Some impressions on Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 vs iPad mini retina

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by RickTaylor, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I've owned the iPad mini since it nearly came out, upgrading to the retina the day it became available. I fell in love with the sleek form factor. It slips into my suit jacket pocket and goes everywhere with me.

    Still, I sometimes wonder what else is available out there. I'm not wedded to Apple; I have a Moto X phone which I've been pleased with. I like being able to download files to it over a usb cable without having to mess with dropbox or itunes, and I like it's feature of automatically silencing itself when you schedule a meeting marked busy. As a teacher, it saves me the trouble of having to remember to turn my ringer off and on every class.

    So when I saw a post on this forum in a thread entitled "7-8" tablet recommendations?" saying the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 was available at Best Buy this week for $250, I was tempted. That seemed a great price for a well reviewed device with an 8.4 inch screen (even if it is shortly to be replaced by the super amoled Galaxy Tab S). Maybe I should get one just to try it out?

    I went over to Best Buy to play with the demo. These are just my impressions. I make no claim that they are either extensive or unbiased.

    First, I liked the sleek form factor of the device; it reminded me of my feelings on first seeing the mini. Playing around with it, downloading some files of mine I could view, the interface seemed straightforward; I didn't have any trouble swiping down to bring up a list of downloads to open my file, without any instruction.

    What really caught my attention was the keyboard. Oh, it was so nice! No longer did I need to have to bring up another screen of keys just to type a number. It was a pleasure to use, and as I did so, I felt myself becoming annoyed with Apple; why on earth has it taken them this long to allow third party keyboards?

    I also like the sound of the device. Even turned all the way up, my retina mini is too quiet to use reliably as an alarm, and I'm thinking of jail breaking it just to be able to turn up the volume.

    So why am I sticking with the retina mini?

    It may be just luck, but for me, the size of the mini is perfect. With it's 4:3 form factor and 7.9 inch screen, it's just big enough to be able to view pdf documents comfortably in portrait view (sometimes I do adjust the margins), while being just small enough to slip into my suit jacket pocket and go everywhere with me. While at 8.4 inches the screen of the Galaxy is larger, it's actually narrower. Plus the device is taller; I could not carry it in my suit jacket pocket without it sticking out of the top.

    Moreover, when I downloaded and viewed a sample pdf document on both devices, the iPad rendered it more nicely. In particular, there was a small cap followed by a lower case letter. On the Galaxy Tab, there was a gap between the small cap and the following letter that didn't look right to me, which wasn't there on the iPad. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised; Apple is the company that first popularized Desktop Publishing, after all. It was a small difference, and one I expect most people wouldn't care about. But the main purpose I got a tablet in the first place was for reading technical pdf documents, and that alone may keep me with Apple for now.

    So those are my impressions based on a brief acquaintance with the Galaxy Tab 8.4. I still think Best Buy is offering a great deal, and I'm suggesting it to any of my friends who might be looking for a tablet device.
  2. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    Thanks for the review OP.

    I'm iPhone and iPad for personal use, but have been thinking about getting an Android tablet for business. I've been leaning towards the Samsung Galaxy Tab4, but have also been looking at Kindles.

    When is the Tab 4 being replaced?
  3. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    I too picked up a GTab Pro 8.4 @ Best Buy a few days ago. $250 was too good to pass up.

    To the best of my knowledge, this is a "clearance" price on the Pro 8.4. The Samsung kiosk at Best Buy didn't have any Pro 8.4 units on display but did have the GTab S 8.4 prominently on display. That is selling for $399, doesn't have the faux-leather back (which I love) but has a nice bronze option.

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