Saturday, July 13, 2024
Smart Phones

iPad Pro 11-inch (7th Gen) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Main differences to expect


Apple is widely expected to refresh the whole nine yards of its iPad lineup, from the entry-level iPad mini to the larger-than-life iPad Pro. Knowing Apple and the lineup in particular, the latter will be yet another superb productivity device with tons of useful features, top hardware, and tons of nice-to-haves. Surely, we’ve never been closer to a viable laptop alternative than the upcoming iPad Pro 12.9-inch with a 3nm chipset and an OLED display.

But what about the slightly smaller, yet equally endowed iPad Pro, which will possibly strike the best balance between size and internal hardware? And more importantly, how will it fare against the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, a pretty decent Android tablet that is essentially the best alternative to Apple’s slates?

Let’s unravel the differences and see how these two tablets will fare. 

iPad Pro 11-inch (7th Gen) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 expectations:

  • 3nm Apple M3 chipset versus Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • 8GB of RAM on both
  • 11-inch OLED displays on both (11.1-inch on the iPad Pro)
  • Possible MagSafe charging on the iPad vs none on the Galaxy Tab S9
  • 20W vs 45W wired charging

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Premium tablets

Major changes on the iPad Pro 11-inch aren’t expected. Sure, the tablet is widely believed to be getting a slight display increase to 11.1 up from 11 inches. That’s in no way a major increase and shouldn’t require Apple to greatly change the design of the tablet. The increase would be courtesy of some bezel shrinkage, which could stem from Apple’s anticipated switch to OLED displays on its premium tablets. The latest iPads come with miniLED displays, which are excellent, but still lack the exceptional color rendition of OLEDs. 

Aside from that, the iPad Pro will remain a mostly rectangular 3:2 tablet with an aluminum design. Leaks suggest there might be MagSafe charging on board, which would require a MagSafe cutout to be employed.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab S9 is a very light and compact all-aluminum, mostly rectangular tablet with an 11-inch OLED display at the front. It’s IP68-rated, so pretty well protected from the elements. In comparison with the previous flagship Samsung tablet, the Galaxy Tab S9 comes with a single camera only, which streamlines the design.

Display Differences

The “big” inter-generational change delivers a slight 0.1-inch increase in size for the iPad Pro 7th Gen, which isn’t major at all and most certainly wouldn’t change the experience too much. What could be a way more exciting change is the anticipated switch from miniLED to OLED, a first for the iPad lineup. miniLED screens are by no means inferior, but they will have to make way to the OLED displays. 

This change would put the iPad Pro 7th Gen in line with the Galaxy Tab S9, which comes with an 11-inch OLED display, an improvement over the LCD screens of previous small Samsung flagship slates. Size-wise, you have to understand that you will get more screen with the iPad, as it employs a 3:2 aspect ratio, while the Galaxy Tab S9 is a tablet with a 16:10 screen more suitable for movies and other media. 

Performance and Software

The power of 3nm

The iPad Pro 7th Gen will come with the 3nm Apple M3 chip, Apple’s latest desktop-grade chipset that delivers outstanding performance. It would surely be in a league of its own in the tablet space, which is dominated by mobile chipsets. That’s the case with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, which is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, a mobile-first SoC. 

Needless to say, we expect the M3 chip to dominate the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in terms of raw performance and in benchmarks. However, you’ll probably be a hard time noticing any distinct difference between the two: either will be as fast as it gets and surely won’t let you down, be it for casual everyday tasks or intensive gaming. 

There will likely be 8GB of RAM on the iPad Pro, while the Galaxy Tab S9 also relies on 8GB of memory. There is 128GB of storage available on the Samsung device, and we expect the same to be true for the entry-level iPad Pro 11-inch 7th Gen as well. 

Software-wise, the next iPad Pro will likely arrive with either iPadOS 17 or iPadOS 18, depending on when Apple releases it. The Galaxy Tab S9, on the other hand, comes with Samsung’s One UI. The iPad will be supported for longer, both because it will be released later and will get at least five years of support. 


While the iPad Pro likely won’t move away from a dual-camera setup at the back, the Galaxy Tab S9 comes with a single rear camera. Aside from two cameras, the iPad will likely also include a LiDAR sensor like its predecessors, which allows for some more advanced spatial awareness. 

At the front, both tablets use 12MP cameras, which should be plenty enough for video calls and the occasional selfie. 

Audio Quality and Haptics

We expect that the iPad will continue using the quad-speaker setup that has become synonymous with the iPad Pro line. These should sound excellent. But in all honesty, so does the Galaxy Tab S9, although we wouldn’t count on it beating the iPad in terms of audio quality.

In terms of haptic feedback, the Galaxy Tab S9 is quite disappointing with a mushy vibrator on deck, so it wouldn’t take much for the next iPad Pro to come on top. 

Battery Life and Charging

The Galaxy Tab S9 comes with a 8,400mAh battery on board, which delivers exceptional battery life in concert with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on board.

While iPad battery sizes are among the last tidbits to leak out, we expect a battery no smaller than 7,528mAh, which is what the previous iPad had in store and lasted for a long time. 

The iPad Pro will likely come with a 20W charger in the box like its predecessor, while the Galaxy Tab S9 comes along with 45W fast charging, but no charger in the box. 

A new feature for the iPad lineup is the supposed MagSafe wireless charging coming to the iPad Pro, if the rumor mill is to be believed. We might see a magnetic connector like the one on the MacBook, though a circular MagSafe port at the rear could be a possibility. It wouldn’t play well with the metal back, though. 

Specs Comparison


Both devices will serve as their respective ecosystem’s flagship compact tablets, and will surely be the best tablets you might consider getting for the larger part of 2024.

Which one you pick would probably boil down to your ecosystem of choice, as the most significant differences between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab S9 will ultimately be the software and interface differences. 


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