Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs Apple iPad Air: specs comparison

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs Apple iPad Air: specs comparison
Samsung has just announced its newest flagship tablets (that don't include S Pen styluses), so we naturally want to see how the new Galaxy Tab S devices stack up to the current competition. This one focuses on the larger display category, and that means it is time for a specs battle between the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and the Apple iPad Air.

The big focus of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 was in the dimensions and the display, with both changes aimed squarely at the iPad Air. Samsung was able to build a tablet that has a larger display with a higher resolution than the iPad Air, while still making the table thinner and (just barely) lighter. Maybe even more impressive is that the Galaxy Tab S doesn't have a footprint all that much bigger than the Air, even though its display is 0.8 inches larger. If you can get past Samsung's usual plastic backing materials, that could make for an impressive tablet. 

Unsurprisingly, the other internals of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (SoC, RAM, etc) look far more impressive on paper, but we'll have to wait and see how the device performs in real world conditions, because Samsung's software additions tend to cause performance issues.

For this comparison, we've also added in the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, which was released back in February and is the most direct predecessor to the new Tab S 10.5.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1


Display size

10.5 inches
9.7 inches
10.1 inches


2560 x 1600 pixels
2048 x 1536 pixels
2560 x 1600 pixels

Pixel density

288 ppi
264 ppi
299 ppi


Super Clear LCD

Screen-to-body ratio

72.88 %
71.65 %
70.97 %



Single camera
Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

8 megapixels
5 megapixels
8 megapixels

Hardware Features

Autofocus, CMOS image sensor
Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)


Aperture size: F2.4; Focal length: 33 mm

Video recording

1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD)

Recording format

MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV
H.264, MOV


Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling
Video calling


2.1 megapixels
1.2 megapixels
2 megapixels

Video capture

1280x720 (HD) (30 fps)



9.74 x 6.98 x 0.26 inches (247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6 mm)
9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches (240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm)
9.57 x 6.75 x 0.29 inches (243.1 x 171.4 x 7.3 mm)


16.47 oz (467 g)
the average is 19.9 oz (568 g)
16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 19.9 oz (568 g)
16.54 oz (469 g)
the average is 19.9 oz (568 g)


Back: Aluminum


Fingerprint (swipe)


Touch sensitive control keys

Hardware & Performance

System chip

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5420
Apple A7
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974


Octa-core, 1900 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM Cortex-A7
Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone, 64-bit
Quad-core, 2300 MHz, Krait 400


Mali-T628 MP6
PowerVR G6430
Adreno 330




Android (6.0 Marshmallow, 5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.2)
iOS (12.x, 11.x, 10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)
Android (4.4)



7900 mAh
8820 mAh
8220 mAh

Music playback

132.00 hours
147.00 hours

Video playback

12.00 hours
10.00 hours

Shopping information

MSRP price

$ 929



1. hateftotti

Posts: 228; Member since: May 03, 2011

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 hands down...

2. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 > Galaxy TabPro 10.1 >>>>>>>> iPad Air.

3. FingerMyApple unregistered

ipad air iChoose you :)

4. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

iPad Air

5. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

None of these please

6. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Ipad air for me!

7. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

Z2 tab to wipe everything

8. shaheer7

Posts: 22; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Ipad air is very expensive.. Waiting for note 10.1 with amoled ☺

12. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Actually the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 16GB and the iPad Air 16GB are the same price at $499. In the comparison they put the price of the most expensive iPad Air model, the 128GB version, which the Galaxy Tab 10.5 doesn't come in that capacity, so the comparison shouldn't have used the most expensive iPad Air.

9. FazlurKhan

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

Why would you put 128GB as storage for Ipad? That would just be misleading because that version is crazy expensive. Might as well add multiple 128 gig microsds for the tabs. lol

13. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Exactly, the base versions of both the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and iPad Air are both $499, for 16GB. I thought the same thing when i read it, its misleading.

10. Cicero

Posts: 1129; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Ssssexy one. Excellent job Sammy!

11. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Yep. Let's compare a tablet from last year to one released yesterday. Of course it's a fair comparison!

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