Are you a user of the Samsung Galaxy S? If so, you will feel right at home with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which may seem like an exploded version of the smartphone. The Galaxy Tab features a 7inch screen in a slate PC form that features the Google Android operating system. Android has really taken off recently, so the appearance of the Tab is well-timed. In addition, Samsung are the first manufacturer to come out with a worthy Android rival to Apple’s popular iPad.
Though there have been iPad rivals entering the market before now usually they had some flaw that discounted them as a serious contender. The oddly named JooJoo for example was little more than a web browser while the streak little bigger than a normal smart phone.
Ironically the Tab has drawn fire from Mr. Jobs as being too small to be considered a worthy rival. Such scorn coming from Apple perhaps betrays some fear that they have concerning the form factor of their device, which is hardly the most wieldy of objects. By comparison the 7 inch screen is a more ideal fit for most people’s hands. Because it is smaller, at a mere 4.72 inches in width, it is easier to grapple with allows for a lot more freedom than the iPad. Holding it in one hand while navigating is a far more practical proposition on the Tab than on the cumbersome iPad. Because it weighs 385g it certainly won’t tire the user either. It also has the advantage of fitting in far more pockets than the iPad ever will.
The resolution doesn’t leave much between them. Though the iPad has a larger 1024×768 screen, the 1024×600 on the tab is not that much smaller. Considering the extra portability and usability it’s a small sacrifice. And 1024×600 is a form factor that has been well used in recent netbooks, proving itself capable for modern devices. The usability of the device is essential. There’s no point having a great screen if the device jerks and stutters. In that respect the Tab is responsive and smooth so far as the interface is concerned. Things start to fall down when adobe flash gets involved. Ironically this is touted as one of the selling points, but it’s quite possible to see that Apple’s reticence to include flash may not have been quite as unfounded as Adobe, the makers of flash, have claimed. Typing can also lag a bit, not good for the fast typists among its user base.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab matches all the connectivity features needed in today’s devices with 3G as standard, an actual video camera to support the video calls made possible by 3G, and of course wireless internet through Wi-Fi. This connectivity makes the tab great to take around, so that whether you are in the supermarket and want to look up a recipe online or whether you need an app from the android app store – everything is to hand. Bluetooth is also included, promising support for wireless keyboards or Bluetooth headsets.
The device has a 1GHz processor, and a separate graphics processor. In practice the iPad runs more smoothly due to the extra care apple has taken to ensure the compatibility of their apps. Flash really doesn’t help the tab in this instance either.
Storage is aplenty with 16GB internal memory for the device to take advantage of and room for another 32GB via its MicroSDHC card slot. In terms of price the Samsung Tab is a good alternative to the iPad, matching it very closely in specification while only being very similarly priced.
Overall the Tab is impressive, and may well be a more serious rival to Apple than they would care to admit. but at the same time, it may not yet be the age of Android tablets with future offerings likely to offer a more polished product.