Following months of speculation, we finally have an update regarding the PerantiSiswa tablet loan scheme for students. As he promised back in July, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa has today revealed to Parliament that they’ve picked the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 LTE as the tablet of choice for the PerantiSiswa tablet.
Furthermore, Annuar Musa also added that it will come with two years of warranty. As for how they came to the Galaxy Tab A8, Annuar Musa stresses that it was done through an open tender following the cancellation of the initial tablet supplier, although the winner of the bid has seemingly not been made public. Annuar Musa revealed that the distribution of the tablets towards students will begin later this month, with an expected 350,000 units to be handed out.
Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia, Tan Sri Annuar Musa berkata, proses edaran PerantiSiswa akan bermula bulan ini dengan permulaan agihan sebanyak 350,000 unit.#SisiTVParlimen#DewanRakyat#AWANInews pic.twitter.com/uQ03jOTiHn— 🇲🇾Astro AWANI🇲🇾 (@501Awani) August 4, 2022
The government is also loosening the restrictions for students who wish to apply for a PerantiSiswa tablet. Students who are in foundation and matriculation programs in public universities, Form 6 students as well as those in vocational diploma programs can also apply for the PerantiSiswa program from now till the 30th of September 2022.
Kerajaan telah memilih tablet Samsung Tab A8 LTE bagi memastikan #KeluargaMalaysia yg layak mendapat tablet berkualiti.— Annuar Musa (@AnnuarMusa) August 4, 2022
Kita jg telah memutuskan agar kategori penerima diperluaskan kepada pelajar Matrikulasi, IPG & ASWARA untuk fasa kedua.
Pengagihan akan bermula September ini. pic.twitter.com/i1mmlCBhM0
Going back to the Galaxy Tab A8, you might actually not be able to find it on the Samsung Malaysia website. At time of writing, the only available option for the Galaxy Tab A8 is a WiFi only model that comes with just 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which would also mean that it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements set out by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry for the PerantiSiswa tablet earlier this year. The govt had previously made 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage part of the minimum system requirements for the PerantiSiswa program, the full list of which you can check out here.
With that being said, the Galaxy Tab A8 actually is available with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in other regions. Furthermore, LTE connectivity is also available for the Galaxy Tab A8 with the serial number SM-X205, with WiFi-only models using the serial number SM-X200. Assuming that the Galaxy Tab A8 LTE that Annuar Musa speaks about meets their own PerantiSiswa requirements, it would mean the SM-X205 Galaxy Tab A8 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. We’ve also reached out to Samsung Malaysia for comment. For what it’s worth, the WiFi-only Galaxy Tab A8 launched in Malaysia earlier this year with a RM999 price tag.
[ UPDATE 4/8/2022 6PM ]: Samsung Malaysia has since confirmed to us that the Galaxy Tab A8 with LTE connectivity and 64GB of storage is indeed available in Malaysia, albeit only via B2B channels only.
The Galaxy Tab A8 also comes with a Unisoc Tiger T618 chip, which isn’t a processor you typically see on devices. There’s also a 10.5-inch, WUXGA TFT display, an 8MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, quad stereo speakers and a 3.5mm audio jack too, all in line with the PerantiSiswa requirements they published earlier this year. The Galaxy Tab A8 notably has a large 7,040mAh battery too with 15W fast charging via USB-C, along with Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 5 connectivity as well as Android 11. Additional storage is also possible via the microSD card slot. The companies supplying the Galaxy Tab A8 to the government will also need to bundle in a Bluetooth keyboard and a stylus.