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Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+: Who Takes The Lead?

Apple’s recently launched iPad Pro 2021 lineup comes with a slew of enhancements. We compare it with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus.

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iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

It gets hard to look beyond the two leading brands – Apple and Samsung when it comes to tablets. While Apple takes the number one spot for creating the best niche for its iPads, Samsung did an excellent follow-up with the Tab series. Samsung rose to become the only Android brand with a successful tablet lineup that offers premium features, high-end display, seamless performance, and more. Apple’s recently launched iPad Pro 2021 lineup comes with a slew of enhancements, and it makes us question how does it match up to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus?

In this article, we will be comparing the two tablets side by side. We will compare their design, performance, battery, software, and more.

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Apple iPad Pro 11 WiFi 128GB

The Apple iPad Pro M2 is the best tablet you can buy right now. It's more powerful than all competitors, has two very pretty 11-inch and 12.9-inch displays, as well as a premium built. We get great premium features like the good Apple Pencil 2, fantastic keyboard covers, facial recognition, and good speakers. However, compared to its predecessors, almost nothing has changed.

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03/27/2024 05:23 pm GMT

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: Display, Design & Audio

Both the tablets come with different display technologies. While Apple takes a new approach with Mini-LED, Samsung keeps up with the tried and tested OLED display.

The iPad Pro (2021) features a 12.9-inch Mini-LED display backed by QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz variable refresh rate. The premium tablet also packs support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision. It supports up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness. On the contrary, Samsung’s Tab S7 Plus settles for a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display backed by QHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 XDR Display

Although both the displays are quite impressive, we think Samsung’s OLED still seems to be a better pick over the super-bright screen on the latest iPad Pro. With an infinite contrast ratio that gives way to display deeper blacks and more vibrant colors, an OLED display on Samsung’s premium tablet usually fits for every type of usage (indoor and outdoor).

However, Apple takes the lead when it comes to screen real estate. The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) offers a 4:3 aspect ratio that can show more text. This may also help in elevating overall productivity.

We are yet to review the latest iPad Pro, but we are judging both the displays based on their specs. We have already reviewed the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, and we are still in awe of its right level of brightness and contrast.

The speakers provided on both tablets share a similar 4-speaker setup offering an immersive audio experience without a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Both the tablets feature sleek and lightweight designs with lower bezels. Apple has not made any obvious design change in its latest iPad Pro. It looks similar to the previous-gen but with some minor tweaks in ports and their placements. Compared to the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus feels a bit more compact.

Stylus support is available for both tablets. Samsung gets S-Pen support while iPad Pro boasts Apple Pencil Gen 2 support. Both styli offer similar functionalities that aid in writing and creativity. Of course, Samsung takes the upper hand here as it bundles the S-Pen for free with the Tab S7 Plus, while you will have to buy the Apple Pencil separately.

We want to hold our horses in declaring a winner for this segment as we will be able to judge better once we keep both tablets side by side and in different settings to gauge which display is better.

Rest assured, we will revisit this comparison and declare the winner after careful consideration.

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: Performance, Software

We are hopping on to one of the most important segments, the performance! Both the tablets are pretty powerful, but the iPad Pro takes the cake with its ultimate powerhouse Apple M1 processor based on a 5nm process. Check out this test that proves the mighty power of the chipset. The ARM-based chipset by Apple even beats AMD and Intel with its single and multi-core CPU tests. The performance of the M1 processor makes it fitting for playing high-end games too.

iPad Pro 2021

Compared to that kind of outrageous power, the Snapdragon 865+ chipset on the Galaxy S7 Plus takes a backseat. It would take Samsung a new approach to beat Apple’s mighty powerful chipset. Even if Samsung goes for Snapdragon 888 SoC for its next lineup of tablets, it won’t be able to match up to the prowess of Apple’s M1 chip. The only way out will be to work on its own 5nm Exynos chipset and enhance new architecture to handle high-end functions.

In the processor performance segment, Apple wins the battle fair and square.

Both tablets come with different ecosystems – Android and iPadOS. The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus runs Android 11-based OneUI 3.1 out-of-the-box, while the latest iPad runs iPadOS 14.5. Being an Android tablet, the Tab S7 Plus comes with a software upgrade promise of up two years and an additional one year for security patches. On the contrary, Apple offers unconditional software upgrades for five more years, i.e., five major iPadOS upgrades.

From UI/UX perspective, iPad Pro takes mileage with its better optimized iPad OS ecosystem. The apps, games, and other services on the iPad are better suited for the big screen as they support landscape and multi-pane UI. In contrast, Galaxy Tab S7 Plus can run any third-party app from the Play Store, but they are not as optimized or run smoothly as apps run on iPad. Only apps by Samsung and Google would run as seamlessly as you would expect. Every other app will have issues with clean UI and functions suited for a tablet. Both the tablets enjoy speedy file transfer service – AirDrop on iPad and QuickShare on Tab S7 Plus.

One additional feature that Galaxy Tab S7 Plus gets is the DeX mode support that allows users to connect their tablet to a monitor and use it as a PC. The only issue with that is the incompatibility of several apps. Although DeX support makes for a significant add-on feature, it still is not enough to help Galaxy Tab S7 Plus win this segment.

Samsung and other Android tablet makers still have a long way to go when matching up with UI optimization on the iPad. Simply put, Apple’s ecosystem is optimized for tablets.

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: Cameras, Connectivity & Battery

Starting with the camera comparison, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus sports a 13MP+5MP rear camera setup and an 8MP selfie camera. The rear setup supports 4K 30fps video recording while the front sensor supports 1080p 30fps video recording.

The iPad Pro 2021 settles for a 12MP+10MP+LiDAR rear camera setup and a 12MP wide-angle selfie camera setup on the front. The rear setup supports up to 4K 60fps video recording and 1080p 60fps video on the selfie camera.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 with magic keyboard

Comparing the two, iPad Pro 2021 offers better wide-angle and ultrawide picture quality with its cameras. It also has a Center Stage feature that keeps the subject in the center even if the camera keeps moving during FaceTime calls. Apple takes the cherry with its camera setup and new features. But we must mention that the positioning of the front camera sensor on the Tab S7 Plus gives it a better frame placement while using the landscape mode.

Connectivity-wise, both the tablets support sub-6GHz 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C ports, GPS, and mmWave. But the new iPad Pro has got Thunderbolt 4 that offers 4x faster data transfer at 40GB/sec compared to USB 3.2 on the previous-gen iPad.

While Galaxy Tab S7 Plus can’t compete with that speed, it has its winning addition in the form microSD card slot that comes in super handy for those who need more storage on their tablet. Also, the file management is better on the Tab S7 Plus.

Both tablets support external accessories like keyboards. In terms of streaming or screen-mirroring, Apple has got its own AirPlay 2, while the Tab S7 Plus supports Samsung’s in-house Tab Share (available for Samsung TVs), Google Chromecast, Miracast, and more.

A 10,090mAh battery backs the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, while the iPad Pro 12.9-inch has a 10,800mAh battery. Both tablets promise similar performance on single-charge and support fast-charging. But Samsung takes the upper hand with 45W fast-charging compared to 18W fast-charging on iPad Pro.

We think there is a tie between both the tablets in this segment.

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: The Verdict

Before we come to the verdict, it is essential to know how much the two tablets cost. The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is cheaper than the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Samsung is the winner when you look from the perspective of value for money. You can save some extra buck while getting a similar flagship-level performance as the iPad Pro.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 pricing

But if you do not keep the price point as the base of the verdict, the iPad Pro 2021 is an absolute winner with its more advanced features and specs. Also, iPads offer a better tablet experience than Android. Samsung has come a long way and is inching closer to taking Apple head-on in the comparison; maybe the next generation of Tab S7 Plus could better compete with the latest iPad Pro.

What’s your take on this comparison? Which tablet would you rather prefer and why? Share your thoughts in the comments.



  1. Michael Heath

    June 15, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    Well I disagree and would much prefer Android over iOS even if it’s not as optimised for tablets.

    Also your proof of the iPad being faster is paper and specs, not actual real world tests. In fact if you go on to YouTube you will see that the real world tests are either miller second where a lot of apps open on the Samsung tablet first but overall, it’s extremely close.

    I looked at both before purchasing the Tab S 7 + and although the iPad is nice and probably does have the slightly better chip, the OS just swayed me to OneUI.

    I’m pretty sure that the Tab s7 will be updated for 3 years as Samsung announced that all flagships now gain an extra year, at least for my S20U anyway so I assume it would be for phones too but I could be wrong.

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  3. Grant

    October 25, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    I agree with the Michael above. I own both iPad Pro and Tab S7+, and much prefer the Tab S7+ beause the S-pen experience is so much better for note taking and drawing using the Squid App.

    Navigation on the tab S7+ using the One Handed+ app is better than the iPadOS. The only reason I keep the iPad is for a 2nd screen on my Macbook Pro because it’s taller than the Tab S7+.

    Watching movies on the Tab S7+ is better too, because I can use the Google TV app to purchase/rent, while the iPad is limiting me to only the AppleTV+ purchases. Chromecast support is much better and the TabS7+ also. 🙂

  4. Rob Pols

    October 29, 2021 at 8:12 am

    The Samsung comes standard with GPS. Easy for navigation both on road or on the water. If you want GPS on the ipad you will need to buy the Wifi + cellular model. This increases the price difference even further. $200+

  5. Bij

    December 19, 2021 at 4:53 am

    Personally, i havent tried ipad pro so cant speak to that but heard that designers/artists using both, they prefer Samsung S7+ over ipad.
    I only own Samsung Tab S7+ and also a Microsoft Surface pro. As an architect, i draw everyday and need a tablet and pen to be smooth, precise and very sensitive to pressure. Samsung is amazingly good at this far ahead of my surface pro. Very responsive pen, low latency, and a high quality screen. Also samsung dex is amazing. Its not just for connecting your tablet to pc as the article said, its to give you a desktop experience directly in your android ecosystem. It turns your tablet to a pc-like environment using your android apps and its a pleasant experince. I will certainly buy the S8+ when it comes to the market without a doubt.

  6. J J Goodway

    March 23, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    The s-pen is better integrated into the tablet’s UI than the ipad’s Apple Pencil. As I use the stylus all the time, I find t Samsung has the better tablet experience, Its powerful note taking app is better than Apple’s. Also game changing DEX seems to have been confused with the second screen feature (also very good but not at all the same), which is bizarre. The ipad pro’s M1 is a beast, but it’s more power than I would know what to with on a tablet, it’s certainly more future proof, which is big plus for Apple.

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