Apple has just launched a new iPad Air, weeks after Samsung also unveiled its latest premium tablet. Which really deserves your money?
If you’re in the market for a brand new tablet, the past two weeks have been a particularly exciting time.
After being wowed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series, Apple then unveiled its impressive iPad Air 5 – but if you find it hard to choose between these two large-screen devices, then read on for an in-depth analysis of both side by side.
Design and screen
The iPad Air 5 sticks to a tried-and-true formula for its design: it’s virtually identical to the iPad Air 4. That’s not a bad thing, as we praised this device for its sleek looks and ergonomics. comfortable. If it is not broke, do not fix it.
The screen also appears to be unchanged from the previous version, and here we would have actually preferred a few upgrades. The refresh rate is stuck at just 60Hz and the LCD panel lacks the contrast that would have been offered by an OLED. Still, it should be crisp thanks to the 2360 x 1640p resolution and it has a wide P3 color gamut.
Likewise, the Galaxy Tab S8 is strong and sturdy, but also light enough to use with just one hand when in use. On top of that, it also has an unmistakably premium feel, with its cool metallic feel.
Its screen has an improved 120Hz refresh rate, 1600 x 2560p resolution, and it’s also slightly larger at 11 inches instead of 10.9 inches.
The camera isn’t always the priority when choosing a tablet, but due to pandemic restrictions we’ve all become much more accustomed to making video calls, and you might want to consider performance. of this aspect of each device.
The iPad Air 5 has a 12-megapixel rear camera sensor, but the front-facing 7-megapixel is the one that got a recent upgrade. It’s going to support Center Stage, an Apple-only feature that means everyone on a video call must be kept in frame at all times when using communication apps such as FaceTime.
the Galaxy Tab S8 has two rear camera sensors, a 13-megapixel main sensor and a 6-megapixel ultrawide. The front-facing snapper is a 12-megapixel ultrawide.
We haven’t had a lot of time to try out each tablet’s camera system, but based on what we know so far, we can confidently estimate that they should be able to handle video calls and the odd occasions when you have your tablet rather than your phone handy for a quick shot.
It’s fair to say that both of these tablets are likely to perform very well.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 packs a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is Qualcomm’s best mobile chipset that is expected to power this next generation of flagship Android smartphones. While we’re sure it’ll be impressive, it’s likely the crown will still go to the iPad Air 5.
The key announcement from the launch event was that it will run on Apple’s M1 chip, the same you’ll find inside the 2021 iPad Pro, and so we’re expecting big things from this device when it’s about managing whatever you choose. to throw on it.
In addition to the internals, we’ll also consider both operating systems; The tablet iteration of Android has drawn a lot of criticism over the years for its relatively poor app optimization, while the iPadOS has generally impressed us, not just for the tablet experience, but also for its connection. seamless with other products in Apple’s sprawling ecosystem.
Battery performance is one of the most crucial issues to consider when choosing a tablet, but since we haven’t reviewed either device, it’s also the one of the most difficult to answer at this stage.
As far as we know, the new iPad Air does not have an increased battery capacity compared to its predecessor, although the efficiency of the new chip may save money. We liked this device’s 20W fast charging and found that it would usually get us through the day if we were to use it as a laptop replacement. Apple claimed you could get 10 hours of video playback on a single charge, which seemed to match our experience.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 has a generous 8000mAh cell on board, and moreover, it is backed by 45W charging which is said to be able to fully restore the battery to 100% in just 80 minutes.
We haven’t had enough hands-on time with these devices to give you our final decision on which is best, but for now, it looks like a short-term thing. While Samsung’s screen may have the edge, Apple’s unrivaled performance standards and excellent iPadOS software could tip the decision in favor of the iPad Air.
US Recommended Retail Price
EU recommended retail price
Recommended retail price in AUD
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
165.3 x 6.3 x 253.8 INCHES
64-bit 4nm Octa-Core processor
Graphite, silver, rose gold
iPad Air 5
178.5 x 6.1 x 247.6mm
Space Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple, Blue