Sunday, September 25, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Hands-on Review - Part III - Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs iPad 2

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Hands-on Review - Part III
Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs iPad 2

After going through the unboxing in Part I and video review in Part II, are you ready for the showdown?
After all, this is what we are really waiting for! To decide between an Android tablet or an iPad 2.
The best fighter from the Android camp, have to be the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Specifications Comparison

Galaxy Tab 10.1 iPad 2
Model GT-P7500 MC769LL
OS Android Honeycomb 3.1 iOS 4.3.3
Processor 1Ghz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 with ARM Cortex 9 CPUs & GeForce GPU 1Ghz dual-core Apple A5
Memory 1GB RAM; 16GB flash storage 500MB RAM; 16GB flash storage
Display 10.1-in. (diag); 1280×800; 149 ppi 9.7-in. (diag); 1024×768; 132 ppi
Cameras front 2MP; rear 3MP with 720p recording front 0.3MP (640×480); rear 1MP (720p); 30fps recording on both
Speakers stereo mono
Video formats supported H.264, H.263, XviD, WMV7/8, VP8, MP43, VC-1 format: 3GP (MP4), WMV (asf), AVI, RMVB*, MKV* (*3rd-party app required) H.264 with AAC-LC audio in .m4v, .mp4, .mov formats; MPEG-4 video in m4v, .mp4, .mov formats; M-JPEG with audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi format
Audio formats supported MP3, OGG, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, AMR, MID, IMY, WMA, Vorbis, RTTTL/RTX, OTA HE-AAC (V1/V2), AAC, Protected AAC , MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
Wireless Wifi (802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1 Wifi (802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1
Default installed apps Browser, Email, Gmail, Gallery, Maps, Books, Google Search, Google Talk, Voice Search, Latitude, Music Hub, Navigation, Places, Pulse, Polaris Office, YouTube, Music Player, Android Market, Samsung Apps, Social Hub. Mail, Safari Browser, iBooks, Videos, Photos, Find my iPad, iPod, iTunes, App Store, Maps, YouTube, Game Center, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, FaceTime, Photo Booth
Expansion Proprietary dock port (charging, USB, HDMI); 3.5mm audio in/out
USB Flash Drive supported
Proprietary dock port (USB, sound, video, power); 3.5mm audio in/out
USB Flash Drive not supported
Battery 7000mAH 3.7V Li-polymer 6930mAH 3.8V Li-polymer
Dimensions 256.7 x 175.3 x 8.6 mm 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm
Weight 565 g 613 g
Market apps > 250,000 apps (Jul 2011) 90,000 apps (iPad optimized)
425,000 apps (iPhone apps)
Retail price S$ 848 (16GB + 3G)
S$ 978 (32GB + 3G)
S$ ?,??? (64GB + 3G)
S$ 848 (16GB + 3G)
S$ 978 (32GB + 3G)
S$ 1,108 (64GB + 3G)

Physical Comparison Side-by-Side
The physical dimensions of both tablets are different. However, this should not be affecting your choice.

iPad 2 does have an iconic trend-setting Apple looking.
With the iPad stacked over the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Tab sticks out slightly while the iPad is slightly wider.
Apple ingeniously curved the base plate such that it makes the iPad 2 looks deceiving slimmer than the Tab.
Samsung claims the Tab to be slimmer in specs, however, a side by side comparison says otherwise.
In the Hands
It is important how the tablets sits in the hands.
iPad 2 has almost already set the benchmark for tablet dimensions. iPad is designed to be used in portrait mode.
Galaxy Tab 10.1 rides on the bandwagon of 16:9 Android tablets. The Tab is designed to be used in landscape mode, however, in portrait mode, the Tab feels smaller and easier to hold, especially with single hand.
Weight does matter. The iPad 2 is slightly heavier than the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
This makes a difference especially on prolonged use.

The USB cable bears an uncanny resembrance to that of the Dock connector.
 On closer inspection, the physical shape and size are the same, however, the orientation of the pins are mirrored. So don't ever try to jam your Dock connector into the Tab.

More differences:
  • Home screens capacity
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 holds 35 app icons per screen without folders.
    iPad 2 holds 25 apps or folder icons per home screen.
  • Widgets
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 supports widgets and resizable widgets.
    iPad 2 does not support widgets.
  • Notification panel
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a pull-up notifications panel with quick access buttons.
    iPad 2 does not (until iOS 5 is released).
  • Rotation speed
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 takes a second or two to render and reload home screen on rotation.
    iPad 2 gives instant rotation.
  • Response and performance speed (subjective)
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 operates smoothly with little lag while loading and switching around apps.
    iPad 2 triumphs with unrivaled speed.
  • App-app integration
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 utilizes Android which support seamless app-app integration.
    iPad 2 utilizes iOS where apps decide what other apps they can integrate with.
  • Email attachments (documents and other file types)
    GMail on Galaxy Tab 10.1 allows you to run file manager app which allows you to select any type of files to attach.
    Mail on iPad 2 only allows pictures to be attached. To attach other files require a file manager app to launch the mail composer.
  • File Management apps
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with File Manager pre-installed with free 3rd-party apps in Market.
    iPad 2 does not support file manager and require paid 3rd-party apps in App Store.
  • File transfer from workstations
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 allows drag-and-drop files and folders from your computer; functions as a mass-storage device.
    iPad 2 requires paid softwares and apps to do file transfers.
  • File System
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 utilizes Android OS which makes use of a centralized file storage system. Apps can browse and pick out files from the file system.
    iPad 2 utilizes iOS which makes use of localized file storage system. Each app creates their own storage space. Any other apps cannot use the files copied or created in one app, unless the app shares it out. This creates a duplicate in another app's file storage space.
  • USB external drives support
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 supports, read and write on USB flash drives and SD cards, with the use of optional USB dongle.
    iPad 2's Camera Connector does not support external storage devices except SD cards for photos only.
  • 3rd-party apps available
    Android apps are growing in numbers but still lacks in comparison to App Store.
    App Store has more fun, entertaining and useful apps but usually paid.
  • Downloading
    Android file system supports storage of any downloaded files, even apps can be downloaded, shared and installed.
    Downloads are copied to respective apps' file space and are very troublesome to transfer on the computer.
  • Uploading
    Android browsers allow you to access your file system to upload any files.
    iOS browsers do not allow file uploading.
  • Flash-support
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 supports Adobe Flash 10.3 for browsing.
    iPad 2 does not support Flash, though many sites are switching to iOS-friendly formats.
  • Camera performance
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 sports a 3MP rear camera.
    iPad 2 has a mere 1MP rear camera.
  • Comfort in hands (subjective)
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 is lighter and comfortable on prolonged use
    iPad 2 starts to sink after 15 mins of continuous use.
  • 3rd-party accessories and apparels
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a small numbers.
    iPad 2 has tons of both expensive and dirt cheap accessories and apparels out there.

Will I ditch the iPad 2 for Galaxy Tab 10.1?
No. I still adore my iPad 2 for its speed and simple-to-use interface. I still dread over its limitations to allow me to drag-and-drop, manipulate files and share files. However, having an Android smartphone (HTC Desire HD), I can already do all that. I would want the best of both worlds! The iPad also have a lot more apps that you cannot find on Android Market, for example, instagram, Flipboard, Straits Times. My Android smartphone is still my Swiss Army knife always.

Will I get the Galaxy Tab 10.1?
Yes! of course! Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the lightest and best Android Honeycomb tablet out there now. If someone is offering me a 1-1 trade with my iPad 2, I welcome that. However, I will let wife and folks play with the iPad 2 since nothing can go wrong.

Who should get the Galaxy Tab 10.1?
Those who are hardcore supporters for Google and Android.
Those who are hardcore supporters for Samsung products.
Those who carry a laptop around for work, doing spreadsheets, presentations and emailing.
Those who travel with a netbook for work or pleasure.
Those who carry a laptop to school.
Those who already own an iPhone and feels that iPad is an oversized iPhone.
Those who wants the best of both worlds!

What do I recommend you to buy?
Buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the USB connector dongle.

What do you do next?
Ditch the netbook, go out there and experience how much the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can do for you!

Coming up next: Galaxy Tab 10.1 camera performance

This is not a Samsung paid review. I do not get any royalties from Samsung.
 Contents are my personal experiences using both iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

You may have a completely different opinion from mine.
I do not own a Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Thank you to Samsung Singapore for letting me try out the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for one week.

Please respect the copyrights of the photographs and content in this post. Please support my work by linking back to this post via this address:


This is an individual and independent user review, for more information on the official product, please refer to:

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