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Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 vs. iPad mini with Retina Display

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January 25, 2014

Gizmag compares the specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and iPad mini wit...

Gizmag compares the specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and iPad mini with Retina Display

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Samsung has four new high-end tablets set to launch in the next few months. The smallest of the bunch, the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, looks like Samsung's best answer yet to the iPad mini. Let's plop it down next to the iPad mini with Retina Display, and see how their features and specs compare.

Size

The Tab Pro is ten percent taller and four percent narrower

The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is ten percent taller and four percent narrower than the Retina iPad mini. It's also razor-thin, measuring four percent thinner than Apple's already-svelte slate. We handled the Tab Pro 8.4 at CES 2014, and we think it's going to be a terrific size and shape for one-handed use.

Weight

Both tablets have identical weights

Two of Samsung's new slates are the exact same weight as Apple's newest iPads. The Tab Pro 10.1 is the same 469 g as the iPad Air, and this 8.4-in. version is the exact same weight as the Retina iPad mini. Whether it was intentional or not, both tablets are going to feel very light in hand.

Build

It's pleather vs. aluminum in the build department

Samsung's going all in with the pleather build it jumpstarted with 2013's Galaxy Note 3. We prefer it over the glossy and flimsy plastic that dominated Galaxy devices for the last few years, though it isn't going to feel as high-end as the iPad's aluminum finish.

Display

The iPad mini gives you 95 percent as much screen area – but also a narrower range of colo...

The Tab Pro's screen wins on paper, and it really pops in person too. The Retina iPad mini's screen is no slouch either, though it is somewhat limited by a narrow range of colors. It also gives you 95 percent as much screen area as the Tab Pro 8.4 does.

Storage

The iPad mini is sold in a couple of extra storage configurations, though the Tab Pro does...

The iPad mini offers two extra storage options, though the Tab Pro might help to temper that a bit by supporting microSD cards.

Processor

Both tablets have zippy processors, and we don't expect performance to be a concern

Performance-wise, there shouldn't be much to worry about with either tablet. The iPad's 64-bit A7 chip is a beast that far outperforms its cores and clock speed, and the Snapdragon 800, found in most versions of the Tab Pro, is one of the zippiest mobile CPUs around.

RAM

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

Who knows if it will play much of a part in overall performance, but the Tab Pro does double the iPad mini's 1 GB of RAM.

Wireless

Both slates are sold in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with cellular data models

Both slates are sold in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with cellular (LTE in markets that support it) editions.

Battery

The battery in the iPad mini with Retina Display holds more juice, but that doesn't necess...

We don't yet know anything about the Tab Pro's actual battery life, but we do know that it packs 4,800 mAh worth of juice. The iPad mini will be tough to beat, as it lasted nearly 11 hours in our standard video streaming test.

Cameras

On paper, the Galaxy Tab Pro's cameras are looking pretty good

We don't usually dwell too much on cameras in tablets, but, at least on paper, the Tab Pro is looking pretty good in this department.

Infrared

The Tab Pro's built-in infrared blaster lets you pair with your TV or cable box to use it ...

If you fancy changing channels on your TV with your tablet, then Samsung has you covered. The Tab Pro's IR blaster couples with some baked-in software to let you do just that.

Software

Both tablets ship with the latest versions of their respective operating systems – just do...

The Tab Pro 8.4 is launching with the newest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat. Just don't expect to see much of Google's OS on the surface, as Samsung's TouchWiz skin is thicker than ever. It now includes a new "Magazine UX," which is Samsung's new take on the home screen launcher. Think Windows 8-like permanent widgets for various apps and other topics you might be interested in.

The Retina iPad mini runs the redesigned iOS 7. We enjoy the UI tweaks and new features of Apple's latest mobile OS, but we also can't seem to go a day without multiple crashes from Safari and third-party Webkit browsers. For a company that prides itself on its products "just working," we think it's a bit of a head-scratcher that Apple hasn't fixed this major flaw four months into iOS 7's lifecycle.

The iPad mini does still have an advantage in the apps department. Google Play has made some nice strides of late with its tablet app selection, but – especially in gaming – the App Store is still King of the tablet realm.

Release cycle

The Retina iPad mini hit store shelves in November, and the Tab Pro should start rolling o...

We still don't know exactly when Samsung's new tablets will launch, but they should start rolling out globally sometime within the next couple of months.

Starting prices

Both tablets start at US$400

Samsung ended up pitting the Tab Pro 8.4 toe-to-toe with the iPad mini, with a $400 starting price.

For more on the new Samsung tablets, you can check out our hands-on from CES. If you're leaning towards the iPad mini, then perhaps our full review will help you to seal the deal.

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About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin covers consumer technology for Gizmag. He's previously written for Android Central, Geek, GottaBeMobile, Android Police, and The Huffington Post.
He lives in New Mexico, U.S., with his lovely wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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3 Comments

I love my smsung galaxy 10 inch its great ! Going to buy one for my mom and my daughter.

Sherry Coleman
26th January, 2014 @ 12:24 pm PST

And GPS? Built in on the Galaxy and only available with the cellular card on the iPad, unless something has changed. The cost of adding memory to the Samsung is trivial whereas Apple charges about a hundred bucks for each step up in storage. A good 64GB MicroSD card is under fifty bucks.

chann94501
26th January, 2014 @ 07:24 pm PST

As I'm planning my switch away from Apple, something just struck me. I will not pay the Apple premium another company feels it can justify for its own products. If I paid a lot of money for an iPad, I won't do the same for a Samsung, or any other companies.

After thinking about it more, it dawned on me Samsung doesn't have the same cache (regardless of the truth), and I won't go from one obnoxious maker to another one who feels it can slap the same price premium by more or less mimicking another product.

I don't want to sound harsh, but the reason I am moving away from Apple is that they lost the stellar customer service they used to have. We are being blame for faulty manufacturing, and the same is happening with Samsung products.

Samsung needs to give me a better reason to switch over to them before they can make me cough up that price again.

33Nick
27th January, 2014 @ 08:50 am PST
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