Is your ideal tablet Apple or Android?

Apple just launched a new iPad Air, weeks after Samsung also unveiled its latest premium tablet. Which one really deserves your money?

If you’re looking for a brand new tablet, then the past few weeks have been an especially exciting time.

Having just gotten excited about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series, Apple then stepped in to unveil its impressive iPad Air 5 – but if you’re finding it difficult to choose between these two big-screen devices, then read on for one thorough analysis the two side by side.

design and screen

When it comes to design, the iPad Air 5 sticks to a tried-and-tested recipe: 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 comfortable ergonomics. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The screen also seems to be unchanged compared to the previous version, here we would have actually wished for a few upgrades. The refresh rate is stuck at just 60Hz, and the LCD panel lacks the contrast that an OLED would have offered. Nonetheless, it should be sharp thanks to the 2360 x 1640p resolution and it has a wide P3 color gamut.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 display
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Likewise, the Galaxy Tab S8 feels sturdy and sturdy, but also light enough to use even with just one hand. On top of that, with its cool metallic feel, it also has an unmistakable high-end feel.

Its screen has an improved refresh rate of 120 Hz, a resolution of 1600 x 2560p and is also slightly larger at 11 inches instead of 10.9 inches.


The camera isn’t always a priority when choosing a tablet, but due to the pandemic restrictions we’ve all become much more accustomed to making video calls and as such you should consider how this aspect of each device works.

The iPad Air 5 has a 12-megapixel rear camera sensor, but the 7-megapixel front-facing sensor has recently been updated. It will support Center Stage, an Apple-only feature that means everyone on a video call should stay in the picture at all times when using communication apps like 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 much time to try out each tablet’s camera system, but based on what we know so far we can say with confidence that they should be able to handle video calls, and occasionally when using your tablet instead of your own have phone handy for a quick snapshot.


It’s fair to say that both tablets are likely to do very well in terms of performance.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm’s best mobile chipset, which is set to power this upcoming generation of flagship Android smartphones. While we’re sure this will be impressive, it’s likely that the crown will still go to the iPad Air 5.


The main announcement from the launch event was that it will run on Apple’s M1 chip, the same one you’ll find in the 2021 iPad Pro and as such we’re expecting great things from this device when it comes to everything handle what you choose to throw at it.

In addition to the internals, we will also cover the two operating systems; The tablet iteration of Android has drawn quite a bit of criticism over the years for its relatively poor app optimization, while iPadOS has generally impressed us, not only for the experience on the tablet but for its seamless connection with others products in the vast Apple ecosystem.


Battery performance is one of the most important questions to consider when choosing a tablet, but since we haven’t reviewed either device, it’s also one of the most difficult to answer as of this writing.

As far as we know, the new iPad Air doesn’t have an increased battery capacity over its predecessor, although the new chip’s efficiency may contribute to some savings. We appreciated the 20W fast charge on this device and found that using it as a laptop replacement would generally get us through the day. 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 packs a generous 8000mAh cell on board and is also supported by 45W charging, which is said to fully restore the battery to 100% in just 80 minutes.

Early verdict

We haven’t had enough hands-on time with these devices to give you our final decision on which is better, but for now it looks like a close call. While Samsung’s screen may have the edge, Apple’s unparalleled performance standards and excellent iPadOS software could sway the decision in favor of the iPad Air.







screen size

storage capacity

backup camera

Front camera

video recording

IP rating


Wireless charging

Fast charging

Size (Dimensions)


operating system

release date


refresh rate




Colours Is your ideal tablet Apple or Android?

Chris Barrese

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