This week, Samsung unveiled its latest challenger to the Apple iPad’s throne – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Equipped with a 10.1in WXGA touch screen, a 1GHz Dual-Core application processor and an 8-megapixel AF camera, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with all the trimmings you’d expect from a high-end tablet.
We managed to get our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 during Monday’s official product launch, and we have to say; we were pretty impressed. It’s gorgeous to look at, easy to use and no slouch in the speed department – all the hallmarks of a great tablet device.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: pretty as a picture.
But how does the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 compare on paper against Apple’s pioneering iPad? This is the question that every prospective tablet buyer needs to ask themselves.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is poised to compete directly against the iPad when it launches later this year – both tablets come with similarly sized screens, along with a host of unique features and benefits.
Here’s how the key specifications compare:
||Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
||WXGA touch screen LCD
||LED-backlit TFT active matrix
||Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
||Apple IOS 4
||1GHz Dual Core application processor
||1 GHz Apple A4 System
|Supported media files
||H.264, H.263, MPEG4, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, MP3, AAC, eAAC+, OGG, MIDI, AMR-NB/WB
||H.264, MOV, MPEG-4, TIFF, PPT, JPEG, GIF, PPTX, AAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3, ePub
||Up to 32GB
||Up to 64GB
|Memory card slot
||Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n
||Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n
|3G HSDPA network support
||Yes (select models)
||Up to 10 hours
Let’s break down some of these specs in further detail.
Size and weight
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is smaller than the iPad, measuring 246.2x170.4x10.9mm and weighing in at 599g. By contrast, the Apple iPad weighs 599g and has dimensions of 242.8x189.7x13.4mm. Despite this difference in size, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 benefits from a slightly larger screen – 10.1 inches vs. 9.7 inches. If you plan to use your tablet primarily as a portable device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is probably a better option.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is slightly more compact than the Apple iPad
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1’s estimated battery life currently remains a mystery (it uses a 6860mAh Samsung battery). The Apple iPad lasts for around ten hours between charges. Hopefully, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will fall somewhere within this ballpark.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be one of the first tablets to use Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. Unlike Apple’s iOS 4, Honeycomb has been built specifically for tablet devices and smartphones.
Some of the key features new to Android 3.0 include tabbed browsing, a Windows-esque taskbar, improved multi-tasking and up to five customizable home screens. Honeycomb should help to make the Galaxy Tab 10.1's interface more intuitive and user-friendly.
The increased processor speed is also a valuable addition that should see the tablet zip along at a fair pace.
Samsung is keeping the Galaxy Tab 10.1’s RRP under wraps for the time being. Like battery life, this is one of the key factors that will help determine the tablet’s worth. When you consider that the 7in Galaxy Tab cost more than the iPad, it’s a safe bet that the Galaxy will be expensive.
Meanwhile, the Apple iPad retails for between $699 and $1000, depending on inbuilt features. In other words, shoppers on a budget will likely want to stick with the iPad.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with 32GB of inbuilt memory. The Apple iPad provides between 16GB and 64GB of storage space, depending on the model you buy. However, unlike the Apple iPad, Samsung’s tablet comes equipped with an SD memory card slot. This boosts the total memory by up to 64 additional gigabytes.
The lack of a camera was one of the chief criticisms leveled at the Apple iPad on its initial release. Samsung looks to address this issue with not one, but two cameras: a front-mounted 2.0-megapixel webcam camera and an 8-megapixel AF camera in the rear.
If you like lots of multimedia functionality from your gadgets, this is a handy feature to have. That said, taking a photo with a 10-inch tablet does look a bit unusual: we're not sure we'd want to do it in public.
Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 rear-mounted camera.
So there you have it. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is shaping up to be a worthy alternative to the Apple iPad. The 8-megapixel camera, SD memory card slot and Honeycomb OS may even give it a decided edge. In the end, the decision will be heavily influenced by price and battery life. If the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can match Apple in these areas, we’ll have a clear victor.
Of course, all this is set to change when Apple releases its hotly anticipated iPad 2 – we’ll keep you posted with any further developments.