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iPad Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Comparison: All Tablets!

Check out how Apple’s premium tablets stack up against Samsung’s flagship tablets.

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iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 comparison

Which flagship tablets are better? The 11-inch or 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, S9+ and S9 Ultra? I have all five tablets here right now and in this comparison you will learn which is the better choice for whom.

Hardware & Performance

We start the comparison with the performance. While all Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 tablets ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, Apple has equipped both iPad Pro models with its in-house Apple M2 chipset. In addition, both manufacturers offer between 8GB and 16GB of RAM and between 128GB and 1TB of internal storage. You can also get the iPads with 2TB.

Best Android Tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9
$799.99 $699.00

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, S9+ and S9 Ultra are the best Android tablets on the market. We get a powerful processor, really pretty AMOLED displays, the S Pen is included and it gets updates up to Android 17. We get good speakers, fingerprint readers, optional keyboard covers and much more - really great!

Buy on Amazon Our Review
02/25/2024 05:03 pm GMT
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Geekbench 5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 3D Mark

All versions are also offered with 5G.

Both my Geekbench 5 and 6, as well as my 3D Mark benchmark comparison, clearly show that while the Galaxy Tab S9 lineup is more powerful than any other Android tablet, the M2 chipset still wins hands down in comparison.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Series vs iPad Pro Overview

FeatureSamsung Galaxy Tab S9Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 UltraApple iPad Pro 11-inchApple iPad Pro 12.9-inch
Display11-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz display12.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz display14.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz display11-inch Liquid Retina LED-backlit display12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED backlit display
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for GalaxyApple M2 chipApple M2 chip
RAM8GB RAM +128GB Storage,12GB RAM+256GB Storage12GB RAM+256GB12GB RAM/512GB16GB RAM+1TB Storage8GB RAM+128GB Storage, 8GB RAM+256GB, 8GB RAM+512GB storage, 16GB RAM+1TB storage or 2TB storage 8GB RAM+128GB Storage, 8GB RAM+256GB, 8GB RAM+512GB storage, 16GB RAM+1TB storage or 2TB storage 
Rear camerasSingle 13MP AFDual 13MP AF + 8MP Ultra-WideDual 13MP AF + 8MP Ultra-Wide12MP wide camera, 10MP ultra-wide camera12MP wide camera, 10MP ultra-wide camera
Front camerasSingle 12MP Ultra-WideSingle 12MP Ultra-WideDual 12MP + 12MP Ultra-Wide12MP Ultra Wide TrueDepth front camera12MP Ultra Wide TrueDepth front camera
Battery8400mAh10090mAh11200mAh28.65-watt-hour40.88-watt-hour
Operating systemAndroid 13 with One UI 5.1.1Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1iOS 16iOS 16
Weight498g (Wi-Fi) / 500g (5G)581g (Wi-Fi) / 586g (5G)732g (Wi-Fi) / 737g (5G)466g685g
Dimensions165.8 x 254.3 x 5.9mm185.4 x 285.4 x 5.7mm208.6 x 326.4 x 5.5mm247.6x 178.5x 5.9mm280.6x 214.9 x 5.9mm
Galaxy Tab S9 vs iPad Pro comparison table

Okay, these are benchmarks. But what about real-world applications? In fact, you can play games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Genshin Impact on all devices with very highest graphics settings. Smooth and with very nice graphics. This will not change for a while, because all are flagships and no developer will release a game that is too demanding for a flagship.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 render test

However, I did see differences when rendering videos. I installed the video editor LumaFusion on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S9+ and rendered a 10-minute 4K video to FullHD. Samsung was pretty fast with 2 minutes and 10 seconds – but Apple is even faster with only 1 minute and 19 seconds.

Display & Speakers

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 displays

It’s fun to compare flagships because they are top notch in all aspects, and that includes the displays. I especially like that we now get AMOLED screens on all S9 tablets and no LCDs on any. This makes black look really black. Of course, that’s also the case with the Liquid Retina XDR display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. With the LCD of the 11-inch iPad Pro, however, the black is more of a dark gray.

All displays are very high-resolution and thus offer a nice high pixel density – and in real life, I cannot see any difference in sharpness. Of course, there is a difference in size, because while there is only an 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you can get the S9 with 11 inches, the S9+ with 12.4 inches, and the S9 Ultra with a really big 14.6 inches. The AMOLED display of the Ultra is really big – and really nice to use at home. However, it’s already too big for me as a tablet on the go.

Best Tablet Overall
Apple iPad Pro 11 WiFi 128GB
$785.95

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.

Buy on Amazon Our Review
02/25/2024 07:13 pm GMT

Obviously, the displays are all fully laminated, all very bright, and all support 120Hz.

There are four speakers on each side and the sound quality is really good on all of them. In a direct comparison, I sometimes think I can hear that the speakers of the S9 Ultra are slightly better than those of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But if that is the case, the difference is very small.

Apple Pencil vs. S Pen

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 stylus

The S Pen is included on the S9 tablets, but you have to buy the Apple Pencil 2 for over 100 Dollars extra for the iPad Pro.

I think both pens are great. Apple’s pen is a bit more comfortable to hold, especially when you write for a long time, since it is thicker. Samsung’s S Pen, on the other hand, is very thin. If you want a thicker one, you can buy the S Pen Pro.

One important difference is that the S Pen never needs to be charged for handwritten notes and drawings, but only for a few gestures. The Apple Pencil 2, on the other hand, always has to be charged. This is done via induction on both tablets.

Read: The Best Tablets For University Students

There are differences in the software. Both manufacturers have quite a few and also quite good features built in for their pens, which are very similar. For example, both have a good notes app, you can edit screenshots with both, you can handwrite in almost any text field with both, and you can open a new note in a new window at any time with both.

There are a few more features with Samsung, but that can make it feel more cluttered. In return, there are more apps in the Apple App Store specifically for the Apple Pencil. For Android, there are not as many good apps that are specifically made for active pens.

Design & Build Quality

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 build quality

All five tablets are made of aluminum, have a very high-quality finish, and feel expensive – which is exactly what they are. I really like the fact that Samsung’s S9 series is protected against water and dust according to IP 68 – and the S Pen, too, by the way. Apple’s tablets are not.

Samsung has installed a fingerprint reader under each display. Apple does not have one. Instead, you unlock the iPads via Face ID, which also works great.

All of them lack a headphone jack and all have a USB C port, which can also be used to connect USB C hubs and external monitors. Only the S9 series has MicroSD card slots.

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 cameras

Up front, all have a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. The S9 Ultra also has a 12 magapixel wide-angle camera in the front. On the back, the iPads have a 12-megapixel main camera and a 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. Samsung has 13-megapixel main cameras and 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle cameras – but the S9 only has the one main camera. The cameras are all really good.

Magic Keyboard vs. Book Cover Keyboard

The keyboards of the five tablets are also really good. Both manufacturers offer two types of keyboards each. The cheapest ones are each keyboard covers, which protect the tablets and have a flat keyboard built into the inside. Here, I think Samsung’s keyboard is a bit better because the keys have a proper travel. It’s more like a real keyboard. A touchpad is missing in each case.

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 keyboards

Overall, the second type of keyboard cover is more useful. For Apple, it’s the Magic Keyboard, which is more like a keyboard dock and also offers a USB-C port. Here, the tablets kind of float above the keyboard, which looks very elegant. And the keyboards of both models are really good and the touchpads also work well. I like the fact that a backlight is installed here. Unfortunately, they are very heavy.

The second type of keyboard from Samsung is called Book Cover Keyboard and consists of a back with a built-in flip stand, which can also be used without the keyboard. The keyboard is then also magnetically attached and is very well implemented, also has a solid touchpad, but unfortunately no backlight.

Overall, I like Samsung’s Book Cover Keyboard better, simply because the combination is more flexible and not as heavy.

Android 13 vs. iPad OS

Let’s move on to the software. The S9 tablets run Android 13 with OneUI, while the iPads run the current iPadOS.

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9

I like both operating systems very much. Android is somehow closer to my heart. But when it comes down to it, in the case of tablets, I really like using iPadOS – simply because of the wide selection of apps optimized for tablets. And that includes Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Affinity Photo in particular – that just runs beautifully on iPads and is important to me personally.

In the end, the differences aren’t that big anymore, in fact you can do almost the same thing on both, just a bit differently. Instead of the Samsung DeX desktop mode, Apple has Stage Manager. There are files apps for each, mice and external screens are supported, external storage like SSDs as well.

But unless you absolutely need a feature from Android, I still think iPadOS is a bit better implemented for tablets.

Battery Life

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 battery life

Samsung is far ahead in terms of battery life. All three S9 tablets lasted 11 hours in my test, which is an excellent result. In contrast, the runtime of the two iPad Pro models is rather weak at 6 hours. For this test, I always run an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness in an endless loop.

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 Comparison: My Conclusion

iPad Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S9 all tablets

So, are the Apple iPad Pro tablets or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 tablets better? That ultimately depends on what exactly you are looking for. If performance is particularly important to you, Apple’s M2 chipset is simply more powerful. However, if you want an 11-inch tablet with a really good black levels and an AMOLED panel, you have to choose the Galaxy Tab S9. And if you want it to be really big, the 14.6-inch S9 Ultra offers that.

In the end, Samsung’s tablets are always a bit cheaper, especially because the S Pen is included. Apple’s tablets cost at least 100 Dollars or 300 Euros more with the pen. However, if you are not sure which tablet to buy, I would always recommend an iPad Pro – simply because Apple’s support is top notch and if you sell it used later, you will usually get more for an iPad than for an Android tablet.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ryan

    August 23, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    I am an Apple user since year and own an iPad Air. Your comparison clearly shows that both Tab S9 and iPad Pro are similar in performance and other things. I am thinking about upgrading my tablet but iPad Pro is costly. Should I get Tab S9 instead? Would it be worth it?

    • Zara Ali

      August 28, 2023 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Ryan, I think you should check out the Galaxy Tab S9 at the nearest Samsung store and see for yourself if you’re comfortable switching to Android from iPadOS. Price-wise, Tab S9 would be a more affordable pick for you.

  2. Russel

    August 27, 2023 at 11:55 pm

    I’m surprised and disappointed to see no mention of the different aspect ratios of these devices. Are we supposed to work out for ourselves that iPads have 4:3 screens and the Galaxy tablets are 16:10? How can you compare these devices and not mention this crucial difference?

    • Zara Ali

      August 28, 2023 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Ryan, thanks for pointing it out. I should have included the aspect ratio as well in the display section. I’ll be editing the article and adding more info on that shortly. Cheers!

  3. Tushar

    September 17, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    Qouting from the article, “On the other side, the iPad Pro 11-inch comes with a Liquid Retina LED-backlit screen that can show really good colors and goes pretty bright at 600 nits. Both tablets have sharp images, but the Galaxy Tab S9 wins with its faster refresh rate for smoother actions and scrolling”

    How is tab s9 faster refresh rate than ipad pro?

    They have the same refresh rate at 120hz. Ipad pro has pro-motion display that goes upto 120hz.

  4. pat

    October 9, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    These reviews on My Next Tab and Youtube are really excellent.
    Detailed comparison with other older/other tablets but also the practical use of it and not just a Apple or Samsung view but open mind about both systems.

    Curious to find out the full tests on the new A9,A9+ and S9 FE,FE+ so can compare it to S7FE,S8,S9 series

  5. Pingback: The 9 Best 11-Inch Tablets of 2024: What's The Difference? • MyNextTablet

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