Okay, hear me out here – if you want to get a device for play and work, then consider the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. It has Samsung DeX and combined with the official keyboard case, this massive 14-inch tablet can be a great device for work. However, we’ve already talked about that for the Tab S8 Ultra, and whatever we said there 100% applies to this Tab S9 Ultra too.
So, I want to talk about the “play” aspect. Yes, it can run the latest and greatest games available in the Google Play Store as what we’ve shown in our gaming test – link at the top right corner – but at the end of that video, I mentioned emulation. I have a few different emulators loaded – so let me show you their capabilities.
Quick note – everything shown in this video is for showcase only, there will not be any tutorials or links on how to get it running.
I am also using a Bluetooth controller – specifically the GuliKit King Kong 2 Pro because I really like this controller and I will leave purchase links down below.
Okay, so the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. It has a massive 14-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with magnificent colors and super thin bezels, fantastic stereo speakers, and also unparalleled performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Its humongous screen made it rather uncomfortable to play touchscreen games with, and that’s where I got the epiphany to try out emulation.
I started off with N64 games with the M64Plus FZ emulator. Seriously, you need a better name for the emulator. Anyway, this emulator plays GameCube games. Since this tablet has a super high resolution of 1848 x 2960 pixels, I scaled the emulator’s render resolution to 3840×2880.
I tried both Banjo Kazooie and Ocarina of Time with zero mods – and they ran perfectly fine. There were no visual or audio glitches and it ran at the native refresh rate too.
Jumping on to the next emulator – Dolphin for GameCube games. I have a few games here and I scaled it to 4x the native resolution. I’m going to talk about Windwaker first. Once again, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy chipset means that the tablet can run the game with no audio or graphical glitches.
And the second game is Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door. For this game in particular, I also downloaded custom HD textures and it looks absolutely gorgeous with the super vivid colors of the Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen. Once again, even with 4x the native resolution and custom HD textures, the game ran perfectly smooth.
After that, I’m jumping ahead to the current generation of console – emulated using Yuzu. I have to say, I’m rather impressed as all of the games I’m about to test can actually boot. However, they don’t run particularly well.
I even tried with the default and the custom driver – but both results are the same.
I also turned off docked mode since it is more stable that way. I tried 3 games using the Yuzu emulator – starting with Kirby and the Forgotten Land. This game is bootable and the menu is smooth as ever – but the game itself doesn’t actually work. The audio works fine but it’s just a white screen.
Tears of the Kingdom is – I would say – unplayable. It glitches way too much and the graphics are inaccurately rendered – especially the lighting. And there are lots of frame drops here and there too.
The last game I tried on Yuzu is actually Metroid Dread. I’d say works very well, but still not perfect. There are some graphical glitches here and there – especially the lighting – and those counterattack flashes are just… distracting.
The best tablet for emulation to date
So overall, I’ll still say that this Samsung Galaxy tab S9 Ultra is a perfect device for emulation especially for retro devices. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy chipset can emulate a lot of these titles just fine at a higher resolution with custom HD texture packs. Coupled with the magnificently bright and vivid 14-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen, I think I’m going to play the entirety of Thousand Year Door using this tablet.
Where to buy? (Affiliate links)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra
- GuliKit King Kong 2 Pro controller