that's a non-issue.


There's unfortunately some light bleeding issue at the bottom of the tablet with the review unit that I have.


You can see the edge glow brighter and it's interestingly more noticeable when the background is light vs dark. So there could be some quality control issue here. It's not a big deal but it would be better if there's no light glow of course.

Performance


General performance of the tablet is smooth and mostly lag free. Multi-tasking works fine. The improved processing power with Snapdragon 720G (or 732G in my case) over Exynos 9611 can definitely be noticed.

One thing I noticed with the Tab S6 Lite (2020) is auto-rotation is kinda slow but it's now quite fast with the 2022 model. Everything just feels faster as it should be because it's the year 2022 and slow tablets should really be phased out.

This tablet runs on Android 12 with Samsung One UI version 4.1 running on top. Samsung One UI is nice and packed with many useful features too long for me to list out. I've been using Samsung tablets for years and I enjoy using Samsung One UI.

Samsung has promised four generations of OS updates so you can be sure you'll be well supported with stability, security and new features in the future.

This tablet only has 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage (only 104GB available). 4GB RAM is still alright for running multiple apps and multi-tasking.

Drawing apps


There's a huge variety of high quality drawing apps available. Some of the more popular ones off the top of my mind are:

  • Medibang Paint Pro
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Krita
  • Infinite Painter
  • Sketchbook
  • Concepts
  • Tayasui Sketches
  • ArtFlow

Drawing performance


These are line tests created with Medibang Paint.

1. The S Pen has minimal initial activation force so it's easy to draw really thin lines even if you're using a thick brush. Those thin lines were drawn very slowly and they are quite straight with minimal wobble or jitter. With normal drawing speed, there will be no jitter.

2. It's easy to have the lines transition from thick back to thin. This means the pen is sensitive at detecting changes in pressure when using minimal pressure to draw thin lines.

3. It's easy to draw lines with consistent width by applying consistent pressure.

3. Dots can be drawn easily by tapping the S Pen.


This was drawn with Medibang Paint.


This was drawn with Infinite Painter.


This was drawn with Concepts.


This was also drawn with Concepts.

I did not experience any issues when drawing with the S Pen. The S Pen has predictable and consistent performance. All the lines are able to come out the way I expect them to. Drawing performance of the pen is fantastic and so is the drawing experience.

There is latency with drawing. There will be a gap between the line and the pen tip as the line is trying to catch up with the pen tip. But it's mostly a non-issue unless you're always drawing long sweeping lines. Latency isn't something I think about when I drew the drawings above. The thing is there's also latency when drawing on the more expensive Samsung Tab S7 and S8 tablets because the latency is due primarily to the drawing apps and hardware is secondary -- Tab S7 and S8 tablets have 120Hz display and there's still latency while drawing. FYI, there's also latency when drawing on the iPad Pro.

Compared to the iPad


So Apple just released the iPad 10 (2022) and they are still selling the iPad 9 (2021). Prices here in Singapore SGD 679 and SGD 499 respectively. And that does not included the Apple Pencil which is SGD 129. And those base models only come with 64GB storage and there's no microSD card slot for storage expansion. For digital art and graphic design work, 64GB isn't enough so if you upgrade the storage to 256GB, that's going to make the iPad even more expensive.

For drawing purposes, the Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022) provides way more value for your money over the iPad. The Samsung tablet is a clear winner.

The advantage the iPad has over the Samsung tablet is there are more graphic design apps in addition to drawing apps from the Apple App Store. I'm talking about vector graphics illustration apps and layout apps with good text controls and features. Apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, Affinity Publisher, Vectornator, Amadine are all not available from the Google Play Store.

So if you do graphic design work in addition to drawing, go with the iPad. If you're just going to draw, go with the Samsung. The iPad 9 was already outdated on the day it was launched. The iPad 10 (2020) is basically just a repackaged iPad Air 4 (2020) so it's also a 2 year old outdated tablet marketed as something new. You can also say the Tab S6 Lite (2022) is also outdated since only the processor was upgraded and that's not even the latest processor available to Android. True. But Samsung is not overcharging you because you get the S Pen included and MicroSD card slot for storage expansion, and the tablet is priced very competitively.

Conclusion


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022) is a beautiful tablet that provides decent performance and is great for drawing.

This tablet does provide good value for money considering better tablets such as the Tab S7 or Tab S7 FE are at least SGD 200 more.

There are cheaper tablets from Samsung but those budget tablets usually don't have S Pen support and the build quality isn't going to feel as premium compared to what you can get with the Tab S6 Lite (2022).

The two downsides for me are the lack of video output from the USB-C port which means external display support with SamsungDex is not possible, and there's light bleeding at one edge of the display at least for this review unit I have.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful design
+ Solid build quality
+ Lightweight at 465g
+ 2000 x 1200 is quite sharp for a 10.4-inch display
+ Android 12
+ S Pen included
+ S Pen support tilt and pressure sensitivity
+ S Pen is not powered by battery
+ S Pen is accurate
+ S Pen replacement nibs are cheap
+ Palm rejection works great
+ No jitter when drawing diagonal lines slowly
+ Audio quality from stereo speakers quite good
+ MicroSD card slot included
+ 3.5mm audio jack included
+ Good battery life
+ Lots of decent drawing apps on Android
+ Samsung Dex
- Colours on the TFT LCD could be better
- S Pen could be thicker but it's still much better than those from phones
- USB-C does not support video output

Availability

You can find the Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022) tablet at Samsung retail stores, Samsung online store, Shopee SG and Lazada SG.

You can also find the Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022) on Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP)

If you have intention to buy the tablet, considering using the affiliate links above to support my blog which helps me put more content similar to the review you just read.

Lastly, please make sure you're getting the 2022 or refreshed model and not the 2020 model.

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