Apple iPad Air vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014: Center of gravity

GSMArena team, 25 November 2013.
Pages: 12345678910

Introduction

With the smartphone market driven towards equilibrium, tablets will be the new battleground. The Apple iPad Air and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 emerge as the archrivals in the 10-inch category, marching towards their inevitable clash.



Casual browsing and gaming have long been the strong suit of tablets, but in the post-PC era they have a big issue to deal with - content creation. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 addresses this with the S Pen stylus and a number of productivity apps linked to it, while Apple keeps pushing ease-of-use and unmatched user experience as the biggest advantage.

Here's how these two tablets stack up against each other.

Apple iPad Air over Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

  • Much lighter - 469g over 7.9mm, 540g
  • Thinner 7.5mm over 7.9mm
  • Aluminum body
  • CDMA connectivity
  • ARMv8-based 64-bit processor
  • Cheaper base price

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 over iPad Air

  • S Pen stylus
  • Sharper screen - 299ppi over 264ppi
  • 3GB RAM over 1GB
  • Expandable storage
  • Cat. 4 LTE support (150Mbps downlink) over Cat. 3 (100Mbps)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • 8MP main camera with LED flash over 5MP and no LED
  • 1080p video capture @ 60fps over 1080p @ 30fps
  • 1080p-capable front-facing camera over 720p
  • Standard microUSB port
  • Samsung KNOX enterprise security
  • IR blaster for remote control functions

Simple spec by spec comparisons like this don't usually tell the whole story - this article would've been much shorter if they did. Instead, we'll be looking at the two contenders from a use-case point of view - which one is best for a specific task.

Obviously, we'll need to start with the basics like how good the hardware is, will the battery last you the full work day and so on. And things will only get more focused after that. Which tablet is best for multimedia consumption? What about gaming? Which one will give you the most in terms of productivity? Are the cameras just decorations or actually usable?

iPad Air vs. Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 iPad Air vs. Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 iPad Air vs. Galaxy Note 10.1 2014
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 and Apple iPad Air side by side

We've already dealt with these things to a degree. The S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 fills the void left by the lack of a mouse - yes, tablets are all about touch but computer mice have long provided us with accuracy and additional control options that fingers just don't have.

Apple killed the stylus in the first place and is not about to bring it back. Instead, Cupertino offers a first-rate experience within its own ecosystem. Office suite, maps, cloud, even music creation, all Apple made. Samsung on the other hand outsources much of that to Google, Polaris Office, Dropbox and so on.

The first round will be fought over hardware - the build, the looks, the good and the bad - right on the next page.

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