Two top dog 8" tablets that sell for $399. The choice is easy if you're an Android or iOS fan, but if you're OS agnostic, deciding between the iPad mini with Retina display and the new Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 can be challenging. The updated mini with a Retina display takes all the goodness of the iPad Air and shrinks it to a more pocket-friendly size. The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 takes the best ingredients currently available on Android and packs them into an 8.4" tablet (notice Samsung is playing the upsize game and that's the biggest 8" class general purpose Android tablet on the market).
Both weigh just under 12 ounces and have extremely high resolution displays. The iPad mini has Apple's usual tablet 4:3 aspect ratio, so it's well suited for reading books and viewing web pages. The Samsung Galaxy Pro 8.4 has a 16:10 aspect ratio display that's better suited for watching videos. Both are bright and have excellent contrast, with the iPad having somewhat better color calibration.
The app story? You know how that goes: Android has an absolutely huge app selection, just like iOS, but tablet-optimized Android apps still aren't as prevalent as iPad-optimized apps. That said, top games are available for both and the most popular Android apps are tablet optimized, so you won't be looking at phone-sized apps stretched to fill the big screen all the time. Both ship with very capable MS Office compatible suites and are compatible with Bluetooth keyboards (the Samsung will also work with USB keyboards if you buy a USB OTG adapter). As you might guess, the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 has many more hardware features including an IR blaster AV remote, microSD card slot and USB host.
There are many more points to cover, so do watch our Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 vs. iPad mini with Retina display comparison smackdown video: