Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7/S8 Note View Case

So perhaps I was dazzled by the Samsung Experience Store at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, but one of the things that I find about Samsung devices is that they are very well done for the most part, with occasional and insubstantial flash added on, and a few very serious oversights. Take this particular case. It has a few standard features, but its advertised special features, which theoretically set it apart from lower price point cases, are frankly, poorly executed.


Let’s start with a positive. While the case feels flimsy out of the box, once the tablet magnetically snaps, and snaps firmly it does, the case feels very firm and smooth in the hand. It is, as one would expect, tailored to this device, exposing the sides and fitting perfectly, including the camera stub and stylus hole cutouts. The nub directly on the spine of the case is a nice touch, as it allows a slightly tilted writing surface.


But that’s really where the positive ends. If you’re looking to prevent scratches and retain some sort of shower-door view of the screen, then this is your tablet case. If you are wanting it for any of the practical functions of a tablet case, specifically one with a “more natural” writing surface, then this is probably completely the wrong choice for you.


Upon first pulling it out of the box, I had the impression of one of those project proposal binders one used to buy in bulk from Office Depot before the advent of this thing that I have replaced it with. I’m not sure if this is some sort of cool retro nod, or if it speaks to the aspirations of cheap, flimsy construction and monotony, neither of which I find endearing, but I really didn’t love it. It was at least redeemably rigid when snapped to the case, but there is no side coverage at all, and the thinness of the back doesn’t provide any cushion, and doesn’t really do a lot more than preventing the incredibly slippery S8 from falling off of things.


“But this is a Note View Case! All of those things are secondary to the whole Note Viewing Process!” Alas, this is also not helpful. The theoretically natural feel writing surface is much like the texture of one of those high-quality edge binders, with the transparency of a frosted shower door. And much like the shower door, the door has to be plastered to the surface of whatever to is to be exposed for one to see it. Thusly, when writing, the Note View Surface needs to consistently be pressed down, and the feeling of writing through it with the stylus and standard nib feels like writing with a ballpoint in sand.


I wanted to like to really because of the name, because I like sleek and cool features for Ink users. But the hype was really the end of it. And so really other than a wraparound screen protector that also protects the oddly-designed camera stub, and the greatly-reduced coefficient of friction of the tablet’s back, I can’t see a point in buying this over a much less expensive and more functionally-appropriate case.