Galaxy Tab s6 Lite: Artist Review
After weeks of searching online for a budget Android tablet, my decision had been made. The Samsung Galaxy Tab s6 Lite was the logical choice. It was affordable and offered most of the features available on the iPads. After using it for a few months, I can say without a doubt it is one of the best budget drawing tablets out there. However, it is not for everyone.
In this review, I will try to highlight a few pros and cons so you can decide for yourself. This is not meant to be a professional review by any means. There are many great reviews on the internet that dive straight into all the techy stuff. What I am offering you is a firsthand analysis from an amateur artist and someone completely new to digital drawing.
- The actual packaging is pretty much standard, but I was not expecting more. Printed across the cover of the box is an image of the tablet. Above it, are the word “Tab S6 lite” in a reflective font. Located on the side is another image of the S-Pean, which comes standard with the recent line of the S Tab series.
- Upon opening the package, you are greeted with the tablet, which is inside a protective covering.
Although I was tempted to toss it away, I realized it would come in handy as a temporary case until I get better protection.
Design and Build
Weight – The S6 Lite has a little bit of weight, 467 g (1.03 lb) to be exact, but is still light enough to hold in one hand.
Color – I opted in for the oxford gray edition. reason being, it has a very subtle look that will not draw too much attention. But if you are looking for something that stands out more Angora Blue and Chiffon Rose are a few other colors to choose from.
Back Section – On the back-middle section of the tab is the Samsung brand logo. Below are the words “sound by AKG”. I have never heard of the brand before, then again, I am not someone in sync with all the latest gadgets. Discreetly placed in the left corner is the camera system.
Camera – There is nothing in particular that stands with the camera besides a slight bump that gives it a bit of definition.
Screen – Like with many of the more modern tablets the screen bezels are a lot smaller leaving you with plenty of screen real estate.
Buttons and Ports – The s6 Lite has very simplistic and well-over-solid build quality. Two buttons are situated on the side, one for power and another that controls volume. On the top section are a speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack (which is very rare given the year this tablet came out). Located on the button are another speaker and a USB-C type port.
Finally making the switch from pen and pencil over to digital was a very exciting experience. No more walking around with art supplies, or trying to keep track of them. This is all thanks to the S-Pen! its features take the tablet experience to another level. Just like a standard pen, you can scribble ideas on a blank canvas, draw, take notes, and much more.
Using S-pen with Drawing Apps
Despite there being many drawing apps for android, the ones that got my attention were Autodesk Sketchbook and Infinite Painter. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to dive more into Infinity Painter. My trial period had ended just a few weeks before writing this article. With that said Sketchbook seems more than capable for beginners who are making the transition to digital. It is one of the few free apps that offer so much variety.
The basic tools that you will end up using a lot are pens, brushes, erasers, and layers. When compared to a more upscale model like the s6, there is a small noticeable difference in lag when making a stroke. This is barely noticeable at first, but with time it will start to become just a bit annoying. Especially when trying to speed up the creation process.
Other notable mentions are Adobe Sketch, Art Flow, ibisPaint X, and MediBang Paint. I recommend trying out a few of these to see which one fits your needs the best. I may update this article or write a separate review when I have had time to try out a few of these programs.
Drawing Outdoors with S-Pen
The screen is nowhere suited for outdoor use unless you plan on working inside a heavily shaded area. Two major issues are high glare and inadequate brightness during daylight. These drawbacks can become annoying and cause eye strain. The drawing experience is very slippery, to say the least, but works.
- Plasticky and cheap is the first thought that comes to mind when holding the S-Pen. Nevertheless, this pen does what it is supposed to, and it is included with the tablet at no additional cost. With time you will become accustomed to the feel, or maybe it would not be noticeable to many first-time users.
- Located on the side is a button to which you can assign certain functions. This may come in handy for many, but I personally disabled it. Due to the small size of the pen, I often end up clicking it by mistake. The tip is made with a softer material that is interchangeable.
- There are no extra tips included in the package, however, they are affordable bundles available for purchase online. Besides, the original tip should last for a while with regular use. Even so, I would avoid using a matte screen protector since these would wear out the tip faster.
- Like some competing stylus pens on the market, this S-Pen uses technology that does not require any recharging for regular usage. Built-in magnets give you the option to store the pen on the side of the tablet after each use. In spite of this, it is a better idea to store it separately since the magnet is not too reliable.
Performance is just ok
From time to time, you will end up with a notification stating that you do not have enough memory to complete the process. Likewise, you may experience random software crashes when trying to do more extensive work.
For more complex work it is a good idea to save a duplicate file so as to avoid losing any progress. Besides memory limitation, most of the performance issues may just be a direct result of the app itself.
For most on a budget, all roads lead to either the S6 Lite when contemplating an affordable android drawing tablet. But what really is affordable and is it worth buying in 2023?
With a higher-end tablet going northwards of $700, the s6 lite version is a steal for about half that price.
The average price online is about $350, however, that price fluctuates depending on where you purchase. I purchased mine on sale from Best Buy for $300. Additionally, I was able to get a $50 reimbursement due to their price match program. In other words, I ended up paying $100 less than what I had originally planned. Again, this pricing will fluctuate depending on the time of the year and retailer.
Another option is purchasing a used tablet, which can go for as low as $150. For that price, you really have nothing to lose, but be sure to keep that receipt in case of any issues. Besides, “used” some other keywords to look out for when buying online is open box, refurbished, trade-in or renewed.
The important thing to remember is not to get too caught up in the pricing game. You could end up spending months waiting for the perfect price, that’s precious time that can be used for drawing instead.
In conclusion, the 6s Lite is an affordable tablet that has all the features needed for making the transition to a digital canvas. As a regular day-to-day tablet, the s6 Lite does everything it is supposed like movies, basic games, and online browsing.
Nevertheless, if you are a fast learner, you will quickly outgrow this entry-level tablet. If you have the extra finance, then going with the s6, s7 or even the s8 version is a way better option.
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