Update: At IFA Samsung has confired the specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Tab
Apple's iPad has really played an instrumental role in igniting a tablet craze and introducing a new era of mobile computing. Until now, the iPad has enjoyed relatively comfortable solo uncontested ride in the tablet space, but with Samsung's introduction of the Galaxy Tab with the Android Operating System, you best believe that's all about to change. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first of a massive army of Android-powered tablets in a good position to take on the Apple iPad. Possessing several awesome features that are carelessly missing from Apple's "magical" tablet, the Galaxy Tab and its Android brothers in arms stand to quickly gain ground on the iPad. Samsung has been pushing the Galaxy Tab's full specifications. We've done some investigating about this device and have a pretty good idea what to expect.
- Display: The Apple iPad touts a larger, slightly higher resolution display (9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 pixel resolution) than that of the Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch, 1024 x 600). Of course, the iPad's added display real-estate makes for a better web browsing and movie watching experience, but also renders the device less portable than the Galaxy Tab.
- Camera: Disappointingly, the Apple iPad is without an on-board camera of any kind. The Samsung Galaxy Tab will have a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera making ultra-portable video chat a key selling point. The Galaxy Tab will also sport a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and autofocus.
- Wireless: Of course, the Apple iPad is available with optional connectivity to AT&T's 3G network. The Galaxy Tab is expected to be available for Verizon Wireless, and will have the ability to make phone calls in addition to utilize the 3G network for data connectivity. The iPad cannot make phone calls.
The Google Android OS vs. Apple iOS battle is pretty intense in the smart-phone market, with Android scoring some major points as of late against Apple's iPhone mobile operating system. Apple's iOS also powers the iPod Touch and iPad. Beyond hardware, the biggest difference between the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy S will inevitably come down to software. When comparing operating Systems keep in mind at the rate of each of their innovation. The Android's OS has come a long way with it just being on 2.2 and it provides many features just implemented on the latest version of iOS.
- Multitasking: While Apple's latest version of iOS allows multitasking (arguably to a limited degree), an update for the iPad that will bring the device multitasking abilities is not expected to hit until the fall. The Android platform's multitasking is regarded in many circles as superior to that of iOS, allowing for programs to run fully in the background.
- Apps: Of course, the same applications available on iPhones and Android-powered phone are available on their tablet counterparts. Additionally, Apple's iPad has a growing number of apps developed specifically for the device, taking advantage of its large screen real-estate. The day will certainly come where many apps will also be developed specifically with Android tablets in mind, but that day is not here yet, and iPad users will likely be able to claim a superior app selection for a long time to come.
- Open: By its very nature, the Android platform is open, allowing virtually limitless customization, the ability to install any app you want (including apps that have not gone through an approval process), and unrestricted access to a device's system and files.
- Adobe Flash: Whatever your view on Adobe Flash may be, the fact is that a huge number of websites rely on Flash to provide engaging multimedia content and interactivity – and the web is a very different place without Flash. Apple's iPad does not offer Flash support, rendering a wealth of content inaccessible from the device.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab||Apple iPad|
|Cost||16GB WiFi-only $499; 32GB WiFi-only $599; 64GB WiFi-only $699; WiFi + 3G models add $130|
|Cellular Carrier||Verizon Wireless (unconfirmed)||AT&T (WiFi + 3G model only)|
|Operating System||Google Android 2.2 Froyo with Samsung TouchWiz 3.0||Apple iOS|
|Display||7-inch TFT LCD display; 1024 x 600 pixel resolution||9.7-inch LED-backlit display w/ IPS technology; 1024 x 768 pixel resolution|
|WiFi||802.11 a/b/g/n||802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 3.0||Bluetooth 2.1|
|GPS||aGPS||aGPS (WiFi + 3G model only)|
|Camera||1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat; rear 3-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash; ability to record HD video||None|
|Apps||Android Market||Apple App Store|
|Adobe Flash Support||Adobe Flash 10.1||No|
|Storage Space||16GB pr 32GB on-board depending on model; support for up to a 32GB microSD card||16GB, 32GB or 64GB depending on model|
|Battery Life||Up to 7 hours video playback||Up to 10 hours of web surfing, watching video, & music listening over WiFi; Up to 9 hours surfing using 3G network|
|Processor||1 GHz ARM Cortex A8||1 GHz Apple A4 chip|
|Weight||.84 pounds||1.5 pounds (WiFi-only); 1.6 pounds (WiFi + 3G)|
|Dimensions||Height: 7.48 inches; Width: 4.74 inches; Depth: 0.471 inches||Height: 9.56 inches; Width: 7.47 inches; Depth: 0.5 inches|