Apple iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab – Which One Is Better?

Apple iPad Vs Samsung Galaxy Tab

Just before Apple announced the iPad back in January 2010, the only tablets that were making news were  Michael Arrington's CrunchPad and Notion Inks Adam – both of which are yet to see the “proper” light of the day. 

While the Crunchpad has become the JooJoo controversially, Notion Ink is still playing with internal prototypes.

Almost a year down the line, Apple has already managed to carve a niche for itself in the almost non-existent tablet market. Since its launch back in April 2010, the iPad has gone on to become the most widely used tablet ever – selling over 7.5 million units to date.

It was too late when the rest of the pack realised that Apple now had a head start in the Tablet market. That however did not deter manufacturers like Samsung and Dell who have bought their own Tablets in to the fray soon after the iPad arrived. Notable amongst them is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Lets see how this Tablet compares to the iPad and whether it has the oomph to convert a hardcore iOS user to at least consider giving the Galaxy Tab a chance.

We will compare the two tablets on a variety of factors and see who comes out tops

Design

Looks are subjective. Agreed. But then, with Apple having a long history of making uber cool looking devices, Samsung had a tough fight on its hands.  That said, there is very less in terms of design that one can implement when it comes to a tablet – mainly due to its form factor and the fact that most of its “visible” area encompasses the screen. From what I opine, there isn't a clear winner here. Of course, hard core Apple fanboys would not touch anything that doesn’t have the Apple logo with a one mile rod – but hell, the Galaxy Tab is surely a sleek looker. Make no mistake about that!

Winner: Tie

Screen

 The screen has to be the most important aspect of any tablet. While the iPad has chosen to go with a large 9.7- inch display, the Galaxy Tab has a smaller 7-inch display. Also to be noted is the fact that the iPad has an IPS panel unlike the Galaxy Tab which romps home with “just” a TFT screen. The larger screen on the iPad also boasts of a larger resolution of 1024*768 in a 4:3 aspect ratio.  

 

Hero1_20100414

The Galaxy Tab on the other hand has a slightly lower resolution if 1024*600. But then, since the Galaxy Tab is significantly smaller, the pixel density on the Tab would be slightly better. Also, the Galaxy Tab has a 16:9 aspect ratio – better suited for wide screen movies. But then, for an engrossing movie experience, the larger the screen, the better the experience. The iPad is a winner here – even though it does have its own share of flaws.

Winner: iPad

Under the Skin

Lets now delve in to the hardware bit. The iPad has a blazing fast A4 chip for a mobile device that runs at 1Ghz. The Galaxy Tab isn't far behind with his Hummingbird processor which (also) runs at 1Ghz. This is the same processor being used in the Galaxy S smartphone.  While the processors offer comparable computing prowess, the iPad falls short when It comes to the amount of RAM. With “just” 256MB of RAM, it has just half the amount of RAM the Galaxy Tab has.  Although its debatable as to how much of a degradation in performance is experienced by an average iPad user. 

Winner: Galaxy Tab

Storage:

On the storage front, the Apple iPad  is available in either 16, 32 or 64 GB options. On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab is available in two storage options:  16 GB and 32 GB. Unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab does have microSD support using which you can increase the stock memory. That said, we feel, for tablets 64 GB of memory should be enough. Unless of course you are a hardcore HD movie freak. In any case, both the devices can have a maximum of 64 GB of data stored in them. However, the iPad can provide it out of the box and doesn't need a microSD card to do that. 

Winner: iPad

Connectivity

On the connectivity front, both the devices are equally matched. The iPad has 3G ready versions and so does the Galaxy Tab. Both support contemporary Wi-Fi protocols. The only part where the Galaxy Tab betters the iPad is when it comes to Bluetooth, which comes with Bluetooth 3.0 support. Both the tablets support GPS (iPad only on 3G versions) as well.

Winner:  Galaxy Tab

Browsing

The browsers on both – the iPad and the Galaxy Tab are quite on par with each other. However, once the Froyo update arrives for the Galaxy Tab, it would be able to display full flash content on it. The iPad on the other hand – even without flash, offers a better browsing experience because of its larger display. Both the tablets support multi-touch gestures as  well, which adds to  the overall browsing  experience. If we were asked to choose a winner, it would still be the iPad.

Winner: iPad

Camera

This is a complete no contest. While the iPad completely misses the bus here, the Galaxy Tab boasts of two cameras. Although the better rear camera can take images at just 3 megapixels, the fact is it HAS a camera. 

Galaxytab2

The front camera is a 1.3 megapixel shooter. That said, we wonder why Samsung didn’t cram in a better camera with the Galaxy Tab – especially when they can put in a 5 megapixel sensor on a much smaller Galaxy S. The iPad loses out completely here as it has no camera at all.

Winner: Galaxy Tab

Apps

This is where the iPad get backs at the Galaxy Tab after it lost the camera contest! The iPad has access to the widest variety of applications that you would ever see on any tablet. Add to it, the fact that developers can tweak all applications designed for the iPhone or the iPod touch to be supported on the iPad means you have a mind boggling number of apps at your disposal. All this, just months after the launch of the product. The Galaxy Tab on the other hand has lesser applications but unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab applications might have compatibility issues because the Android market has applications designed for a wide variety of Android devices – and not just the Galaxy Tab.

Winner: iPad

Conclusion

If you ask me a simple question, “Who wins”, I'd say no one. While both these devices in the fray are broadly classified as tablets, from what we see, they appeal to different kind of audiences. The Galaxy Tab is easier to carry around. The iPad is a little bulkier but it too can be carried around – just as not freely as the Galaxy Tab. Unfortunately, what the Galaxy Tab gains on portability is lost when it comes to the user experience, which is much better on the iPad because it has a larger screen. That said, let us reaffirm that the Galaxy Tab is not at all visually drab. In fact, you'd love using it – until you come across the iPad. Are we hinting at something? Go figure!

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Categories: iPad, iPad 1

  • Tazyaz

    Why cant they make a tablet that has all features lol it will diff sell out most

  • Joe

    I have to say iPad is the best. Although, I would like to read review on the new HP android tablet docked eprinter.

    First?

  • Joe

    HP C510, if you are interested, iphonehacks…

  • John

    Other companies seem to keep comparing their soon to be released product to apple's old products. Why not compare the galaxy to apple's new ipad that's destined to come out in early 2011?

    If this trend continues, apple will continue to be ahead of the competition. By the time others come out with a matching product, apple is already on the next generation of their lineup.

    It's getting old and fast with the usual comparison of a "soon to be released" product to apple's "already been out for almost a year" product.

  • garoti

    I prefer to have a 20 hours battery (full charge) will be winner, and of course keep it under $400 for this economy.

  • C2

    Well when you think about it, apple now usually just matches the competition. Hardware wise it only differed to the Nexus (which came out months earlier) with a better resolution screen. And I see them offering matched specs for the 2G ipad with may be a few new features.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/whizkid2 Whizkid

    Thanks, we'll check it out.

  • 523

    ipad wins by far. who wants a camara on a huge tablet. its a wast of time if i want a picture i pull out my iphone and take a pic. im not gonna carry a 7 inch camara thats stupid.

  • nik

    who wants flash in a internet tablet? everybody!!! galaxy wins!

  • AA

    And when the iPad gets dual cameras and facetime this same guy will be screaming with joy and criticizing other tablets who don't have cameras. And the camera is not meant for picture purposes. It's mostly their for use with apps.

  • John

    When it comes to speed, all mhz/ghz is not created equal. The iphone 4 is a very smooth, user friendly phone. Everything done is snappy on a beautiful, responsive multi touch display.

    It's all about the end user experience. You may think they're just "matching" the nexus, but in others' eyes, it's a huge leap. When it comes to computers, it's not always what's under the hood, but what can be done with it.

    If the nexus was so great, it would've outsold its competitors. We're in a society that will refund a product if they're unhappy with it at all.

  • AA

    But user experience is subjective. I like iOS but I prefer Android and that's my opinion and taste. And the Nexus one was successful but it depends on who you ask. If the iPhone was sold using the same method you can rest assured it would produce about the same numbers. Truth be told it was more like a test/trial for the Nexus. We will see what they plan with the soon to be announced Nexus 2.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/goddard1 Abel Goddard

    To AA: "the camera is not meant for picture purposes". Huh? That sentence doesn't make any sense at all.

    My vote is also 'big whoop.' I wouldn't care if a tablet had a camera or not. My laptops have cameras, and I can't even remember how long it's been since I used one.

  • Zang

    You obviously don't do video conferencing with clients then.

    A front camera is a major bonus in mine and many others opinions.

    A back camera not so much so, as to take a steady photo etc with a big tablet like iPad isn't exactly going to be easy, or fun.

    I'd use my phone for any pictures, but conference via video would be a major plus for the iPad.

  • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

    Wait till ipad 2 comes out and then have the review.

  • mrflip

    I don't!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/comments7 Abel

    Brilliant analysis, genius. I'm pretty sure 'not using the camera on my laptop' includes all aspects of camera usage, including video conferencing with clients.

    Though, I'm curious about how your clients would feel about a shaky cam conference. I mean, if a back camera on a tablet would be too shaky for a steady photo, how is the front camera any different?

  • garoti

    I mean play video enough for 20 hours long. now is about 8 hours long on full charge for watching videos.

  • Jeff

    Regarding the memory issues.
    The iPad will always be stuck with whatever amount of memory you bought it with.
    The Galaxy Tab will have the ability to place different media on different SD cards. So if you fill one up with music, you can fill another up with movies, all without affecting the build in memory of the machine.

    So, the Galaxy Tab in this case would offer the more flexible memory option.

  • C2

    Doesn't the Tab already come with Froyo?

  • http://blog.omotech.com Stan

    This site is all about F R E E D O M and I like anything flexible that translate to my freedom. I totally agree with C2 on the memory issue.

    Yes! I like Apple products but I have problems with their lack of flexibility. While NOT let the end user decides on how much memory should be used on the iPad by providing the microSD chips.

    Shaky or NOT, both front and back cameras would be cool on the iPad. The end user can decide on how to use them for different purposes. I wonder why the Apple products are so rigid…

    For me no clear winner!

  • Sandy

    ipad
    multi-tasking (No), camera (both at rear and front) (No), Can make phone calls? (No), too bulky, videos are not full HD (since the format would be changed through iTunes, the quality of video would be slightly dropped.) :(

    Galaxy Tab
    Multi-tasking (Yes), Rear and front cameras (Yes), Can make phone calls? (Definitely Sure :) can enjoy full HD videos without changing format ? (Yes) and easy to carry around, portable

    The answer is Galaxy Tab wins the suck ipad.

  • http://www.macipadvideoconverter.org/ipad-video-converter.html ipad video converter

    I’m very happy with the way the iPad has turned out. It’s an evolution of the iPhone so it still retains the “everything in one device” perspective, but now with a much larger screen. Totally kicks The Kindle to the kerb. My only disappointment is the storage capacity, 16GB level entry is kinda low all things considered. That’s not enough for most people’s iTunes and iPhoto libraries For a non-laptop, interactive device that you can use around the house AND on the go, it’s way ahead of everything else at the moment. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this develops and evolves over the next few years: Front and rear video camera for photos and video chats, Blu-ray player for HD movies on the go etc… But all in good time. :-)

  • C

    the new ipad isnt even out yet and we know nothing about its specs so how would we compare them?

  • Laurel

    I am torn on which one to buy. I want video conversing as we talk with our granddaughter this way. I have a full time job on FB. LOL I take it, that Ipad can not see facebook as it doesn’t have flash? I like the big screen on Ipad. So Ipad should have added cameras front and back. The Galaxy should have made a bigger screen. Should I wait to see what comes out next year?

  • anthonyv

    Just got a galaxy pad. Love it QiK video chat works great. Love the expandable memory and screen. Sold my ipad it was cool too.

  • abbieeeeeee

    i think the galaxy tab is better :)
    you can get a bigger screen, would that be better than the 7″ one or not?:/

    abbie:D

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  • jerome

    if your looking for galaxi tab with a bigger screen there is a galaxy tab 10.1 inch no clear winner

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