iPad Pro M4 vs. Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Which is Better?

With the introduction of OLED displays and a thinner design in the M4 iPad Pro, it’s worth comparing it to Samsung’s flagship OLED tablet, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. Let’s see how these two devices stack up against each other and which might be the better purchase for you.

Display Quality

OLED Display Comparison

  • iPad Pro M4: 13-inch 4:3 OLED display.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: 14.6-inch 16:10 OLED display.

The Tab S9 Ultra’s wider aspect ratio is better for video consumption, offering a larger content view with less letterboxing than the iPad Pro. The Tab S9 Ultra’s display is rated slightly brighter, but the difference isn’t noticeable in real use. However, HDR content on the Tab S9 Ultra can get too bright, washing out other content. The iPad Pro handles glare better, especially with the Nano-Texture option available on higher-end models.

Design and Build

Thinner Profiles

  • iPad Pro M4: New design is slightly thinner than the Tab S9 Ultra.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Slightly thicker but the difference feels negligible.

Both tablets have similarly thin profiles, making them portable and sleek.

Storage Options

Built-in Storage

  • iPad Pro M4: Up to 2TB of built-in storage.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Up to 1TB of built-in storage, with a microSD slot for expandable storage.

Samsung’s microSD slot offers a cost-effective way to add extra storage, unlike the more expensive integrated storage options on the iPad Pro.

Camera Capabilities

Camera Features

  • iPad Pro M4: Standard Wide camera.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Includes both Ultra Wide and standard Wide cameras.

While the Tab S9 Ultra offers more camera options, most users might not use their tablets for capturing video extensively.

Keyboard and Accessory Comparison

Magic Keyboard vs. Samsung Keyboard

  • iPad Pro M4: Redesigned Magic Keyboard offers a premium feel, solid typing, an excellent trackpad, and an additional USB-C port.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Samsung’s keyboard is pleasant to type on but has a subpar trackpad.

Samsung’s keyboard can be separated into two pieces, offering more flexibility. However, Apple’s Magic Keyboard offers a better overall typing and trackpad experience.

Stylus and Pen Support

Apple Pencil Pro vs. S Pen

  • iPad Pro M4: Apple Pencil Pro with advanced gestures and Find My support. Sold separately for $129.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: S Pen included in the box.

Samsung’s inclusion of the S Pen adds value, whereas the Apple Pencil Pro is an additional purchase.

Platform and Ecosystem

Apple vs. Android

  • iPad Pro M4: Best for those invested in the Apple ecosystem.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Offers great features and a huge display at a lower price, ideal for those looking for an alternative to Apple.

Pricing and Value

Cost Comparison

  • iPad Pro M4: Higher price point, especially with additional accessories.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Lower price with included accessories, offering better value.

Comparison Table

FeatureiPad Pro M4Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra
Display13-inch 4:3 OLED14.6-inch 16:10 OLED
BrightnessHandles glare better with Nano-Texture optionSlightly brighter, but HDR can wash out content
DesignSlightly thinner profileSlightly thicker, but difference negligible
StorageUp to 2TB built-inUp to 1TB built-in, expandable with microSD
CamerasStandard Wide cameraUltra Wide and Standard Wide cameras
KeyboardMagic Keyboard with premium feel, solid typing, excellent trackpad, additional USB-C portGood typing experience, poor trackpad, separable keyboard
StylusApple Pencil Pro (sold separately for $129)S Pen included
PlatformBest for users invested in Apple ecosystemOffers great features at lower price, good for Android users
PriceHigher, additional cost for accessoriesLower, includes accessories

MacReview’s Take

Both the iPad Pro M4 and Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra are excellent tablets with their own strengths. Your choice will likely come down to platform preference and specific needs. The iPad Pro M4 integrates seamlessly with Apple’s ecosystem, while the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra offers a large display and value with included accessories.

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