There are many different budget tablets on the market right now. With more and more Android tablets being released at the lower end of the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth your money.
Outside of the iPad, Samsung are the most popular brand out there when it comes to Android tablets. They have a good selection of different tablets that you can choose from, with a pretty wide range overall.
And although this is great, this can lead to confusion if you’re trying to decide between different Samsung tablets. Two that are especially confused with one another are the Samsung Galaxy Tab A and the Samsung Galaxy Tab E. They appear to be pretty similar to each other.
But are these two tablets pretty much the same, or are there differences between them? Well, we’re going to look at their specs and performance to find out which one would be the better choice.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A vs Tab E
The difference between the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab E is quite significant. The Galaxy Tab E hasn’t been updated in many years, whereas the Galaxy Tab A has has proven to be much more popular. It’s faster, more responsive and a better option overall than the Galaxy Tab E.
So whilst we know the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is the better option of the two, what makes it the better choice? Let’s look at the Galaxy Tab A in more depth to find out why it’s the top choice for those looking for a cheap tablet.
Note: The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 inch is no longer available in the UK from new. Amazon have actually released an upgraded version of the device with a larger 10.5 inch display instead. Keep reading and I’ll touch on the newer model to see where the improvements are.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
Price: £185.00 | Screen Size: 10.1 inches | Storage: 32GB | Colours: Black, Gold, Silver | Aspect Ratio: 16:10 | Waterproof: No | Connectivity: Wifi | Weight: 460 grams
The Galaxy Tab A is known for being one of the top budget tablets available right now. It’s nowhere near as powerful as an iPad or the Samsung S series, but it’s a direct competitor to other cheaper tablets like the Amazon Fire series, which is very popular at the moment.
The Tab A is an improvement over the Samsung Galaxy Tab E in many different key areas. Let’s look at the main points where it’s an improvement on the E.
Probably one of the most important factors in your decision when you’re purchasing a tablet is the amount of memory that the tablet has. This is no different when it comes to these two tablets.
Whilst neither of these Tabs are particularly powerful, it’s the Tab A that comes out on top here again. It has 2GB of RAM, whereas the Tab E only came with 1.5GB. So there’s not much in it, but it is still the more powerful of the two.
Size & Weight
Now, there isn’t a great difference between the two tablets when it comes to their size and weight. But for most people, the Tab A will likely still be the better choice.
Firstly, in terms of weight, the Tab A is a little bit lighter than the Tab E. The A comes in at approximately 460 grams in weight, whereas the E is a little bit heavier than this at just under 500 grams. Not a massive difference, but when you consider the Galaxy Tab E’s screen is smaller, it’s definitely noticeable.
The screen size of the Tab A is around 9.8 inches, with the overall tablet size being 10.1 inches. This is because it has a pretty thick bezel around the edges of the tablet itself. In contrast to this, the Tab E has a 9.6 inch screen size, so a little bit smaller of the two.
With both of these models, you can add your own memory card if you need to. This will allow you to increase the storage of your tablet by quite a lot, and it’s definitely necessary if you plan on having a lot of different downloads on your tablet.
However, the base model of both of these tablets have different in-built storage capacities. The Tab E comes with 16GB of storage, whilst the Tab A has an improved 32GB of storage. An impressive improvement on the E, and another reason why the Tab A is the better choice.
The battery life of our tablets is becoming more and more important. Though many of us use them around our homes, cheaper tablets can run through battery very quickly. This can be a little bit frustrating. The Tab E only comes with a 5000 mAh battery.
The Tab A improves upon this battery, with 6150 mAh (Milliamp Hours) instead. It’s not going to be a dramatic improvement to your battery life, but if it gives you an extra hour or two of gaming and browsing time, it can’t be a bad thing.
You’ll typically get somewhere between 10 and 13 hours of usage out of this tablet. This means that you’ll only need to charge the tablet a maximum of once per day, which makes it pretty convenient for a tablet to use in the evenings.
More and more people are concerned about the quality of their camera with their tablet nowadays. You can probably attribute it to the increase in video callings, as well as tablets becoming more portable too.
Back when they were both released, they had 5MP back cameras and a 2MP camera on the front. As the Galaxy Tab E hasn’t been upgraded, it still has these camera specs today.
However, the recent updates to the Tab A have improved these cameras quite a bit, so it has an 8MP camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front. This is a big improvement in terms of quality, making the Tab A much better for Skype and Zoom calls.
Most of us don’t care too much about the audio on our tablets – we’re likely to use headphones if we’re ever going to watch a film on them anyway. However, it’s still something that you should consider.
This is an area that the Tab A is impressive, especially when you consider its low cost. It has in-built Dolby standard audio with 3D effect too. It is a definite step up from the Tab E.
One of the main areas where these two have collided on the market is in their price. Since they’ve been released, they’ve both occupied price points right at the lower end of the budget tablet market (between £100 and £200). This is probably why they’ve been compared to each other so often.
As of 2020-21, it’s clear to see that the updated Tab A offers much better value for money. It’s a better use of your cash, and when you consider all that it has to offer, it’s actually a pretty good deal overall.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5
As of 2021, Samsung have switched their focus from both the original Galaxy Tab E and the newer Galaxy Tab A 10.1 to their newer model, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (I know, it gets confusing).
Both of the original models are around 5 years old, which makes sense that Samsung may start to look elsewhere. The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 was only released back in 2019, so it makes sense that Samsung will make this their budget tablet of choice in the coming years.
The difference between the A 10.1 and the 10.5 is primarily as you’d expect, an increase in screen size. It’s also a little but more powerful, as it comes with 3GB of RAM. This is the same as the cheapest iPad, so it makes sense that they want to match the competition.
It is a slightly higher price than the 10.1 too, which means that it goes from the budget category into what many would consider a bit expensive. Though aside from this, the changes made are actually relatively small.
Samsung Galaxy Tab E
Screen Size: 9.6 inches | Storage: 32GB | Colours: Black, White | Aspect Ratio: 16:10 | Waterproof: No | Connectivity: Wifi
There’s no doubting that back when it was released, the Samsung Galaxy Tab E proved to be pretty popular and it definitely wasn’t a bad deal at the time. However, you have to bear in mind that this was originally released back in mid 2015, more than 5 years ago now.
Whilst this might not seem like a long time, in tablet and tech terms this is a lifetime ago. Think about it like you would with dog years – every 1 human year is worth a lot more in terms of technology because it moves on so fast.
And unlike the Tab A, which has released updates every year since it was released back in 2015 also, the Galaxy Tab E has been left in the dust. Without any additional love from Samsung, it has fallen behind the times and it’s no longer a great deal if you’re looking for a new tablet.
The thing is that even if you can find the Samsung Galaxy Tab E on the market nowadays, it’s still going to be a similar price point than the Tab A. And where the Tab A is better in pretty much every department, there’s no reason to even consider the Tab E.
The only way I’d recommend it is if you can find it really cheap secondhand, but even then, the Tab A is pretty cheap brand new.
Galaxy Tab E Features
Saying all this, there are still some good things to mention about the Tab E. Here’s a couple of good things to mention about this tablet;
In conclusion, it’s clear to see that nowadays, Samsung are putting all of their effort in terms of tablets into two different ranges. They have their premium S series, which is great if you’re looking for a Galaxy Tab that can compared to the likes of the iPad.
But at the budget end, Samsung have focussed on perfecting their A series, which has steadily improved every year since it was first released. So, out of these two options, there’s no question that the Galaxy Tab A is the winner of the two.