So there I was done with with my late night youtube surfing when I put my tablet back in its keyboard-case and ... something felt weird. I switched on the bedroom lights and looked down at my tablet and found the clasp had broken!
Now this tablet is over 4 years old (https://blog.shahada.abubakar.net/post/replacement-toy-galaxy-tab-s-yeah-not-an-s2) but it has a great design. Why do I say this?
- To begin with the tablet has a 16:10 screen ratio, which is great for watching wide screen content. Samsung dabled with the iPad-ish 4:3 ratio with the Tab S2, S3 before finally coming to their senses and reverting with the Tab S4 and S6.
- It has a super high resolution at 2560x1600 and AMOLED screen too! Great for watching in the dark without any irritating backlight
- It's casing is plastic which makes it super light. What idiot in Samsung decided it would be great to make the S4 tablet fully out of glass?
- It takes a SIM card and not only does it do LTE but it can also do phone calls. Great when travelling!
But best of all is the keyboard accessory. When closed, the keyboard locks the tablet in place while protecting the tablet's screen, which means you don't need a separate case. When open, you have the option of seating the tablet in the keyboard's "cradle", or you can simply pick up the tablet and use it as it is -- without any extra weight of a cover or a keyboard. Best of both worlds!
So I was pretty sad that the clasp on the keyboard had broken (one of the downsides of being plastic and subject to lots of wear and tear). I don't recall how much I paid for the keyboard, but I remember having to order it from the US and it's RRP was over USD100.
Is this the end of the tablet? Without the keyboard it loses a lot of its magic.
Meanwhile The Tab S6 has been announced ... and is finally a worthy successor to my original Tab S (Lighter, aluminium, fast charging usb c, keyboard case still a bit iffy but has a touchpad). But while I think tablets are the computers of the future and are more "usable" than laptops on the go for typical tasks, I'm not really in the mood to spend money on one right now.
But then I found it ... a seller on Lazada selling these keyboards for RM76 (USD18 !). That's way cheaper than a new tablet so I snapped it up quickly. The new keyboard lacks the "battle scars" of my old one but that will soon fix itself.
Disaster averted, normality resumed.
PS: Samsung hobbled the keyboard so it only works with the Tab S. The old one would have made a useful bluetooth keyboard otherwise. So it looks like it goes into the bin.