Apple iPad Air vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5 Inches) – Can Samsung Beat Apple?

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | June 27, 2014 8:27 AM EST

Samsung recently launched two variants of the Galaxy Tab S that feature 8.4 inches and 10.5 inches display. Both the variants bundle amazing features and killer hardware/software specifications that can give tough competition to Apple's tablets in the market. Here is a specification, feature and price comparison between the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5 inches) and the omnipresent Apple iPad Air (2013 Model).

Display, Exterior and Size

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S features a 10.5 inches Super AMOLED display with a whopping 2,560 x 1,600 pixels screen resolution. The Apple iPad Air, on the other hand, comes with a relatively smaller 9.7 inches IPS LCD display with a relatively lesser 2,048 x 1,536 pixels screen resolution. Also, the pixel strength of Galaxy Tab S stands at 288 ppi, while the Apple iPad Air comes with 264 ppi of pixel density. With impressive screen resolutions, both the tablets present sharper and vivid images and videos.

With Galaxy Tab S, Samsung has brought the Super AMOLED display technology to tablets. The WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) Super AMOLED display has the capability to present more than 90% of Adobe RGB colour coverage. The contrast ratio of Galaxy Tab S stands at a striking 100,000:1 ratio, while the iPad Air's contrast ratio stands at roughly 1,000:1. Therefore, the viewing experience stands-out in the latest Galaxy series of tablets.

The exterior of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is similar to the flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone with a perforated textured rear. The Apple iPad Air, on the other hand, sports the famous aluminum chassis. This makes the iPad Air look premium over the polycarbonate chassis of other tablets.

The Galaxy Tab S comes with a thickness and weight of 0.26 inches and 467 g respectively. Whereas the Apple iPad Air is 0.30 inches thick and weighs 478 g. Hence the Galaxy Tab S is relatively thinner and lighter than the Apple iPad Air.

Hardware and Software

The Wi-Fi only version of Samsung Galaxy Tab S is powered by an octa-core (Exynos 5) Cortex-A7 processor clocked at (a combination of 1.9 GHz quad-core and 1.3 GHz quad-core), and it houses a solid 3 GB of RAM. In addition, the LTE version of Galaxy Tab S is powered by a quad-core (Qualcomm Snapdragon 800) Krait 400 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz. The Apple iPad Air, on the other hand, is powered by a relatively inferior dual-core Cyclone (Apple A7 64-bit architecture) processor clocked at 1.4 GHz and it comes with only 1 GB of RAM.

The Galaxy Tab S runs on the latest Android v4.4 KitKat OS with Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top of it, while the Apple iPad Air runs on iOS 7, which is upgradable to higher versions of OS.

Memory

The Samsung tablet comes with 16 GB and 32 GB of internal storage, while the iPad Air houses 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of internal storage capacity. In addition, the Galaxy Tab S supports microSD card for expansion up to 128 GB, while the Apple iPad Air doesn't.

Camera

The Apple iPad Air houses a 5 MP rear-facing camera without flash and a 1.2 MP front-facing camera unit. While the Galaxy Tab S comes with a much-better 8 MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 2.1 MP front-facing camera unit.

Battery

The Galaxy Tab S houses a solid 7900 mAh battery unit with Ultra Power Saving mode. The Apple iPad Air, meanwhile, comes with a whopping 8820 mAh battery unit. Also, both the phones house non-removable battery units. According to Tech Radar, the Galaxy Tab S can provide up to 11 hours of continuous video playback, while the iPad Air can provide up to 10 hours of web browsing charge.

Colour

The Apple iPad Air comes in space gray/black and silver/white colour combinations, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab S comes in titanium bronze and dazzling white shades.

Misc                                       

1.       Both the tablets come in LTE and non-LTE (or Wi-Fi only) variants.

2.       Also, the Galaxy Tab S houses fingerprint scanner, while the iPad Air doesn't.

Price and Release Date

The Apple iPad Air (16 GB, Wi-Fi only variant) is priced at AU$569.95, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5 inches) variant will be priced at US$499 (roughly translates to AU$531) and the 8.4 inches model is priced at US$399 (roughly translates to AU$424). The Samsung Galaxy Tab S will be released in selected markets starting July, 2014.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Rick Wilking)
Tablet computers will outsell personal computers by 2015
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