The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not yet available locally, but we just had to get our hands on it. So when my sister brought in a unit (by way of Amazon, by way of Davao… long story…), I just had to grab hold of it for a quick review.
And in a bit of sibling rivalry, I just had to pit it against my iPad 2. And…
Quick Verdict: While the iPad 2 still gets points for ease of use, gosh, once you get your hands on a Galaxy Tab 10.1, you will seriously, seriously consider going Android for your tablet needs.
Form factor goodies
As far as thinness is concerned, there’s no discernible difference between an iPad 2 and a Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, the 10.1 is noticeably lighter by a fraction… which is impressive given that the 10.1 is a tad wider than the iPad 2 (due to the 10.1″ display vs. the iPad 2′s 9.7″ screen).
The 10.1 comes with speaker ports on either side (the sound is loud enough) and buttons for volume and power control. No big, fat Home button here folks — Android 3.1 Honeycomb keeps the home, back and recent-apps buttons on screen at the lower left lobe.
In that respect, the iPad has a bit of an edge for ease of use. But not by much. After you get used to the way of the Honeycomb world, you come to realize that this too is a surprisingly easy to use operating system. Minus the fat Home key, that’s all.
The longer I spent with this tablet, the more I realized that the iPad was beginning to look like an amateur compared to what the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has to offer. Seriously.
First off, you get video playback right off the bat for all of the most popular formats — DivX, H.264, XviD, the works — and at 30 frames per second. And it helps that it has a 1280×800 screen, versus the iPad 2′s 1024×768.
Also, if you want to duke it out on sharpness, the iPad 2 offers 132 pixels per inch. The Samsung? 149.
Okay, that’s in theory at least. Truth is, I prefer the iPad’s warmer colors. The Galaxy Tab has a kind of cold, cartoony display. But my sister doesn’t seem to mind. All in all, I’d call this a draw, were it not for the wider display of the Samsung.
Next, if you are talking about using a tablet for actual work, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has one big advantage over the iPad 2: it comes with a full Quick Office suite, right out of the box. No more fiddling with the middling Numbers app. This is really useful work software right here.
(Note: the online Samsung specs sheet says that the 10.1 comes with Polaris Office. Strange. At any rate, both Polaris and Quick Office offer full editing capabilities.)
And of course you get Flash support. Now frankly, I have been using the iPad 2 for ages and I don’t miss Flash at all, so to me this is a moot point. But for those of you who miss your Flash-based games and what-not — including Farmville and the like — then this is a serious plus in the 10.1′s favor.
Take note too that this one of the few Wi-Fi Direct devices (just like the Samsung Galaxy S II phone is). This means that you can do direct file transfers with the upcoming slew of Wi-Fi Direct devices, as well as directly print to Wi-Fi Direct printers. Thus far, the iPad 2 doesn’t host Wi-Fi Direct.
And you can turn the 10.1 into a wireless hotspot. The iPad 2? Nah.
What about the power?
Battery life is apparently at par with the iPad 2. My sister uses it heavily and, at the end of the day, there’s still 50 percent battery life left on it. So that’s two days of running, which is what I get from my iPad.
Samsung claims that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can do up to nine hours of video playback. That makes it a terrific airplane companion.
Any downside to this machine?
There’s one big, gaping downside to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. And that is… it doesn’t come with a USB port. Instead, it has a 30-pin “universal dock.”
The catch? You will have to buy the USB adapter for it as a separate accessory. Dang it. That will cost you an additional US$ 19.99.
But here’s why you’ll want to get the USB adapter. Android’s Honeycomb lets the tablet become a USB host device. In other words, plug a hard drive onto the USB port and you can use the hard drive! Plug your camera directly to the 10.1 and you can directly access your photos!
Do you hear that, Apple?
So great. I just turned a disadvantage into an advantage. How’s that for wow factorness?
Okay, one last poke then. The price.
I have a feeling that when the Galaxy Tab 10.1 finally reaches our shores, it will be priced a bit higher than the iPad 2. That won’t be fair because, on a side by side comparison on Amazon, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is supposed to come out cheaper by some 20 dollars. Then again, you would want to buy the $19.99 USB adapter, so they just about break even.
Also, even the Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with real GPS. The Wi-Fi-only iPad…
Bottom line: Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the win
I love my iPad 2. And I still think it’s a terrific machine. It’s easy to use, it has good battery life, and it can do much of what I want a media consumption device to do. Read ebooks, watch videos, scan the web.
But frankly, a Galaxy Tab 10.1 will allow me to do so much more. Like do serious document editing. Or access my files (the iPad’s closed system makes file access a triple-challenge). Or download torrents (shhh…).
If you’ve ever wondered if a tablet can replace a laptop, here’s your answer. The iPad would be a good enough replacement for people who just consume media (like your mom). But the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a serious laptop replacement option for people who want to do more than just consume media.
And yes, I’d trade my iPad 2 for a Galaxy Tab 10.1. That’s how impressed I was.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Price: Not yet available locally, but once it comes out it should hit around Php 34 thousand
You must be logged in to post a comment.