Size Comparison for Samsung Tab S8 tablets: Which is better for drawing apps?

A5-sized sketchbook compared to the tablets

So I've just upgraded from the 12.4-inch Tab S7+ (review here) that I've been using for more than a year to the 14.6-inch Tab S8 Ultra (review here) recently. I use the tablets primarily for drawing.

In this article I want to talk about the difference in sizes between the different Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tablets from the digital artist perspective.

Galaxy Tab S8 Galaxy Tab S8+ Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Display 11-inch LTPS TFT, 500 nits 12.4-inch Super AMOLED, 420 nits 14.6-inch Super AMOLED, 420 nits
Resolution 2560 x 1600, 276 PPI 2800 x 1752, 266 PPI 2960 x 1848, 240 PPI
Refresh rate Adaptive up to 120Hz Either 60Hz or 120Hz Either 60Hz or 120Hz
Storage 128 - 256GB 128 - 256GB 128 - 512GB
Dimensions 165.3 x 253.8 x 6.3mm 185.0 x 285.0 x 5.7mm 208.6 x 326.4 x 5.5mm
Weight 507g 572g 728g
Price USD From $699 From $899 From $1099

By the way, I don't have the Tab S8 and S8+ so I'm using the 11-inch Xiaomi Pad 5 and Tab S7+ as stand-in for the photos.

If you want to get a better sense of the size, I suggest you cut out pieces of paper to the dimensions of the tablets.

Tab S8 Ultra

14.6-inch Tab S8 Ultra vs A5 sketchbook.

I have the Clip Studio Paint app open because I want to show the tool bar and palettes.

The 14.6-inch display of the Tab S8 Ultra is massive. The surface area is almost similar to an A4-sized paper, and noticeably larger than A5.

Drawing on such a huge display is indeed satisfying, but this tablet is really pricey at US $1099. That's laptop pricing for a tablet.

The main consideration is the weight. The Tab S8 Ultra weighs 728g on its own and is heavier with a case. This tablet to me is a table-top tablet, not a tablet you can hold comfortably in hand for usage for long periods of time.

And since this is a table-top tablet, it needs to be used with a proper stand for maximum comfort when drawing. I use the Parblo PR100 which is a terrific stand for tablets of any size.

This is the 12.9-inch iPad Pro vs the Tab S8 Ultra. To me, the iPad Pro still feels like a tablet but the Tab S8 Ultra feels more like a laptop, without a keyboard.

Height for both tablets is quite similar but the Tab S8 Ultra is wider and hence can provide more canvas space or surface area to draw on.

Tab S8+

12.4-inch Tab S8 vs A5 sketchbook.

Tab S8 on top of A4 paper. The display's surface area is noticeably smaller due to the wider aspect ratio and the space taken up by the bezels.

The 12.4-inch Tab S8+ is a good compromise between size and weight. It weighs 572g alone. I have held this with a case on while I stood and sketched for almost 2 hours and it's tiring, and quite straining for my arm.

I've been using the 12.4-inch Tab S7+ for more than a year and I've always felt it's a bit small when compared to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This is mostly due to the aspect ratio of 16:10 vs 4:3. When the display is small, 4:3 is more useful than 3:2, 16:10 and 16:9 aspect ratio in that order.

This is the 12.9-inch iPad Pro vs Tab S8+. Width of the tablets is almost similar but the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is noticeably taller. The iPad Pro can display more content for the tool bar, palettes (show more brushes, layers without having to scroll).

The 4:3 aspect ratio is more versatile for drawing in landscape and portrait orientation. It feels weird drawing in portrait orientation with a wide aspect ratio display.

Tab S8

11-inch tablet vs A5 sketchbook.

The selling point of the Tab S8 is obviously portability.

This photo may make it look like the tablet's quite big but...

When compared with other tablets, the Tab S8 is noticeably smaller.

The smaller screen is not as productive because the surface area for drawing is smaller, especially if you use apps with many palettes.


These Samsung tablets have SamsungDex which has several useful features for multi-tasking.

With SamsungDex, you can resize a window and pin it to the top. In other words, you have have a reference photo pinned to the top, positioned anywhere, above your drawing app.

SamsungDex also has split-screen mode. You can resize windows and arrange them side by side in your preferred layout.

Obviously the larger the display, the better it is at multi-tasking.

When it comes to multi-tasking and windows layout, Samsung is better than iPad.

Which Samsung Tab S8 tablet to get for drawing

The drawing performance for all three tablets is similar since they all use the Samsung S Pen. It's the drawing experience that will differ due to the size of the display. Ultimately, you can choose either based on your budget or based on your workflow.

Prices for the Tab S8, S8+ and S8 Ultra are US $699, $899 and $1099 respectively. Thankfully, the S Pen is included.

If you value portability, especially if you have to bring the tablet around often, the Tab S8 and S8+ tablets are the better options. If you value multi-tasking and use apps with many palettes, the Tab S8+ and Tab S8 Ultra are good options.

Let me emphasize again that the Tab S8 Ultra is a table-top tablet. It can be used on your lap on a sofa but even so it feels heavy to me.

Oh, the Tab S8 is an LCD display while Tab S8+ and S8 Ultra are Super AMOLED displays. There are people who prefer OLED for the extra vibrant colours. LCD to me is pretty good too so I personally don't think you're missing out if you go with LCD. Also the PWM for Tab S8+ and S8 Ultra seems to be more obvious based on what my camera can capture but I personally can't see PWM in the real world.

As for battery life, I don't have the Tab S8 and S8+ so I can't say much about those two. Battery life for Tab S8 Ultra is 7-8 hours but can vary much depending on what you're doing and the auto-brightness. Generally speaking, the battery life for the three tablets is good. I've used Tab S7+ and battery life is 6-7 hours so Tab S8 Ultra has a good upgrade in battery life.


Definitely check out Amazon for the Samsung Tab S8 models to see if you can find discounts, extra credits because Samsung or Amazon do run promotions for their tablets quite often.


1 Comment

Thanks. Great comparison,

Thanks. Great comparison, halped me decide what tablet I need.
Only problem was that your notebook is not an A5 size. It's bigger.
I had to measure an A5(148x210) and the size of the s8 looks much better.
Maybe you have some mixture with the photos?

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