Samsung and Apple recently announced some pretty powerful new tablets. We are here to compare them, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Apple iPad Air (2022). Samsung’s tablet arrived in early February, along with two of its siblings. The Apple iPad Air (2022) landed a few days ago (at the time of this writing). These two tablets are a bit different, which is why comparing them will be quite interesting.
The two tablets come with different aspect ratios, while there’s also the stylus factor to consider here. Their internals are also quite different, not to mention their software offerings. Android tablets haven’t been particularly powerful for years, and Samsung will try to change that in the future. Let’s start the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Apple iPad Air (2022) comparison.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S8||Apple iPad Air (2022)|
|Screen size||11-inch QHD+ TFT screen (120Hz)||10.9-inch QHD+ Liquid Retina IPS LCD (60Hz)|
|SoCs||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Apple A15 Bionic|
|Storage room||128GB/256GB, expandable||64GB/256GB, not expandable|
|Rear cameras||13MP (f/2.0 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, 26mm lens)
6MP (f/2.2 aperture, ultrawide)
|12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF)|
|Front cameras||12MP (ultrawide, f/2.4 aperture, FoV 120 degrees)||12MP (f/2.4 aperture, ultrawide, FoV 122 degrees)|
|Battery||8000mAh, non-removable, 45W wired charging||28.6Wh|
|Dimensions||253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3mm||247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm|
|Weight||503 (Wi-Fi) / 507 (5G) grams||461 (Wi-Fi) / 462 (5G) grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, Lightning|
|Security||Side fingerprint scanner||Upward facing fingerprint scanner|
A 4.1 user interface
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Apple iPad Air (2022): Design
Both of these tablets combine glass and metal for their construction, although mostly metal, as in both cases the back plate is covered in metal as well. This makes them quite premium in the hand, but also quite slippery at the same time. Since these are the tablets we’re talking about, they’re much easier to handle despite these materials, since you’ll be using them with two hands anyway.
Both tablets have rather thin bezels, but thick enough for you to grip them properly. None of them include a hole or notch for the display camera, so you have the whole screen to work with. The Galaxy Tab S8 is a bit taller and a bit narrower than the iPad Air (2022). The two devices offer different aspect ratios, so that’s to be expected. However, their display sizes are almost the same.
Their backplates look a bit different, as Samsung decided to spice things up on the back, thanks to that big strip on the back. They both have flat sides (all around) and are flat front and back, though. The Galaxy Tab S8 is heavier at 503 grams (Wi-Fi model) / 507 grams (5G model). The iPad Air (2022) weighs 461 grams (Wi-Fi model) / 462 grams (5G model).
Another thing to note is that the Galaxy Tab S8 comes with an S Pen stylus. The iPad Air (2022) supports the Apple Pencil, but it doesn’t come with one, you’ll need to get one separately if you want to use it.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Apple iPad Air (2022): Display
The Galaxy Tab S8 has an 11-inch 2560 x 1600 display. It’s a TFT display, while its siblings offer AMOLED panels. We’re looking at a 16:10 aspect ratio here, and this is a 120Hz panel, by the way. The screen of the Samsung tablet is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. This tablet offers a screen-to-body ratio of approximately 83%.
The Apple iPad Air (2022), on the other hand, offers a 10.9-inch 2360 x 1640 Liquid Retina IPS LCD display. So neither tablet offers AMOLED displays. This screen is scratch-resistant, thanks to the scratch-resistant glass on top. You’ll notice that I still haven’t mentioned the iPad Air (2022) screen refresh rate. Well, that’s because it has a regular refresh rate, not a high refresh rate, it’s stuck at 60Hz. A 120Hz refresh rate is reserved for “Pro” iPad models.
Apple does a great job with animations and display optimizations, so few people will complain about the refresh rate. This will be noticeable if you’ve been using a tablet with a 120Hz refresh rate, of course, at least for some of you. That being said, both of these screens are excellent. Both are quite responsive, while they’re very snappy and more than sharp enough. The colors are punchy and you won’t really have any major complaints on either, despite the refresh rate discrepancy.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Apple iPad Air (2022): Performance
Both tablets are quite powerful, but the iPad Air (2022) comes with a more powerful SoC. It’s powered by the Apple M1 chip, which the company also uses in its macOS devices. The Galaxy Tab S8 comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, Qualcomm’s most powerful processor to date. So there’s a good chance that these two tablets will be able to handle anything you throw at them, processing-wise.
They are also equipped with more than enough RAM. The Galaxy Tab S8 comes in 8GB and 12GB RAM variants, while the iPad Air (2022) packs 8GB of RAM. Android 12 is pre-installed on the Galaxy Tab S8, with One UI 4.1. iPadOS 15.3 is included on iPad Air (2022). Apple’s tablet operating system is still considered better for tablets these days, with better apps on offer. This may change with Android 12L, we’ll see.
That being said, both of these tablets are very fast in terms of performance. Whether you’re browsing the web, watching your favorite TV show, listening to music, or processing images, you’ll be good to go. Both devices also do a great job when it comes to multitasking and gaming. Both can run just about any game designed for their respective operating system without issue.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Apple iPad Air (2022): Battery
The Galaxy Tab S8 has an 8000mAh battery inside. The iPad Air (2022) includes a 28.6 Wh battery. Apple hasn’t shared its capacity in mAh, and we can’t calculate it due to a lack of voltage information. Assume the battery sizes are comparable. Apple claims you’ll get “up to 10 hours” of active use with this tablet. Samsung, on the other hand, hasn’t exactly shared its predictions for the Galaxy Tab S8.
The fact is that these two tablets offer very good autonomy. You will hardly be able to run out of juice in a single day, even with more intense use, unless you really use them all day. Depending on what you’re doing, your battery life will vary, of course. Some of you may get a day’s worth of battery life, while others may get several days out of these two tablets.
The Galaxy Tab S8 supports 45W fast wired charging. You can get it changed up to 100% in 80 minutes. Apple has not announced the maximum charging speed for the iPad Air (2022), nor any information about it. However, there is a good chance that its charging will be slower.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Apple iPad Air (2022): Cameras
As a general rule, taking photos with tablets is not recommended. Smartphones usually have better cameras, especially when talking about high-end devices. Both of these tablets, however, offer better cameras than most other tablets on the market. So if you really want to take pictures with them, you’ll be good to go. Don’t expect great results like you would with smartphones, though.
The Galaxy Tab S8 has dual cameras on the back, a 13-megapixel wide-angle unit and a 6-megapixel ultra-wide camera. The iPad Air (2022) includes a single 12-megapixel camera. Front. Both feature 12-megapixel ultra-wide cameras with f/2.4 aperture lenses. Those front cameras are really good on both devices, and you’ll enjoy using them for video calls, that’s for sure. They are also more than wide enough.
When it comes to audio, you’ll be happy to know that none of the devices have a single speaker. The Galaxy Tab S8 actually packs four speakers, while the iPad Air (2022) packs two. Audio output is really good on both devices, but the Galaxy Tab S8 takes the cake here. Its speakers have been tuned by AKG, and the sound is fuller, but not by much. The vast majority of people won’t be able to tell the difference and will be more than happy with one or the other. The speakers are also well positioned, so both tablets are really good for consuming multimedia.