Apple 3rd-gen iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Anthony Caruana
12 August, 2012
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Over recent months there have been accusations between Apple and Samsung that have led to court cases all over the world. We’ve lined the promising upstart and the established veteran against each other in a head-to-head to see who is the true tablet champion.

ROUND 1–Out of the box

Apple defined the standard for making the unboxing of a new product part of the experience – the number of unboxing videos on YouTube is testament to that. But Samsung has caught up.

Once you extract the Galaxy Tab from the box, the setup process is very easy. Assuming you have a Google ID, you can access the Play Store and have your email, calendaring and other Google services up and running quickly – much like iCloud.

The Galaxy Tab shades the iPad with the inclusion of Polaris Office for editing Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Although you can buy similar apps for the iPad, Samsung’s inclusion of an office suite saves you a few dollars – a further edge when you consider that the Galaxy Tab is about $100 cheaper to start with.

We give this round to the Galaxy Tab.

ROUND 2 – Apps

This is the toughest round to call. If it was purely a numbers game, it would easily go to the iPad. However, we have passed the point where it’s about quantity – we’re now into quality.

Just about every application of significance has both iOS and Android equivalents. Interestingly, some large developers like Adobe are now delivering for Android first and then iOS.

With productivity apps there’s nothing separating the two devices except that Samsung bundles an office suite with the Galaxy Tab. With games, both platforms are very well supported. iOS has an edge when it comes to visually appealing apps, with art galleries, NASA and others all producing beauties.

This round is a tie – we can’t split them.

ROUND 3 – Performance

In terms of general zippiness both devices show how much progress has been made in recent years. Neither felt laggy and both devices were very responsive.

There’s no doubt that the iPad’s Retina Display gives it an edge on paper. However, for most applications the Galaxy Tab’s 1280 x 800 display is good enough.

The Galaxy Tab includes 3G connectivity along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and comes in the same 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options as the iPad.

The Galaxy Tab’s 2MP front camera is superior to the iPad’s VGA iSight camera, but the iPad can record in 1080p HD whereas the Galaxy Tab is limited to 720P.

This was a tight round with the iPad coming out on top.

ROUND 4 – In the hand

Sit a new iPad and Galaxy Tab next to each other and you’ll notice some subtle differences.

Although the Galaxy Tab is only running Android 3, Samsung has made some modifications so that it works a lot like Android 4. The front face of the Galaxy Tab is button-free whereas the iPad has a Home button. But otherwise they’re very similar – right down to the power supplies.

The Galaxy Tab is easier to carry and hold. At 565g, it’s 97g lighter than the Wi-Fi + 4G iPad. It’s 15mm longer but thinner and narrower than the iPad. That gives the Galaxy Tab an edge.

The power and volume controls aren’t any different although the iPad places the controls for optimal access when the device is held in portrait orientation whereas the Galaxy Tab is mainly organised around landscape mode.

The Galaxy Tab gets Round 4 due to its lighter weight.


It was a tight battle but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 just shades the new iPad, winning two rounds to one with one round tied.


10 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. James says:

    Lol jokes iPad rules over the galaxy tab especially when it comes too the apps

  2. Barry says:

    Interesting that the “tied” round, which allowed galaxy to win in the end, was made a tie by the fact galaxy has the office suit. This is the same suite that allowed it to win the previous category. Why didn’t we drag out that same suite again to allow it to win the performance category and have a clean sweep.

    Surely, a single feature, such as a single app, can only be accounted for in one category. This would mean that iPad should have won either the first or the second category. Very shallow review, weighted in favor of the galaxy in my opinion. Bit surprising for something called “Macworld”.

  3. Rob says:

    Shame, Anthony .. SHAME!

    Has SAMSUNG bought-off another reviewer? Sure reads like it. You have voted for an Asian “iPad rip-off “with a clumsy patchwork GUI, inconsistent IOS and icons, flimsy plastic external shell take your vote?
    I suspect foul play from a “reviewer” who should know better.
    Your decision insults iPad owners and MacWorld readers alike. Remember, Anthony, our prodigious purchase support of Apple products has provided the life source for the very magazine you write for. What a gross sell-out .. and a completely irresponsible and misleading assessment of the new iPad product. Do you even OWN a new generation iPad?

  4. Richard says:

    A very ‘scientific’ analysis Anthony.

  5. Russell says:

    Seriously , did you write this article just to get a response out of people and generate hits ??

    While I have nothing against Samsung and Android tablets to use the above ridiculous test and say Samsung has the edge , really ????

    Do a serious test and look at the satisfaction ratings and then write an article but please dont write the above dribble.

    Your article pretty much says hey its shiny and nice and i used it for all of 5min and Samsung wins.

  6. Richard Ure says:

    This review does not quite agree with David Pogue’s assessment

  7. Lifeless says:

    I’m sorry but there is a tie between the apps for iOS and Android? And you’re saying that there is an equivalent Android app for every iOS app, now come on, this review was almost readable up until this point. Having owned and used both an iPad (generally) and Galaxy Tab (for work), I can safely say Android can’t match iOS’ apps on over half of them. Also the Galaxy Tab wins because it has a free office suite pre-installed? Please, there are a number of good, if not better free office apps in the App Store on iOS. Just because something is preinstalled doesn’t necessarily make it better…

  8. Simon says:

    Just one thing to think about ?
    Customer service?
    Have you ever had to do a warranty claim or asked Samsung for support.
    They would be one of the worst companies to deal with product support and warranties.
    I own both Samsung and Apple products. Apple is a leader when it comes to supporting their products.
    Just triy to ring Samsung if you need assistance and see how poor there ability is to service their products.
    The old story is…. You get what you pay for. Apple ipad is worth the extra weight and price for product support and service.

  9. Peter says:

    I’m unsubscribing from MacWorld

  10. cavin says:

    Apple is a leader when it comes to supporting their products on New Ipad the Retina is so professional and crispy and colorful. Anthony the writer wrote that Samsung beat Ipad he is totally not sure what he is talking about? The speed and colors and APPS offered by Apple there is such a lot to feel and acknowledge and admit that Apple is product maybe expensive but the quality is fantastic as I owe Ipad2 and New Ipad too so when I use my friend Galaxy there is such a lot of difference on these 2 products compare to the colours I demand to see at a very professional view when I photograph and make images in Apple New Ipad its just AMAZING.

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