Apple iPad Air 2 vs. Google Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S

See how the newly unveiled Apple iPad Air 2 compares to its Android tablet competitors: the Google Nexus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.

Xiomara Blanco Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors
Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.
Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Xiomara Blanco
Lynn La
2 min read
The Apple iPad Air 2, Google Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S Lynn La/CNET

In addition to the iPad Mini 3 , Apple took the wraps off its new iPad Air 2 tablet today during a press event held at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. Though many of its specs haven't changed from its predecessor (it's equipped with the same 9.7-inch or 246.38mm display), its 0.24-inch (6.1mm) profile and proprietary 64-bit A8X chip processor make it Apple's thinnest and fastest tablet to date.

The device's launch also comes on the heels of Google's latest tablet debut, the Nexus 9 . Announced yesterday, the device serves as an attractive Android alternative to the Air 2. Running the most recent Android 5.0 software, the Nexus sports a slightly smaller 8.9-inch (226.06mm) display. However, with its $399 starting price, it's less expensive than the Air 2. (In the UK and AU, the Nexus' pricing has yet to be revealed, though converted, it comes out to about £250 and AU$455, respectively).

But the Nexus 9 isn't the only competitor the Air 2 should worry about. Not surprisingly, Apple's ever-present rival Samsung has a high-end tablet as well. Known as the Galaxy Tab S , the device has an ultra-sharp screen, an attractive sleek design, and plenty of software and media features to keep users entertained. Plus, with its $500 (£400, AU$590) starting price, it costs about about the same as Apple's tablet, but adds on a slightly bigger 10.5-inch (267.2mm) screen and expandable storage.

For more on how these devices stack up spec-by-spec, check out our comparison chart below. And be sure to take a look out our list of the best tablets of this year.

Apple iPad Air 2 vs. Google Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5)

Apple iPad Air 2Google Nexus 9Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)
Display 9.7 inches (246.38mm) with 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution8.9 inches (226.06mm) with 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution10.5 inches (267.2mm) with 2,560x1,600-pixel resolution
Pixel density 264ppi288ppi288ppi
Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 inches (240x169.5x6.1mm)8.9 x 6.05 x 0.31 inches (228.25x153.68x7.95mm)9.74 x 6.98 x 0.26 inches (247.3x177.3x6.6 mm)
Weight Wi-Fi: 15.36 ounces (437g); Wi-Fi with cellular: 15.68 ounces (444g)Wi-Fi: 14.99 ounces (425g); Wi-Fi with cellular: 15.38 ounces (436g)Wi-Fi: 16.40 ounces (465g); Wi-Fi with cellular: 16.47 ounces (467g)
OS iOS 8.0Android 5.0Android 4.4.2 (TouchWiz)
Rear-facing camera; video 8-megapixel; 1080p HD video8-megapixel; 1080p HD video8-megapixel; 1080p HD video
Front-facing camera; video 1.2-megapixel; 720p HD video1.6-megapixel; 720p HD video2.1-megapixel; 720p HD video
Processor Proprietary second-gen 64-bit A8X chip with M8 motion co-processor64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 with 2.3GHz dual-core DenverExynos 5 Octa 5420 with 1.9 GHz quad-core Cortex-A15
Capacity 16GB, 64GB and 128GB16GB and 32GB16GB and 32GB
External memory NoNoExpandable up to 128GB
Battery Non-removable; 27.3-watt-hour battery with 10-hour usage time on Wi-Fi and 9-hour usage time on cellularNon-removable; 6,700mAhNon-removable; 7,900mAh
Bluetooth 444
Fingerprint scanner YesNoYes
Colors Silver, space gray, and goldIndigo-Black, lunar white, and sandDazzling white and titanium bronze
US retail price Wi-Fi: $500 (16GB), $600 (64GB) and $700 (128GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: $630 (16GB), $730 (64GB) and $830 (128GB) Wi-Fi: $400 (16GB) and $480 (32GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: $600 (32GB)Wi-Fi: $500 (16GB) and $550 (32GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: $600 to $650 (16GB)
UK retail price Wi-Fi: £400 (16GB), £480 (64GB), and £560 (128GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: £500 (16GB), £580 (64GB) and £660 (128GB)Pricing not available yetWi-Fi: £400 (16GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: £480 (16GB)
AU retail price Wi-Fi: AU$620 (16GB), AU$740 (64GB) and AU$860 (128GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: AU$780 (16GB), AU$900 (64GB) and AU$1,020 (128GB) Pricing not available yetWi-Fi: AU$590 (16GB) and AU$650 (32GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: AU$750 (16GB)