Apple iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1



So, this has been an inevitable face-off: on one hand we have Apple's finest tablet, and on the other - Samsung's mainstream one. Even though they now occupy different classes, we're finding it hard to ignore the Galaxy Tab line, as it marked the beginning of Sammy's participation in the tablet race.

With a somewhat more generic-looking specs-sheet and without an S Pen stylus to differentiate it, though, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 seems to be left quite defenseless against the assault of the powerfully-armed iPad Air. But, will this really prove to be such a one-sided affair? Won't the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 be able to unleash a secret weapon of some sort and prove that it, too, deserves its place on the market? Well, it does have its cheaper price, which is a good place to start... Let's take a closer look and see which one's the better deal!


The iPad Air is as premium as you can get in the tablet world. The device is made of high-quality aluminum and comes in two beautiful color variations. Not only this, but the iPad Air is also remarkably compact and lightweight considering the sizable 9.7” display it's packing. Physical keys are also exceptionally well-made, and as a whole, using the iPad Air will be a pleasant and satisfying experience.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 can't offer you that much with regards to visual appeal with its generic-looking plastic body and heavier weight. The Tab 3 10.1 has a decidedly mid-range look, that doesn't stand out in any way considering not only the iPad Air, but also some other offerings out there such as the LG G Pad 8.3, Sony Xperia Tablet Z, Surface 2 or Kindle Fire HDX. The physical keys of the Tab 3 aren't particularly well-made, as they don't have that nice clickiness to them.


The 9.7” display of the Apple iPad Air totally has the upper hand against the 10.1” panel of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, thanks to its higher resolution (2048 x 1536 for the iPad Air versus 1280 x 800 for the Tab 3). The result of this is that everything looks much cleaner and nicer on the iPad Air, due to its higher pixel density of 264 ppi. The pixel density of the Tab 3 10.1 stands at just 149 ppi.

The iPad Air's display is also much better calibrated. Its gamma is near perfect, meaning that both lighter and darker levels will be exactly as light or dark as they need to be. On the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, everything except the brightest levels is darker than it should, making for an unnecessarily contrasty image. Colors are also way better balanced on the iPad Air. Delta E (color error) values for Apple's tablet are at record low levels (the lower, the better), while this certainly isn't the case with the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, where everything appears quite bluish.

When viewed outdoors, the display of the iPad Air seems a bit easier to read. Its higher brightness output allows it to reach about 430 nits max, while the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 maxes out at about 400 nits.

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