Interface


Currently, the iPad 4 runs on iOS 7.0.2 – the most recent version of Apple's mobile operating system. Since its introduction, it has received mixed feedback by critics, acclaimed by some for its refreshed feel and added functionality, yet despised by others because of its new look, often described as “cartoonish”. But whether we like it or not, that's where iOS is headed in terms of presentation, so better embrace it as it is for iOS 7 is still among the best of its kind. (Read more about it in our iOS 7 Review.)

However, iOS 7 isn't quite perfect. During our testing, we spotted a few bugs here and there, and although they weren't anything crucial, they spoiled the otherwise near-flawless user experience. Nevertheless, we're sure that Apple will take care of them in a timely manner.


The 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes running Android 4.3 out of the box, so it is also up to date on the software front. Naturally, Samsung has modified heavily the system's interface with a layer of TouchWiz UI. There are tons of visual alterations, additional features and premium apps thrown in, and, of course, plenty of extras taking advantage of that S Pen stylus we mentioned earlier.

These two operating systems may share a lot of visual and functional similarities, but there's actually quite a lot that sets them apart. Samsung's approach to UI design is to make sure its devices are loaded to the brim right out of the box. On the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition we find lots of potentially useful features, such as the multi-window mode, allowing one to have several apps running simultaneously side-by-side for true multitasking. Also, My Magazine is great for it serves as a beautiful news feed covering topics the user is interested in. Air View is pretty neat as well, giving a preview of a photo folder as you hover over it with the S Pen. Speaking of which, there's a bunch of applications built-in, made especially for the S Pen digital stylus (learn more about them in our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review). So yeah, there's plenty of major and minor goodies you get with the Note 10.1 without ever having to open the Play Store. But at the same time, all of this seems as a bit of an overkill. We're sure that some of the extras thrown in by Samsung would go unnoticed by many users, or would be dismissed as gimmicks only to be never used again after the first try. Still, it is great knowing that the Note 10.1 is one of the most feature-rich tablets out there.


With the iPad 4, Apple has kept things a bit simpler, a bit more down to earth. Its UI does not have as many extras, nor does it offer as many customization options as the 2014 Note 10.1. However, it is minimalist, intuitive, and with a very light learning curve. In other words, even a person who has never used an iOS device before should get the hang of it quickly. Furthermore, there's the handful of useful features introduced by the OS's latest version, such as Control Center, or the new Air Drop feature for file sharing. At the same time, iOS also comes with a handful of essentials pre-loaded, such as Notes, Reminders, and Calendar apps, as well as Newsstand, providing access to digital newspapers and magazines. And if there's something the user might need, chances are they'll find it for download from the Apple App Store.

Using an on-screen keyboard efficiently is often a matter of getting used to its layout. After a little practice, we could type comfortably on the keyboards on the iPad 4 and the 2014 Note 10.1 tablet, and we didn't find them much different from one another. They both offer a split key arrangement for easier typing when holding the device with two hands.




Processor and memory


Samsung has picked one of the fastest, most future-proof system-on-chip solutions around, namely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, for its Note 10.1 tablet. Its quad-core CPU can sprint at up to 2.3GHz and its Adreno 330 GPU handles graphically-intensive tasks with ease. On top of that, a whopping 3GB of RAM are on board for seamless multitasking. So, what happens when all that powerful hardware is put to work? Well, we're mostly happy with the tablet's performance. However, we did notice some lagging and occasional choppiness on several instances while browsing through the UI or waking up the tablet from stand-by – issues we weren't expecting to see on a top-of-the-line Android tablet.

The iPad 4 is powered by an Apple-designed A6X chip with a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, PowerVR SGX 554 graphics, all backed by “only” 1GB of RAM. So yeah, it seems less powerful than the new Galaxy Note 10.1, but don't let these figures get you confused. Apple's iPad is very responsive with most tasks, be it playing a game, browsing the internet, or simply checking what's on your agenda for the day.

When it comes to storage space, the 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has a trick tucked up its sleeve – the tablet offers a microSD card slot for storage expansion. That said, popping a card in there and sticking with the base 16GB model is likely to be cheaper than picking the 32GB model instead. Furthermore, Samsung is treating all Note 10.1 buyers to 50GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years, and that space is ideal for backing up photos and other files.

There is no way of adding extra storage to an iPad, so if 16GB aren't sufficient, you'll have to pay a hefty $100, $200, or $300 on top of its base price in order to get a 32-, 64- or 128GB model instead.

Internet and connectivity


Samsung has loaded the Note 10.1 with its own Internet browser, which is pretty fast indeed, although Safari on the iPad 4 is even faster and more responsive. Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to browse the internet on either of these two tablets, especially since their large, high-resolution screens can display entire web pages without us having to zoom in on them. Both web browser apps allow for pages to be organized in tabs, which facilitates switching between them, and they both can play back embedded YouTube videos without any problems.



In terms of features, the iPad's Safari internet browser has a bit of an advantage over the Note 10.1's Internet app. It allows tabs and bookmarks to be synchronized across Apple devices, so you can continue your work where you left off. This kind of functionality can be had on the Note 10.1 as well, should you choose to use the Chrome internet browser instead of the default one.

Connectivity-wise, both the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition and the iPad 4 come in multiple variants – an option for those who need only Wi-Fi to go online, and a 3G/4G model for people who need to be constantly connected to the internet. We must note that while all Note 10.1 models have a built-in GPS radio, the Wi-Fi-only iPad 4 doesn't have one, relying solely on Wi-Fi network data to provide positioning information.

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45 Comments

1. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Nice tab from Sammy but my money is still on the iPad.

6. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

let me save everyone the trouble of reading the article. the apple product wins. It's 'iconic' 'premium' design that hasn't changed in nearly 5 years, it's award winning OS that everybody loved now looks like a pastel colored, flat, way too many gimmicky effects that android users tried and uninstalled years ago and basically everything that steve jobs stood for is reversed in Cook's less than 2 years, but ya, iPad wins, it will always win, it will always be the best here at iOS arena

22. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Apple may have repetitive designs, but at least they're GOOD designs. And, I agree the color palette on iOS 7 isn't very good, but everything else about it is a very nice update from iOS 6 (aside from the bugs, but those come with any major OS update). When Android gets better tablet app optimization, then it will be a better match for iOS in the tablet space; that's really the only thing that's missing from Android.

28. cheeseycheeser

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

My big issue with iOS 7 is that I've always thought iPads and iPhones have a very classy sophisticated design. And even if iOS 6 took skeumorphism over the top, they matched. Now iOS 7 doesn't look like something that should go on them! They clash. The color palette's kind of weird but would look good enough on something else. But when you have a gold and white phone, why is the OS neon?

35. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

iOS6< was an original looking os that didn't need a full visual makeover just more features, people don't like change... it's what made apple identifiable and unique... iOS7 is like a bad android theme, teenage colored pastels, flat, blurry and so many bad android visual tricks that it is making people nauseous... Steve Jobs would NEVER of signed off on changing the identity of iOS and only the S heep say they like it, it is and will be there biggest mistake. lol, iOS looks like android, how the eff does that make sense when iOS was so clearly original and identifiable, might as well try androids s heeps since it now looks like one just uglier and less features

7. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

I agree. Android tablets are still behind to the iPad. Massive factor is that simplicity iOS is in tablet form than Android.

8. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 892; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Simplicity...!!! Right.. try moving video/audio files from PC to your idevice... So simple Right??? It is the dumbest thing that to move files to iphone/ipad, iTunes has to convert these files... Not so smart for a smartphone... Simplicity my foot... As much as i like iPhone/iPad for its stability & beauty, I hate the this stupid feature...

10. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

That logic is the reason I own a phablet. :D

13. THE.DARK.KNIGHT

Posts: 269; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

vlc? The video transfer over wifi is as fast as by USB.

30. User72042

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 30, 2013

What?You Can't transfer Files To your iDevice,It's Hard?It's exactly like transfering files to an android device,But you just have to have the iTunes,Simple..

33. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

android didn't need any specific software or any synchronize.. just drag n drop.. you can see which one more simple right????

34. User72042

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 30, 2013

Im not saying which one is more simple,All im sayin is that its not that much hard,It looks like you havent done anything with the itunes...

43. damienvox

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Are you dense or something. I own an ipod 4 updated to ios 6.1 and god I love the device but hate the retarded itunes. I had to discover how to CHEAT itunes into letting me put my music library real player already had on it onto the ipod. Ow yet it is simple. Then came new computer it keapt telling me to basically put wipe tge ipod clean so it can be set to the new pc. I had to jailbreak the damn thing to get it set to new pc without wiping my games and music. Ow but it is SIMPLE do you even know what your talking about? Drag and drop and no wipes needed to install usb drivers to new pc with my galaxy s2 4g I am tech savy but that dont mean I want apple to put me on adventures just to keapt my music libray. Why should I wait an hour to wipe it all than wait an hour for it to resync to the account and put ALL the SAME things back on. This isnt a matter of it is simple or if your tech savy. No its a matter of the fact it is retarded and poorly thought out. Or is it apple makes it so hard to force you to buy an imac and use itunes. Yea it is the latter sorry but it is obvious. So apple why DO I have to use itunes or get and imac just to have full functionality and ease of use. Ow you like money sorry forgot me as a acustomer doesn't matter sorry I forgot that. I still own and will always own this ipod it is GOOD but the services and company are pure crap. End of story. So yes I hate aapple and no I dont want an ipad or iphone this ipod was enough of a headache I rather android phones and linux pc's thankyou bye bye now.

42. keari

Posts: 20; Member since: Jul 02, 2013

i wonder which tech savvy people like simplicity.What i want in a phone are features, customization and storage which apple cant deliver

11. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1176; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

I like the Samsung, but for tablets it will be Apple for quite a while, iPad still has the best quality and quantity of optimized apps, but I must say Samsung and Amazon are doing great jobs to make Android tablets more usable.

36. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

Apple is way behind. And now they are behind in tbe tablet marlet as well. Apple is going to need a lot of work if they are going to even think to keep up with the competition. But seriously, the features and harware make this note 10.1 like 10 times better than the ipad 4. This puts the ipad 4 back to the 4th best tablet on the market. And its a big gap.

2. newbey123

Posts: 702; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

I am not an apple fan, but between the two, I would go with the IPad as I prefer better build quality and materials that are offered by apple and other companies such as HTC, Sony, etc.

37. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

Yea but the note 10.1 is a way better tablet. You are crazy to buy an ipad over this. The ipad is most basic thing around now.

3. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The Note is so much more than just a large screen, it's all about UTILIZING it. Split and pop-up multitasking, productivity and creativity with the pen, multimedia-friendly screen ratio, higher PPI, smaller body, better camera, faster CPU, more memory, IR blaster with TV abilities, microSD slot and the more versatile OS. The iPad has an equally great screen, good responsiveness, better battery life, more dedicated apps but it's just way too heavy due to it's solid build. Both batteries charge insanely long, wonder why don't they just split them into two and have two circuits charging 2A each.

12. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1176; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

My iPad4 seems to charge quite fast on iOS7, it's faster than my old GS2 at charging, not a patch on my GS4 though.

15. DukeX

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Yup the note has great features coupled with the actual os. I know a guy who uses the last note for his insurance company. He keeps all his records and signatures on The note all because of the Spen. Productivity is all over the note and i just find it funny how ifans are quick to dismis the notes massive functionality. They'd rather use the apps bs argument instead of comparing the 2 out the box. Lol atleast android apps scale up to screen size. Don't iphone apps look like this on ipad? http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/9/2010/01/appletabletb317_01.jpg

4. THE.DARK.KNIGHT

Posts: 269; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

I love iPad but this samsung looks pretty good. I would like to see ipad 5 vs this

5. papss unregistered

I still love my iPad 4 even though we have had it for a while. I'll surely try out the note 10.1 to see of I can get over the fact that tablet apps are lacking in play store compared to the app store.

9. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 892; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Samsung needs to get rid of Touchwiz for a better performance. OR atleast remove the unnecessary features & make Touchwiz light....

21. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

They should keep the stuff like multi-window and most of the S-Pen features. Everything else needs to go, though.

14. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

Unless IOS 7 has fundamentally changed the counter-intuitive nature of IOS, I'd rather stab my eyes with a hammer than use a device running it. I hate having to constantly stop myself/correct myself from doing the logical thing to accomplish something, like back up a step or exit the current application.

16. Penywyz

Posts: 255; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

Biased as normal. I dunno why I even bother to read these anymore... SMH just like yesterday and the Note 3 iPhone comparison.

17. FazlurKhan

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

I sensed damage control in the review. Still not ready to break up with beloved apple I suppose? Haha Productivity is the key. Grow up, you don't need a toy ipad that can only do so much.

18. Twiknight

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Am I the only one here who thinks that a chunk of metal doesn't look premium, especially if it is thick and silver?

23. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

no you're not the only one.. because the majority of people those thinking like you just remain silence including me.. cause we know lots of people in this world including authors of this site still thinking that alumunium is better than plastic..

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