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Galaxy Note 8.0 vs. iPad mini

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February 23, 2013

We compare the specs - and other features - of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Apple iPad ...

We compare the specs - and other features - of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Apple iPad mini

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If Samsung wants to convince the world that it isn't an Apple copycat, the Galaxy Note 8.0 isn’t its best argument. Less than four months after the launch of Apple’s (almost) 8-inch tablet comes a new 8-inch tablet from Samsung. But, despite the obvious parallels, these are two distinct slates – outside and inside. Read on, as we compare the specs (and other features) of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Apple iPad mini.

Size

The Note 8 is a bit taller and a smidge wider and thicker, but not by much

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a bit larger in every dimension, with the biggest difference being an extra 11 mm (0.93”) in height.

Weight

The Note 8 is 30 g heavier than the mini

Both devices are relatively light, but the Note 8.0 is 30 g (1.06 oz.) heavier than the iPad mini.

Display

Displays are close in size, and neither boasts of cutting-edge resolution

Screens are almost the same size, and neither offers mind-blowing resolution. The Note 8.0’s display is a bit sharper, at 189 pixels per inch (PPI).

Samsung hasn’t announced pricing yet for the Galaxy Note 8.0, but its less-than-stellar display could be a clue that it’s planning on staying in the same range as Apple’s US$330 tablet.

Processor

Samsung's tablet has the more powerful processor

The Note 8.0 has the more powerful processor, with its Exynos 4 Quad chip, the same one found in Samsung’s phablet, the Galaxy Note II.

Apple gave the iPad mini a last-generation A5 chip, first introduced in 2011's iPad 2. Apart from its superior cameras, the iPad mini is essentially a scrunched-down iPad 2.

RAM

The Note 8.0 quadruples the mini's 512 MB of RAM

The Note 8.0 quadruples the iPad mini’s mere 512 MB of RAM.

Few tasks in iOS require massive amounts of RAM, but you may find that recent (backgrounded) apps close quicker on the iPad mini than on, say, the 4th-generation iPad.

Storage

No 16 GB model for the Note, no SD card for the iPad

Samsung skipped a 16 GB model for the Note 8.0, but otherwise flash memory numbers are the same. The Note also has a microSD card slot, unlike Apple’s mini-tablet.

Wireless

Both tablets sell in LTE models

Both tablets ship in both Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + mobile data models. At least in some regions, Samsung's will be LTE-capable. Apple also offers a (pricier) LTE iPad mini.

In some regions (probably not in the U.S.), the Note 8 will make phone calls.

Battery

The Note 8 has a slightly higher-capacity battery

The Note 8.0’s battery holds a bit more juice than the iPad mini’s. As always, though, remember that many other factors also determine actual battery life.

Cameras

Both devices sport 5MP rear cameras

Cameras are rarely the most important part of a tablet, and Samsung and Apple both realize this. These 5-megapixel rear shooters will do the job, but don’t expect anything extraordinary.

Intangibles

Stylus or more tablet-optimized apps?

It’s easy to snicker at another conspicuously-similar Samsung product arriving hot on the heels of an Apple release. But the company is pitching its 8-inch tablet as more of a creative companion.

The center of this marketing angle is the Note’s stylus (S Pen). The stylus is integrated with Samsung’s software (Touchwiz layered over Android 4.1.2 Jellybean), so when you pull the stylus out, the Note automatically shifts into pen detection mode. The new version even lets you perform certain tasks while only hovering the pen over the screen (previewing stories in Flipboard is one example).

Android’s tablet app selection is improving, but here iOS is still King. On last check (several months ago), Apple had over 275,000 iPad-specific apps in the App Store. Google Play's selection often defaults to stretched-out phone apps. Fortunately, these will look a bit better on an 8-inch screen than on a 10-inch tablet.

Wrap-up

It probably isn’t a coincidence that Samsung’s 8-inch tablet follows so soon after Apple’s. But it looks like the company is determined to go its own way, and has made a device that – unlike anything Apple has made since the Newton – centers around stylus input.

The big question is pricing. If the Note 8 is in the same range as the iPad mini, it could be a compelling alternative for customers who prefer Android or who use apps that could benefit from pen input.

Like its price, the Note 8’s release date is unknown. Samsung has only said that the device will ship worldwide in Q2.

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
15 Comments

I hate fan-boy articles (irrespective of which side you are on). You just make yourself look ill informed by suggesting that the fact the 8" Samsung came out after the ipad mini means samsung copied the mini. Samsung have been making their "note" tablet range in every size under the sun for years. Apple appears to have only gotten interested in the medium sizes because they were proving to be popular. This "they copied me" playground scuffle is tiresome and unhealthy for the industry. Articles with open paragraphs like this only fuel the childish rivalry. They're both unoriginal designs, but equally they both are perfectly capable marvels of modern technology, so pick the one you like for its function/style and lets all get past the tribalism.

timbo_uk2002
24th February, 2013 @ 03:09 am PST

"If Samsung wants to convince the world that it isn't an Apple copycat, the Galaxy Note 8.0 isn’t its best argument."

Copycat? Why would you even say that? The only people who think they are would be Apple and iFanboys. And th iPad Mini is clearly a response to the 7" tablet market. How can Samsung copy Apple copying everyone else?

Rann Xeroxx
24th February, 2013 @ 08:40 am PST

When measuring the size (display) on these two devices, you should have measured the screen size too (height, width). I'm not an Apple fan at all but would prefer a 4:3 aspect ratio on tablets (and screens) greater than 7". So this measurement should be included as part of the "tale of the tape". comparison.

PaxD75
24th February, 2013 @ 08:57 am PST

I'll take the Samsung. Love the Wacom stylus (own and love Wacom products in general) owed to its screen precision. Like the 8's edge better as the thin edge Apple is now using its products to give the illusion of thinness does not feel good in my hands. In general Samsung's specs are beating Apple's on a variety of products.

Fahrenheit 451
24th February, 2013 @ 09:58 am PST

I am not sure how a tablet maker could avoid creating a rectangular form factor for a rectangular touch screen. If that marks one a copycat then you would have to concede that Apple has the sole rights to the rectangle shape.

Paul van Dinther
24th February, 2013 @ 03:00 pm PST

How Utterly Ridiculous all these claims of Samsung 'copying' Apple into the (near) 8 inch tablet space - Especially since Samsung Created It.

I've owned my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 for almost 1.5 years now, and know (sans nonsensical fanatical posturing) that my Apple iPad Mini is within small fractions in every, single dimension e.g. height, weight, thickness and screen size.

It would not be unreasonable to deduce that Apple may have used the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 as some sort of benchmark/template for the design of the iPad Mini.

- Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7: 196.7 mm H, 133.0 mm W, 7.9 mm D , Weight 340g

- Apple iPad Mini: 200mm H, 134.7mm W, 7.2 mm D, Weight Wi-Fi: 308g, Wi-Fi + Cellular: 312g

Additionally:

01) The Galaxy Tab 7.7's display is noticeably brighter, more vivid and of a higher resolution than my iPad Mini.

02) In several reviews (in addition to my own ownership experience) both devices typical battery autonomy is within minutes of the other.

03) The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has featured LTE for some 1.2 years whereas Apple has only used LTE in their devices in the last 6 months.

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/5278/p1000660d.jpg

Anyway... They're both excellent (near) 8 inch, aluminum-cased tablets, but it is undeniable that Samsung was the first major manufacturer to enter the (near) 8 inch tablet market (more than a year before Apple), as well as the first to introduce a 7 inch tablet device capable of also making (conventional) cellular telephone calls e.g. the original Samsung Galaxy Tab on 2 September 2010.

So... If anything the iPad Mini was created as Apple's answer to Samsung Galaxy Tab series of tablets.

Da Harder
24th February, 2013 @ 05:53 pm PST

Who created the 8" tablet first, Apple or Samsung? Oh yeah, that's right, Samsung. In fact, almost every tablet maker made one before Apple did. So, by Apple's (and California's) estimation, Google, Samsung, Amazon, B&N, Acer, ASUS, Sony, and a whole host of others have pretty good grounds to sue Apple.

Danimal
25th February, 2013 @ 08:22 am PST

Gizmag, you are way too biased towards Apple. Any comparison I've read on this site always leans towards Apple.

iLetAppleThinkForMe
25th February, 2013 @ 01:03 pm PST

Copy away...it's good for consumers when mfg's compete and need to price to be competitive. It's the lawsuits that are the problem, the legal fee's are added to the purchase price, that said no one can patent a size...

John Hemingway Parkes
25th February, 2013 @ 01:39 pm PST

It sure doesn't read that way to me.

But you have to admit that Steve pulled some interesting moves.

He invited the world to create wonderful apps and do the programming based upon people's interests and ended up with some magnificent Apps to offer and beat the pants off of everyone else when it comes to broad functionality.

in 40 years the Koreans have taken off like crazy with all kinds of very good products. In fact it looks like they have beaten the Japanese by recognizing that the US was one huge market. You have to give them credit and when you look at that night map of the earth and see that Pyongyang is the only faint spot in N. Korea it sure speaks well for our foreign policy, and for all those years of US Military help. Now it's costing us both ways. The Koreans are beautiful people with great taste and lots of ambition when it is allowed to flourish.

Bill

Lewis M. Dickens III
25th February, 2013 @ 02:14 pm PST

copycat ? I own a samsung tab 7.7 for ages . dual core , oled display etc .

almost the same quality as the apple - at least a year earlier .

Károly Hőss
12th March, 2013 @ 04:07 pm PDT

To Will Shanklin,

I believe Samsung came out with the Note Tablets (in different countries) before Apple introduced the Ipad Mini's. It would be nice to get your facts straight before posting articles online or maybe you could go back and re-edit your articles.

Andy Kim
13th April, 2013 @ 02:37 pm PDT

If Samsung wants to convince the world that it isn't an Apple copycat, the Galaxy Note 8.0 isn’t its best argument.

Nathaniel Kang
14th April, 2013 @ 01:04 am PDT

I would prefer ipad mini over galaxy note

technophil
14th April, 2013 @ 04:55 am PDT

I really don't care who copied who. As a consumer, I want my money to buy the best and most advance product. So far, Samsung has the edge.

S Michael
4th June, 2013 @ 07:53 pm PDT
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