The tablet landscape is always changing, with new devices being released every month. While most tablets don’t make a big splash when they launch, some become instant hits and subjects of countless reviews and comparisons. Two such tablets are the iPad Pro 10.5 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3—both representing the very best from the iOS and Android camp respectively.
iPad Pro 10.5 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
|Apple||Apple iPad Pro 10.5-Inch||727.11|
|Samsung||Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7-Inch, 32GB Tablet||299.99|
The Tab S3 was released in March 2017, and the new iPad Pro was released in June 2017. Looking at the two tablets from a distance, you might be led to believe that they are essentially the same, and, in many ways, they are. But you should also be aware of all the subtle differences between them otherwise you might buy a tablet that doesn’t meet your needs.
Design and Build
The iPad Pro measures 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm (9.87 x 6.85 x 0.24 in) and weighs 469 grams (16.5 ounces). The Tab S3 measures 237.3 x 169 x 6 mm (9.34 x 6.65 x 0.24 in) and weighs 429 grams (15.13 ounces). They both have a fantastic design and feel like proper premium devices, which they, indeed, are. In terms of their construction, the biggest difference between them is the fact that the iPad has a smooth aluminum unibody construction, while the Tab S3 is made out of two glass plates, one on the front and the other one on the back, which are surrounded by a metal trim around the edges.
Consequently, the Tab S3 is far more fragile, as a single drop may shatter not only the front glass panel that covers the display but also the glass panel on the back. It also doesn’t help that the Tab S3 is very slippery unless you put it inside a protective case. The iPad Pro is also quite slippery, but not as much as the Tab S3.
At the bottom of the iPad Pro is a Lighting port for charging and data and a smart connector for the optional keyboard. The Tab S3 offers a USB Type-C port and its own smart keyboard connector, which works with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 keyboard cover.
Both tablets have four speakers that produce a loud and rich sound that should satisfy all entertainment lovers. If you listen carefully, you might notice that the iPad Pro is slightly louder, but the difference is marginal.
Apple is known for constantly pushing for higher pixel density and for choosing premium displays that meet the needs of graphic designers. The new iPad Pro has a 10.5-inch IPS display with 1668 x 2224 pixels and 265 pixels per inch.
The Tab S3 has a slightly smaller Super AMOLED display, measuring 9.7 inches, but its pixel density is nearly identical with the pixel density of the iPad Pro because it has a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels.
Both tablets have beautiful colors and a very high maximum brightness. Because the Tab S3 uses the Super AMOLED display technology, its blacks are as pure as they can be. On the other hand, the iPad Pro has 120 Hz refresh rate, which makes it extra smooth.
The iPad Pro may be able to convince you that taking pictures and recording videos with a tablet isn’t such a bad idea as it may seem. It has the same 12 MP sensor as the iPhone 7, which means that you get to enjoy optical image stabilization as well as phase detection autofocus. The camera can record Full HD video at 60 frames per second, and it also does 720p slow-motion video at 240 frames per second.
The camera on the Tab S3 isn’t as good as the camera on the iPad Pro, but it still takes sharp, vivid images that look far better than what most mid-range smartphones are capable of producing. The camera has 13 MP and f/1.9, and it delivers consistently great low-light performance.
Featuring Apple’s latest A10X Fusion chipset, the iPad Pro is a performance powerhouse. According to Geekbench, the tablet is more powerful than all other tablets on the market, and it even performs better than some laptops and desktop computers. This means that gaming is always smooth and that all resource-heavy apps run without a problem.
The Tab S3 has the Snapdragon 820 chipset and 4 GB of RAM, which means that it’s right up there with other high-end Android tablets. The Snapdragon 820 handles just about everything you can throw at it with ease, so there’s really no reason to go with the iPad Pro just for its amazing performance as you’ll hardly notice any difference outside of artificial benchmarks.
That said, the iPad Pro lasts several hours longer on a charge, and it’s arguably more future-proof than the Tab S3.
If our comparison hasn’t so far helped you decide which of the two tablets is better for you, we’re certain that this section will. The iPad Pro runs on the iOS operating system, granting you access to Apple’s curated ecosystem of apps and proprietary features. iOS is very easy to use, and most software developers who release apps for professional use first release their software products on App Store before making them available to Android users.
The Tab S3 runs on the latest version of the Android operating system, with many enhancements by Samsung. It can take some time to learn how all the features of the Tab S3 work, and Play Store isn’t nearly as curated and well-organized as App Store. However, the Tab S3, just like all Android tablets, is nearly infinitely customizable. Once you become familiar with it, you can make it yours in every way and vastly improve your workflow.
Both tablets support a stylus for realistic drawing, writing, and sketching. While the Apple Pencil for iPad Pro costs more than $100, Samsung’s S Pen is actually included with the tablet for free.
If you’re looking tablet for multimedia and general use, it doesn’t really matter whether you go with the Tab S3 or the new iPad Pro. At less than $500 for the 32 GB version, the Tab S3 gives you a slightly better bang for your buck, allowing you to accomplish everything the iPad Pro ($649 for the 64 GB version) can do. But if you like taking pictures with your tablet or you’re already invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the iPad Pro is a better option.