Both the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and the iPad Air are premium tablets that are designed to appeal to business professionals. Both tools are powerful, but the two tablets differ greatly in terms of weight and size. How to decide between these two excellent options? Here's a guide that will help you determine what the best tablet is for your needs.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 retails for $749.99 for the 32GB model, and $849.99 for the 64GB model. The comparable iPad Air (Wi-Fi only) prices are $599 for a 32GB model, and $699 for a 64GB model. The iPad Air is cheaper, while offering the same amount of storage.
The iPad Air runs on a A7 chip with 64-bit architecture. In contrast, the Note Pro 12.2 boasts a 1.9 GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 5420 SoC processor. However, the iPad Air is just 9.4 inches, compared to the 12.2-inch Note Pro.
There's another reason the Note Pro 12.2 costs more than the iPad Air: the Note Pro comes packaged with a Samsung S Pen stylus.
The inclusion of a stylus may not seem like a big deal, especially to tablet users who generally abstain from styli usage. That being said, reviewers like TechRadar have had great things to say about the S Pen experience. Here's one pertinent quote:
"The thin S Pen, while still feeling like cheap plastic, is actually a major upgrade in functionality over using your hands on the abnormally large screen. It's also a cleaner experience that doesn't get your grubby fingerprints all over the ultra-rich display."
That being said, iPad Air fans can always purchase a third-party stylus to use with their tablet.
— Michel Ho Fong Fat (@mhofongfat) February 12, 2014
The Note Pro series has a big advantage over the iPad Air. The Note Pro series supports multi-tasking in a way that simply outclasses the iPad Air. Users can run four apps on the screen at one time. In terms of ergonomics and productivity, that makes the Note Pro a clear leader…and the large screen of the 12.2 Note Pro makes it especially appealing to have four apps on the screen at once.
In their helpful article comparing the iPad Air and Note Pro, LAPTOP makes an important point about the different app environments on these competing devices. The LAPTOP article sums up the situation thusly:
"Samsung knows that Apple is the reigning champ when it comes to apps and content, so it’s not surprise that the company is taking matters into its own hands. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 will ship with $800 in so-called Galaxy Perks. This includes a $25 Google Play credit, three months of Hulu Plus, a one-year Bloomberg Businessweek subscription, six months of WebEx Premium and 50GB of Dropbox storage for two years.
Nevertheless, the iPad Air offers more than 375,000 apps that are specifically designed for tablet use, while many Android apps are mere supersized smartphone apps."
The perks package on the Note Pro is very enticing. However, you'll need to weigh these perks against lack of access to Apple's more robust App Store offerings, some which are only available on the iPad.
5. Overall Value
The 1-pound iPad Air seems dainty compared to the 1.6-pound Note Pro 12.2. For most people, there are three main factors at play when choosing between these two options: how they hold a tablet while working, screen size, and how often they need to multitask.
If you tend to place your tablet on a desk or table while working, and also have the need to multitask efficiently, then the larger screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is the right choice for you.
If you prefer to hold your tablet in one hand while working and generally want a smaller form factor, then you should opt for the iPad Air.
Both tablets are at the top of their respective lines. However, the Note Pro gets a slight edge because of its S Pen features and robust same-screen multitasking abilities.