Photokina 2014 highlights

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 vs. iPad Air

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January 17, 2014

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO (10.1) and the Apple i...

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO (10.1) and the Apple iPad Air

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For the last few years, Samsung's tablets have been aimed squarely at the mid-range. But at CES 2014, the company pulled back the curtain on four new Galaxy tablets that finally put the high-end in their crosshairs. Let's see how one of those new slates, the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, compares to Apple's iPad Air.

Size

Sizes are very close

Whether it was intentional or not, the new Tab Pro's size is extremely close to that of the iPad Air. So if you've held an iPad Air, you already have a rough idea of how the new Galaxy Tab Pro will feel in hand.

Weight

Weights are identical

The striking similarities don't end with size, as the Wi-Fi versions of each tablet weigh exactly the same. The LTE versions are also only a gram apart.

Build

Samsung is sticking to its guns with the soft pleather finish from the Galaxy Note 3

Remember that faux leather backing on the Galaxy Note 3? Apparently Samsung was happy with the fruits of its labor, because that "pleather" finish is found on all of the new mobile devices the company unveiled at CES.

Display

The iPad Air gives you 99 percent as much screen area

When you look at each screen's total size (based on area), it's basically a wash: the iPad gives you 99 percent as much. Both displays are extremely sharp, but the Galaxy Tab's is especially striking, packing a whopping 299 pixels into each inch. We've seen it in person, and we can vouch that text, images, and colors really pop.

Samsung obviously sees the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 as a landscape-orientation tablet, with its navigation buttons positioned accordingly.

Storage

The iPad offers two more storage options, but the Tab supports microSD cards

The iPad Air offers a couple more storage options, though the Galaxy Tab Pro helps to balance that out by supporting microSD cards.

Processor

Depending which version of the Galaxy Tab Pro you get, you'll find a different processor i...

On paper the Tab Pro looks like the clear winner here, but Apple's 64-bit A7 chip is a beast. We'll have to wait for some extended hands-on time with the Tab Pro to make any claims about performance, but we didn't see anything to worry about during our brief hands-on at CES.

RAM

The Tab Pro doubles the iPad's 1 GB of RAM

Samsung's tablet doubles the iPad Air's 1 GB of RAM.

Wireless

Both tablets are/will be sold in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with 3G/LTE models

Both slates are sold in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with cellular data versions.

Battery

Battery capacities are similar, but we'll have to wait to draw conclusions about the Galax...

Battery capacities are similar, but we'll have to put the Galaxy Tab through the paces before drawing any conclusions about its battery life. The iPad Air's uptimes are terrific: it lasted an insane eight hours and 40 minutes in our standard battery test (streaming video with brightness set at 75 percent).

Cameras

If you're going by megapixels alone (probably not a good idea) then the Tab Pro's cameras ...

Cameras probably aren't your biggest priority in choosing a tablet, but we're looking at 8-megapixel and 5-megapixel rear shooters here.

Infrared

The Tab Pro has an infrared blaster, so you can use your tablet to change channels on your...

Like most of Samsung's other high-end devices from the last year, the Tab Pro includes an IR blaster. It lets you control your TV and cable/satellite box from your tablet.

Software

Samsung's tablet has the latest version of Android under the hood (and a thick layer of To...

A couple of years ago, you could count on Samsung devices shipping with outdated versions of Android. No more. Within the last year, the company has made a big push to launch with the latest version, and the Tab Pro is no exception. It ships with Android 4.4 KitKat.

In addition to Samsung's polarizing (is it feature-rich or bloated and gimmicky?) TouchWiz UI, the Korean company has added a new element to its home screen, dubbed Magazine UX. It's basically a series of permanent home screen widgets that bear more than a passing resemblance to Microsoft's tiled Windows 8 UI.

Samsung is also throwing in lots of free apps and services with its new Pro series of tablets. Buy the Tab Pro 10.1 and you'll get bundled content from providers like Dropbox, Bitcasa, Bloomberg Businessweek, and LinkedIn.

Release cycle

The Tab will start rolling out sometime in the next few months

We still don't know the exact release dates for the new Galaxy tablets, but Samsung has said that they'll launch in Q1. Following patterns from other Samsung devices, we'd expect a gradual, region-by-region global rollout.

Starting price

Starting prices are all tied up

Samsung ended up matching the iPad Air's US$500 starting price.

For more on the iPad Air, you can hit up our full review. You can also check out our hands-on with the Tab Pro's big cousin, the 12.2-in Galaxy NotePRO.

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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
10 Comments

Samsung will always be the poor relation because it's running someone else's operating system. Additionally, comparing RAM amounts is actually rather disingenuous since how iOS handles RAM will be totally different to how Android handles it. Similarly, processor speed and core is not a good comparison. I realise this is a pre-release comparison so no benchmark comparisons can be made at this time. However, Samsung will always fall behind Apple in the most important difference of all, Samsung has limited control of its supply chain and distribution channels.

Hence you get situations like a friend who bought a Galaxy S4 and had a touchscreen problem after only 3 months of ownership. He took the phone back to the supplier and was given a crappy Samsung basic phone and told he had to wait whilst they sent the phone back to Samsung. That was in October 2013 and he has had nothing back since. Contrast this with my iPhone 5 which developed an intermittent fault with the headphone socket. I waited 15minutes for a Genius Bar appointment and after the obligatory form filling I was on my way with a fully guaranteed factory re-furbished iPhone 5. I didn't even get my phone from Apple directly, I got it as part of a network contract. No-one can offer this level of support and customer service except Apple. Those of us who buy Apple buy them for the Total Quality approach that Apple has. It doesn't matter if they're not the fastest, can't do this or that, what Apple have engineered is the best product bar none.

I'm sure the Galaxy Note tab is excellent, but it will always play catch up on the Apple iPad because it's copying rather than innovating. It's what hampered the Japanese car industry for decades, making average copies of excellent European cars. Until Samsung breaks the rules and does its own thing, it will always be the poor man's Apple.

The Master
18th January, 2014 @ 02:59 am PST

Yeah but Samsungs better...

BP
19th January, 2014 @ 05:17 pm PST

'The Master'. Some valid points, but overall the bias certainly shows through.

The remote PC function is pretty cool. Access to your PC from your tablet will come in very handy when out of the office. The use of virtual meetings via Cisco WebEx is also a great feature. Not being an Apple user, I am not sure whether the iPad can interface to that degree with other non-Apple products (can anyone enlighten me there?). Still one of the great features is expansion of storage. I currently use a Samsung Note. The ability to expand storage is only limited to the size of the mass storage device plugged into the Samsung produced USB or SD slot. Hmm, doesn't exactly sound like 'catch up' does it?

Having said that, I will wait for the new Note to come out. The added benefit of the stylus is something that a person of my age likes. Gives it a real paper notebook feel and makes drafting notes and reports much easier.

CF_Perth
19th January, 2014 @ 06:11 pm PST

Apple is generally much more expensive in Australia and same with the software, apps etc. then the there is the issue with batteries, RAM and fixed storage size all aimed at making the user return to the Apple seller sorry guys been there done that never again.

Gavin Roe
20th January, 2014 @ 01:47 am PST

I might agree with master if the world existed in a vacuum, never changing. Didn't Steve Jobs die, didn't that change Apple. Talking in absolutes alike "always" just make the author look dumb and disconnected from reality. Up to today, Apple has terrific products, but that does not mean that there aren't others, just as smart and just as inventive, who can dethrone the king. I'm glad there is competition, makes for a better product at a better price, at least in theory.

stanteate
20th January, 2014 @ 09:01 am PST

The Master: You sound so bitter in your review. What are you, an Apple shareholder? Apple's mobile products are VERY expensive compared to the competition. Therefore, all your listed points are muted for the most part.

And who cares about Supply Chain? I'm just a consumer. I don't give a micro-cr@p what supply chain means when I walk into Best Buy to buy a product. I want value for money and that's it! I don't want anyone to tie me down into their crazy eco-world.

Personally, I own Microsoft Surface tablet. I serves me very well. I won't touch an iPad because it is double the cost with less the free tools such as Office 2013 programs. But before you even think I am some Apple hater, I purchased two MacBook pros from Apple store last year. One for me and the other for my wife. We both love it and I don't think I'd ever buy Windows based laptops again. And lastly, I LOVE Android phones because of the number of options it has allowed consumers. I picked up the insanely awesome LG G2 last week and held it next to an iPhone 5S which simply looked like a skinny sophomore student. I also get 48 hours of battery life out of it (full use).

So yeah, quit being a fanboy of big corporations and save some money while you're at it.

Adieus Amigo!!

techiedude
20th January, 2014 @ 09:24 am PST

It looks to have the same frame as the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) and that is about the most retro ugly treatment I've ever seen. It is so ugly and poorly finished that it actually blocked the purchase I had planned at Best Buy after my ASUS Transformer hard bricked following a full discharge. I'd rather do without for a while than have to look at that thing constantly.

There might well be an after market for an attractive frame cover for this family.

DonGateley
20th January, 2014 @ 01:14 pm PST

Regardless, Steve with his Werner Erhard training developed a great company seeking perfection, he knew that he had to clone himself and did it magnificently, and they have developed many great products that have altered the world and have shown us what the pursuit of perfection can be.

Yes there are thieves and copiers in the world who have developed horrible operating systems that perpetuate intrusion and garbage and theft.

There is a certain pleasure in honoring the innovators who made great things happen. Honoring something copying so closely seems a bit of a stretch.

Lewis M. Dickens III
20th January, 2014 @ 04:37 pm PST

We just got an iPad Air and it is fabulous.

The also-rans may 'save you money' but you could also buy a Kia and shop at Walmart. Average is for average people. Life's too short. Get something good.

Neil
5th February, 2014 @ 08:46 pm PST

Umm I have the iPad Air and the Macbook Pro....first off, The iPad air is pure trash...simply as that. I had the galaxy note 10.1(not the 2014 edition) and it is way better than this glorified piece of aluminum. Firstly, the ability to multitask is unparalleled. there is no comparison what soever, secondly, it has a pen along with relevant features for the "S Pen" Thirdly it has an IR blaster which allows you to control your T.V. via your tablet.

With the iPad air, I'm not even allowed to transfer my music properly, of course it doesn't have the ir blaster, etc....The so call A7 chip everyone is hyping up does nothing special from what i can tell...why would you need this so call beast of a chip when you can t even when the iPad not even made to multitask...much more i can say because I'm simply hungry....gotta go...i kept it simply for you though

nunya
20th June, 2014 @ 05:01 pm PDT
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