Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+
Samsung’s middle Tab
The Galaxy Tab S9+ costs less than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, especially if you’re in need of 5G connectivity. It comes with an S Pen for inking, it has expandable storage, and it’s more durable thanks to IP68 water and dust resistance. It’s a great choice if you’re more into the Android world, but power users will likely crave the performance of the iPad Pro.Pros
- Fingerprint reader adds security
- IP68 water and dust resistance
- Stunning 12.4-inch AMOLED display
- microSD card slot for extra storage
- Less powerful Snapdragon CPU
- Slightly smaller display size
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022)
Apple’s flagship tablet
$1049 $1099 Save $50
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2022) should be the better choice for those who need as much performance as possible from their tablet. The M2 CPU is spectacular, and the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch display can keep up with more specialized work. It costs more than the Tab S9+, but it’s worth the money especially if you’re already invested into the Apple world.Pros
- M2 CPU offers more performance
- Gorgeous 12.9-inch mini-LED screen
- Works seamlessly with other Apple products
- Face ID adds security
- No water or dust resistance
- Costs more than the Tab S9+
- No expandable storage slot
Samsung unveiled its refreshed Galaxy Tab S9 tablets at Galaxy Unpacked, and the three-pronged approach with Tab S9, S9+, and S9 Ultra models aims to compete with Apple’s iPad lineup. The Tab S9+ is expected to take over for the Tab S8+ in our roundup of the best Android tablets, but how does it compare to other devices? This comparison aims to discover the similarities and differences between the Tab S9+ and 12.9-inch iPad Pro released in 2022. Let’s find out whether the Galaxy Tab S9+ or the iPad Pro is a better choice for you.
Price, availability, and specs
The Galaxy Tab S9+ was announced July 26 at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event. Along with its Tab S9 and Tab S9 Ultra siblings, the Tab S9+ is available to preorder now with a full release expected August 11, 2023. Be sure to check out Samsung’s Tab S9 series preorder deals if you are buying ahead of the official launch.
The Galaxy Tab S9+ is the only tablet out of the refreshed series with a 5G variant, and Samsung separates them mainly due to the difference in pricing. The standard Galaxy Tab S9+ with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and 256GB of storage space starts at $1,000. The Tab S9+ with 5G on top of the otherwise similar specs starts at $1,150. My guide comparing the Galaxy Tab S9+ to the S9+ with 5G can help further explain the differences.
Apple’s iPad Pro was most recently refreshed in 2022, when it launched with Apple’s M2 processor. Available in 11- and 12.9-inch sizes, I’ll be focusing on the larger iPad Pro for the purposes of this comparison. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Gen 6) released in 2022 is widely available; Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H have a selection of models in stock, and you can also shop straight from Apple.
Models with 128GB of storage cost $1,099, and prices climb by $100 for each 128GB you add up to 1TB. The 2TB model costs $2,199. 5G connectivity in the iPad Pro is another $200 premium on top of the storage cost.
Following is a look at the specs available in each tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022) Storage 256GB/ 512GB (expandable with microSD) 128GB, 256GB, 526GB, 1TB, 2TB CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Apple M2 Memory 12GB 8GB, 16GB Operating System Android 13, One UI 5.1.1 iPadOS 16 Battery 10,090mAh 10,758 mAh Ports Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Thunderbolt4/USB-C Camera (Rear, Front) 13MP + 8MP, 12MP Rear: 12 MP, f/1.8 (wide) and 10 MP, f/2.4 (ultrawide). Front: 12 MP, f/2.4 (ultrawide) Display (Size, Resolution) 12.4-inch AMOLED, 120Hz 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD, 120Hz Price Starting at $1000 Starting $1,099 Connectivity 5G (optional), Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetoooth 5.3 Wi-Fi, 5G Colors Beige, Graphite Silver, Space Gray
The Galaxy Tab S9+ is the middle tablet option from Samsung, with an AMOLED display measuring in at 12.4 inches. That translates to an overall package that measures 11.23 x 7.3 x 0.22 inches (285.4mm x 185.4mm x 5.7mm). The Tab S9+ without 5G capabilities weighs 1.28 pounds (581g), while the 5G models weighs 1.29 pounds (586g). Not a huge difference and not something you’ll feel in everyday use.
The aluminum body of the Tab S9+ comes in Beige and Graphite colors. IP68 certification for water and dust resistance helps keep your tablet running in adverse conditions, and even the S Pen has the same IP68 rating. A magnet on the back of the Tab S9+ keeps the S Pen in place when not in use, and it will charge while it’s attached. There are four speakers tuned by AKG built into the body, with Dolby Atmos included for extra surround sound effects.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro with M2 chip is the pinnacle of Apple’s tablets, coming at you with a 12.9-inch display and an aluminum body that measures 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches (280.6mm x 214.9mm x 6.4mm). Models with Wi-Fi weigh in at 1.5 pounds (682g), while models with Wi-Fi and 5G weigh 1.51 pounds (685g). The Silver and Space Gray colors give you a bit of selection, but like the Tab S9+ all the flash is in the display. The iPad Pro uses a USB4/Thunderbolt port, while the Tab S9+ goes with USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2).
There are five microphones and four speakers built into the iPad Pro’s chassis, giving you loud and full sound no matter how you’re using the tablet. A magnet along the edge of the iPad Pro works on tandem with the Apple Pencil (sold separately), keeping it in place when not in use. The iPad Pro has no IPX rating for water or dust resistance, making it less hardy than the Tab S9+.
Both devices can be paired up with attachable keyboards that effectively turn the tablets into laptops. These accessories — the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and the Keyboard Book Cover Case for the Tab S9+ — are sold separately, but they will come in handy for anyone who is using a tablet as a primary device.
Both tablets have impressive displays that are among the best on the market. The Tab S9+ goes with an AMOLED 2X screen measuring 12.4 inches; though Samsung doesn’t list a resolution, it looks to be set at about 2800 x 1752, with a variable refresh rate that tops out at 120Hz. For gaming, the screen can also drop to a 0.3ms response time. Samsung’s AMOLED tech features brightness and color adjustments at the individual LED level, making for a picture with very light whites and very deep blacks.
Thin bezels surround the screen, and there’s no notch required for the front-facing camera. If you enjoy inking, the Tab S9+ is compatible with the Samsung S Pen that is included in each purchase. Embedded beneath the screen is a fingerprint reader for added security.
The iPad Pro has a slightly larger 12.9-inch liquid retina XDR display with mini-LED technology and 2,596 local dimming zones for outstanding brightness, color, and contrast. It has a 2732 x 2048 resolution that works out to 264 pixels per inch, and its brightness climbs up to 1,600 nits with HDR content. You get excellent sRGB and DCI-P3 color reproduction, making it a good fit for specialized work in those color gamuts.
Paired up with the Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro can deliver one of the best inking experiences around. However, you do have to buy the Pencil separately.
The iPad Pro’s rear camera array includes a 12MP wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture, as well as a 10MP ultra wide lens with f/2.4 aperture and 125° FOV. These cameras have a great collection of bonus features, including Smart HDR 4, 5x maximum digital zoom, 2x optical zoom, and 4K video capabilities. On the front of the iPad Pro is a 12MP TrueDepth ultra wide camera with 122° FOV and f/2.4 aperture. It’s set up very well for selfies, with portrait lighting and bokeh effects, FHD video capabilities, Smart HDR 4, and more. The iPad Pro’s LiDAR sensor also works with 3D scanning apps, adding an extra tool to some workflows.
Currently, we know less about the Tab S9+ cameras, but Samsung has given some basic specs. The rear array has a 13MP autofocus camera as well as an 8MP ultrawide camera, while the front of the tablet has a 12MP ultra wide camera. You’ll lose some pixels on the ultra wide cam, but the 13MP rear-facing camera bests the iPad’s 12MP. Both tablets should deliver great stills and video, though Apple’s added effects might be the difference if you love taking selfies and adding after-effects to your media.
The Galaxy Tab S9+ ships with Android 13 and Samsung’s One UI 5.1.1 customization suite. You get all of the best Android 13 features, with some extra camera and gallery upgrades, better widgets, new Modes and Routines, and better screenshot functionality. If you’ve used a Samsung product before, you no doubt have a good idea of what this OS entails. One area where Samsung excels is with its DeX software. This can essentially turn your tablet into a full desktop computer experience; just add a monitor and a keyboard to take full advantage.
The iPad Pro (2022) runs on iPadOS 16, which blends some of the best features from iOS and macOS. It’s a streamlined operating system that is particularly powerful if you’re invested into the Apple ecosystem. Like the Tab S9+ and its DeX functionality, the iPad Pro can be connected to an external display to resemble more an iMac than anything else.
The iPad Pro also boasts app support that’s well beyond the Tab S9+. Apps are well optimized for the tablet form, and there are plenty of pro-levels apps — like Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve — only available on the iPad Pro.
Performance and battery life
The Galaxy Tab S9+ has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which is the same as you’ll find in something like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. We tested the CPU with Geekbench 5 in our Galaxy S23 Ultra review, getting a single-core score of 1,538 and multi-core score of 4,913. The Tab S9+ has some seriously improved cooling abilities, so these numbers are bound to climb compared to the phone.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s collected scores at the Geekbench website reveal how far ahead the M2 chip is in terms of raw power. It regularly hits an 1,850 single-core score, with multi-core scores easily climbing to 8,000 and beyond. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a great little chip, but it can’t touch the Apple M2. It’s the same chip as found in the new MacBook Pro, Air, and Mac Mini, giving you a ton of power for all tasks.
You can get the iPad Pro with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB of storage, and either 8GB or 16GB of RAM depending on the storage size (1TB and 2TB models come with the extra memory). The Galaxy Tab S9+ comes with 12GB of RAM, as well as your choice of 256GB of 512GB of onboard storage space. A microSD card reader can also expand storage by 1TB.
As for battery life, it’s hard to say for sure which tablet comes out on top right now. There are many factors at play, and we haven’t yet had a chance to run the proper tests. We do know that the Tab S9+ has a 10,090 mAh battery, while the iPad Pro sits at a larger 10,758mAh battery. We do know that the iPad Pro will go for about 10 to 12 hours under heavy use, and it will be interesting to see how the Tab S9+ compares.
Which tablet is right for you?
The Galaxy Tab S9+ is a beautiful tablet that will undoubtedly attract a lot of Android users. It’s likely the best option out of the three Tab devices for most people, balancing features, size and price in a way that suits more users. We’ve written guides on how the Galaxy Tab S9+ compares to the Tab S9 as well as how the Tab S9+ compares to the Tab Ultra if you should need a bit more information.
The Tab S9+ is physically smaller and lighter than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and it boasts an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. This alone adds a lot of durability, and the iPad Pro’s lack of any sort of the same will be felt by those who enjoy traveling or otherwise going about their day with their tablet nearby.
You’ll pay less for the Tab S9+ compared to the iPad Pro, and to further extend the Tab S9+’s value Samsung includes an S Pen for inking with each tablet. You won’t be able to set it up with as many storage options as compared to the iPad Pro, but the Tab S9+ does have a microSD slot for up to 1TB of expandable storage. The Tab S9+ is ultimately a great choice for anyone invested in the Android world, and it’s capable of handling gaming and everyday tasks with ease.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+
Samsung’s middle Tab
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S9+ won’t match the iPad Pro’s M2 CPU performance, but it does bring IP68 water and dust resistance, expandable storage, a cheaper price tag, and its own great set of features. It’s the right choice if you’re already into the Android world or if you don’t really need a tablet as expensive or with as much power as the iPad Pro.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is Apple’s flagship tablet, and it truly has a lot going for it. Those who are Android all the way likely already know which tablet they’re choosing, but the iPad Pro does tempt with its incredible M2 processor and smooth operation, especially when used with other Apple products.
Power users who need the most performance possible out of a tablet will love what the M2 chip has to offer. It’s the same hardware as what’s found in modern MacBooks, delivering a ton of power while sipping battery when not under a heavy load. The display is larger, it uses mini-LED tech for a brilliant picture, and it has good color coverage for specialized work. If you’re hoping to buy a tablet and use it for all purposes, the iPad Pro will likely be the better choice.
You will pay a premium for the Apple tablet. Even basic models with less storage space cost more than the Tab S9+, and you have to pay extra for the Apple Pencil for inking. There’s also no expandable storage slot, so you’ll be paying a premium to Apple for any extra onboard space.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022)
Apple’s flagship tablet
$1049 $1099 Save $50
The 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro should be a better choice for power users who plan on employing a tablet for most tasks. The M2 CPU is simply a beast whether you’re tackling intensive tasks or enjoying some games. You will pay more for the iPad Pro compared to the Tab S9+, but it’s the right choice if you value performance.