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UNEXPECTED!! iPad 9 vs Galaxy Tab A8


Okay, so you’ve got about 300 bucks, you are looking for a new tablet, and you’re asking yourself, “Which one is actually better, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 or the entry-level iPad 9?” When we look at the design, we immediately see some important differences. The iPad 9 still has the older style design with larger bezels on the top and the bottom and a Home button. In contrast, the Tab 8 has a more modern design with smaller bezels all the way around, which give it a cleaner look. It also means that although both tablets are about the same size, we’re getting a larger 10.5-inch display on the Tab A8 versus 10.2 inches on the iPad 9. Now, looking around the edges, both tablets have power buttons, volume controls, and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, which I’ll come back to later on.

For charging and accessories, the iPad 9 still uses the older Lightning port while the Tab A8 uses a USB-C port.

Now, personally, I’m stuck with both types of cables because my iPhone, my 3rd Generation AirPods, and even my AirPods Max still use a Lightning cable. And at the same time, my Fold 3, all my Galaxy Tablets, my Buds Live, my Galaxy Book 360, and my MacBooks all use USB-C. So I’m gonna have both types of cables all over the house regardless. So for me, it doesn’t really make a difference. But if all your other devices use USB-C, keep in mind that you’ll need a dedicated cable for the iPad 9.

And in general, USB-C is a more powerful and more versatile port. Now, another advantage of the Tab A8 is that it has a microSD card slot, which allows you to expand the internal storage by up to one terabyte. Now, this is great if you wanna keep a ton of photo and video files on your tablet, but keep in mind that this storage is essentially only used for files and not for apps. It’s still a factor because the files that you store on the microSD card aren’t taking up any of your internal storage, whereas on the iPad 9, everything including photos and video has to be stored locally.

Finally, the Tab A8 has 4 speakers versus only 2 on the iPad 9.

And there are some significant implications to this, which I’ll cover in the gaming section. All around, when it comes to design, I’m going to give the edge to the Tab A8. And as far as portability, I’m gonna call it a tie. And another important difference is biometric authentication. So the iPad 9 uses Touch ID with the Home button while the Tab A8 uses face recognition with the front-facing camera.

I’m not gonna say that one is definitively better than the other because it comes down to how you use your tablet. And ultimately, if I had my choice, I’d want both options like we have with the Tab S7. Now, probably one of the most important aspects of any tablet is the display.

There are a few things that we wanna talk about, and let’s also talk about how specs impact real-life use. With the Tab A8, we’re getting a 10.

5-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and a pixel density of 216 pixels per inch. The iPad 9 has a smaller display at 10.2 inches but a higher resolution of 2160 x 1620, an aspect ratio of 4:3, and a higher pixel density of 265 PPI. And the Tab A8 gives you a slightly wider display when you’re watching content. And the aspect ratio is closer to the 16:9 that you get from a lot of videos, so there are smaller black bars on the top and the bottom.

The iPad 9’s higher resolution means that you can fit more information on the display at once. So for example, if you’re looking at a webpage, you’ll see more of the content without having to scroll.

Additionally, the aspect ratio of 4:3 is very useful when you’re taking notes or drawing with the Apple Pencil in Portrait Mode because we’re getting a wider canvas. The iPad 9 also has a fingerprint-resistant coating, which makes a noticeable difference. It’s not that it won’t pick up fingerprints at all, but it definitely stays cleaner than the Tab A8.

And I find myself not having to clean it as often with a microfiber cloth. Now, both are 60 hertz displays, but there are fundamental differences in the types of display that each tablet has. The iPad 9 does not have a fully laminated display, meaning that there is an air gap.

On the Tab A8, the display, the touch layer, and the cover glass are fused into a single display assembly. For things like gaming, surfing the web, using various productivity apps, or watching video, you’re unlikely to notice this difference.

But in general, I prefer a fully laminated display because the image looks like it’s painted right on top of the glass. A fully laminated display is typically also better when you’re using a stylus because the tip of the pencil looks like it’s touching the content that’s being created. Whereas on the iPad 9, you will see a bit of separation. Now, in this particular case, while the iPad 9 is compatible with the 1st Generation Apple Pencil, the Tab A8 isn’t compatible at all with Samsung’s S Pen.

So you can’t use the Bluetooth-enabled S Pen that you get with a Tab S7 or S7 Plus or even the basic S Pen that you get with a Tab S7 FE.

Now, both displays work just fine for everything that I do from watching content to playing games, surfing the web, and using various apps. If the larger black bars when watching video are an issue for you, then the Tab A8 is a better fit.

Personally, they don’t bother me at all. And for everyday use, I prefer the sharper and higher resolution display on the iPad 9, as well as the fingerprint-resistant coating, the 4:3 aspect ratio, and the Apple Pencil compatibility for note-taking, sketching, and for marking up and signing documents. If you’re looking for more of a laptop-like experience, then you may wanna pick up a keyboard case.

Now, the iPad 9 has a ton of excellent options from Apple and from third-party providers. I have not been able to find a dedicated keyboard case from Samsung for the Tab A8, but I did find this other option that has a removable keyboard. And I’ll share a link in the description.

It’s actually kind of neat because you can use the same case with and without the keyboard. When we look at processing power, we’ve got benchmarks, and then we have real-life use.

For single-core performance, the Tab A8 score 364 versus 1330 on the iPad 9. And for multi-core performance, we’re looking at 1250 versus 3376. So we’re getting substantially better performance on the iPad 9 for pretty much any type of task. But the real question is, does this have any kind of real-life implications for the majority of users? And in this case, the answer is a resounding yes.

Like whether you’re opening and closing apps, switching between opened apps or between opened tabs in your browser, or just navigating around the UI, the iPad 9 is extremely responsive. In comparison, the Tab A8 feels sluggish, laggy, and it feels underpowered for a current device. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t perform the same tasks, it’s just that the user experience is not as smooth.

And sometimes you’re not sure if the Tab A8 is lagging or if a tap or a swipe wasn’t registered. I’ll get to how this impacts the gaming experience in just a moment.

But first, let’s talk about the camera and speakers. Now, this is another area where it’s a split decision. Looking at the rear-facing cameras, both are eight megapixels, but the iPad 9 camera is simply better. It’s more color accurate. It has better dynamic range.

And it’s more versatile in terms of features, frame rates, and image stabilization. I very rarely use the rear-facing cameras on my tablets because the ones on my phones are so much better. So for me, the more important camera on a tablet is the front-facing one, which I use for video calls. Again, the iPad 9 comes out ahead with a 12 megapixel camera versus 5 megapixels on the Tab A8. It’s also an Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage, which is a feature that uses artificial intelligence to identify then track a subject as it moves through the frame. It can then crop the image to give the impression that the camera is following the subject.

So in both cases, if you’re looking for the better camera system, that’s gonna be the iPad 9. When we get to the speakers, things shift in favor of the Tab A8. The iPad 9 only has speakers on the bottom. So when you’re holding it in Landscape Mode, the audio only comes out to one side.

It actually does a pretty good job at projecting the sound, but it can’t compete with the Tab A8. The four-speaker Dolby Atmos system has better audio quality. It offers more immersive and fuller stereo sound. And it’s better for games, where you need to detect which direction footsteps or other sounds come from.

Before we get to battery life and gaming, let’s talk about multitasking apps and operating system support.

So for multitasking, I’m going to give the edge to the iPad 9. Both tablets have similar features, but again, the iPad 9 feels more responsive. And working with multiple apps feels seamless. The iPad 9 can also be used as an additional display for your Mac, your iMac, or your MacBook with a feature called Sidecar. Now, Samsung has a similar feature called Second Screen, but it’s not available on the Tab A8.

Now, looking at the app selections, both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store are full of choices for pretty much everything you wanna do. There are some specific popular creative apps like LumaFusion, Procreate and Affinity Photo that are only available on the iPad. LumaFusion did announce that they’ll be releasing an Android version, so that’s good news. As far as operating system support, Samsung promises three generations of OS updates. Now in contrast, Apple provides much longer support. And just as an example, my iPad Air 2, which I got eight years ago, is still supported by iPadOS 15. And moving on to battery life, both tablets have pretty good performance. And for the most part, I can get through an entire day with both.

Of course, I can’t sit down and play eight hours straight of “PUBG” without having to recharge either one of them. But for the most part, for what I do every day, I get through a full day.

The iPad 9 probably does get the edge here, and I’m currently working on a more detailed test. When it comes to gaming, I’m able to play all of my games on both tablets.

Less-demanding games are going to pretty much play on any current tablet, so that’s not really an issue. But even more demanding games like “PUBG” and “COD Mobile” ran smoothly on both. For “PUBG,” on the Tab A8, I was able to set graphics to smooth or balanced, and then the frame rate to ultra.

I could also set the graphics to HD, and then the frame rate to high.

With the iPad 9, I could go all the way up to 90 frames per second with the graphic set to smooth. I could go up to extreme frame rate with balanced graphics or all the way up to ultra HD with frame rate set to ultra. Now, switching to “COD Mobile,” the Tab A8 tops out at medium graphic quality and high frame rate while the iPad 9 can go to very high graphic quality and max frame rate or very high graphic quality and very high frame rate. So in both games, the iPad 9 has the better options.

Now, we talked a little bit about the audio early on in the video. But if you plan on using your speakers to play games where you need directional sound, the Tab A8 will perform better.

Now, both tablets have a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, which gives you the option of using a wired gaming headset for perfect lag-free audio. It also means that you can charge the tablet and use the wired headset at the same time without needing any type of adapter or a splitter.

Both tablets also worked great with an Xbox controller and Xbox Game Pass. And I was able to play all of my favorite games as long as I had a fast and stable internet connection. I’m going to give the slight edge to the iPad 9 because in my opinion, it has a better display, and I had less issues with the controller disconnecting. Now, I wanna talk about the different configurations and also address resale value. I’ll be using the prices from the Samsung and Apple Stores, but you can usually find better prices by using the links in the description.

The Tab A8 is available with 32 gigabytes of storage and 3 gigs of RAM for 230 bucks, then 64 gigabytes for $280, and 128 gigabytes of storage for $330. And both of those models come with four gigabytes of RAM. The iPad 9 comes with either 64 gigabytes for 329 or 256 for 459. And both of them come with three gigabytes of RAM. So both tablets are also available on cellular models.

And remember that the Tab A8 has a microSD card slot. It can be used to expand the internal storage and that this storage will be used for files and not for apps. Now, one thing to keep in mind, is that at least in the US, the iPads hold their resale value for longer. And at the same time, Samsung has some really great trade-in options.

And I’d love to know what the situation is where you live.

So which one of these tablets is a better option for you? So the Tab A8 starts at $230 for 32 gigabytes of internal storage. Although I would really only recommend that to someone who’s just using it to stream content, to surf the web, work with some basic apps, and then play a few small games. If we’re comparing the $330 models, then the Tab A8 comes with 120 gigs of internal storage, plus the microSD card slot, which can expand the internal storage by up to one terabyte. It has a more modern design, facial recognition, a nice display, and a better speaker system. The iPad 9 comes with 64 gigabytes of internal storage. It can be upgraded to 256 for an additional $130, has a better display, Touch ID, Apple Pencil support, a better camera system. It’s noticeably more powerful and more responsive, and it has better graphic performance for gaming. Now, you should see how the iPad 9 compares with the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. Hopefully, this video was helpful.

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Good luck and see you soon..

Read More: THE TRUTH! 6 Months with the Z Fold 3

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