Samsung's Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra vs. Apple's iPad Pro

Samsung in February unveiled the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, a high-end tablet that's meant to outshine the iPad Pro with its 14.6-inch OLED display. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with Samsung's Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra to see if the company has indeed created something that's better than the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌.


Priced starting at $899.99 for 128GB of storage and 8GB RAM, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is more affordable than the $1,099 128GB 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, even though it's bigger with its 14.6-inch AMOLED display. Apple's ‌iPad Pro‌ uses mini-LED technology, and both have the same 120Hz maximum refresh rate.

samsung s8 ultra 2
Samsung designed the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with slim bezels, but it's worth noting that there is a notch for the front-facing camera, even though Samsung has previously made fun of Apple for including a notch on some of its devices. Apple's iPads don't have a notch at this time, so Samsung is breaking ground on the tablet notch front.

Despite the notch, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra's display is its best selling point, and the OLED panel has an edge over the ‌iPad Pro‌'s mini-LED panel because of blooming, or light leakage that can cause some on-screen elements to have an unwanted glow effect when viewing high contrast content.

samsung s8 ultra 4
Samsung put the front camera on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra in a landscape orientation, which makes sense on a tablet this size as it's more of a desktop-like experience. The ‌iPad Pro‌ has the cameras positioned for use in portrait orientation, which is awkward on a larger display.

samsung s8 ultra 5
There is a built-in facial recognition system, but Android device makers have not mastered technology equivalent to Face ID, so it's limited in scope and can't be used for purchases or password authentication. Instead, there is a fingerprint reader built into the power button, similar to Apple's iPad Air.

samsung tablet
The ‌iPad Pro‌ has the Apple Pencil as an input device, and the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has the S-Pen, which is actually included in the box with the tablet so it doesn't require an extra purchase. The S-Pen is more feature rich than the ‌Apple Pencil‌ with air commands in addition to standard stylus support. Both the ‌Apple Pencil‌ and the S-Pen perform similarly, with minimal lag and the same palm rejection capabilities.

samsung s8 ultra 7
You can get a keyboard with a trackpad for the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra for an extra $350. The keys are fine, but the trackpad is way behind Apple's Magic Keyboard in terms of usability. Battery life is similar, but Samsung offers 45W fast charging so it can charge up quicker.

samsung s8 ultra 9
When it comes to hardware, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ are similar and are both excellent tablets, but software is what sets the two apart. The iPadOS operating system could offer a better desktop experience, but it still outshines Samsung's Android-based tablet software. Apps don't always work properly, the scale is off, and there are several other issues.

Samsung did develop DeX for a better desktop multitasking experience, and it's similar to something like Chrome OS with a dedicated dock, but it's still not a full computer replacement, much like the ‌iPad Pro‌. As for performance, the M1 chip is significantly faster, and there's no real competition.

samsung s8 ultra 10
All in all, the ‌iPad Pro‌ wins out because of the software experience and the ‌M1‌ chip's performance, but ecosystem is an important factor. No dedicated Samsung user is going to want to pick up an iPad, and the same goes for Apple device users who are locked into Apple's ecosystem.

Have you tried out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung

Top Rated Comments

44267547 Avatar
9 months ago

Too bad it runs android.
This is a really tired argument. Android isn’t a problem anymore. If you have any experience with some of the latest android devices, you’d know that it’s actually pretty fluid and secure. The only gripe that someone might raise, it’s just it doesn’t match the longevity of software updates that Apple does.

But just because it’s ‘Android’, doesn’t make it less any other desirable to the consumer. It really comes down to choice of platform of what somebody prefers.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmylrea Avatar
9 months ago

16:9 is super awkward for a tablet, Glad apple stuck to 4:3.

Would probably be costly but I do wish Apple had a second camera in the Landscape orientation, with the Magic Keyboard I use my iPad in landscape 90% of the time but even with CenterStage the camera being low and off to the side isn't great for video calls.
Yeah, because literally almost all video media is set at 16:9 (1080p) and not 4:3, so you really get to enjoy those last-century black bars when watching media on an iPad. THAT is super awkward.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mach Avatar
9 months ago
16:9 is super awkward for a tablet, Glad apple stuck to 4:3.

But the landscape camera is nice, I do wish Apple had a second camera in the Landscape orientation, with the Magic Keyboard I use my iPad 12.9” in landscape 90% of the time but even with CenterStage the camera being low and off to the side isn't great for video calls. Could just be a camera and FaceID stays in the portrait orientation since it works both ways.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
9 months ago
iPad is the better tablet overall. The Galaxy is a better computer replacement. I have had iPads for years now, I own the M1 Pro 12.9" currently and it is frustratingly handicapped on purpose by Apple, I love it for media consumption but cannot seriously justify the many downsides for work.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alpi123 Avatar
9 months ago

Yeah, because literally almost all video media is set at 16:9 (1080p) and not 4:3, so you really get to enjoy those last-century black bars when watching media on an iPad. THAT is super awkward.
If you use your iPad only for videos, then you need to get something else.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
heels4real Avatar
9 months ago
I got the s8 plus and it’s by far the best tablet I have had. No issues using AirPods Pro or AirPods Max with them…
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

Apple Likely to Use Samsung's Tandem OLED Displays for Future iPads and Macs

Thursday March 3, 2022 3:43 am PST by
Samsung has begun developing more advanced OLED panels that should meet Apple's requirements for use in future iPads and Macs, according to a new report from The Elec. Previous reports have suggested Apple intends to release an iPad with an OLED display provided by Samsung in 2024, but Apple is seeking OLED panels for larger displays that have a "two-stack tandem structure," which have two...
ipad air m1 1

Hands-On With the New M1 iPad Air

Friday March 18, 2022 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple last week introduced an updated iPad Air with an M1 chip, and now the new tablet is available for purchase. We picked one up to see how it compares to the iPad Pro, which also has an M1 chip, to give you an idea of which of Apple's iPads is right for you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the fifth-generation iPad Air looks just like the...
samsung galaxy s22

iPhone 13 is Significantly Faster Than Samsung's New Galaxy S22 in Benchmarks

Friday February 11, 2022 11:14 am PST by
Samsung's new Galaxy S22 models are some of the fastest Android smartphones ever, but Apple still has the world's fastest mobile processor by a considerable margin. In a Geekbench 5 benchmark test conducted by PCMag, the Galaxy S22 Ultra with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor achieved a multi-core score of 3,433, compared to 4,647 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max with Apple's A15 Bionic chip. ...
samsung s22 drop test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Devices Prove More Breakable Than iPhone 13 in Drop Test

Monday February 28, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Samsung's Galaxy S22 devices appear to be more prone to damage when dropped than Apple's iPhone 13 models, according to drop tests conducted by Allstate Protection Plans. With major new smartphone releases, Allstate does the same set of drop tests to determine the degree of front, back, and side damage when a device hits the ground, and the testing indicates the iPhone's design is more durable. ...
samsung galaxy unpacked

Samsung to Unveil New Flagship Smartphones at February 9 'Unpacked' Event

Tuesday January 25, 2022 4:28 pm PST by
Samsung is set to hold its first "Unpacked" event of the year on Wednesday, February 9, and the South Korean company is expected to unveil new flagship smartphones that will compete with Apple's iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models released in September. "Join us as we break the rules to set the epic standard," reads Samsung's tweet about the event. An included graphic references the S22,...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo

11-Inch iPad Pro No Longer Expected to Gain Mini-LED Display in 2022

Thursday March 10, 2022 2:13 am PST by
The updated 11-inch iPad Pro expected to launch sometime this year can no longer be expected to feature a mini-LED display like its larger 12.9-inch sibling, display analyst Ross Young said today on Twitter. Earlier rumors indicated that after keeping mini-LED exclusive to just the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2021, Apple would expand the newer display technology to the smaller 11-inch form...
march 2022 event coverage

Apple Event Live Blog: iPhone SE, iPad Air, Mac Studio, and More

Tuesday March 8, 2022 9:01 am PST by
Apple's virtual "Peek Performance" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, where we're expecting to see new iPhone SE and iPad Air models, as well as at least one new Mac model. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog coverage and issuing Twitter updates ...
5

Camera Comparison: Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday March 3, 2022 11:47 am PST by
Samsung in February introduced its latest high-end flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. We picked up one of the new Samsung devices, and thought we'd compare it to Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, to see how the two premium phones compare to one another when it comes to camera quality. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Galaxy S22...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2022 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Black Friday this week, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Black Friday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these...
new airpods lineup black friday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:01 am PST by
Although we've been tracking Black Friday deals for a few weeks now, the shopping holiday is officially kicking off this week and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Black Friday deals have been in full swing for the better part of a month, and now that the shopping holiday is officially here we're seeing even more solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner ...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Black Friday coverage continues today with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Black Friday is winding down for 2022, but many Apple products are still seeing major discounts. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Blue

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Get Right Now: AirPods, Apple TV, Mac, iPad, and More

Saturday November 19, 2022 8:00 am PST by
Last week was jam-packed with early Black Friday deals, and now that the shopping holiday is right around the corner, we're going back through all of the best sales you might have missed over the past week and updating as prices change and new deals arrive. As with all holiday shopping, there's no guarantee that better prices won't come around later in the season, but if you want to shop early,...
Best Buy November Deals Hero

Best Buy Reveals Black Friday Plans With Sitewide Sales Available Now

Tuesday November 22, 2022 3:49 pm PST by
Following in the footsteps of Target and Walmart, Best Buy this week detailed its plans for the Black Friday shopping holiday and its schedule looks a lot like other retailers. In terms of sales, Best Buy has the expected list of TVs, appliances, video games, computers, streaming devices, and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a...