At the beginning of 2022, Samsung showed a new line of tablets — Galaxy Tab S8. They aroused such interest among fans of the brand that the manufacturer had to suspend pre-orders. Let’s not just evaluate the characteristics of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, but compare the new product with its main competitor — Apple’s iPad Air 5.
Compared to its predecessor Galaxy Tab S7, the new tablet has a number of improvements: a more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen1 processor, more RAM, a new 12 MP selfie camera, durable Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the display. Apple engineers also made a number of changes. New iPad Air 5 received more internal memory, a new A13 Bionic processor and a 12-megapixel selfie camera with an ultra wide-angle lens.
Competing tablet designs
Externally, gadgets from Apple and Samsung have not changed much when compared with the predecessors of the flagship series. Both are still lightweight, comfortable and stylish. The cases of both tablets are made of aluminum.
The iPad Air 5 has a case with angular edges, characteristic of all Apple gadgets of recent years. The tablet is comfortable to hold in your hands, and the presence of a frame around the display eliminates accidental touches to the screen. At the ends of the case are the power and volume buttons. There is also a USB‑C connector.
The design of the Galaxy Tab S8 is also minimalist, but the edges of the case are not angular, but rounded. On the back of the case is an elongated glossy area, to which the S‑Pen is magnetized — so it is convenient to store and charge it.
The S‑Pen is a stylus that enhances tablet functionality and enhances the user experience.
Also, the stylus can be fixed on one of the ends of the case — it is attached to it.
Both tablets have a fingerprint scanner built into the power button of the gadget. There is no face recognition feature. The devices differ in size and weight, Samsung is heavier and larger:
|Galaxy Tab S8
|iPad Air 5
When comparing the Galaxy Tab S8 tablet with the iPad Air 5, it’s hard to pick a design favorite. They are similar to each other and both have an aluminum body. The only noticeable difference is that Apple’s gadget turned out to be wider due to a different aspect ratio of the screen.
Tablets have similar screen sizes:
- Galaxy Tab S8 is equipped with an 11” display with a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels;
- iPad Air 5 — 10.9 ”at a resolution of 2360x1640 pixels.
Manufacturers have stripped both gadgets of several flagship technologies. For example, Samsung uses IPS instead of an AMOLED matrix, while Apple decided not to implement ProMotion to change the frame rate and mini-LED (analogous to AMOLED). These technologies were left for the top versions of tablets — Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and iPad Pro.
In terms of pixel density per inch, Samsung’s tablet wins: 274 ppi versus 264 ppi. From a technical point of view, there is a difference, but holding the tablets in your hands is almost impossible to notice. In terms of brightness, the iPad Air comes out on top with 485 nits versus 463 nits. The difference is minimal, and the information on both displays is well read even on a bright sunny day.
The bigger advantage that the Galaxy Tab S8 has is the 120Hz refresh rate. While the competitor has only 60 Hz. Samsung also wins a little in color reproduction — the colors are more saturated. The frame rate difference is most noticeable in games. When watching movies, it is not felt.
When comparing the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad Air 5 2022 tablets, the Apple gadget comes out on top by a wide margin. The Apple M1 chipset was installed in it — this is an eight-core processor that surpasses all existing tablets in its class in terms of power.
The Galaxy Tab S8 is not weak in terms of performance. It has a top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and 8 GB of RAM, but even this is not enough to fight Apple. The powerful M1 chip was installed in the iPad, which will be enough to solve all sorts of tasks over the next 4–5 years: games, graphics, web surfing, watching videos in maximum resolution, and so on.
At the same time, the processor in the Galaxy Tab S8 is also enough for any modern games and demanding applications. It’s just that Apple, unlike Samsung, has made a bet on the future — their tablet will remain relevant longer.
In the Geekbench 5 test, the iPad Air 5 comes out on top in terms of performance, gaining 7151 points. This is not much less than the iPad Pro 11 with a score of 7293 points. The Galaxy Tab S8 with the top-end Snapdragon chip did not score even half of this indicator — only 3228 points.
Geekbench 5 is one of the famous applications that measure the performance of tablets and smartphones. It simulates physics, works with graphics, encryption and calculations.
In Adobe’s Premiere Rush test, Apple also won by a huge margin. Converting video from 4K to 1080p, the Galaxy Tab S8 did it in 48 seconds, while the iPad Air 5 took just 22 seconds.
Premiere Rush is a multi-platform video processing application that includes a proprietary device benchmark.
Compared to the younger A‑series from Samsung (Galaxy Tab A7 or Tab A8), Galaxy S tablets are ahead in many technical characteristics: processor power, memory capacity, camera quality. You have to pay for this — S‑series models are an order of magnitude more expensive.
According to this parameter, the Galaxy Tab S8 takes the lead. With a screen frequency of 60 Hz, the battery lasted 13 hours and 4 minutes in the test. And even in the 120 Hz mode, this figure fell slightly — to 12 hours 51 minutes. The test consists of continuous web surfing with Wi-Fi on, with the screen brightness set to 150 nits.
Apple engineers are constantly working to improve the autonomy of their gadgets, but in the case of the iPad Air 5, they lost the fight to specialists from Samsung. In the same test, the tablet lasted 10 hours and 11 minutes. This is a good result, but the Galaxy Tab S8 gives a better result.
The Samsung tablet comes with an S‑Pen, which expands the functionality of the device: quick note-taking, drawing, and managing various options. For example, you can switch to Samsung DeX mode, where the desktop layout resembles Windows and all windows can be resized with the pen.
The iPad also has a stylus, the Apple Pencil. It opens up a number of possibilities of the device, but it is not included with the tablet. Apple Pencil allows you to translate handwritten text into typed text, draw perfectly even geometric shapes, work and edit any text, quickly access notes, take a screenshot with one gesture, and so on. You can buy this pen separately at a price of 11,000 rubles.
For tablet users, the front cameras are more important than the main ones, as they are used for video communication. In the iPad Air 5th generation, the manufacturer installed a 12 megapixel module. Even in low light conditions, the tablet creates colorful and detailed pictures. The camera supports the Center Stage function to fix on the user’s face: during video calls, his face is kept in focus.
The Galaxy Tab S8 has a 12-megapixel camera with auto-framing, which also keeps the user’s face in focus during video calls. When shooting a photo, the module produces excellent shots in good lighting, and when the quality is insufficient, the quality decreases slightly, but still remains at a decent level.
When comparing the rear cameras, the tablet from Samsung comes out on top. It has a 13MP wide-angle lens and a 6MP ultra-wide-angle lens. These sensors can’t compare to flagship smartphone cameras, but you can get a good shot if you need to. The quality of the images is highly dependent on the lighting.
Only one module was built into the iPad Air 5 — this is a 12 megapixel wide-angle lens. In terms of image quality, it is inferior to the Galaxy Tab S8 and its older brother iPad Pro — this is especially noticeable in detail.
What to buy — iPad Air 5 or Galaxy Tab S8
The tablet from Samsung is almost 25% superior to Apple in autonomy, but loses more than twice in performance. Here you have to choose whether the user needs laptop-level power, which even has nowhere to use now. An option for those who want to buy a tablet that will remain relevant even after 4–5 years.
To date, the Galaxy Tab S8 also confidently copes with all games and resource-intensive applications. But after 4–5 years, its performance may not be enough.
The more advanced rear camera is an advantage that many users won’t notice since smartphones rather than tablets are used to take photos and videos. But a better display with a frequency of 120 Hz and the presence of a stylus in the kit are more significant pluses towards the Galaxy Tab S8.