Technology with attitude

Samsung Galaxy Tab S vs. iPad Air 2 vs. Nexus 9 – Which Tablet Do You Prefer?

4

Tablets are not as popular as they used to be a few years ago, but there is still a high demand, otherwise famous companies such as Apple, Samsung or Google would stop making these devices and successors for them. Last year, the aforementioned manufacturers brought us three awesome tablets, which we’ll compare below.

Features

Each tablet has its own special features that make them worth buying. For example, the Nexus 9 allows you to transfer files or to make payments using the NFC feature, which isn’t found on the other devices. However, it lacks a fingerprint scanner, which is built only into iPad 2 and Tabs S’ home buttons. However, if you want to be one of the first users who receive the latest Android software, then the Nexus 9 is a better option.

Design

Compared to the first iPad Air, the successor is 1.4mm thinner, but it’s also lighter and its design was praised by many tech publications. It’s hard not to like the aluminum body and ergonomic design, but you should know that Apple has removed the mute/rotation-lock switch.

The Nexus 9 has a plastic body with matte effect, but it’s almost 2mm thicker compared to the iPad Air 2. This tablet was built by HTC, which included a thin bezel and brushed metal sides.

The Tab S has a plastic back with perforated dots, looking like an extra large Galaxy S5. The frame is made of plastic and it’s painted to look like metal. The thickness is 6.6mm, being 0.5mm thicker than the iPad Air 2.

Displays

The iPad Air 2 has a new Retina HD display (LED-backlit IPS LCD) which measures 9.7-inch and supports 1536 x 2048 pixels at 264ppi. The screen is a better contrast and it features an anti-glare coating which reduces reflection by 55 percent

The Nexus 9 switched the aspect ratio from 16:10/16:9 to 4:3, but the users complained about the black bars that appear when watching movies. The screen measures 8.9-inch, it’s an IPS LCD and it supports 1536 x 2048 pixels at 281ppi.

The Galaxy Tab S is available in two screen options: 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch, but both support the same resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, resulting in pixel densities of 359ppi and 288ppi, respectively. The screens are Super AMOLED, built by Samsung, and they produce more vibrant colors.

Hardware

The iPad Air 2uses a 64bit Apple A8X triple-core 1.5 GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, the Nexus 9 comes with a 64bit Nvidia Tegra K1 dual-core 2.3 GHz Denver processor backed by 2GB of RAM, while the Tab S is powered by a 32bit Exynos 5 Octa 5420 with two quad core processors backed by 3GB of RAM.

Only the Tab S has expandable internal storage, with options of 16GB and 32GB that can be increased up to 128GB. The Nexus 9 has a 16GB variant for the WiFi model, while the LTE model has double storage. The iPad Air 2 has three variants of internal memories and their capacities are 16, 64 and 128GB.

Batteries

iPad Air 2’s non-removable 27.3 Wh Li-Po battery should provide around 10 hours of life, the Tab S lasts 11 hours, no matter if we’re talking about the bigger Li-Ion 7900 mAh battery or the smaller 4900 mAh battery, while the Nexus 9, with its 6700 mAh battery should provide 90 minutes of Full HD video playback and 9 hours and 30 minutes of multimedia usage.

Cameras

All three tablets have back cameras of 8MP, but the iPad Air 2 lacks LED flash. The Tab S has a better front camera of 2.1MP, which beats the 1.6MP camera from the Nexus 9 and the 1.2MP camera from the iPad Air 2.