The Samsung Galaxy View 18.4-inch tablet. Let that soak in for a moment. All the preconceptions you have of this device are probably close to the truth, at least they were for me. I thought the Galaxy View was going to be a media consuming beast and it is. The 18.4-inch display size allows me to set it on a table or counter to watch YouTube videos or Netflix while allowing me to do other things in the meantime. It's big enough to view from a good distance without causing too much strain in your eyes. From more than a few feet away, the 1080p resolution is plenty crispy enough for my liking.
I thought the Galaxy View was going to be too big to use as a traditional sized tablet. And for the most part, it is. The resolution is fine from a distance but up close, you can start to notice individual pixels and in contest it doesn't look sharp or detailed. Also, the sheer size makes it difficult to hold.
On the back of the tablet, there's a built-in stand that cannot be removed. There are two standing positions-- an upright position for mostly watching content and a downright position for primarily navigating the device. Since the stand cannot be removed, it adds an unpleasant amount of bulk to the device. It can often be frustrating trying to find a comfortable position in your lap with the stand and the fact that it weighs almost 6 pounds.
What did surprise me is how well it performs. It's by no means a top-tier tablet but the modest 2GB of RAM and Exynos 7580 octa-core processor exceeded my expectations. It kept up with my life, social media viewing and web browisng. I do enjoy the touch with multi-tasking features present here, which are very much necessary for a tablet of this size. I wasn't expecting to see many app compatibility issues but there certainly are some. Not only do unauthorized app icons look very fuzzy, but some are not developed for such a large displays. Instagram is a prime example of this. It reminds me of the iPad Pro when it first launched.
Also, for a device that is made primarily to watch videos, the speakers should be much better than a traditional tablet. But they really aren't. They're certainly much louder but the quality is poor. They sound tinny and there's very little depth to the sound. I thought the camera would be bad and it is. The battery life didn't wow me nor did it competely disappoint me but it's not great. You'd be lucky to get 8 hours of casual use. If you use it heavily, don't expect to get more than 4 hours of use on a single charge. If you use this device as a portable TV, you're going to want to make sure it's plugged into its AC power cord.
Overall, the Galaxy View tablet is what it is. It's what I thought it would be before I ever used it. It's a tablet too big to use comfortably and a TV too small to view content willingly. For $500-$600, you can buy a much larger 4K TV that would outperform this device for watching content. Or you could buy a much more functional top-tier tablet that not only performs better but is more portable. For the minority of users who want something in the middle, Samsung made the Galaxy View just for you.