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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 vs. iPad

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June 7, 2013

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and 4th-gen iPad

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and 4th-gen iPad

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We're all familiar with the smartphone rivalry between Apple and Samsung. And though the two companies also sell competing tablets, things aren't quite the same on that end. Apple's iPad is still firmly planted in the driver's seat in terms of sales, brand recognition, and critical reception. Maybe part of that can be chalked up to the fact that Samsung's Galaxy Tabs, unlike its Galaxy S smartphones, are all decidedly mid-range. Let's find out just how mid-range, as we compare the specs (and other features) of the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and 4th-generation iPad.

Size

The Galaxy Tab's thinness is one of its few advantages over the iPad

The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is only a hair longer than the iPad. It is about five percent narrower though. It's also a very thin tablet, shaving almost 15 percent off of the iPad's depth.

Weight

The Tab's weight is another nice perk

The new full-sized Galaxy Tab is also quite the featherweight. It's about 22 percent lighter than the iPad.

Build

Aluminum or plastic?

Part of the lighter weight goes back to the Tab's plastic build (though battery probably plays the biggest part). The iPad is made of anodized aluminum, a favorite material of Apple Design VP Jony Ive.

Display

Sizes are roughly the same, but the iPad has much higher resolution

So much for the Galaxy Tab's promising start here. The iPad's display eats it for breakfast. The Tab 3's 149 pixels per inch (PPI) screen just isn't in the same league as the iPad's 264 PPI Retina Display.

But wait, isn't the Galaxy Tab's screen at least bigger? Well, technically yes, not by much. When you're dealing with different aspect ratios, those diagonal measurements listed above can be deceiving. The iPad's screen actually has 99 percent as much real estate as the Galaxy Tab's screen. In other words, not nearly enough of a difference to count as an advantage for Samsung's slate.

Processor

The performance advantage probably goes to the iPad

As we mentioned with other recent mid-range Samsung devices, it's a pretty safe bet you aren't getting the cream of the crop when they don't tell you the make of the processor.

On paper, it matches the two cores and outclocks the 1.4GHz of the iPad's A6X chip. But we wouldn't hold our breath for any cutting-edge performance from the Tab's mystery meat processor.

RAM

1 GB of RAM in each tablet

Each tablet packs 1 GB of RAM.

Storage

Apple offers more storage options for the iPad

When it comes to storage, Apple gives you more models to choose from. The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 does, however, support microSD cards for storing files and media (no apps though). Apple has never made, and probably never will make, an iOS device with a microSD slot.

Wireless

Both tablets come in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + mobile data models

Pretty standard here. Both Apple and Samsung sell their tablets in cheaper Wi-Fi only and more expensive Wi-Fi + 3G/LTE mobile data versions.

Cameras

Nothing out-of-this-world from either tablet's cameras

If you've ever taken pictures with an iPhone 4, that's similar to what you're getting from the iPad's rear camera. We haven't put the Tab 3's shooter through the paces, but don't expect anything amazing.

Both slates, of course, provide ample front-facing shooters for video chat and selfies.

Battery

The iPad's battery has much higher capacity, but it also powers many more pixels

Lots more capacity for the iPad, but it also has that much higher-res screen, which sucks up plenty of juice. Without any hands-on time with the Tab 3, we'd consider its uptimes to be an unknown.

Software

At least the Galaxy Tab runs the latest version of Android

We have to tip our hats to Samsung for making sure even its newest mid-range devices ship with the latest version of Android. The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 also has the tablet version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI layered on top.

The iPad, of course, runs the newest version of Apple's iOS. At the time of publication, that's iOS 6.1.3.

Wrap-up

This isn't a very fair side-by-side comparison. Despite two nice advantages for the Galaxy Tab (its thin and lightweight build), the iPad either matches or demolishes it in other categories. Again, we're comparing Apple's high-end to Samsung's mid-range.

And, unfortunately, one of the most important categories for the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is still a mystery: its price. No word yet from Samsung on this front. For what it's worth, last year's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 sold for US$400 at launch. Considering the spec sheet on this new model, you could probably do better for that price. But until we get some official confirmation, consider pricing a question mark.

The iPad starts at US$500 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi only model.

If you want to go a bit more portable with your tablet purchases, you can check out our comparison of the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 to the iPad mini.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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6 Comments

"When it comes to storage, Apple gives you more models to choose from."

You say that as if it's a feature. Sure, Apple gives you LOTS of options, if you don't mind paying about 4x the going rate for Flash memory and don't mind having to decide up front how much memory you'll ever need. The lack of SD support is one of those arrogant "our way or the highway" Apple "features" that we could all live without.

Mark Lewus
10th June, 2013 @ 09:22 pm PDT

"... it's a pretty safe bet you aren't getting the cream of the crop when they don't tell you the make of the processor."

The Tab 3 is powered by the Intel Atom X2560 processor, hardly some no-name brand as you imply.

"Without any hands-on time with the Tab 3...." This sentence should have finished, "I am completely unqualified to write this article."

"This isn't a very fair side-by-side comparison."

That's an understatement considering your comments about the Tab 3's performance, battery life and price are pure guesses on your part.

Really, I expect better from Gizmag.

WebWizard
12th June, 2013 @ 01:03 am PDT

I recently bought a tablet, I had done a lot of research and a lot of testing. I decided to go with a Galaxy Note 10.1. The stylus for what I do makes a major difference, something the ipad does not offer. The ability to use micro sd cards is a major plus. I like androids ability to customize the look of my tablet vs ipads you are stuck with what you see. I've been an apple user for a loooong time but the ipad didnt sell me this time.

The screen resolution isnt as good vs the ipad. That retina display is nothing short of pure beauty, but for me it wasnt a deciding factor. The after market is littered with more ipad stuff than youll ever need, but you can find a case, keyboard, and basic accessories for the samsung note if you look. The ability to customize my tablet is a nice feature but not a deciding factor. The battery is my biggest gripe with Note 10.1. It takes awhile to charge and doesnt last as long as I expected it to last but I can manage.

The apps... While the android app list has grown a ton, there are still many apps and developers only available for the ipad. I've contacted some developers about it and many seem to be working on an Android version but just not there yet.

So why the note? The pressure sensitive stylus and the note taking app, micro sd support, the cheaper price point (32gb model note for $499) for starters. The ability to run apps side by side or multi window feature really helps when doing and research, or copy/paste, or note taking on the road. It has a 1.4ghz quad core processor, 5mp rear camera, 1.9mp front camera, it came with a 50gb dropbox upgrade, and a mobile app version of photoshop. Also has 2 gb of ram.

Look, you can rant and compare over the specs all day. If you are buying a tablet, simply go try one knowing exactly what you want to use it for.

Kyle Mitchell
12th June, 2013 @ 01:28 pm PDT

This is obviously from a apple fan's perspective so it probably would be best to find a comparison from someone that doesn't favorites one of the items being compared

Dominique Barbie Monroe
17th October, 2013 @ 03:41 am PDT

Storage on Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is WRONG. There is a 64 gig storage available which I bought. Left out on article.

Battery better than my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone.

The Google Nexus 7 has better screen resolution but is a piece of crap. I have seen over 200 freeze-up and restart complaints on online forums. I took it back!!

Camera takes great photos. Am professional photographer & only use Canon and these photos by Tab are totally acceptable for what they are for: emailing, instagram, FB, Twitter, websites, etc.

Am a micro SD card user for those unexpected photos, for my food blog, etc.

Since you didn't do any homework on the processor like you should have:

Powered by the Intel Atom Z2560 dual core SoC (codenamed “Clover Trail ”), the tablet can deliver double the compute performance and three times the graphic capabilities with competitive battery life when compared with the previous generation of Intel Atom processors platform.

In other words, the integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator provides compelling and realistic 3D gaming experiences, 1080p HD video and crystal-clear graphics besides advanced camera features including face recognition, mobile HDR and panorama.

Besides that, Clover Trail will boost dual core performance along with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, thus making supporting four simultaneous application threads smoother and multi-tasking more fluid.

The 10.1-inch tablet also comes equipped with Intel’s 7160 4G LTE solution – one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions – that enables LTE connectivity.

Price is $199 since you didn't know and after a "special discount" on the

64 gig upgrade (not counting warranty) the product was well under $300.

There was nothing [in this article] on gaming, USB port.

Christine Willard
22nd October, 2013 @ 12:11 pm PDT

Why do tablet cameras suck so badly? I recently got a Samsung Galaxy s4 (AMAZING! HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and it has a 13mp camera and all you people are comparing a 5mp camera to a 3mp camera lol. And I plan on getting an ipad air this summer.

Bailey Jordan Crary
1st March, 2014 @ 08:17 pm PST
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