Galaxy Tab S4 vs Tab A 10.5: Which should you buy?

Today, Samsung unveiled their updated lineup of tablets: Tab S4 and Tab A 10.5. There are a lot of similarities between these two devices, but also some very meaningful differences. So, if you are looking for a new Galaxy Tab, you are probably wondering which to buy. Let's enter the arena.

Starting off with the display, while both the Tab S4 and the Tab A 10.5 have 10.5-inch displays, the Tab S4's is by far the better of the two. The resolution of the Tab S4 is 2560x1600 whereas the Tab A 10.5 is only 1920x1200. In addition to the resolution, the Tab S4 sports a Super AMOLED display which will give you deeper blacks and improved battery life in some instances over the TFT LCD display on the Tab A 10.5. 

Checking out the internals, the Tab S4 is more powerful in every way. It comes with the Snapdragon 835 which, while it is last year's flagship chipset, is still far ahead of the Tab A's Snapdragon 450. For RAM, the Tab S4's 4GB tops the 3GB of the Tab A. And in terms of storage, the Tab S4 starts at 64GB where the Tab A comes with 32GB. But both tablets come with microSD card support up to 400GB, so no matter which tablet you get, you should not have to worry about storage. 

Samsung has been touting the entertainment experience on both devices, and the Tab S4 will give a better experience all around. Both tablets have quad speakers, and both support Dolby Atmos immersive sound, but the Tab S4 takes things one step further by being tuned by AKG. How much of a difference that makes has yet to be heard. 

The difference is fundamentally in the software experience

In terms of software, both tablets will ship with Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung's custom skin on top. While the Tab A 10.5 is primarily aimed at entertainment and home use, the Tab S4 has been touted as the ultimate productivity tablet, and a huge part of that is in the software. In addition to the regular Android experience, the Tab S4 is the first Samsung tablet to feature Samsung Dex on the tablet itself. By enabling Samsung Dex, and connecting the keyboard cover, even a Bluetooth mouse, you can have a desktop-like experience on your tablet. Opening apps in windows allows for a much richer multitasking experience. If you are aiming to use your tablet for productivity related tasks, the Tab S4 is probably the one you should look at. 

If you are interested in note taking or drawing, then you will love the S Pen that comes with the Tab S4. The Tab A, in contrast, does not support the S Pen. Having the S Pen allows an additional layer of interaction with your tablet enabling features like: Making GIFs, taking notes without turning on the display, and creating beautiful works of art. 

Ultimately, the choice between these two tablets comes down to what you will be using it for and the price. The Tab S4 starts at $649.99 for the Wi-Fi only model with 64GB of storage while the Tab A 10.5 starts at $380 with 32GB of storage. The Tab A 10.5 will make for a really good entertainment device, but if you want the S Pen, the extra power, and enhanced productivity features, then the Tab S4 will be the one to consider. 

Related phones

Galaxy Tab S4
  • Display 10.5 inches
    2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 7300 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI
Galaxy Tab A 10.5
  • Display 10.5 inches
    1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
    3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 7300 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie
    Samsung One UI


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