Should you get the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 or the standard Apple iPad 2018? I get that question quite often and it is a good one. Many stores offer the normal iPad at a discount for around 250 US Dollars right now. And the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 costs around 230 Dollars and sometimes less. So, which one is the better choice? That’s what we’ll discuss in this Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 vs. Apple iPad 2018 comparison.
Design & Build Quality
As usual, let’s start this comparison with their designs and build quality. When comparing them from the front, you immediately notice that all bezels of the iPad are a bit wider than on the Galaxy Tab – especially on the top and bottom. While we don’t get any physical buttons on the front from Samsung, the iPad continues to have a home button underneath the screen.
The Wi-Fi version of the iPad features a full metal body. And while we get mostly metal on the Galaxy Tab A as well, there’s a plastic bar at the top. It’s quite interesting to see that both are 7.5mm thin and both weigh 469g. I’m not sure if that can be a coincidence or if Samsung really wanted them to match. Well, the Galaxy Tab is a tiny bit taller and the Apple tablet quite a bit wider.
Both have power buttons, volume controls, and standard headphone jacks. While Samsung is using a USB C port, you must charge the Apple tablet with a lightning connector. The iPad also features a Touch ID fingerprint scanner which is integrated into the home button. Yes, this feature is missing in the competition.
Speakers & Cameras
We get two speakers at the bottom with both when holding them in portrait view. And while those are stereo speakers, you won’t hear any real stereo separation because they’re placed on the same side. I’ve been a bit surprised by the result because I guessed that Apple’s speakers would be better. But instead, the quality is about the same and the Galaxy Tab A is much louder.
On the back, the two tablets feature 8-megapixel cameras and they look very similar. Even when zooming in, the amount of detail is about the same. Samsung’s camera is more wide-angle and that’s the case with the front-facing camera too. The webcam from the Samsung one has a higher resolution with 5 megapixels compared to just 1.2 megapixels from Apple. In this case, you can clearly see that the Galaxy Tab takes more detailed selfies.
The Apple iPad has a 9.7-inch display with an aspect ratio of 4:3 and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019, on the other hand, has a 10.1-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Both are IPS panels with wide viewing angles.
Now, when watching a movie, the screens seem very similar and almost identical. Colors look great on both. But especially when you open a website with a white background, you can clearly see that the iPad is a bit brighter. It also is a little bit sharper with a pixel density of 264ppi compared to 224ppi.
Apple did not laminate the screen of the iPad which means there’s a small air gap between the touchscreen and the IPS layer. The Samsung one has a laminated screen. However, because the Galaxy Tab A is a bit darker, in real life you’ll see about the same amount of reflections when using them under most conditions. But if you go in direct sunlight, the iPad’s screen is a bit better. Both are mirrors though.
It’s also important to note that if you watch videos, you’ll have a wider viewing area on the Galaxy Tab because of its aspect ratio. When watching 16:9 or even wider movies, you’ll see huge black bars on the iPad. I prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio from Apple for reading and surfing the web, but if you just want to watch Netflix, I would go for the wider Samsung one.
By the way, the iPad has a huge advantage if you want to use an active pen. It supports the first Apple Pencil which works great. The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 does not support an active pen though and no, you cannot use the S Pen from another Samsung tablet.
Hardware & Performance
While the standard iPad 2018 is shipped with an Apple A10 Fusion processor, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 is equipped with an Exynos 7904 chipset. Both companies design their chips themselves, that’s interesting to know. We get 2GB of RAM with each but in some countries, you can get the pricier versions of the Tab A with 3GB of RAM. The basic versions have a 32GB internal storage. You can get the iPad with 128GB too and in some countries, you can get 64GB and 128GB versions of the Samsung one.
The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 has a microSD card slot which the iPad is missing.
My Geekbench benchmark comparison shows that the Apple A10 Fusion chipset is much faster than this Exynos SoC. And that’s what you’ll notice in real life too. The iPad feels a bit snappier, especially when you do lots of multitasking and are switching between apps fast. However, when just surfing the web a bit and doing some Email, they feel about the same.
When it comes to gaming, the iPad is the clear winner. Most games run fine on both, but the loading times on the Samsung are noticeably longer. And the graphics usually look much better on Apple’s tablet. For example, in PUBG Mobile you can set the graphics to HDR and the frame rate to ultra on the iPad. On the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 on the other hand, you can set the graphics to HD and frame rate to high only. And when you compare the graphics quality, everything looks much more detailed on the iPad.
Just in case you’re a Fortnite fan: It’s supported on the iPad but not on the Galaxy Tab A.
Software: iOS vs. One UI
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 is running Android 9 Pie and One UI, while you get iOS 12 on the standard iPad. Apple will update it to iPadOS in autumn which will make it much more productivity friendly. Both run very well.
For most, I’d say get the same operating system you are used to from your smartphone. If you’ve got an iPhone already, you can use the same apps on an iPad. And that’s the case with Android phones and the Galaxy Tab too.
In the past, Android used to be much more open than iOS and that’s still true regarding some aspects. For example, you do have real access to a file system and you can connect lots of accessories including external hard drives and a mouse. You can open two apps side by side and with One UI, you can even open two apps in free-floating windows.
iOS 12 has good multitasking as well and it’ll get better with iPadOS. And with iPadOS, you can connect external hard drives and a mouse to your iPad too. You get tons of improved features with iPadOS and I love it on my iPad Pro so far.
The advantage of iOS is that there are tons of games and productivity apps that are optimized for iPads. Many common apps work the same, but if you like something, in particular, chances are higher that you find something great that’s better optimized for iPads.
The battery life of both tablets is pretty good for this price range and they’ve gotten similar results. In our standard test, the iPad 2018 lasted a bit longer with 11.5 hours than the Galaxy Tab A with 10.5 hours. For our test, we always loop an HD video at medium brightness.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 vs. Apple iPad Comparison: Final Words
Well, that’s the end of our Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 vs. Apple iPad 2018 comparison. Which one is better? That depends on what you are looking for. If you don’t have any strong preference, I’d say that overall, the Galaxy Tab A is the better tablet for watching movies. Because it has a wider screen and louder speakers, it’s great for watching Netflix or YouTube.
The iPad, on the other hand, is much better for gaming. Its A10 chipset is much faster and games do look noticeably better. The iPad is the better choice for productivity work too because it has a wider selection of optimized apps and the performance is good enough for very good photo and video editing apps if that’s something you do.
- Solid metal body
- Pretty screen
- Powerful processor
- Android 9.0 Pie
- Good cameras
- Decent speakers
- Base model with 2GB RAM
- Speakers on just one side
- No fingerprint scanner
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