By Jo’Marr Williams
In an age where mobility is of importance, many are trying to decide which tablet is best for them. Tablets are starting to lead the forefront and become the on-the-go device. Emails, Facebook, Twitter, eReaders, Games, are all conveniently housed in tablets. Tablets are becoming a great substitution to laptops. Of the many tablets that are on the market, I have had the opportunity to purchase the top two contenders. In one corner we have Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which was released on June 17, 2011. In the other corner we have Apple’s ipad 2 released on March 11, 2011. 2 go in but only 1 comes out the victor. May the best Tablet win!
Price ($): Winner – ipad 2
Both devices start at $499 for the baseline models which will include Wi-Fi only and have 16GB of storage. To the average consumer this is ample storage for your music and other media needs. You can increase the storage size with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to 32GB for $629.99, which is currently only available to Verizon 4G customers. ipad 2 can opt for different combinations of storage with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi with 3G capability. If you opt for Wi-Fi only then the cost of 32GB is $599 and the 64GB is $699. The Wi-Fi and 3G units are $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.
Hardware: Winner – ipad 2
Visually the two devices look very similar; at times many people thought my Galaxy Tab 10.1 was an iPad. Once you take a closer look you start to notice the differences. The iPad 2 is constructed out of aluminum and the Galaxy Tab is made out of plastic. The Galaxy Tab measures at 10.10”x 6.90”x 0.34” and the iPad 2 measures at 9.50”x 7.31”x 0.34”. In your hands the Galaxy Tab is a lot lighter, weighing in at 1.25lbs versus the iPad 2 at 1.35lbs. The thinness of the Galaxy Tab also makes it a preferred device. Battery life on the iPad 2 is longer with 10 hours of performance versus the 8 hours I had on the Galaxy Tab. The 1280 x 800 resolution of the Galaxy Tab is far more superior to the iPad 2. Playing games and watching videos is truly a great experience on this device. Galaxy Tab’s power button which is located on the side of the device isn’t ideal. I found myself feeling around for it, especially when it came time to activate it. The iPad’s legendary home button makes turning the device on a breeze.
Operating System: Winner – Galaxy Tab
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is currently being run on the Android’s Honeycomb interface. I was familiar with Honeycomb prior to my purchase so it wasn’t difficult for me to comprehend the concept of the device. For those of you that aren’t, might find it a bit more taxing. The notifications placed at the bottom of the screen are easily accessible and convenient. The great thing about this tablet is that each owner can personalize their experience, whether it’s through widgets, sounds, or background images. iOS 4.3 is the operating system for the iPad 2. It’s simple and easy to use. Simply put, if you know how to use an iPhone you will have no problem using the iPad 2. It does lack the customization of the Galaxy Tab 10. If you are a Mac owner I highly recommend an iPad 2. Just plug your iPad into your Mac and it syncs seamlessly. I wish I could say the same for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, it is not Mac friendly. I had to download numerous programs to transfer my files over to the device, and it still didn’t work. For those with an extensive iTunes collection, Good Luck.
Applications: Winner – ipad 2
Who are we kidding? Hands down the iPad 2 has Apple’s mammoth collection of apps and games readily available in the iTunes store. There are apps that are specifically geared towards the iPad. In the Android’s version called “The Marketplace” finding tablet only driven apps was like finding a needle in a haystack. With the scarcity of apps, I was extremely turned off. What’s a tablet without apps?
Web Experience: Winner – Galaxy Tab
Prior to purchasing I knew the clear difference between the two was the flash capability. On the Galaxy Tab 10.1, I browsed the web as if I were sitting in front of my iMac. I went to web versions of my favorite sites and it didn’t lack content. I didn’t like the mobile versions of the web that the iPad 2 showed. On the iPad 2, I found myself constantly bookmarking sites so that I could view them later at home due to the lack of flash, more of a minor inconvenience than frustration. Safari, the native browser on the iPad 2 flows better when it comes to internet interaction. However I prefer the multiple tabbed windows of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The tabs make it easier to transition from one page to another.
And the Overall Winner by 3-2 is………….. iPad 2!!! It was a very close call but I will say that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 went out swinging. Overall the iPad’s compatibility with my iMac, battery life, and of course Application selection made it the clear choice for me. If you have a PC, then you will love the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The flash capability on the internet will be worth it alone. If you want something different from the rest of the population, grab one. It will definitely start up some conversation at the water cooler.