Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8 vs iPad Mini Retina

After launching about 65,000 other tablets Samsung is finally getting around to launching a couple which can challenge the dominance of the iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S Review

Along with the larger 10.5in model, Samsung has launched a 8.4in tablet which it is hoping will be able to knock the iPad mini off its perch as the world's favourite small tablet.

Here we compare the two to see if Samsung has produced a tablet which is worth spending your money on:

Galaxy Tab S vs iPad mini 2: Design

The Galaxy Tab S is a slim, sleek, lightweight tablet and at just 6.6mm it is thinner than the iPad mini 2 (7.5mm) and at 294g is significantly lighter than Apple's small tablet (331g).

The iPad mini 2 certainly feels more premium with its all-metal chassis, but the Galaxy Tab S is not too far behind, eschewing the plastic feel of other Samsung tablets.

The dimpled rear on the Galaxy Tab S won't be to everyone's taste, but it offers something different to Apple's polished metal finish.

Galaxy Tab S vs iPad mini 2: Screen

The Galaxy Tab S screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1600, giving it a pixel density of 360 pixels per inch (ppi) which is slightly higher than the 324ppi on the iPad.

Of course that's not the only difference in the screens. First up is size - the Galaxy Tab S has a 8.4in screen while the iPad mini 2 has a 7.9in screen.

Next is aspect ratio. The iPad mini 2's screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio while the Galaxy Tab S has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which Samsung says is more conducive to watching videos.

Finally, Samsung says its screen, which it claims is the "world's greatest tablet screen", can reproduce 97% of the Adobe RGB colour coverage, whereas the Retina display on the iPad can only manage around 70%.

Side by side, the iPad screen does look somewhat washed-out though the Samsung screen does look almost too vibrant.

Galaxy Tab S vs iPad mini 2: Hardware

iPad Mini 2

In terms of hardware, the Galaxy Tab S comes with Samsung's powerful Octa-core Exynos 5 processor which is backed with 3GB of RAM. There are 16GB and 32GB versions and a microSD card slot lets you add up to 128GB more.

The Galaxy Tab also has a fingerprint scanner, support for the faster Wi-Fi AC standard and there is a 4G version available.

The iPad mini features Apple's latest A7 chip along with the M7 co-processor to help power efficiency, and the tablet is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions but there is of course no microSD card slot.

Apple has yet to bring the iPhone's fingerprint scanner to the iPad and there is no Wi-Fi AC support. There is however 4G versions available.

Battery life on the iPad is around 10 hours and Samsung is claiming something similar for the Galaxy Tab S.

Galaxy Tab S vs iPad mini 2: Software

Samsung Galaxy Tab S Review

The Galaxy Tab S runs Android 4.4 (KitKat) which has been heavily skinned with Samsung's own TouchWiz interface which many don't like, but which has been improved on in the last 12 months.

As well as the huge amount of interface tweaks made by Samsung, the company has also added tablet specific content including football-focused app Kick, the Flipboard-like Papergarden service as well as content from Marvel comics and a specially built version of the Kindle app. There is also a children's mode and a multi-user feature.

Apple's iPad mini 2 of course runs iOS 7 and will be updated to iOS 8 sometime this autumn. As well as meaning great performance, iOS also has a huge amount of tablet specific apps unlike Android.

Galaxy Tab S vs iPad mini 2: Price

The Galaxy Tab S will cost £349 when it launches on 4 July for the 16GB version. The 16GB iPad Air costs costs £319.

The iPad Air with 4G costs £419 and Samsung said Galaxy Tab S customers can expect a similar price increase for the 4G version meaning a price of around £449.

Galaxy Tab S vs iPad mini 2: Which to buy?

This will come down to personal choice at the end of the day, but Samsung has finally given consumers something to think about.

The iPad mini 2 is slightly cheaper, has a much better array of tablet-focused apps available and uses more premium materials.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab S is slimmer, lighter and has a sharper screen than Apple's tablet and if you like your screens bright and vibrant, then this is the tablet for you - though it will cost you a little bit more.