I finally got a chance to spend some quality time on a Samsung Galaxy Tab and, while I didn’t yet strip the little Apple logo decal off the rear window of my car as a result, there is a lot to like with this tablet and Android tablets in general making them the only true competitors to the iPad.
Lots of many new features included in the Galaxy tab and several of them you will undoubtedly see on the next generation iPad and at least one-flash-which you probably never will.
First and foremost, the big plus here is the camera. Similar to the iPhone4 the Galaxy Tab has both a front and a rear facing camera. This Samsung Galaxy Tab enables users to video chat which Apple now calls this feature FaceTime. It is not available on the iPad just now, and if an iPhone4 were to compete directly with the Galaxy tab, Apple’s feature is preferrable. But it doesn’t, and since the iPad lacks any camera, the Droid tab is the winner here.
Flash and USB-Droids have them…iPads don’t. And that is not likely to change in this lifetime. Despite the fact that Flash works on every Mac there is, Apple will not be allowing it on anything running its IOS (now up to 4.2).Steve Jobs claims it is unstable and Apple is working hard to create a stable alternative that overcomes his objections. Presumably Adobe, despite its public impersonation of a bride left at the altar, is doing the same thing. But if you need flash, and you may, for right now your best bet is the Android operating system, and for tablets that means the Galaxy Tab.
As to USB, it will not be coming to your iPad, anytime soon, if ever. The Apple App store and application approval process insures virus and malware free software. The ability to install third party apps with no control over its code comes at some risk not just to purchasers but to other users on the same networks. Apple seeks to eliminate this risk by its control of the code reaching its operating system. Google does not. I have had my quarrels with Apple over some of the apps it has excluded or delayed, such as Google Voice (now available at the app store for free).
Both the Galaxy Tab and iPad have more apps available than you would ever need (or could ever use). Apple has about 250,000 apps for iPhone and iPad and maybe 50,000 run only on the iPad. Droid has been playing catchup, but it is catching up rapidly. Apps cost money to develop and many developers will naturally opt for the biggest market and design for other operating systems depending on how successful the app proves to be. If it bombs in iPads, there little reason to think it will work on a Droid tab. That said the best apps will be available for both OS. I would have to say the edge here goes to iPad.
Now onto the Display. I love the Galaxy’s display. It is bright and crisp but so is the display on the iPad, which actually has more lines of resolution but spread out over a larger screen area. Samsung claims it is a better display and it may be but the differences cannot be detected by my eye. Expect Apple to address any technical issues of display on the next generation. With regards to te display, I would have to call it a tie.
One area that isn’t a tie is screen size. This tab is basically Kindle size and consequently its 7 inch display has only half the area of the iPad with its 9.7 inches of screen real estate (do the math). This is important for business users. Overall, the Galaxy tab is a huge step up in the battle against the iPad and a solid device.