Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Samsung, Sony go for gold

14 August 2014, 10:51Arthur Goldstuck

FEW would argue against a statement that the iPad remains the benchmark for tablet design and efficiency. However, that is not the same as saying it remains the best tablet choice for any consumer.

Both Samsung and Sony have released tablets that redefine the very idea of a “benchmark” in this sector. The newly unveiled Samsung Tab S 10.5 and the recently released Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet are things of beauty, smudged only by their price tags.

The incredible lightness of being a tablet in a world beyond the iPad Air is summed up in three numbers:  the Samsung device weighs in at 467g, and the Sony at 439g. The iPad Air, regarded as absurdly light when it was launched, weighs 469g in its lightest variation. That’s not a huge difference, but it tells you something about the delight of holding any of these devices in your hands – they almost disappear into thin air.

Samsung Tab S 10 5

Talking of thin, the ridiculously slim iPad Air’s 7.5mm is thoroughly ridiculed by the tablets-come-lately. The Tab S has a 6.6mm profile, while the Z2 Tablet takes the bragging rights with a shocking 6.4mm. To put that in perspective, there is not a major brand smartphone in the world that is as thin as that.

Battery life is also a potential differentiator: Sony again takes the line honours with a claimed 50 days standby time. That may sound absurd, but similar claims on their flagship smartphones have stood up to the bottom drawer test: they had held most of their charge after being left in a drawer for a month.

Standard usage time is 13 hours, from a 6000mAh battery. Samsung claims up to 11 hours of multimedia use off its 7900mAh battery, while the iPad Air’s 8820mAh battery only delivers 10 hours multimedia use.

The smaller battery is obviously also the key to Sony’s slimline body, but clearly it has achieved efficiencies in power use that counter the lower capacity.

iPad Air

Ultimately, however, these devices are defined by the quality of their displays. The iPad Air has the smallest screen, at 9.7”, with the Sony Z2 Tablet a little bigger at 10.1” and the Samsung tab S maxing out at 10.5”. Here is how they stack up in screen resolution:

iPad Air: 1536 x 2048 pixels, 264 ppi (pixel per inch, or pixel density)
Sony Z2 Tablet: 1200 x 1920 pixels, 224 ppi
Samsung Tab S 10.5: 1600 x 2560 pixels, 288 ppi

Do the numbers really matter here? Indeed they do. The screen technology also helps, of course, so with the added injection of Super AMOLED, the Tab S dazzles.

The Air and Z2 tablet, as one might expect, are dazzling in their own rights, respectively with retina display and Triluminos TFT capacitive touchscreen, and no user of these will be disappointed with screen quality. However, Samsung has set a new benchmark with the rich, satisfying colour of the Tab S display.

Not to be outdone, Sony has maintained its edge in build quality, at least as far as protection from the elements is concerned. It remains the tablet leader in waterproof technology, with IP55/58 certifications, which means it can survive being dropped in the bath, as well as a minor dust storm.

Sony Xperia Z2

The gold trim of the Samsung Tab S, on the other hand, is the real head-turner of this bunch, and prompts a closer and longer look – which ultimately could win the day for Samsung. On looks and specs alone, it’s a tough choice between the Samsung and Sony devices. On operating system and ecosystem, Apple remains the most streamlined option.

Anyone buying on price will probably be surprised to find the iPad Air comes with lowest recommended retail price, starting at around R6 500. If you shop around hard, you could potentially find the Sony Z2 Tablet at the same price, but most outlets have it from R8 500 to R11 500.

The Samsung Tab S 10.5 may be tops in display, but it is also tops in price, recommended at around R11 500, although spotted as low as R8 300.

Clearly, none of these tablets will shift the market or bring a new generation of users on board. But for the demanding user with a wallet to support those demanding habits, these are all spectacular choices.

 - Fin24

*Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and view his YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/GGadgets.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...