iPad Pro (2024) VS Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Pro tools for pro people

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Intro

After a year of being left behind, Apple’s finally about to give some love to the Apple lineup. As multiple source have revealed, the full range of iPads is getting refreshed this year, from the entry-level regular iPad to the largest iPad Pro. What do you know, we might see the new products get unveiled as soon as the end of March or early April, which essentially means the new slates are upon us!

Meanwhile, Samsung announced its top-of-the-line Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra tablet last summer, but it’s still the best Android device of the type you can get. It’s a large boy, but it’s a good boy, for sure: the 14.6-inch tablet has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip as well as a truly massive battery and also comes with a useful S Pen.

And in the case of the iPad Pro, this upcoming generational update will be massive. The device is getting the latest 3nm Apple M3 chipset (which is found in the newest MacBooks), new OLED displays, a refreshed design including a thinner body, and quite possibly MagSafe charging. Quite a lineup of new features, indeed.

Which of these tools could be the weapon of choice for professionals?

iPad Pro (2024) vs Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Changes on the horizon

Design-wise, the time has finally come to see some changes to the iPad Pro lineup. The new iPad Pro will likely be thinner than before, with a redesigned rear camera island, but other design tweaks are also possible. The camera will be situated on the long edge of the tablet, allowing for a more natural video-conferencing, as the camera previously lived on the shorter edge of the previous iPad Pros.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, on the other hand, is a behemoth by comparison. Towering at 14.6-inches, the 16:10 tablet is quite thin and easy to use, but it’s sheer size could pose problems for those who usually use tablets on the go: it’s just a big boy! There’s a notch that houses the front camera at the front, and the bezels are quite thin and sexy.

Viewed in landscape mode, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is wider but shorter, making it ideal for media consumption, like movies, TV shows, and YouTube binges. At the same time, iPads are typically thinner but taller, giving you more screen real estate in the vertical plane, thus making it more suitable for note-taking. Watching movies or TV shows will incur the infamous black bars at the top and bottom, so you might have a slightly worse media experience. 

In terms of weight, the iPad will likely be slightly lighter than the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. The Samsung tablet weighs upwards of 700gr, while the iPad might struggle to break above that, so it could very well be a lighter tablet than Samsung’s best one yet.   

Display Differences

As mentioned, we will most certainly are dealing with a 12.9-inch OLED screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio on the iPad Pro. At the same time, there’s a 14.6-inch OLED screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio on the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. This would be Apple’s first time using an OLED screen on a tablet, and it’s kind of a big deal. Being OLED screens essentially means that you get the best possible display experience, with perfect contrast thanks to true blacks, very high potential maximum brightness, and vivid colors that simply make images pop. Ghosting is virtually non-existent on OLED screens, so one of the age-long issues of the iPad will finally get fixed. 

The iPad Pro might not feature a regular OLED screen, mind you: rumor has it Cupertino will be using dual-stack OLED technology. This particular technology utilizes two layers of organic material, resulting in a lifespan of more than a decade without any degradation and a brightness level that is twice as high as the typical levels. Currently, LG is expected to be the supplier for the dual-stack OLED screen. 

The next iPad Pro will have high-refresh screens that can go up to 120Hz, the current flagship refresh rate standard, just like the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. This is important as it allows for a super-smooth user experience with virtually no stutter and oh-so-pleasing scrolling animations. We love that.  

Both tablets have stylus support: an S Pen for the Galaxy and the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro. However, only the Galaxy Tab S9 comes with a stylus in the box, you will have to supply your own for the iPad. 

Performance and Software

The newest M3 chip versus last year’s garden-variety Snapdragon chip

Don’t get us wrong, we don’t mean to slander the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that’s powering the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, but it surely won’t stand a chance to the desktop-grade Apple M3 chip in the new iPad Pro, a chipset that’s powering the latest MacBook Air laptops. As far as raw performance goes, make no mistake: it’s the iPad that will have the upper hand by a landslide. Hopefully, efficiency will be adequate on the new iPad as well. 

Then again, the question remains: what are you even doing with all that power? Despite the galactic performance, the iPad is still hampered by the limitations of iPadOS and the not-so-vast list of professional software that can run on the iPad. 

In terms of software support, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra will be supported until 2027, while the iPad Pro will likely score software updates until 2029. That’s in line with the industry standard, for sure. 

Camera

Tablet essentials

Both the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra and the new iPad Pro have dual cameras at the rear, and unsurprisingly, both companies walk similar paths in terms of camera setups. The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is outfitted with 8MP ultra-wide and 13MP wide cameras, which will do you just fine during the oddball chance that you have to snap a quick photo with your tablet. 

With the new iPad Pro, we are mostly certain that Apple will outfit the device with the same dual camera setup as the previous tablet, as well as put a LiDAR sensor at the back for spatial awareness and AR compatibility.

What’s more important on tablets, however, are the front-facing cameras, which are used more often during video calls. The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra has dual cameras at the front, a wide and an ultra-wide, both 12MP in resolution. 

Meanwhile, the iPad’s front camera will most certainly enable the great Center Stage feature, which intelligently centers the frame on you during video calls. Right next to the front camera are the Face ID modules. 

Audio Quality and Haptics

Both the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra and the iPad Pro will certainly be the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to audio quality. The Samsung tablet arrives with four speakers and delivers impressively bass-heavy and crisp sound.

The same applies to the iPad Pro as well: just like most high-end Apple devices out there, this one likely wouldn’t disappoint, with superb sound quality that makes listening to music and watching Netflix shows an unforgettable experience. Previous iPads have all been excellent in terms of audio quality, so no reason to doubt Cupertino in this aspect. 

As far as haptic feedback goes, only the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra will vibrate when you interact with the interface and apps, while Apple’s iPad will most certainly remain devoid of haptic feedback once again. Who knows, the iPad Pro might finally deliver such a feature, but we suppose it’s a question of 

Battery Life and Charging

Battery champs

The iPad Pro (2024) and the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra will most certainly be the devices with the largest batteries you can find out there. 

You will find an 11,200mAh battery if you’re a bad boy and disassemble the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. While it sounds like a lot (and it is), we shouldn’t forget that this Android tablet is a hungry one, so the battery life isn’t record-breaking by any means. It fared well in our custom video streaming test, breaking the 7-hour threshold, but mostly disappoint in the 3D gaming test. 

The new iPad Pro will likely come with a battery that’s around 10,000mAh, which should allow it to comfortably deliver a full business day of battery life. Question is, would it beat the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra or not?

Charging-wise, you can top up the Samsung tablet at up to 45W. The iPad Pro will likely charge at up to 20W (or hopefully slightly more). Don’t expect to find a charger in the box of either one, though. 

Specs Comparison

Summary

Undoubtedly, both the upcoming iPad Pro and the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra are the finest examples of professional tools that can be used by creative professionals on the go. 

If you’re already tied to an ecosystem, then the choice could be obvious: iPad for the Apple fans and the Galaxy S9 Ultra for the Android folks. 

Both tablets will undoubtedly be the cream of the crop for the foreseeable future. The iPad Pro is shaping up to be a decent upgrade over its predecessor, but it doesn’t look like you’d be missing much if you don’t upgrade. Meanwhile, with the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra Samsung is easily flexing, as it’s one of the best Android tablets so far, only hampered by its excessive size. 


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