Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPad Mini Retina 2: Go for a Samsung 8 or Apple Mini?

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By Precious Silva | December 16, 2013 7:02 PM EST

Samsung and Apple continue their rivalry into the tablet sector. Samsung has released their Samsung Galaxy Note 8 while Apple refreshed its line with the iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display. Combining the convenience of traditional laptops and smartphone functions, which tablet should consumers go for? 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 

The Galaxy Note offers consumers a list of impressive specs for its price. To begin with, the device runs on a 1.6 GHz Exynos 4412 quad-core processor plus 2GB internal memory. People particular about the speed of their devices can find this a good combination. 

The device scored 1998 points in Geekbench 2. However, Sony Xperia Tablet Z outpaced the device in synthetic benchmarks. As for the GLBenchmark test, the device posted a frame rate of 18fps. It is acceptable for such device though some user may not be too thrilled about it. The Galaxy Note 8 only provides half the frame rate compared to high-end smartphones. 

Generally, the Galaxy Note 8.0 offers reliable performance all throughout. However, it may not be the ideal choice for those looking for superior resolution. It shares similar pixel support with Asus FonePada and Nexus 7 but with a lower ppi at 189. Galaxy Note 8.0 falls behind iPad Mini 2 with Retina in this regard. 

Just like with the Samsung Galaxy S4, people may find the storage a bit limited for the Note 8. The device features 16GB flash storage with 9GB accessible to the user. Fortunately, people can expand memory up to 64GB through the microSDXC card slot. An interesting feature in the Galaxy Note 8 is its ability to control home devices. The pre-loaded Smart Remote app and infrared transmitter lets people use it as a controller for devices like television sets and media players. 

The device also comes with Samsung's TouchWiz interface and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Note 8 allows people to customize their Google OS. This allows users to tone down the interface if they find it a little too busy. 

The device starts at $329.99. 

Apple's iPad Mini 2 with Retina 

The new iPad mini 2 or iPad mini with Retina display proves Apple's intent to stay on top the tablet wars. The device packs on an A7 chip plus 128GB satisfying anyone looking for the ultimate HD slate experience. The device also offers battery life working hand in hand with the powerful pixel support. 

The iPad Mini 2 offers a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. This is four times the resolution of the original iPad. The screen size remains at 7.9 inches offering a pixel density of 326ppi. People looking for an incredibly sharp screen will find the iPad a good choice. 

Apple did not change the design much. After all, their original iPad Mini sported a winning formula. The only difference is that the newer iPad Mini is thicker at 7.5mm compared to the 7.2mm of the first generation. It should not make any difference in terms of usage. The device is as lightweight and portable.

As mentioned, the iPad Mini 2 runs on the same A7 processor found on the iPad Air. This means it has a 64-bit component powering it up. The second generation iPad Mini also features the M7 motion coprocessor allowing longer battery life. 

The tablet also offers an excellent 2D performance. The iPad Mini 2 scored an average of 2222 in Geekbench 2. This means it is around 3 times faster compared to the first generation. The device also scored 397ms in SunSpider 1.0.2. As with the iPad Air, the iPad Mini 2 runs on iOS 7. It has a range of Apple applications like Pages, GarageBand, iMovie and iPhoto. 

The device starts at $399. 

People can settle for the Galaxy Note 8 if they want a tablet that can do the job. However, for those looking for a premium device and willing to spend more, then the iPad Mini 2 should be worth the extra dollars.

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