Apple remains the most powerful player in the tablet category. Over the years, several Android vendors have tried to capture a bigger piece of the segment, but didn’t taste much success. But Samsung isn’t giving up. The Korean electronics giant has launched an upgraded, beautifully designed Galaxy Tab S6 to take on Apple’s iPad Pro models. Just like the iPad Pro, Samsung’s new tablet supports a stylus and keyboard. The Galaxy Tab S6 is also powerful enough to let you work on the go. Let’s check out how it stacks up against the 11-inch iPad Pro.
Galaxy Tab S6 vs 11-inch iPad Pro: Design
Both tablets have a premium design with thin bezels around the display. They both lack the 3.5mm headphone jack and both of them have a metal back. Both tablets use a USB-C port for charging. Neither tablet has a button on the front. The iPad Pro has slightly slimmer bezels than Samsung’s tablet.
The Galaxy Tab S6 has squared edges. It measures 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7mm, meaning it’s slightly smaller and thinner than the 11-inch iPad Pro, which measures 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm. At 420g, Samsung’s tablet is also noticeably lighter than the iPad Pro’s 468g.
The front camera on both tablets is placed in the bezel rim. On the back panel, the Galaxy Tab S6 gets two cameras while the iPad Pro has only one. Samsung has created a magnetic spot on the back panel to house the S Pen stylus. On Apple’s tablet, the Apple Pencil attaches to the side for charging.
Neither tablet offers water resistance, so you have to protect them from water. The Galaxy Tab S6 uses an in-display fingerprint sensor for authentication and security. In contrast, the iPad Pro relies on Face ID technology, which works in any orientation on the iPads. It has a Smart Connector on the back to connect to accessories like keyboards.
The iPad Pro is available in Silver and Space Gray colors. Samsung’s tablet comes in three different color options of Mountain Gray, Cloud Blue, Rose Blush.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 sports a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with an impressive 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and 287ppi of pixel density. Thanks to its AMOLED display, it offers vibrant colors and deeper blacks while preserving battery life.
The iPad Pro gets an 11-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD screen with 2,388 x 1,668 resolution and 264ppi of pixel density. It’s the same display technology that Apple has used on the iPhone XR. Apple’s tablet offers True Tone technology, which dynamically changes the color temperature of the display based on the ambient lighting to protect your eyes and ensure that the content is visible at all times.
The iPad Pro offers an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, which enhances the experience when you are playing games or watching videos. It has the ProMotion technology that automatically adjusts the refresh rate depending on the task you are performing.
Keyboard and stylus
Samsung brings a revamped Book Cover Keyboard with the Tab S6. The biggest highlight of the keyboard is that it has a built-in touchpad, which makes the laptop experience more comfortable. Users can detach the keyboard from the tablet while keeping the back stand attached. Samsung has priced the Book Cover Keyboard at $180.
Apple has positioned the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. So, it comes with a Smart Keyboard Folio, which you have to buy separately for $180. The Smart Keyboard Folio is comfortable to type on. There is no touchpad on the keyboard, which seriously limits your productivity. Apple has added mouse support in the iPadOS, allowing you to use a wireless mouse for navigation.
Samsung has included an S Pen stylus in the Tab S6 box. You won’t have to buy the stylus separately. In contrast, Apple wants you to shell out $130 for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil is a wonderful tool for artists and graphic designers.
The S Pen supports Air Actions that let you perform simple actions through gestures. At this point, the Air Actions are more of a gimmick than a useful feature.
Most people don’t like using their giant tablets for clicking pictures. But both the Tab S6 and iPad Pro are equipped with cameras, so let’s talk about them a bit. The Tab S6 features a dual-camera setup on the back, consisting of a 13MP main lens and a 5MP ultra-wide sensor. For selfies, Samsung has added an 8MP front-facing camera.
The iPad Pro sports a 12MP main camera on the back and a 7MP camera on the front for selfies. The cameras on both tablets are good enough for making video calls and clicking occasional pictures. Their cameras would prove useful if you like using augmented reality apps.
Processing power and storage
The Galaxy Tab S6 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset. The base model comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. There is another configuration with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. The device is powerful enough to handle most tasks, including graphics-intensive games. The Tab S6 also has a microSD card slot that lets you expand storage by up to 1TB.
The iPad Pro runs Apple’s custom A12X Bionic processor, which is more powerful than any processor available to Android vendors. It has scored 18,168 on Geekbench 4 multi-core tests, beating even the most powerful laptops in terms of performance.
The iPad Pro packs 4GB RAM with 64GB of internal storage. It doesn’t support external storage. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can upgrade RAM to 6GB and storage to 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.
The Galaxy Tab S6 runs the latest Android 9 Pie software with Samsung’s custom One UI skin on top. The One UI offers a smooth user experience and brings the DeX mode to simulate the desktop experience. DeX allows you to use the tablet as a computer by connecting it to an external display. The shortcut keys and built-in trackpad on the Book Cover Keyboard make things a lot easier for users.
The iPad Pro runs Apple’s iOS 12, which is a mobile operating system with limited functionality as a laptop replacement. But the iPads will get Apple’s new iPadOS in a couple of months.
The iPadOS will allow you to pin widgets on the home screen of the device. It will also enable easier app switching. Users will also be able to run two instances of the same app side by side, similar to how you can have two tabs open for the same website in your web browser. Apple has also revamped the Files app, adding a column view with a preview window.
The Galaxy Tab S6 packs a 7,040mAh battery with 15W fast charging. Samsung promises a battery life of up to 15 hours on a single charge. The impressive battery life could be attributed to a smaller screen size, the Super AMOLED display, and a relatively slower refresh rate.
The 11-inch iPad Pro packs a larger 7,812mAh battery with 18W fast charging. Apple claims the iPad Pro lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge. That’s enough to get you through a full day of normal usage, but not as good as the Tab S6. The 120Hz refresh rate and the IPS LCD screen consume more power.
The Galaxy Tab S6 is more affordable of the two. It costs $650 for the base model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for the WiFi model. The 8GB+256GB version will set you back by $730. That’s a pretty good deal considering the S Pen stylus comes bundled with the tablet. You will have to spend an additional $180 for the Book Cover Keyboard.
It will hit the store shelves in the United States on September 6th. Samsung also plans to launch an LTE version of the tablet later this year.
In contrast, the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $800 for the base model, which gives you only 64GB storage. The cellular version starts at $950. The 256GB storage variant costs $950 for the WiFi version and $1,100 for the cellular variant. The 1TB model costs $1,550. Remember that you will have to buy the Apple Pencil separately for $130 and the Smart Keyboard Folio for $180.