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Until now the Apple iPad Pro has been a go-to choice for artists who wanted a portable drawing tablet. The Apple Pencil played a big role in establishing the iPad as a superior drawing device.
They are so good that they compelled even professional artists to switch from traditional drawing devices such as Wacom Cintiq to the Apple iPad Pro.
For a long time, there was no other stylus in the market that could match the performance, speed, and accuracy of the Apple Pencil. But now with the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (+) and the all-new S Pen, things are not the same for iPads anymore.
The new S Pen with its updated hardware is now as good as Apple Pencil both in terms of speed and accuracy. Combined with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, they become a great alternative to the Apple iPad Pro.
If you are looking to buy one of these tablets as a digital artist and planning to use them as your primary or secondary drawing device, this is a must-read for you.
The iPad Pro comes in two variants – the Apple iPad Pro 11 inch and 12.9-inch, Whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, are available in 11 and 12.4-inch variants respectively.
(Note for mobile users: Pan left/right to see the whole table)
|Apple iPad Pro|
|Apple iPad Pro|
|Samsung Galaxy |
|Dimension||247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm||280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm||253.8 x 163.3 x 6.3 mm||285.0 x 185.0 x 5.7 mm|
|Display Size||11 inch |
|12.9 inch |
|11 inch |
|Resolution||2388 x 1668 p||2732 x 2048 p||2560 x 1600 p||2800 x 1752 p|
|PPI (pixels per inch)||264||264||274||266|
|Aspect Ratio||1.43:1||4: 3||16:10||16:10|
|Color Accuracy||112% sRGB||112% sRGB||104% sRGB||122% sRGB|
|Refresh Rate||120 Hz||120 Hz||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Brightness||600 nits||600 nits||500 nits||500 nits|
|Stylus||Apple Pencil||Apple Pencil||Samsung |
|Stylus included in the box||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Stylus Response Time||9ms||9ms||9ms||9ms|
|Processor||Apple A12Z |
|Apple A12Z |
|Expandable SD Card||No||No||SD card slot||SD card slot|
|Memory (RAM)||6 GB||6GB||6 / 8 GB||6 / 8 GB|
|Operating System||iPad OS||iPad OS||Android||Android|
|Camera||Rear: 12MP& 10MP|
|Rear: 12MP& 10MP|
|Rear: 13MP & 5MP|
|Rear: 13MP & 5MP
|Connectivity||WiFi/ Cellular||WiFi/ Cellular||WiFi/ Cellular||WiFi/ Cellular|
|Battery Life||7,812 mAh||9,720mAh||8,000mAh||10,090mAh|
|Weight||1.04 lbs |
|1.41 lbs |
|1.10 lbs |
|Price||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
Design and Built quality
Starting off this comparison from design and build quality. For a portable drawing tablet, it is important that the tablet has an easy to carry portable form factor that is comfortable to hold and carry along through the day.
Both the tablets have a very industrial and minimalist design with flat side edges and an all-screen front display with super-thin bezels.
All these tablets are incredibly thin and have a metallic construction which feels nice to hold in hand.
Speakers – All the tablets come with a total of 4 speakers with great sound output. Comparing the two, the speakers on the iPad Pro sounds better.
It is important to note that neither the Apple iPad Pro nor Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 has a headphone jack.
Display Comparison – Apple iPad Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7(+)
A display is the most important part of the drawing tablet because that is where everything happens.
For a good drawing tablet, it is important for the display to have a high-resolution and good color accuracy.
What is the right size for a portable drawing tablet? – Artist Guide
The size of a screen plays an important role in the overall drawing experience of the tablet. As an artist, you always want to have the largest possible screen. But with the increase in screen size, you start to lose on portability.
These mid-size tablets with 11 and 12-inch screens provide the right blend of size, comfort, and portability – giving you a large drawing area while still maintaining a smaller footprint.
As mentioned before, both the iPad Pro and the Samsung tab S7 are available in two sizes. The Apple Ipad Pro comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 comes with an 11-inch screen whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is available in 12.4 inches.
Aspect Ratio is important too – How to pick the right tablet size
The size of the tablet is only one side of the story. The Aspect ratio also plays an important role in determining the overall shape of the screen as well as the tablet itself.
Here is an infographic showing the difference between the “relative sizes” between the screens of Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+.
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Comparing the Screen you would notice that – iPad Pro has a more of a squarish shape where the Samsung tablet is more rectangular.
If you are just looking for a large tablet, as you can see in the image above the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch is the right choice. Its screen size is very much comparable to a 13-inch laptop.
With the 12.4 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 you get a screen that has a similar width to that of 12.9-inch iPad Pro, without any of that massive vertical screen space.
But if you prefer a compact and portable tablet, you can get 11-inch variants of iPad Pro and Samsung Tab S7.
Display Resolution, and PPI (pixels per inch)
Looking at the numbers from the Comparison tablet at the top – you would find that – all the tablets come with a 2.5K (QHD) resolution screen with PPI (pixel per inch) count in the range of 265-274 PPI.
Having a 2.5k QHD resolution is more than enough for an 11 to a 12.9-inch screen. All the given tablets produce very sharp images with great clarity.
Having a good color accuracy is very important for a drawing tablet. The higher color accuracy means the screen is capable of showing more colors.
A screen with great color accuracy can correctly show minor differences in the shades of various colors. This is very important for artists, as they have to constantly make creative decisions based on the colors they see on the screen.
For reference, most computer monitors have color accuracy anywhere in the range of 90~100% sRGB color coverage.
Here is the color accuracy of the iPad Pro and the Galaxy Tab S7+
- Apple iPad Pro – 112% sRGB
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 – 104% sRGB
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ – 122% sRGB
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S76+ variant has the highest color accuracy because of its Super AMOLED Display. The Apple iPad Pro comes with a respectable 112% sRGB color accuracy with their Retina Display technology.
Stylus – Apple Pencil vs new Samsung S-Pen
Needless to say – a stylus is the most important part of a drawing tablet. No matter how good the tablet is, a stylus has the power to make or break your drawing experience of using that tablet.
In the beginning, we touched a little bit on how Apple Pencil has established itself as the best digital stylus for creative professionals.
Till now there was no other stylus in the market that could match the performance of the Apple Pencil. Other brands such as Hp, Dell, Wacom, and Microsoft have been trying to make a comparable stylus but they are nowhere near yet.
Samsung is another big player when we talk about the digital stylus. They have been shipping stylus with their phones and tablet for a long time now.
Their stylus was the only digital pen that kind of managed to have a similar performance to the Apple Pencil, but they still lacked responsiveness.
That changes now with the arrival of their new and redesigned Samsung S Pen and Galaxy Tab S7+. With this, Samsung has been finally able to match (or maybe outdo) the speed, accuracy, and quality of the Apple Pencil.
Let talk about them in detail…
Apple Pencil – The design of the stylus is fairly simple with a long-narrow cylindrical body with a flat region on the side. The Flat side contains a touch button which helps in changing for brush and eraser.
The Flat face also has powerful magnets that help the stylus to stick on top of the Apple Pencil where it charges wirelessly. Finally, at the front, you have a Plastic writing tip.
Samsung S Pen – The S Pen is very similar in shape to the Apple Pencil. It also has a long-narrow cylindrical shape with a flat face. You would find a single customizable button on the side.
It magnetically sticks at the back of the Galaxy Tab S7 to charge wirelessly. It can also be magnetically stuck to the top right side of the tablet for holding the stylus when it is not in use.
Features and Performance
Both Apple Pencil and the Samsung S Pen has a very accurate stylus tracking and support both pressure and tilt sensitivity. The biggest improvement with the Samsung S Pen is its faster response time with a 9ms latency, which is exactly the same as the Apple Pencil.
Drawing and writing with the tablet, the pressure sensitivity feels well balanced. Both Apple and Samsung allows you to customize the pressure sensitivity (how hard you need to press) on the stylus. Tile detection also works equally well as well.
Drawing with both tablets feels equally comfortable. The Apple Pencil has a slightly matte texture on the pen which feels better to hold compared to gloss and smooth texture on the S Pen. But that as well be a personal preference.
Charging the stylus is very easy, simply attach the stylus to their magnetic docking station and it starts to charge automatically. The battery on these stylus lasts a long time on a full charge and they both come with fast charging.
Price of the stylus
Apple Pencil needs to be purchased separately and it is fairly expensive. You can click here to check the latest price of Apple Pencil on Amazon.
Samsung S Pen, on the other hand, does not need to be purchased as it is included with the tablet for free.
Refresh rate and stylus performance
The refresh rate of the screen has a huge effect on the speed and response time of the stylus.
For a good stylus experience, the Pen and the tablet need to work together. The Pen is responsible for measuring the pressure and touch data, whereas the tablet helps with positioning and tracking the stylus.
A display with a faster refresh rate scans for the stylus position more often which allows the tablet to get more accurate tracking data.
For that reason, both the Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ come with a very fast 120Hz refresh rate. Where the screens scan for the stylus position 120 times in a second – which results in a blazing-fast 9ms response time in both the stylus.
Recommended read – how Apple Pencil and S Pen work?
Drawing apps – Android vs iPadOS
So far we have learned that Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 are very similar to each other in terms of design, build, display quality, and stylus performance. So how and on what basis can you pick one tablet over the other?
The Answer is – their operating system and choice of drawing application.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 runs on Android and the Apple iPad Pro Runs on iPadOS. Comparing the Android with iPadOS from the point of view of an artist, the iPadOS seems to have more advantages.
iPadOS is a very mature platform with not only has most of the popular drawing applications available on the platform but also some iPad only apps such as Procreate – which cannot be found anywhere else.
In comparison, Android does not have all the apps that you can find on iPads but there are still plenty of options available.
Moreover, there are plenty of cross-platform drawing applications that are available on all operating systems – whether it is Windows, Mac, iPadOS, or Android – and more and more drawing apps are working towards cross-platform support as we speak.
Processor, power, and performance
Here is what Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 come with in terms of processor.
- Apple iPad Pro – A12Z Bionic Chip
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 – Qualcomm SnapDragon M865+
Both Apple A12Z and SnapDragon 865+ are top tier processor and they have more than enough processing power to handle day to day tasks with ease.
Drawing on a tablet is a processer intensive work, but it is not as demanding as – let’s say gaming. So both the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S7 can easily handle high-resolution project files with hundreds of layers and effects.
Using these tablets you will experience no lag or jitteriness which is great.
Battery life is another important feature to consider in a drawing tablet after all – you want your tablets to last as long as possible on a single charge.
Here are the battery capacities of these tablets.
- Apple iPad Pro 11-inch – 7,812 mAh
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch – 9,720mAh
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 – 8,000mAh
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ – 10,090mAh
As the battery capacity suggests the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 has a slightly better battery life than the Apple iPad Pro. But the difference is very small and not that significant
Having a good camera is essential as it allows you to take pictures of something that you are gonna paint later, right on your drawing tablet.
The primary camera of iPad Pro is 12 megapixels, whereas the camera on Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is 13MP, which is very similar. Both the tablets take equally good photographs.
Looking at the overall size and dimension of the tablet and considering the battery life, you can say that both the tablets are equally good in terms of portability.
Further, styluses of both these devices magnetically stick to the tablet making them easier to carry along, which is always good for artists.
Ports and connectivity
Both the Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ comes with a single USB-C port with no headphone jack.
This USB-C port can be used to plug in everything from charging cable to external storage and USB Hub.
Other than the USB-C port, you also have the connectors to attach keyboard accessory on both the tablets. And finally, you have the wireless charging dock to charge the respective styluses.
In terms of wireless connectivity – both tablets support WiFi and Cellular connection.
Keyboard cover accessory – For expanding the usability of the tablet, you can get a keyboard accessory for both the tablets. These keyboard accessory magnetically attaches to their respective docking connectors and have a keyboard and a touchpad.
As an artist, you don’t really need this, but again if you are someone who does a lot of typing then you can consider them.
Comparing the two keyboard accessories the Apple keyboard is more high tech whereas the Samsung keyboard is more functional.
The Apple keyboard has an intelligent hinge that lifts the tablet a few centimeters above the surface which makes the tablet look more futuristic. But on the flip side, the Apple Keyboard is havier than the tablet itself and makes the setup a little bulky.
The Samsung Keyboard accessory has two parts. The keyboard is present at the front and the adjustable stand cover at the back. What you will really appreciate is – the back cover with the integrated stand can be used independently without the keyboard.
The only shortcoming of the Samsung Keyboard cover is it does not comes with a backlight.
Textured screen for better drawing experience
Drawing on a smooth and shiny glass screen with a plastic stylus can make your stylus to slip around a little too much.
Some artists really like the smooth and slippery feel but others consider it annoying.
If you like your tablets to have a slight grip and a little bit of texture when you use the stylus on the screen – you can get a textured film for your tablet.
The textured film has microscopic irregularities that provide friction to the stylus and gives it a more controlled movement, just like a textured paper.
The textured film also protects the screen from getting scratched by the constant pocking of the stylus. These screens are fairly cheap and easy to apply on the screen.
Get Textured film for Apple iPad Pro (Amazon)
Get Textured film for Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ (Amazon)
Summary: Apple iPad Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, Samsung has not necessarily raised the bar for portable tablets, but more like – they have matched the standard already set by Apple.
From the comparison, it is clear that both Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 can be equally good choices to be used as a drawing tablet. They have a similar screen, stylus, and responsiveness.
At this point, all we can say is – the Operating System is the only major difference between the two devices.
Which tablet should you get?
The Apple iPad Pro is a good choice for artists who want zero compromises with the hardware and software – mainly considering the fact that Apple has a more mature App Store with better drawing apps available.
Getting an iPad Pro is also a better choice for the artists who have already invested in the Apple ecosystem and have products such as Macbooks, iPhones, and Apple AirPods.
These Apple devices can seamlessly integrate with each other and share files between themselves via airdrop, providing superior user experience.
Using iPads and Mac system, you can use tools like Apple sidecar or the Astropad, which mirrors your MacBook screen on the iPad. It allows you to use desktop apps on your iPad and use Apple and allows you to use the stylus on iPad with apps running on the MacBook pro.
Now for people who are happy with the selection of drawing apps available on Android, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is actually a better choice.
The tablet has a very color-accurate Amoled screen which is superior to the Apple iPad Pro, plus the new S Pen is a very capable stylus.
To top to all off, unlike iPads the S Pen is included in the box for free, so you are already saving a hundred bucks.
In the end, Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ are two of the best tablets in the market. So irrespective of whether you pick the Apple or Samsung – you are getting a good drawing tablet, which will for sure impress you with its drawing capabilities.
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