Galaxy Tab S vs iPad Air: Spec War

Chris Burns - Jun 16, 2014
Galaxy Tab S vs iPad Air: Spec War

If you’re thinking of picking up a tablet in the near future, two clear options will hit you direct in the face as soon as you enter a store like Best Buy. Samsung and Apple are vying for your attention, and they’ve both got tablets that are ready to take on your basic needs with specifications that blast most competitors out of the water. Which is best? The answer isn’t so simple.

Below you’ll find the Samsung Galaxy Tab S up against the iPad Air, both of them with specifications laid out in simple terms. Based solely on the numbers, the Samsung tablet wins out over the iPad Air in several categories.


The iPad Air has more storage options off the bat, but the Galaxy Tab S has a microSD slot to expand up to 128GB more if you do so desire. Both tablets are similar in size: the iPad Air is shorter, while the Galaxy Tab S is thinner.

Three reasons why you might want the Galaxy Tab S over the iPad:

1. Android – you’ve got an Android smartphone and you want to stay inside the Google Play ecosystem. Make sense – you’ve got the apps already, why change?

2. Display sharpness – the Galaxy device has a display with more densely-packed pixels than the iPad. Even with a larger display, the picture on the Samsung device will be sharper than its competitor.

3. Fingerprint scanner – Though we’ve not had nearly so much success with the Samsung Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner as we have with the iPhone 5s, the fact remains: Samsung brought their scanner to a tablet first. We’ll have to wait and see if Apple does the same later this year.

Three reasons why you might want the iPad Air over the Galaxy:

1. iOS – you have an iPhone already and you’re planning on playing all of your favorite games at a larger scale. You’ve also got iCloud on the brain and you want to expand your cloud-utilizing device ecosystem once again.

2. Aluminum – the iPad Air has a metal back while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S works with a plastic back. The plastic on the back of the Samsung device is textured with pips like the back of the Galaxy S5, and you’d rather have a more substantial-feeling hunk of metal.

3. In Stores Now – the iPad Air was first released in November of 2013, while the Samsung tablet will be appearing in July of 2014. Supposing you’re the sort of person that needs a tablet right now, you only really have one choice between the two of these machines.

Let us know what you’re all about! Have a peek at our original iPad Air review now, and prepare yourself for our Galaxy Tab S full review sooner than later. This is a battle of the ecosystems, not just the specifications – as it always has been, and as it always will be.

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