GADGETS Tablet fans rejoice! Soon you’ll have another multi-touch tablet option, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Currently being released in Europe with expected U.S. arrival in the next few weeks, the Galaxy Tab is being hailed by experts as the first real rival to Apple’s enormously popular iPad.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab uses the Google Android operating system and when it becomes available, will be sold by wireless giants, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. AT&T will also carry the Tab, but only through the holiday season.
Tab pricing is equivalent to the iPad with carriers charging $400 with a cellular data contract and $600 for data capability but no contract. Although the Tab will offer several month-to-month contracts, it does not make cellular phone calls.
Android versus Apple, how do they compare? Although the Tab is smaller, only half the size of the iPad, testers still found the 7-inch screen easy to read. They also enjoyed the lighter weight and more compact size.
Power: PCWorld reports the Galaxy Tab comes equipped with the Android 2.2 operating system, allowing it, “full-featured multi-tasking” including email, web browsing, social networking, and music. The Tab offers internal storage, as well as 32GB of expandable storage. Currently iPad is limited to internal space only. Apple wins at battery life, however, with the iPad lasting up to five hours longer.
Perks: What does the Tab have that the iPad does not? Two count them, two cameras including a 3.2-megapixel camera in the back and 1.3-megapixels in front so the user can video-chat to their heart’s content. Don’t get too chatty though. The iPad touts up to 10 hours of video playback while the Galaxy Tab only lasts about 7 hours.
The ability to run web applications in Adobe Flash Software is another nice treat.
One interesting perk some people might find about the Tab software is the ability to roam where Apple has forbidden its iPad users to roam. Apple has been known to keep a pretty heavy hand on their apps through restrictions, banning and censorship.
Overall, testers found the Samsung Galaxy Tab to be a worthy rival of the iPad. A gadget tester with the Wall Street Journal offered this final thought, “The Tab is attractive, versatile and competitively priced, though monthly cell fees can add up. It’s different enough from the iPad, yet good enough to give consumers a real choice.”