I take my notes on Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 tablet that comes with SPen. Here you can read everything you need to know before purchasing the device for school purposes. You can also find information on Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 LITE and where you can get everything you need; from the device itself to best quality bookcovers and pens.
It is well known that Apple offers great note-taking apps such as GoodNotes and Notability and has an option of Apple Pencil that feels just like a real pen. I was deciding to either buy iPad Pro or Samsung Tab S6 as they have similar features that I find very useful, such as split-screen option. So why did I choose Samsung tablet over iPad?
Comparing the prices Samsung Tab S6 costs much less than iPad Pro:
Samsung Tab S6 (128GB) costs 729€ and comes with SPen = 729€
iPad Pro 11.0 (128Gb) costs 960€ + 117€ for Apple Pencil = 1077€
So the price difference is 348€ which is a lot, especially for a student without a regular income, and coming to my greatest parents in the world like “Hey can you give me a 1000€” is just not something I would do.
So price played a big role when I was deciding which tablet to buy.
I didn’t expect that battery will be this good. I use it for 3-4 hours a day for school work and have to charge it every 2 days. If I watch YouTube or Netflix, the battery runs out faster, but still lasts at least a day (I watch max 3 hours of videos per day) so this is a very big plus for this tablet. I never charge the tablet and use it at the same time because I’ve read that doing this lowers the beattery health and it doesn’t last as long anymore. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I’m still careful I don’t use the tablet while it’s charging.
Samsung Tab S6 has a great feature called Dex mode that turns your tablet into a laptop. You can buy a keyboard cover (which I did) that you can put on and off your tablet easily and use it as a laptop. It is great for multitasking, writing papers, making presentations ect. It took me some time to get used to the keyboard because the keys are set a little bit differently from the regular keyboards I’m used to, but now I think it’s great and I use it a lot. It really is a great laptop replacement.
Here you can see how tablet attaches to the keyboard. It’s very simple and fast.
If you don’t need a keyboard cover, I recommend you still get a book cover to protect your tablet.
Clarity of the screen
I don’t know much about device features that are listed in the description of a device when I’m buying it and I mostly pay attention to how much memory it has. I was very amazed by how clear and nice everything was portrayed on the screen. I know nowadays this is not a criterium someone would pick a device by, because the majority of devices has very decent screens, but this one is quite amazing and gives a nice touch to the whole experience.
Dolby Atmos speakers
Not a taking-notes/studying thing but I still have to mention it. Besides school purposes, I use the tablet to watch Netflix and youtube videos and the speakers are amazing. The sound is very clear and surprisingly very loud for a tablet. These features weren’t my priority when I was buying the tablet and I didn’t even know about them, so I was pleasantly surprised.
This is an awesome feature I often use and find very handy. It’s great for taking notes from a website, PDF, Power Point presentation, for writing, etc. It turned out especially useful during quarantine due to the COVID-19 when we had online classes so I was able to follow professors’ presentations and make notes.
There are two ways of multitasking
1. SPLIT SCREEN
With this feature you split your screen in two. You can change how much of the screen you want a certain App to take.
2. POP-UP VIEW
Here you can “minimize” one App and open it in a smaller window while using some other App, you can also change the transperency. It’s very useful for taking notes.
Note taking app in the screenchot and video is INKredible Pro
I got Samsung Tab S6 primarily as a device for taking notes and one thing I was disappointed with was the shape of the SPen. It’s not so comfortable to hold for a long time and after writing for a while my hand starts cramping. It otherwise functions perfectly, glides smoothly, and has some great features such as translation and smart select.
However, the shape is just not comfortable for longer writing. It sticks to the back of the tablet, hence the shape. When it’s in the back it automatically charges. I would’ve liked the round, more pencil-shaped SPen better.
I’ve decided to get a SPen that comes with Galaxy Tab S6 LITE because it has a better grip and doesn’t make a hand cramp if you write for longer periods of time. SPen works normally with Tab S6 and I didn’t have to connect it or anything, I just started writing and it worked fine.
Smart select is an SPen function that allows you to select a part of the screen you would like to use. I mainly use it for selecting parts of the text from websites, PDFs, etc., and paste the text in my notes so that I don’t have to re-write it. I use this very often for making notes so it’s a very nice feature. You can also share the parts of the screen you select, either as a screenshot or text.
About Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 LITE
Samsung Tab S6 lite lacks some of the Tab S6 features, but I still think it’s a great and useful tablet for taking notes.
Unfortunately, Tab S6 lite doesn’t support Dex mode and doesn’t have a first-party keyboard cover, but there still are some great keyboard covers with pen holders available for Tab S6 lite.
It also doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner but it does come with a headphone jack. It’s also more affordable and has a longer battery life.
What I think is one of the best lite features for note-taking is round-shaped SPen that I missed with Tab S6.
Apps I Use for taking notes
Noteshelf is a note-taking app that I’ve for some reason just recently discovered. If you’re searching for something similar to Apple’s Goodnotes app or just a good note-taking app this is probably the one. It costs 5,49€ in Google Play but it’s definitely worth it.
It’s great for importing and editing PDFs and you also get all sorts of paper options; ruled, checked, dotted, plain in different colors (white, black, yellow, blue, brown, dark blue, dark green, light blue, etc) and daily and monthly planners, etc. It works perfectly on the tablet and with the SPen, and you can set auto backup of the documents on your drive. You can organize your documents in folders and create new notebooks.
I recently decided to purchase this App and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I think it’s one of the best alternatives for Apple’s GoodNotes. It’s very good for note-taking, you can make folders and notebooks to keep your notes organized. There are a lot of different paper and pen options and also a text marker. You can choose the side of the paper and there are also different styles and colors. You can choose some part of your note and move it around. I tried importing PDFs and I was very happy with the result. It was a bit tricky for me at first to get ahold of the transferring between pages, but now when I got used to the app is not a problem anymore. It also works well with Smart select SPen feature. If you select some text and then try to copy it into your notes, just click the abc icon and paste your text onto the page. You can then edit font, text size etc. It costs 8,49€ but it’s deffinetly worth it. It’s my main App for taking notes, but I sometimes also use Squid or OneNote.
Squid is a very good note-taking App, also a nice GoodNotes alternative. I find it quite similar to INKredible Pro, but I think it’s less organized so I don’t like it as much. They offer very similar things, you can import PDFs in both apps and edit them easily, insert new pages and photos. It has several options for different paper styles and sizes. The pen has a pressure option so the thickness of the line adapts to how hard you pressure while writing. I think Squid and INKredible are very similar you either one you choose should be fine.
I don’t use OneNote often but when I do, I mostly use it for taking some quick notes. I think it’s a decent app for note-taking, but I don’t like it as much because it doesn’t have the option of importing and editing PDFs and it also doesn’t have many page settings such as selecting pace size. It does however, have nice pen options.
Pros and cons of Samsung Galaxy Tab s6
- Amazing and very loud Dolby Atoms spreakers
- Dex mode and external keyboard
- Multitasking (split screen and pop-up)
- Reasonably priced+SPen comes with, you don’t have to pay additionally for it
- Battery life
- SPen is not round shaped (but now that Lite was released this is not an issue anymore)
- Could have better note-taking apps (although the existing ones are not so bad)
I don’t regret purchasing Samsung Tab S6 and I think it is an awesome tablet. It has a lot of great features and useful tools, the only issue for me is SPen.
I would like to try out iPad as well so I could compare the experience and try out Apple Pencil, but if you are looking for a tablet for taking hand-written notes and studying Samsung Tab S6 is a great choice