7P notes: Apple iPad versus Samsung Galaxy Tab S


I've used both iPads and a Samsung Galaxy Tab extensively. And here are my thoughts about one versus the other in terms of using them as a drawing tablet.

Below or my detailed notes about using each one individually

Drawing experience

I think the Galaxy Tab S series wins in the drawing experience category. Having said that I do want to recognize that the Apple pencil as a device is actually very good.

But here are the reasons why I think the drawing experience is actually better on the Galaxy Tab S series

  • the Galaxy Tab series uses Wacom EMR technology. This is the same technology that powers all of Wacom's products. And especially if you're coming from a background of using drawing tablets then this will feel more natural to you than using an apple pencil.

  • Hover support has always been available with the Samsung Galaxy Tab series. But it is a relatively new feature for apple iPads and only works with certain pens and with certain iPads.

  • Depending on which apple pencil you have and which iPad you have.

  • Pens that work with the Galaxy Tab series also have a single button. But the Apple iPad pencil does not have such a button


I've owned an Apple iPad since they first came out in about 2011. And they've always been highly reliable devices.

I've had Samsung Galaxy Tab S devices for about the last year and a half. And they also seem highly reliable.

Pointer lag

  • Apple iPad - very low (which is good)

  • Samsung Galaxy S tab - very low but not quite as good as an iPad

In practice both are excellent in terms of pointer lag.

Pen nib retraction

  • The apple pencil has a fixed tip.

  • Like any EMR drawing tablet, the Samsung S pen features a nib that retracts


There is a good set of applications across both types of devices. Though you will encounter some applications that only work with the specific device.

My favorite apps to use are clip studio paint and infinite painter which work on both kinds of devices

Here's a list of some of the more popular apps

more here: applications

Aspect Ratio

iPads are around a 4X3 aspect ratio. And Samsung Galaxy S tablets have a 16 by 9 aspect ratio.

I think the 4X3 aspect ratio of the Apple iPad is in general a better choice. The size of the Galaxy S tablets makes sense for watching things like videos which are often in 16 by 9 aspect ratio but it can feel awkward to hold especially for the larger sizes.

Pen versions

  • Apple iPad. There are multiple pen versions. The one I recommend is the Apple Pencil 2 because it supports pressure, tilt, and hover.

  • Samsung: There are several versions of the S pen and they aren't clearly labelled. The one I am discussing is the one compatible with the Galaxy Tab S series of tablets.

Does pen come with tablet

  • Apple iPad - you have to buy the Apple Pencil separately. It does NOT come with an iPad.

  • Samsung Galaxy S series - the Samsung S pen comes with the tablet.

Pen replacement cost

Don't lose your pen! They aren't cheap to replace. The Apple Pencil is very expensive compared to the Samsung S Pen.

  • Apple Pencil 2: $130 USD

  • Samsung S Pen for Galaxy Tab: $50

Other resources

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