Today, that is July 1, 2014, Samsung unveiled two new tablets: the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (with a 10.5-inch screen) and the other Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (obviously, with an 8.4-inch screen) in India. While, the new Galaxy Tab S 10.5 will be available in the market starting mid-July at Rs. 44,800, its younger kin will sell at a comparatively less price of Rs. 37,800. The pre-booking has already started online which will continue till July 11.
What we are dealing over here is with the bigger slate, that is, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 which has indeed become a genuine rival to Apple's quite celebrated iPad Air offering. Both the tablets share similar display size factor and so it's only natural thata comparison with be struck between both. And anyway it's high time before a genuine rival arrived to challenge the might of Apple in the tablets sector.
The new bigger slate from Samsung has just been announced, and it will take quite a bit of time before review units are eventually shipped to all the major media houses (that includes GizBot) all over the world. However, from what we have seen so far, a comparison can be worked upon. While, final thoughts are still pending on the tablet.
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The iPad Air's display is comparatively smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5's at 9.7-inch. The Samsung-made slate also has a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (WQVGA), with pixel density of 280ppi and 16:9 aspect ratio.
Compared to that, the iPad Air offers 4:3 aspect ratio via its Retina IPS display, and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. So it's a bit lower than that of the Samsung device.
Preferences keep changing with people, and in this instance it isn't any different. While some will prefer Apple's iOS offering over Samsung's Android operating system, others are there who will think the other way around. It's basically a matter of personal preference.
While the iPad Air comes with the Apple-based iOS 7, which can later be upgraded iOS 7.1.1 (and eventually to iOS 8), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, as expected, has been unveiled sporting the latest Android KitKat offering. Both come with their own advantages in their own different ways, so the decision in this respect will ultimately depend on you, the customer.
Taking a look inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, the device is powered by Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa-core processor, although some regions will get a model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Apart from that, the device has 3GB RAM with either 16GB or 32GB storage internally. However, you'll be able to expand it thanks to the microSD slot for expansion up to 128GB.
Samsung scores the upper hand in this respect. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 comes with an 8MP rear-facing camera compared to the iPad Air's 5MP camera. The Tab S 10.5 also has an LED flash present (unlike the iPad Air). Also, it seems like the front-facing camera on the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is better than the iPad Air's, standing at 2.1MP. The iPad Air's front-facing camera is 1.2MP.
As informed earlier, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 16GB variant will hit the shelves at Rs. 44,800. On the other hand, Apple iPad Air 16GB and 32GB variants (only WIFI) are already available in India at a price of Rs. 33,860 and Rs. 42,490 respectively. There's also a 128GB variant which is available at Rs 54,990. While the cellular variants of Apple iPad Air 16GB/32GB/64GB is priced at Rs. 42,999, Rs. 49,999 and Rs. 54,500 respectively. So there isn't much difference when it comes to pricing strategies of both the brands.
However, going by the first impressions, the Apple iPad Air will find the Samsung tab as one of its most difficult rivals in the market. The Samsung device is anyway sporting a thinner look, a better camera, a slightly better display and other few extra features compared to the iPad Air.
However, if looks mattered, we would say that the Apple iPad Air still gets the top marks. But the question here is even though the new Samsung tab just might get the better of the iPad Air, will it be able to stand against the new iPad that's coming soon? We shall see.