The iPad has become synonymous with the term tablet as many Android manufacturers have backed out of the large screen market, but there’s a new top-end Samsung slate that may be designed just for you.
Below we’re going to run through the specs and features you can get on each of these tablets, and give you a first look versus to the two different tablets.
Design and display
Both the iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 come with 10.5-inch screens on their devices, which seems to be the optimum size for tablets at the moment with two of the biggest manufacturers embracing the size.
The Galaxy Tab S4 is the company’s own Super AMOLED tech that should allow it to look nice and bright with a resolution of 1600 x 2560. It has a higher viewing area than on the Tab S3, too.
That’s mostly as the tablet has dropped its home key from the front of the tablet. To unlock it you’ll find an Iris scanner on the front of the screen rather than a fingerprint scanner.
The iPad Pro 10.5 still has a button at the bottom (that houses the Touch ID fingerprint scanner) and a thicker bezel along the bottom than the Samsung to house that. Again, it’s a 10.5-inch display with a resolution of 1668 x 2224.
It’s an LED-backlit IPS LCD that probably won’t give you the same popping colors as you’ll get on the Samsung, but it’s still an impressive screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The size of the Galaxy Tab S4 is 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm and weighs between 482g (for the Wi-Fi-only model) and 483g (for the Wi-Fi + LTE model). That means it’ heavier, taller and thicker than the last Samsung model.
The iPad Pro 10.5 is a bit thinner and lighter coming in at 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm with the weights at 469g for the Wi-Fi only and 477g for the LTE version of the tablet.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t get the keyboards pictured for both of these tablets above – both cost extra, and neither are cheap with Samsung’s costing around $150 / £120 and Apple’s around $160 / £160.
OS and power
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset inside, which is already quite out of date considering a lot of the top-end smartphones being announced – including Samsung’s Galaxy S9 – feature the newer Snapdragon 845.
That probably won’t make for a significant slowdown, but it does mean the tablet isn’t as futureproof as it would be if it had the newer chipset. There’s 4GB of RAM powering the tablet with the choice of either 64GB or 256GB of storage, depending on how much you want to spend.
Samsung also offers up to 400GB of microSD storage as well, but you’ll have to buy a separate card for that.
As for the iPad Pro, you’ll find it packing the Apple A10X Fusion chipset, which is a variation of what we saw running in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. That’s largely because the tablet was announced in June last year, but again it should be powerful enough to do everything you need it to do on a tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
There’s also 4GB of RAM onboard, and your storage choices are 64GB / 256GB or 512GB. You may want to opt for the larger one if you want to fill it full of media as there isn’t microSD support on iPads.
Software wise the Tab S4 comes with the latest version of Android Oreo onboard, which is 8.1. Android isn’t perfect to use on tablets, but it has improved a lot on slates in recent years.
The iPad Pro 10.5 comes with iOS 10.3.2 right out of the box, but you’ll be able to upgrade it to iOS 11 right away and iOS 12 is set to come to the tablet when it’s released later this year.
Camera and battery
iPad Pro 10.5
It’s unlikely you’re going to buy either of these tablets for their camera prowess, so neither Apple or Samsung have put particular attention into the shooters on the rear. The Tab S4 has an 13MP while the iPad Pro 10.5 opts for a lower 12MP sensor.
You’ll probably make more use of the selfie camera for video calls and more, which is an 8MP on the Samsung and a 7MP on the Apple-made device.
We haven’t had time to test the battery on the Galaxy Tab S4 but it’s impressive in terms of spec with a 7,300mAh cell alongside fast-charging tech too.
The iPad Pro 10.5 has an even bigger cell at 8134mAh, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the battery life will be better on the iPad. It’s usually down to a lot of how the chipsets and OS are optimized, so we won’t be able to give our full verdict on battery until we’ve tested it on the Tab S4.
Both of these devices have large batterys, and we’d expect both to last hours from a single charge.
The pricing for the Tab S4 is set at $649.99 / £599 (about AU$880) for the Wi-Fi model and the LTE one is £649 (about $850, AU$1150). That’s an expensive tablet, but it comes with the S Pen stylus inside the box.
The iPad Pro 10.5 doesn’t come with the stylus in the box, instead the Apple Pencil costs you an extra $99 / £99 on top of the price of the tablet.
The base model of the iPad costs £619 / $649 / AU$979, while the most expensive 512GB version has price tags of £889 / $949 / AU$1429. That’s a big price jump compared to 2016’s iPads, but it’s a similar price to what we’d expect for Samsung’s next tablet.
Also bear in mind you may also need to spend some money on the keyboard cases as well, which are $150 / £119 (about AU$200) for the Tab S4 and $160 / £160 / AU$235 for the iPad.
These are remarkably similar devices, and a lot of what will make your decision is whether you want to have a tablet that embraces either iOS or Android. Each has top-end specs – apart from the older chipset in both – and offer what looks to be a fully rounded tablet experience.
One of the biggest benefits for the Samsung is its S Pen stylus support straight out of the box, while if you’re looking for a stylus on your iPad it’s going to cost you extra on top.
These are two of the top tablets on the market though, so it’s likely each will suit most of what you’ll want them to do.
Our hands on Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review