Camera


Well, what do you know: both the 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the iPad Air can take decent photos and videos with their main cameras. Given the right lighting conditions, of course. The former comes with an 8MP auto-focus camera and a bright LED for illuminating low-light scenes, while the latter packs a 5MP auto-focus snapper, which lacks flash, unfortunately.

Camera UI of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Camera UI of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Camera UI of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Camera UI of the Apple iPad Air


Upon launching the camera app on the Note 10.1, we're presented with a familiar, feature-rich user interface. It offers many of the options we've already tried on the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4, such as the built-in filters and the multitude of shooting modes – HDR, Panorama, Night, and so on. The camera interface on the iPad Air offers an HDR mode and filters, but nothing more in terms of control over the produced image.

Camera UI of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Camera UI of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Camera UI of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Camera UI of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Camera UI of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)


Neither camera is as capable as what you can find on top-shelf smartphones these days, but you'll still be able to snap some decent pics. For the most part, pictures taken with both look very similar, with almost equal color tones and exposure. We do notice that in some shots, though, the Note 10.1 2014 manages to keep colors a tad more natural, as the iPad Air shows a bit of a tendency to slightly warm things up. The area where the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 manages to gain the advantage is details, as its 8 MP resolution allows it to capture a bit more data about the surrounding world, compared to the iPad Air. The situation is about the same when shooting indoors, where the Note 10.1 2014 also has the benefit of the LED flash, as such is missing from the iPad Air.


Both tabets record video in 1920 x 1080 resolution, and while the iPad Air's footage appears to run more fluidly, the one from the Note 10.1 2014 has a slightly higher detail level. It's up to the user to decide which type of footage they'd prefer.


The Note 10.1 2014 is equipped with a 2 MP front-facing camera, but it takes much worse photos than the 1.2 MP FF shooter of the iPad Air. In short, images seem somewhat blurry and lacking any fine detail with the Note, while those from the iPad Air look much sharper and better, even though there's a bit of noise present when shooting indoors.

Multimedia


The Gallery application on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is decent and it allows one to organize their photos in folders. The iPad Air gallery, however, is a bit smarter, for it does that automatically – it knows when and where each photo has been taken and groups them in collections based on that data.

Samsung's music player is packed with goodies, as it has always been on any recent Samsung device. You get the mandatory lock screen controls, sound enhancements, and a neat feature called AdaptSound, which optimizes music depending on the listener's earphones and hearing. However, we have to admit that we're more satisfied with Apple's Music app. It not only looks better, but it comes with the new iTunes Radio, which streams free music over the web – you just pick a station and enjoy!

Music player of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Music player of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Music player of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Music player of the Apple iPad Air - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Music player of the Apple iPad Air


Samsung's music player - Music player of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Samsung's music player

Music player of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Music player of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Play Music - Music player of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) - Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Play Music

Music player of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)


When it comes to video playback, we'd rather use the 2014 Note 10.1. It handles any popular video file format at up to 1080p resolution and it plays it smoothly, with instant fast-forwarding. Moreover, its screen aspect ratio is more suitable for watching high-definition video in wide-screen format.

There's a pair of stereo speakers on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. Their output is passable, but nothing special in terms of quality. The iPad Air also has stereo speakers, though their close positioning practically eliminates the stereo effect. However, they do sound drastically better than the Note 10.1 2014's speakers, especially on the lower end of the spectrum.

Getting your photos, music, and videos onto the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a straightforward process – you just copy-paste them onto its internal memory and you're done. With the iPad Air, however, this process can be a bit of a ritual. Those who use a Mac and/or iTunes to organize and purchase their media should be perfectly fine, but those who don't will have to get used to moving content around with the help of Apple's software. Moreover, some videos have to be converted to an iOS-friendly format first so that the iPad Air would play them.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition comes equipped with a built-in IR blaster, which is a neat stand-out feature. Basically, it allows you to control some of the appliances throughout your house, such as your TV, multimedia system, air conditioner, and more, if they are compatible.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPad Air 0.98
Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) 0.44
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPad Air 77
Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) 77

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79 Comments

1. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

To choose between these two great tabs is really difficult. Definitely the best tabs so far.

50. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Costco is giving $100 off the Samsung 10.1 and other Samsung tablets as well. In fact, Costco has been discounting Samsung tablets for a long time. I understand Samsung wants people to believe their tablets are worth the MSRP -- but just try to sell them, and you will see these Samsung tablets just don't hold their value. Think about it -- if brand new Samsung tablets are being discounted at the getgo, it's a strong signal you've just wasted your money. A $100 discount off the 10.1 is not an insignificant amount.

70. n.d.p

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

You buy tools to use them not to sell them. Or? Is it more like clothes for you?

79. SOUPCAN

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

Thats $100 off of the 2013 Galaxy Tab 3 not the 2014 model being reveiwed above you moron. Thanks for the stupid argument. Its called pricing the old models to move, similiar to clearance. Nice try though....

3. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

There is a very good reason going for Samsung : You will get it for FREE if you purchase a TV (or the upcoming GS5)

6. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

source?

4. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

windows tablet (no rt) > every android tab >> any ios device in my opinion. I love freedom

8. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Of course you do. You may also respect others' freedom transferring your personal data to their sites.

21. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

@dratomic Agree. Especially Dell Venue 11 or 8 Pro. The greatest. But for Pen-functionality, concerning artists , Note line is still the best

78. dekoy316

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

Freedom? Freedom to do what? Choose from a list of screened widgets to add to the home screen at the cost of battery life (for $5 a widget of course)? I've owned android and ios devices, and the "freedom" everybody talks about is an illusion. You are faced with the same constraints on an android device.

82. nigratruo

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 17, 2013

So, in your book iOS not having any widgets at all is a feature? Hmm, since when does having a possibility and not having a possibility equal the same? Battery life? Oh, another good point for Android: On Apple devices, your are stuck with the standard battery. On Android, you can easily buy more of them. I got 4 for my galaxy Note and bigger ones too than standard, cost me 40 bucks extra and I can exchange them, so I have enough power for continuous use for a intercontinental trip to Europe. No, that Android is the same dumb restrictive system than iOS, nobody that knows both will believe that. More restrictions of course equal less brain use and easier to use for tech stupid users, I admit that. But then I am not one of these 5 braincell users ;-) I got my widgets for free by the way, I don't know what you are doing wrong. Yes, on iOS all the apps are more expensive too, but don't assume that for Android. Question: Do you really have an Android device or are you just pretending?

7. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

I feel sorry for the losers who buy any of these products.

9. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

I think you prefer Nokia 2520, but as far as its a RT tablet, its not a good choice.

14. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

I feel sorry for you...what you say does not make any sense.

10. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Ahem.... 2560*1600 is 16:10, not 16:9

11. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I can't wait for Sony's next years tablet. Even if I hate tablets though lol.

13. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Cool comparison. I couldn't find any hints of bias... let's see what the trolls will say.

69. n.d.p

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

Have you tried both devices? :D

15. euklidis

Posts: 34; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

S-Pen! Galaxy Wins!

16. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Keeping my data in an iPad has lock me into the respective app and the Apple eco system. Data portability is an issue. Take quite a big effort to move my ipad data out thanks to Springpad. Its a multi platform able to access thru PC Mac iPad and Android. I basically cut and paste my way out of iOS data lock down.

17. sniper1087

Posts: 537; Member since: Dec 31, 2011

A lot of people mention rt lack of apps, considering that all the apps which are over 100k are optimized or the tablet, in contrast with android which Im not sure how many apps are optimized, but things that kind of impressed me on the windows tablets, rt or not is the fact that you can truly multitask, if Im in the browser and get a skype call, it will put the browser to the side of skype , so I can still browse and talk. Yes I know that the note 3 has multiwindow, but is limited to the apps supported, which is not everything out there.

19. hanzawhtet7

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 01, 2012

Where is the spec comparison chart?

20. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

They are both over-priced (esp the ipad).

22. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

Note 10(black version) is more beautiful and comfortable to hold, than iPad Air. For such big device , thin side bezels on portrait mode , are pain. No matter how light the device is.

24. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

If your going by which tablet is faster and can do more. The note is an easy win.

26. ph00ny

Posts: 1985; Member since: May 26, 2011

Lol at graphics bench run onscreen when one device has a significantly higher resolution

27. spo

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 25, 2009

I don't like Android tablets but come on already with the iPad. I feel like any tech writer that's writing a review or comparison with the iPad coming out on top is lazy. It's a cop-out. Everything that the iPad does well in these reviews is punctuated and everything that the competition does well is mentioned then glossed over with little praise. At the end of the day the iOS app store is going to beat out the competition but this isn't supposed to be a review about the "app ecosystem" it's about two competing devices. There's never a mention in these reviews about how annoying it is to have to use iTunes for everything with the iPad. No mention about how there's no file system and sometimes no simple way to take a file off of the iPad to open on a computer or other device. At least Android devices use the simple tried and true notion of "drag and drop". Expandable memory slots are also a great way to share media between devices which are forever lacking on iOS devices. I think it's great that the Galaxy has "dozens of settings within almost every app". Sometimes there isn't enough control in iOS. Every time I open the iOS Facebook app I get a dialogue box telling me I should turn on WIFI for better location accuracy. Same goes for when I open maps. It would be nice to have a setting to turn that off. There are tons of frustrating quirks in iOS that never get mentioned that would be totally picked apart and harped on if it was on an Android device or Windows Phone during a review. I'm not knocking the iPad, I think it does what it does well and it's the most elegant tablet design but these writers need to be more original or just stop writing about Apple products.

36. Zimakool

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Best explanation that I've ever read from someone who uses IOS

53. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Your expandable memory slot argument reminds me of the Iomega Zip drives. It's the same argument when the 3.5" floppy drive was discontinued and we went to CD drives. The unfortunate thing is technology continues to advance -- storage will be cloud based. Expandable memory devices are relics of dated technology. The reasons I can think of using physical memory devices is for archive and security.

54. Zimakool

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

I for one appreciate having the best of both worlds. I don't care to much for cloud storage, I don't usually use it and yes you are right about Security. I like that Samsung hasn't taken that choice away from consumers.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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