Official Samsung Keyboard Cover Review

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dcoke

Senior Member
Mar 4, 2011
79
24
I bought the Tab S4 yesterday August 10th at Best Buy in Chicago (or its suburb to be more precise) and bought the Keyboard Cover since they have a deal on it for $80 with the 64GB tablet purchase.

Review:

Having just recently purchased the Tab S3 (I have a tech obsession problem) with its companion keyboard cover, I can compare them. For whatever reason, the Tab S3 keyboard cover is better all around, from attachment method to way you use it. This one is just terrible on every front.

Pros:
-Activates Dex mode
-The keys are responsive.

Cons:
-The way the tablet fits into this cover via snapping into a holder. I liked the magnetic setup of the Tab S3's type cover
-While it is clearly a slightly larger cover than the Tab S3, it feels 50% to 100% heavier. When the tablet itself is only about 10% heavier than the Tab S3's Tablet.
-The wrist rest terminates into a hard rounded ridge, so it feels like you're typing in a well. Where on the Tab S3 there is about an inch of rest there.
-Given the black color, and wider border on the sides of the keyboard, it makes it feel more cramped than the Tab S3 though they're the exact same size.
-Just like with the Tab S3, I wished there were secondary functions and a FN key, instead we get a lang and keyboard key.
-Because this doesn't have a home button and there isn't a shortcut I found to act as a home key, you have to swipe up on the screen to hit home (if you hide your navigation keys). Not the best.
-The texture on the case itself feels gross, cheap, and rubbery. So YAY, it won't slide around, but the soft touch feel of the Tab S3 cover feels better and more premium.
-There's a cutout for the camera, the Tab S3 covers its up. Living in a dusty environment, it just means its a nice new well for dust to get trapped in.

Conclusion:
They could have done better. I'd get rid of the ridge in the front since it hits the fat of your hand at a sharp and awkward angle, and I bet that would make this infinitely better.
 
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Slave1

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2005
275
3
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Is it a good every day case? I have a Tab S2 (8") and the official case (the one that snaps into the holes on the back of the tablet).

Most if the time I'll be using the tablet out of Dex mode. When folded behind the tablet does the keyboard get in the way? Should I buy another non keyboard case for every day use?
 

dcoke

Senior Member
Mar 4, 2011
79
24
Is it a good every day case? I have a Tab S2 (8") and the official case (the one that snaps into the holes on the back of the tablet).

Most if the time I'll be using the tablet out of Dex mode. When folded behind the tablet does the keyboard get in the way? Should I buy another non keyboard case for every day use?

Yeah, you do have a good point, but there are lighter options out there. Being able to literally compare both the Tab S4's keyboard case and the Tab S3's side to side is what made me annoyed with this years take on the keyboard case, especially since they really hit it out of the park with last year's.
 

4Nails

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2011
60
5
Columbus
I wish the keyboard case had an easy way to open and just lay flat. It appears it will lay flat but have the keyboard exposed on the bottom, or you can rotate slightly to lay flat with the keyboard protected under the tablet but several rows of keys are still exposed. I liked the way the S3 cover had several angles including one that had the device lay flat for reading.
 

rickyray9

Senior Member
Oct 29, 2009
196
44
Reno, NV
The keyboard cover sucks IMO. I ordered an $8 magnet case and will be using my faithful old Logitech K480 for my typing needs.
 

jup007

Senior Member
Sep 28, 2010
87
81
The pen snaps into the holder if you put it in tip first, if it doesn't click it will fall out, but it extremely safe when snapped in. Dont have keyboard version, but same holder on book cover(nice case btw)

That's weird. My pen clicks in on the keyboard cover. Yes, it requires some pressure but then it just makes a nice audible "click" and I doubt it will just fall out by itself.
 

Timbers

Member
Nov 24, 2012
14
3
Thanks for the review OP. I was thinking of getting the samsung keyboard cover. but after spending a $1000 for my tab s4 256 lte Korean version. I checked my old gadgets box and I found my foldable bluetooth keyboard+trackpad. It worked just fine! easy to carry. works with Dex too!
 
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Yeah, you do have a good point, but there are lighter options out there. Being able to literally compare both the Tab S4's keyboard case and the Tab S3's side to side is what made me annoyed with this years take on the keyboard case, especially since they really hit it out of the park with last year's.

I hope I like the Tab S4's keyboard cover when it arrives more than you do.

I have a Tab S3 with keyboard cover and, although its keyboard has great action, it also has many shortcomings: no camera cut-out in the moulding, no proper place for the pen, no closed cover detection by the tablet, and so on.

Samsung has yet to "hit it out of the park" with these covers. Even if they had designed it perfectly, the accompanying price tag is absurd. The only way the keyboard cover made sense on the Tab S3 and now again on the Tab S4 is as a freebie with a pre-ordered tablet, which is how I've done it both times. As much as I like the keyboard in use, I certainly wouldn't dream of paying €150 for it.
 

jup007

Senior Member
Sep 28, 2010
87
81
-Because this doesn't have a home button and there isn't a shortcut I found to act as a home key, you have to swipe up on the screen to hit home (if you hide your navigation keys). Not the best.
Just a quick note here - there is a shortcut for home. ;) It's listed as Meta + Enter in the settings. It took me quite a while to figure out that Meta is the search key right next to Ctrl on keyboard cover, but it works like a charm. There's couple other shortcuts (for back, for displaying notifications), and there's a shortcut for displaying shortcuts, Meta + / (otherwise, the list is buried deep in the settings under physical keyboard). Note that this is context sensitive - the shortcut list is a bit different in Dex mode and it also shows applications shortcuts in certain applications like Chrome.

The only thing I am missing is the ability to change the shortcuts mappings/create my own.
 
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undertaker2k14

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2014
220
54
San Francisco, CA
Sold mine, pretty useless for a $150 cover esp. since it doesn't wake the tablet or have a touchpad for true dex mode. Got a K480 and bluetooth mouse combo for $20 that works way better for DeX.
 

khocking

Member
Nov 10, 2015
28
4
North Vancouver, BC
Just a quick note here - there is a shortcut for home. ;) It's listed as Meta + Enter in the settings. It took me quite a while to figure out that Meta is the search key right next to Ctrl on keyboard cover, but it works like a charm. There's couple other shortcuts (for back, for displaying notifications), and there's a shortcut for displaying shortcuts, Meta + / (otherwise, the list is buried deep in the settings under physical keyboard). Note that this is context sensitive - the shortcut list is a bit different in Dex mode and it also shows applications shortcuts in certain applications like Chrome.

The only thing I am missing is the ability to change the shortcuts mappings/create my own.

I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to use the keyboard (not in Dex mode). For example, If I try to type a question mark, it should be Shift+6 I would think, but I get a ^ like a regular keyboard. I've tried every combination of shift, control, search key (Meta), alt, Alt Gr etc with 6 but there is no way I can produce a ?. Some of the other keys work with the shift key but some do not.

I haven't been able to find any explanations or instructions other than the small pop-up screen in the keyboard settings. I'd appreciate any pointers as to where I can find the instructions.
 

jup007

Senior Member
Sep 28, 2010
87
81
I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to use the keyboard (not in Dex mode). For example, If I try to type a question mark, it should be Shift+6 I would think, but I get a ^ like a regular keyboard. I've tried every combination of shift, control, search key (Meta), alt, Alt Gr etc with 6 but there is no way I can produce a ?. Some of the other keys work with the shift key but some do not.

I haven't been able to find any explanations or instructions other than the small pop-up screen in the keyboard settings. I'd appreciate any pointers as to where I can find the instructions.

Why would Shift+6 be question mark? It's '^' on mine. Did you somehow managed get French version of the keyboard or something? Mine has standard US layout as seen in the attachment here: IMG_20180913_122311.jpg.

And yes, using different keyboard layout is kind of tricky - you first have to have it add it for on-screen keyboard (General Management -> On-screen keyboard -> Samunsung Keyboard -> Manage Input Languages) and then you can configure it for keyboard cover (General Management -> Physical Keyboard -> (choose your language) -> (choose layout) . Plus it's very limited, I'd like to use different layout for my 2nd language keyboard but can't do that.
 

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    I bought the Tab S4 yesterday August 10th at Best Buy in Chicago (or its suburb to be more precise) and bought the Keyboard Cover since they have a deal on it for $80 with the 64GB tablet purchase.

    Review:

    Having just recently purchased the Tab S3 (I have a tech obsession problem) with its companion keyboard cover, I can compare them. For whatever reason, the Tab S3 keyboard cover is better all around, from attachment method to way you use it. This one is just terrible on every front.

    Pros:
    -Activates Dex mode
    -The keys are responsive.

    Cons:
    -The way the tablet fits into this cover via snapping into a holder. I liked the magnetic setup of the Tab S3's type cover
    -While it is clearly a slightly larger cover than the Tab S3, it feels 50% to 100% heavier. When the tablet itself is only about 10% heavier than the Tab S3's Tablet.
    -The wrist rest terminates into a hard rounded ridge, so it feels like you're typing in a well. Where on the Tab S3 there is about an inch of rest there.
    -Given the black color, and wider border on the sides of the keyboard, it makes it feel more cramped than the Tab S3 though they're the exact same size.
    -Just like with the Tab S3, I wished there were secondary functions and a FN key, instead we get a lang and keyboard key.
    -Because this doesn't have a home button and there isn't a shortcut I found to act as a home key, you have to swipe up on the screen to hit home (if you hide your navigation keys). Not the best.
    -The texture on the case itself feels gross, cheap, and rubbery. So YAY, it won't slide around, but the soft touch feel of the Tab S3 cover feels better and more premium.
    -There's a cutout for the camera, the Tab S3 covers its up. Living in a dusty environment, it just means its a nice new well for dust to get trapped in.

    Conclusion:
    They could have done better. I'd get rid of the ridge in the front since it hits the fat of your hand at a sharp and awkward angle, and I bet that would make this infinitely better.
    2
    -Because this doesn't have a home button and there isn't a shortcut I found to act as a home key, you have to swipe up on the screen to hit home (if you hide your navigation keys). Not the best.
    Just a quick note here - there is a shortcut for home. ;) It's listed as Meta + Enter in the settings. It took me quite a while to figure out that Meta is the search key right next to Ctrl on keyboard cover, but it works like a charm. There's couple other shortcuts (for back, for displaying notifications), and there's a shortcut for displaying shortcuts, Meta + / (otherwise, the list is buried deep in the settings under physical keyboard). Note that this is context sensitive - the shortcut list is a bit different in Dex mode and it also shows applications shortcuts in certain applications like Chrome.

    The only thing I am missing is the ability to change the shortcuts mappings/create my own.
    1
    appreciate the review.

    in addition to all your points, i wish it also had more than a single angle.
    1
    Thanks for the review OP. I was thinking of getting the samsung keyboard cover. but after spending a $1000 for my tab s4 256 lte Korean version. I checked my old gadgets box and I found my foldable bluetooth keyboard+trackpad. It worked just fine! easy to carry. works with Dex too!
    1
    Hi all, is there any combination of keys to play as "DEL" (delete following character)? I see there is only backspace key