Which is the best Galaxy Tab S or iPad air

Samsung has described its new Galaxy Tab S, unveiled in New York earlier in June, as "industry-leading" when it comes to specifications. In light of the fact this was probably a dig at Apple's iPad Air, we've pitted the two tablets head to head on paper, to see which one offers the best features.
iPad Air: 240x169.5x7.5mm, 478g
Galaxy Tab S: 213x177x6.6mm, 465g
When Apple first unveiled the iPad Air, it was keen to boast that it was – at 7.5mm thick – the thinnest tablet available on the market. But Samsung has stolen the crown, with the Galaxy Tab S measuring a mere 6.6mm. Samsung's latest tablet, despite its larger screen size, is slightly lighter too, with the 3G and 4G versions tipping the scales at 465g and 467g, respectively.
iPad Air: 9.7in, 2048x1536, 264ppi LED-backlit in-plane switching (IPS) screen
Galaxy Tab S: 10.5in, 2560x1600, 288ppi Super Amoled screen
The iPad's screen – since the release of the third-generation model at least – has long been heralded as one of the best, with its Retina display boasting 2048x1536 resolution.

Samsung, however, has once again toppled Apple's flagship device, with its 10.5in Galaxy Tab S boasting a higher, "industry-leading" 2560x1600 touchscreen display. The screen also has Samsung's Super Amoled technology and a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, which should make for deep blacks and bright whites.
However, given that the screen on the Galaxy Tab S is larger than Apple's 9.7in, it remains to be seen which comes out on top in terms of quality.
It's worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S is also available in an 8.4in model with the same 2560x1600 resolution, pitting it against Apple's latest iPad Mini tablet.
iPad Air: iOS 7
Galaxy Tab S: Android 4.4 KitKat, custom UI
It's always hard to judge a winner in the software category when comparing an Apple and a Samsung device, as most people already know whether they prefer iOS or Android.
Apple iPad Air is the iPad 5
The iPad Air runs Apple's latest iOS 7 release, and will be promptly updated to iOS 8 once this is released later in the year. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S runs the newest version of Google's Android 4.4 KitKat mobile operating system, which it has heavily customised in its own user interface (UI).
Fans of the vanilla version of Android might not be too keen, as Samsung's custom UI sees the tablet's 10.5in screen stuffed full of widgets, custom applications and features. However, some of these will likely come in handy, such as Samsung's S Note app, the ability to answer a call through the tablet and its support for the tablet's on-board fingerprint scanner, adding an extra layer of security to the device.
Despite appearing on the flagship iPhone 5S, the iPad Air doesn't come with a Touch ID sensor.
Next: Processor, cameras, battery, pricing and storage
20 Jun 2014
iPad Air: A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion co-processor
Galaxy Tab S: Exynos 5 Octa (1.9GHz quad-core and 1.3GHz quad-core)
The iPad Air shipped with Apple's A7 chip, a 64-bit that comes with an M7 co-processor for advanced motion control. Samsung's chip could outdo the one found in the iPad, with the tablet boasting an octa-core Exynos 5 chip comprising four 1.9GHz Cortex-A15 cores and four 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 cores.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S with 10.5in screen in black
We have yet to put this to the test, but on paper, this eight-core chip makes the tablet one of the most powerful on the market. However, again it's worth noting that if you opt for the 4G LTE model, you'll find a quad-core Snapdragon chip inside.
iPad Air: 5MP rear-facing camera, 1.2MP FaceTime camera
Galaxy Tab S: 8MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera
We dislike this category, as it's fair to say we're not huge fans of taking photos with a tablet, especially when that tablet has a 10.5in screen. There's an LED flash onboard too, a feature missing on the iPad Air, the Tab beats the Apple tablet here. Samsung wins when it comes to the front-facing camera too, with the Galaxy Tab S touting a 2.1MP snapper compared with the iPad's 1.2MP front camera.
iPad Air: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB options
Galaxy Tab S: 16GB, 32GB options, expandable up to 128GB micro SD card
While the iPad Air is available in four different storage options from 16GB to 128GB, the Galaxy Tab S will be made available in just two: 16GB and 32GB.
However, unlike Apple's tablet, the storage on the Galaxy Tab S can be expanded via micro SD card, with its on-board slot capable of handling an additional 128GB. What's more, expanding via micro SD card likely will work out cheaper than opting for a higher-specification model, with Apple's top-end WiFi-only iPad Air fetching £639.
iPad Air: 10 hours
Galaxy Tab S: 11 hours
The iPad Air and Galaxy Tab S are fairly evenly matched when it comes to battery. Apple quotes 10 hours of video playback for the iPad Air, while Samsung is claiming that the 7,900mAh battery in the Galaxy Tab S edges it by an additional hour.
OverallIf any tablet is going to challenge the iPad Air and Apple's dominance in the tablet market, it will be the Galaxy Tab S, with the top-end tablet coming out on top in terms of specifications. We have yet to test these out in the real world, so check back soon for our Samsung Galaxy Tab S review.