The new iPad has proven to be yet another bestseller for Apple, moving 3 million units in its first weekend on the market alone. Though it features powerful graphics, a vibrant Retina Display and 4G LTE mobile broadband, there are some who aren’t entirely sold on the device. Android tablets are beginning to attract followers in ever greater numbers, with many models offering a viable alternative to the iPad. Arguably the most popular Android tablet available is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Here’s a quick look at how the Galaxy Tab compares to the new iPad.
Features and Hardware
The Galaxy Tab comes equipped with a powerful Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 1 GB of RAM and between 16 and 64 GB of storage. Its 10.1-inch screen sports 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, while the 3 MP auto-focus camera on the back captures 720p video flawlessly. The new iPad features the all-new Apple A5X dual-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM and up to 64 GB of on-board storage space. Easily the most advanced feature of the new iPad is the Retina Display, which boasts 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution on a 9.7-inch, Gorilla Glass-covered screen. Its 5 MP iSight camera is capable of high-definition, 1080p video and still shots.
Operating System & Apps
The Galaxy Tab ships with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, the first version of Google’s mobile operating system to be tuned specifically for use on tablets. Atop the stock installation of Android is Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI, an eye-catching and relatively user-friendly interface that includes useful default apps like Polaris Office, Google Apps and plenty of media programs. The new iPad, on the other hand, runs iOS 5.1. While technically the same operating system that runs on the iPhone 4S, the iPad doesn’t yet feature Siri. Regardless, it does come with Siri-like speech-to-text dictation, iCloud, AirPlay and revamped versions of both iWorks and iPhoto.
Networking & Performance
When it comes to overall performance, the Galaxy Tab holds up well despite its age. It still manages to beat the new iPad in Geekbench tests with its Tegra 2 chip, though its graphics capabilities aren’t a match for Apple’s tablet. The Galaxy Tab supports 3G HSPA+ and Wi-Fi by default. Meanwhile, the new iPad boasts twice the graphics computing power of the iPad 2, despite having four times the number of pixels on its display. As mentioned earlier, the new iPad supports 4G LTE from multiple carriers and manages up to 9 hours worth of web browsing time.
Ultimately, the choice between the Galaxy Tab and the new iPad comes down to long-term value. If you plan on buying a tablet now, the iPad is a better deal. The Galaxy Tab uses last year’s Tegra 2, which while still powerful isn’t the latest hardware on the market. Considering the fact that a slew of Tegra 3 tablets are just around the corner, it makes sense to wait until they arrive if you’re not sold on the new iPad and would rather get an Android. In any event, both the Galaxy Tab and the new iPad are fine machines that should satisfy any tablet power user.
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