Apple iPad 2017 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 compared: Clash of 9.7-inch tabs; Specs, features, prices discussed

By @ritwikroy1985 on
Apple
A combination of Apple's screen images shows Apple’s Clips, a new app that lets customers create expressive videos on iPhone® and iPad in these images released in Cupertino, California, U.S. on March 21, 2017. Reuters/Apple/Handout

Apple and Samsung, both have 9.7-inch tablets in their kitty, though the companies adopt different approaches for their devices. While the new Apple iPad 2017 is relatively an entry-level device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 packs higher-end spec and features.

When it comes to size, weight, build and colours, the Apple iPad 2017 has a slightly bigger form factor, though it’s not significantly more than the Galaxy Tab, weighs nine percent more with a difference of 40g, has aluminium build and is available in gold, silver and space gray colours. The Samsung tab has an aluminium-glass build and is available in black and silver colour variants. Some find the Samsung device’s aluminium frame and glass back panel a little more sophisticated, though glass could be an impractical choice for any handheld device.

Both the tablets have 9.7-inch displays and 4:3 aspect ratios. They also have identical pixel densities and resolution, 264ppi and 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. Even though the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 supports HDR, users may not find much difference in viewing experience. The two have Home button integrated fingerprint sensors, New Atlas. Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE variants are available in both tablets. When it comes to keyboard support, the Galaxy tab has the advantage of a snap-in Pogo keyboard connection.

The keyboard, available for US$130 (AU$170 approx), draws the power from the tablet and need not be charged separately. The iPad, on the other hand, can only connect to third-party Bluetooth keyboard accessories. The Apple iPad 2017 does not support Apple Pencil, whereas, the Galaxy Tab support S Pen, included in the box. The iPad comes with an Apple A9 chipset. Here, the Galaxy device could be slightly ahead, as it packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset.

The Apple iPad 2017 has a 2GB RAM, Lightning charging and data port, 32GB and 128GB storage options, 8MP primary and 1.2MP front cameras, 32.4W-h battery, iOS 10 operating system and two speakers, The Galaxy Tab S3 has 4GB RAM, USB Type-C ports, 32GB internal storage, microSD slot for storage expansion, 13MP rear and 5MP front cameras, 6,000 mAh battery, four speaker and Android 7.0 Nougat OS with TouchWiz UI on top. Split-screen multitasking is available in both.

The Apple iPad 2017 goes on sale on March 24 and starts shipping the following week. The Galaxy Tab has already been unveiled at the MWC 2017, and is already available for pre-order. The iPad 2017 is the Cupertino tech giant’s least-expensive device, available for US$329 (AU$440 approx). The Galaxy Tab is a premium Android competitor, comparable more with the iPad Pro. Wi-Fi + LTE models are more expensive. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more updates on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Apple iPad 2017.

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