Samsung Ativ Tab vs iPad 4
We compare the Samsung Ativ Tab with Windows RT against Apple's latest iPad
Samsung’s Windows RT-based Ativ Tab takes on the might of Apple’s tried-and-true fourth generation iPad.
Samsung Ativ Tab - 265.8x168.1x8.9mm, 570g
iPad 4 - 241.2x185.7x9.4mm, 652g
What can we say about the iPad’s design which hasn’t been said before? Not much, really. It has that iconic Apple signature style which looks very neat and tidy, clean and slightly futuristic – it simply doesn’t date and remains as contemporary as ever.
The corners are slightly rounded, the bezel around the screen is evenly spaced, the back panel is made from aluminium and the whole package is 9.4mm thick.
However, there are always going to be people who don’t like the style, or at the very least are indifferent to it. This writer falls into the latter camp, but credit where it’s due we recognise good design when we see it even if, personally, the details of it don’t exactly stir our blood.
Certainly it’s true that by now some will be experiencing some level of boredom with Apple’s design ethos as it has remained more or less unchanged for so long and is seen virtually everywhere you go.
Aesthetics aside, the build quality remains undeniably top-shelf with premium-grade materials put together with extreme precision. The result is a flawless fit and finish which is tremendously satisfying to get to grips with.
The same can’t be said of the Ativ Tab.
The design is a bit more angular than the iPad, the corners are still curved but slightly less pronounced and a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio gives it some imposing proportions.
The back panel is also nicely contoured from the edges creating a wedge-shaped profile, but it’s not bulky at only 8.9mm thick.
The bezel is evenly spaced and relatively narrow, but not so narrow as to make holding the device difficult.
Overall it looks good in terms of shape, but in other ways it looks tacky and this is in part due to the build quality, which feels as bad as the shiny, almost laminated appearance initially suggests.
Beneath said shiny coating is a slippery and cheap-feeling plastic body which has some undesirable flex to the back panel. It’s made worse by the faux brushed metallic paintjob which, from a distance, looks rather convincing, only amplifying the disappointment as you pick the slate up.
This is not a hard fought victory for the iPad.
Winner – iPad 4
The Ativ Tab features Samsung’s PLS LCD display technology, which is on a par with IPS in terms of picture quality.
It’s a 10.1-inch screen with a 1366x768 pixel resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 155 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
Sharpness is passable but not the best, it’s noticeably not as clear for text as Microsoft’s Surface RT’s ClearType HD-enabled display. However, brightness is great, viewing angles are decent, colour is rich and contrast is good.
The iPad sports one of the best tablet displays around – it’s a 9.7-inch IPS LCD Retina display with a 2048x1536 pixel resolution and at 264ppi is bested only by the Google Nexus 10 at present.
Colours are vivid, contrast and brightness are excellent and the sharpness and clarity is pretty incredible.
Winner – iPad 4
Samsung’s Ativ Tab has options for either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage and each variant comes with microSD capability for high-capacity cards up to 64GB.
The iPad has a slightly broader range of built-in storage models including 16GB, 32GB and 64GB but true to form none of them have microSD slots.
We’d say Samsung’s Ativ Tab just manages to edge out in front here due to having the same higher-tier storage variants along with the flexibility of high-capacity card expansion.
Winner – Samsung Ativ Tab