Maximum tech reviewers and independent customers agree Apple’s iPad has been the standard-bearer for drugs, basically as a result of each Android and Home windows aren’t just about as optimized for the shape issue (the latter in particular extra so). However Samsung has been running onerous to mend the issue — to make Android apps run higher on a pill display — and the Galaxy Tab S8 sequence used to be nearly definitely the best Android tablet round. However how does Samsung’s best possible pill providing, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, evaluate towards Apple’s absolute best iPad providing, the iPad Pro with M1?

I’ve been the usage of each drugs since their preliminary liberate and feature jumped from side to side between them as my major “on-the-go paintings system”. Clearly, I’m a spoiled reviewer who can personal each. The common client should come to a decision on one — whilst I will’t say this comparability will provide you with a straight forward solution, I’m going to check out my preferrred to check the 2 in each and every significant class and let you know which one I’d make a choice if I should handiest stay one.

iPad Pro and Tab S8 UltraiPad Pro and Tab S8 Ultra

iPad Professional (left) and Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely (proper).

Apple iPad Professional 2021 (12.9-inch) & Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely: Specs

Specification Apple iPad Professional (12.9-inch, 2021) Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely
  • Aluminum body and again
  • Glass entrance
  • Aluminum mid-frame and again
  • Glass entrance
Dimensions & Weight
  • 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm
  • 682g (Wi-Fi)
  • 685g (Wi-Fi + Cell)
  • 326.4 x 208.6 x 5.5mm
  • 726g (Wi-Fi)/728g (5G)
  • 12.9-inch “Liquid Retina XDR” mini-LED exhibit
  • 4:3 side ratio
  • 2048 x 2732
  • 120Hz refresh charge
  • 14.6-inch Tremendous AMOLED
  • WQXGA+ (2960 x 1848p)
  • 240ppi
  • 120Hz refresh charge
SoC Apple M1 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM & Garage
  • 128GB/256GB garage
  • 512GB/1TB
  • Ram now not disclosed
  • 8/12/16GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB garage
  • microSD card strengthen (as much as 1TB)
Battery & Charging
  • 9,720 mAh
  • 18W rapid charging
  • Charging brick now not incorporated
  • 11,200mAh
  • 45W stressed rapid charging strengthen
  • Charging brick now not incorporated
Safety Face ID In-display fingerprint scanner
Rear Cameras
  • Number one: 12MP, f/1.8
  • Secondary: 10MP, ultra-wide, f/2.4
  • Tertiary: ToF 3-D LIDAR scanner
  • Number one: 13MP, AF
  • Extremely-wide: 6MP
Entrance Digital camera 12 MP, ultra-wide
  • Number one: 12MP, FF
  • Extremely-wide: 12MP
  • Quad stereo audio system
  • No headphone jack
  • Quad-speaker setup tuned via AKG
  • Dolby Atmos certification
  • 3 microphones
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6; simultaneous twin band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • 5G type (A2301 and A2379)
    • 5G NR (Bands n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n38, n40, n41, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79)4
    • 5G NR mmWave (Bands n260, n261)
    • FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71)
    • TD-LTE (Bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48)
    • UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC‑HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 5G (non-compulsory, in some areas)
Instrument iOS 14.5 One UI 4.1 according to Android 12
Different Options
  • S Pen incorporated within the field
  • Microsoft Place of job 365 subscription

About this newsletter: This comparability used to be written after months of trying out a 2021 iPad Professional equipped via Apple Hong Kong and a self-purchased Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely. Neither corporate had any enter on this article.

Apple iPad Professional (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy S8 Extremely: Pricing and Availability

Each the iPad Professional (2021) and Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely, together with different fashions within the sequence (together with the smaller 11-inch iPad Professional or typical Galaxy Tab S8) are all on sale now. The 12.9-inch iPad Professional (2021) and Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely each get started at $1,099 for 128GB of garage and simply WiFi connectivity, with costs going up for 5G connectivity and extra garage.

    The iPad Professional is an absolute beast of a system with a Mini LED display with an excellent robust cell SoC.

    The Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely is a huge pill that may do all of it. It is a paintings pc, gaming pill, film staring at system

Apple iPad Professional (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely: {Hardware} and Design

On the subject of design, there isn’t an excessive amount of to speak about, as as regards to all drugs practice the similar aluminum rectangle design language. The Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely made headlines for its huge (14.6-inch display), and it’s noticeably wider/taller (relying on orientation) than maximum drugs I’ve held. However since I’m trying out the bigger 12.9-inch iPad Professional (there may be an 11-incher), the scale distinction between the 2 isn’t drastic.

They each weigh shut sufficient, with the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely coming in at 726g and the iPad Professional at 685g (that is not up to 0.1 lbs in distinction for American readers), and if truth be told, the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely is thinner at 5.5mm to the iPad Professional’s 6.4mm.

Additionally, I’m trying out each units with their first-party keyboard instances, and Apple’s Magic Keyboard is considerably heavier, so the full iPad Professional bundle together with the keyboard case is heavier and bulkier than the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely bundle.

Show and Audio

For the shows, it’s simple to take a look at numbers on a spec sheet and bezel sizes and simply conclude Samsung will get the win — the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely has a 120Hz OLED panel, whilst the iPad Professional has a 120Hz Mini LED display — however there are different elements that come into play in real-world utilization: whilst the iPad Professional has thicker bezels, they’re uniform and symmetrical, whilst the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely display is interrupted via a notch. And whilst the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely display will get a little brighter, each shows get greater than vibrant sufficient for many instances at even 60% brightness. So until I’m in reality the usage of the pill out within the sizzling solar, the adaptation in most brightness doesn’t topic. Additionally, I feel iPadOS is obviously extra optimized for 120Hz than Samsung’s OneUI presently, as animations zip round extra fluidly.

That’s for normal use, a minimum of. If I sit down in a dismal room and watch a film, then the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely’s OLED panel will pump out deeper blacks, and because of its widescreen side ratio, have smaller letterboxing (the ones black bars sandwiching the video) too.

Either one of those displays are completely nice

I’m nitpicking in the long run, either one of those displays are completely nice. Speaker high quality is superb too: each drugs have a quad-speaker formulation, and I’d say they’re neck and neck in audio constancy, and simply the 2 preferrred speaker methods in any pill.


The iPad Professional is powered via Apple’s M1 silicon, and regardless of it being a complete 12 months older than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely, the M1 remains to be a extra succesful silicon. Now, you gained’t see a lot of a distinction when doing maximum day-to-day duties, like staring at YouTube or sending emails, however when you do extra extensive duties like video modifying, the M1 chip is considerably extra succesful. If I’m modifying a 4K clip and I’m scrubbing in the course of the timeline, it strikes a lot sooner at the M1 iPad Professional.

Rendering instances are a lot sooner, like 5x sooner. Then again, this isn’t an immediate apples-to-apples comparability, as a result of I’m the usage of other video modifying apps. However benchmark numbers additionally display a large win for the M1 too. Nonetheless, this gained’t topic to 90% of customers, because the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is greater than robust sufficient.


Each drugs pack a large and ultra-wide digital camera on their bottom, they usually’re advantageous for a pill however they’re obviously inferior sensors to what’s to be had on Apple and Samsung’s high-end telephones. Apple’s digital camera formulation takes a transparent win in that it includes a LIDAR sensor too, which is helping make AR apps run significantly better. If truth be told, there’s a significantly better collection of AR apps for iOS/iPadOS than for Android, so if AR packages are necessary to you, you must simply persist with iPhones and iPads.

A extra necessary and extensively used digital camera for drugs is the front-facing digital camera, and right here, the Tab S8 Extremely digital camera has awesome {hardware}. Now not handiest does it produce sharper photographs and movies (the Tab S8 Extremely has a 4k lens in comparison to 1080p at the iPad Professional), its positioning in panorama orientation (middle of the highest bezel) is best than the iPad Professionals’ left-bezel placement. Samsung, as same old, applies an unnatural-looking attractiveness filter out in footage although.

For movies, each do a excellent process, however the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely’s digital camera can shoot at 4K if wanted — even supposing I’d bet now not many of us would wish their face proven at 4K solution. The iPad Professional applies noise-cancellation in movies, as you’ll be able to obviously listen background noise extra in Samsung’s pictures.

It’s additionally value citing that the iPad Professional’s front-facing digital camera formulation homes Apple’s TrueDepth digital camera formulation for FaceID. This doesn’t in reality issue into normal video calls or selfies, but when there are AR apps that make the most of face mapping, I’m beautiful positive the iPad Professional will do a greater process than the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely.


After I check smartphones, I focal point on simply the tool and don’t issue non-compulsory equipment into the analysis. However for high-end drugs that marketplace themselves as productiveness powerhouse machines, it’s vital to consider equipment like keyboards and stylus as a result of they’re so an important to the full enjoy.

From a worth issue, the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely takes the primary win as a result of its stylus, the S-Pen, is incorporated with the bundle. Apple’s Pencil, alternatively, is a $129 acquire. As for keyboards: each Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Samsung’s E-book Duvet Keyboard are somewhat overpriced, at $349 every (when you personal the smaller 11-inch iPad Professional, then the keyboard’s worth drops to $299). Then again, Samsung has been willing to provide away the keyboard accent as a loose present upon acquire in lots of areas, whilst Apple’s Magic Keyboard has at all times been a full-on acquire.

However you get what you pay for, I guess. Whilst Samsung’s S-Pen and keyboard case are each in reality excellent, they don’t seem to be fairly as excellent as Apple’s opposite numbers, which might be arguably the most productive within the trade. The Apple Pencil feels a little extra delicate to adjustments of force after I cartoon in comparison to Samsung’s S-Pen, and Apple’s Magic Keyboard case, regardless of being fairly heavy and hulking, has an creative design that elevates the pill off the desk most sensible. Samsung’s keyboard case design is a clunky two-part case with a kickstand that doesn’t sit down smartly on a lap. Whilst each keyboards are very good, the Magic Keyboard’s trackpad is best-in-class, giving me extra precision regulate over the on-screen cursor than Samsung’s trackpad, which generally is a bit slippery. I can communicate extra concerning the efficiency of each stylus and trackpad within the instrument segment. Simply know that those do issue into your total enjoy until you simply need a large exhibit pill (which might be wasted attainable).

Apple iPad Professional (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely: Instrument

The iPad Professional (2021) runs iPadOS 15.4, necessarily a forked model of iOS 15 with awesome multi-tasking talents. The Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely runs One UI 4.1 over Android 12, it too, is similar to the instrument operating in Samsung’s smartphones. If you happen to’ve used an iPhone or a Galaxy telephone, each drugs can really feel like a super-sized model of the ones units.

At first of this newsletter, I discussed that Android drugs have at all times been regarded as not so good as iPads, and it’s most commonly because of instrument, as Android apps are in most cases now not as optimized for higher panorama displays. The easiest instance is Twitter, which has an optimized design for iPad displays in panorama orientation however seems to be completely silly on Android pill displays in the similar panorama mode.

However Samsung’s looking to repair this with DeX Mode. Necessarily, DeX Mode is a sandbox UI Samsung constructed inside of Android that mimics the UI of a conventional pc, most likely a Home windows one. This implies Android apps can open in DeX in a freeform floating window (as an alternative of filling all the display).

DeX mode is a godsend, as a result of now not handiest does it repair numerous the app scaling problems Android drugs (and Android foldables, or any Android tool with an ordinary display measurement) face, nevertheless it improves on multi-tasking, as I will in reality have as much as 3 apps open directly and the content material gained’t really feel too small. I will even push it to 4, however issues get started feeling tight.

Android drugs have at all times been regarded as not so good as iPads, and it is most commonly because of instrument — however Samsung’s looking to repair this with DeX Mode

On an iPad Professional, multi-tasking is a little restricted: you’ll be able to handiest open two apps on the identical time in a split-screen view, and at preferrred, you’ll be able to have a 3rd app soaring, however this 3rd app will quilt a bit of one of the vital break up apps, so in reality, I wouldn’t name this operating 3 apps directly, extra like, 2.5 apps directly. You’ll see within the picture underneath, I’ve 3 apps opened on every pill, however the iPad’s model covers up the video in an unwanted means.

multi-tasking multi-tasking

iPad Professional (left) and Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely multi-tasking.

Somebody who’s achieved workplace paintings is aware of the significance of getting a couple of home windows opened directly, and I feel Samsung DeX permits me to do extra. Then again, Samsung DeX is in the long run a band-aid over the wound this is unoptimized Android apps. Till app builders put extra effort to optimize for Android, or Google imposes system-wide Android regulations to scale apps correctly, there’ll at all times be problems, even with Samsung DeX. Presently, maximum apps paintings advantageous, however some apps gained’t load correctly. I don’t have any such problems with the iPad Professional, nearly anything else I will obtain from the Apple App Retailer will run at the iPad Professional very effectively.

The one — and I imply actually handiest — instance I’ve discovered of an app shopping higher on Android drugs than on iPad is Instagram. The truth it spans all the exhibit, and Samsung’s higher display, make surfing thru Instagram a pleasure — in particular when viewing sexy footage.

Trackpad and Stylus Fortify

Previous I discussed that whilst I feel the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely’s keyboard trackpad and S-Pen are excellent, they don’t carry out fairly in addition to Apple’s Magic Keyboard trackpad and Apple Pencil. Let’s get started with the trackpad: the Magic Keyboard trackpad is unbelievably actual regardless of its tiny measurement. I significantly experience the usage of it greater than trackpads two times its measurement on a Home windows system. I’m positive it’s most commonly iPadOS’ instrument optimization that permits the cursor to transport round with such precision. I feel what Apple has achieved is observe some gravity to apps and buttons, so after I’m dragging the mouse cursor there, it’s going to nearly snap into position after I’m nearly there.

The trackpad in Samsung’s E-book Duvet Keyboard is slippery via comparability, every so often a minor swipe will scroll a webpage a lot additional down than I meant, and every so often my mouse cursor will transfer previous the meant goal.

Trackpad gestures additionally make a lot more sense on iPadOS, as a result of they practice the similar regulations we do with our thumbs on a telephone. For instance, the iPad trackpad gesture to go out an app/return to the homescreen is a three-finger swipe up — which makes overall sense as a result of now we have been educated for the previous few years to swipe as much as do the similar motion in our telephones. However the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely flips this: to go out an app/pass house, you swipe down with 3 palms. Likewise, to enter app assessment (that display the place you notice your whole fresh apps) at the iPad trackpad, you swipe up and cling, similar to how we’ve been doing on our telephones. At the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely trackpad? It’s a three-finger swipe up. How did Samsung now not understand trackpad gestures must fit common telephone swipe gestures so far as imaginable?

Transferring directly to the stylus, the Apple Pencil appears to be higher at adapting to more than a few force as I’m sketching or jotting down notes. The Apple Pencil simply feels extra like a real pencil, having the ability to color if I tilt the Apple Pencil nearly sideways at the display.

However once more — the truth that the S-Pen is basically loose (incorporated with the pill in a single set), whilst the Apple Pencil prices $129 additional, is not any small issue. The general public would take the superb loose stylus over the good however dear stylus.

Apple iPad Professional (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely: Battery Lifestyles

Battery existence is decent regardless of each units having such huge, bright 120Hz displays. For my utilization — a internet browser with a part dozen tabs open together with WordPress the place I write, plus Spotify streaming track and Slack operating within the background, the iPad Professional fares a little higher than Samsung’s pill, draining about 8-9% battery in keeping with hour in comparison to the 10-12% I see at the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely. This implies, for that paintings state of affairs, each drugs can pass a complete eight-hour day. After I edit movies on an iPad Professional, the battery drains a lot sooner, clearly, dropping about 35% of battery in a one-hour modifying consultation. I don’t have this identical anecdotal information for the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely as a result of I haven’t attempted to edit movies on an Android tool in years.

Apple iPad Professional (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely: Use Instances, and Ultimate Ideas

So, which pill is best? It’s an overly tricky query to respond to, as a result of every any such drugs excels at a unique factor! I will say that when months of use, for me the iPad Professional is best as:

  • a creativity system that permits me to cartoon, edit footage in Lightroom, and edit movies with LumaFusion at a excessive degree
  • normal use pill for wearing round the home, or lounging at the settee/laying in mattress for the reason that iPad has a greater app eco-system and the iPad Professional is a little more uncomplicated to carry for prolonged classes because of its smaller measurement

However the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely is best as:

  • a conventional office-type paintings system, as a result of DeX permits me to open extra home windows, and Android has a extra herbal, easy record formulation in comparison to Apple’s summary, sophisticated one
  • a natural movie-watching system, as it has a greater display with a extra appropriate side ratio.

If the price is an element, then the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely is a greater worth since you get the loose S-Pen and doubtlessly the keyboard case too, however the iPad Professional has a greater {hardware} eco-system — you’ll be able to use the iPad Professional as a secondary observe for MacBooks, and AirDrop recordsdata between iPhone and iPad. Sure, sure, I do know Samsung is operating on construction this degree of synergy too, nevertheless it’s now not fairly there.

Now, to respond to “which one would I select if I should make a choice one?”, I’d have to move with the iPad Professional for the awesome video modifying prowess and higher app eco-system. Then again, I completely adore the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely and assume it’s the most productive Android pill via a long way, and Samsung’s achieved sufficient right here to problem the up to now inarguable “the most productive pill is the iPad” observation. Now, it’s a minimum of a debate.

    The iPad Professional is an absolute beast of a system with a Mini LED display with an excellent robust cell SoC.

    The Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely is a huge pill that may do all of it. It is a paintings pc, gaming pill, film staring at system

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