Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S9 has a battery feature that the iPad doesn’t, and I’m jealous

Person holding Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

June Wan/ZDNET

It is interesting to see the two giants of the mobile technology world – Apple and Samsung – fighting to create amazing products. It’s a win-win situation for consumers.

While there are plenty of similarities between the two companies’ smartphones and tablets, there are also some key differences. One big difference I noticed while watching the Samsung Unpacked event is the approaches companies are taking to thermal management of tablets.

Also: Every product advertised at Samsung Unpacked

You cannot change the laws of physics. The more performance you want out of a device, the more heat there is to deal with.

While end users only really care about cooling when their device gets uncomfortably hot—sometimes alarmingly—to the touch, effective thermal management can also improve a device’s performance and lifespan.

Heat is a silent killer of devices.

Not only does it cause premature battery wear, but the constant heating and cooling cycles can cause solder joints responsible for holding components to the motherboard to break. When a device gets hot, one of the strategies used to cool it down is to dial back the performance.

Also: Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra vs iPad Pro: Which flagship tablet should you buy?

And effective cooling can make a huge difference in performance. The M2 chip that Apple uses in the new iPad Pro is the same chip found in the MacBook Pro, but it runs about 3% slowera difference that mostly comes down to cooling.

Samsung takes no chances when it comes to cooling with its new Tab S9, and has built a number of mechanisms into the tablet. Built into the structure are layers of TIM — Thermal Interface Materials — that are used to transport heat both up toward the display and down to the back of the case for dissipation.

Samsung Tab S9 thermal management.

Samsung Tab S9 thermal management.


But there is more.

The Tab S9 is the first tablet in the Galaxy Tab series to feature vapor chamber technology to more efficiently move heat away from critical components and safely disperse it to the outside environment.

Tab S9 is the first tablet in the Galaxy Tab series with vapor chamber technology.

Tab S9 is the first tablet in the Galaxy Tab series with vapor chamber technology.


I push my iPad Pro pretty hard to run apps like DaVinci Resolveand while for the most part it handles those requirements pretty well, there are times when things start to heat up and it could benefit from better cooling to unlock even more power from that M2 chip.

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