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.