A week with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 P7500… and the common 3 questions I get are:
1. What do you think of the Galaxy Tab ?
2. How does it compare to the iPad ?
3. Which one would you but iPad or Galaxy Tab ?
So lets start with the first one: What do I think of the Galaxy Tab ?
I really really like it.
When I first got it, I did have to go through a bit of a learning curve (see previous Galaxy post) which I wasn’t expecting and that caught me off guard. However, once I started to play with the device more and more, I realised that Android is a super-house-kick-ass system – that you can do awesome things with.
I really do like the flexibility the Tablet has to offer. If I want icons rearranged – I can. If I want to clump apps together without going into folders or multiple screens – I can. If I want to see the weather whilst getting a snap shot of my mail whilst reading the news – I can.
The Galaxy Tab with Android allows you to make the device work for you rather than visa versa.
It is also a serious work tool – the fact that it has a Micro SIM and WiFi and Bluetooth, means that you have the flexibility of being mobile and connected. the Wifi is stable and doesn’t drop, I found that connecting at various public hot spots works just as well as connecting in the office’s WiFi. The SIM connectivity is also great and behaves well even in poor signal areas. when is comes to Office documents, you have options. You can download Documents to Go or just use the built in Polaris Office to play with your Office Docs and PDF. You don’t want to ? No problem – download Adobe PDF and read PDF the way you are used to. The flexibility is superb here. Even the soft-keyboard is great, but what is even nicer is that if you don’t like it, you can simple change it by downloading a new style of keyboard. I downloaded Swype & there are plenty of others.
This brings me onto the Downloading Apps bit.
The Marketplace is full of apps – lots of free apps and lots of paid-for apps and everything in between. You are spoilt for choice for everything you want. What is really great about Android is that you DONT HAVE TO get apps from the market place only ! you can download apps from other sources. This makes development and just experimenting with various apps such fun and a pleasure. No more frustration like the iPad where your only option is to be directed to the App Store or be forced to Jailbreak the phone.
When it comes to the other work thing – also known as Gaming – the Android doesn’t disappoint at all. Angry Birds works like a dream on the device and there are lots of awesome games that make use of the Galaxy’s accelerometer.
I really like the Bunny Shooter game
So is it the Perfect Tablet ?
There are elements that I don’t like about it:
The Music Hub doesn’t work in SA – very disappointing. You can still play music through the Galaxy Tab using the Music app but not the Hub.
Copying files to and from the device seems to be an issue – I tried it on various computers and laptops and all had the same problem: it takes too long. I copied a 2mb file onto the Tablet and that took over 3 minutes using the USB connection.
My major issue is with the Synch app called: Samsung Kies. Now this app needs some serious work. The synching of the Outlook’s Calendar, Contacts and Memo have very limited configuration options in it. My main option that I was looking for is the “what do I do in case there is a conflict – Does the device win over PC or Does PC always win ?” This is how you loose data instantly…
The Recently Used App I must say is great as it has all the apps you just used. However, what happens if you don’t want to have every single app in the recently used app ? – tough. There is nothing you can do about it. So if I open up the web and then mistakenly opened up the music app, in the recently used app both would appear and until I do a hard reboot, it will stay there…not so clever…and frankly got on my nerves.
So now the question of How does it compare to the iPad ?
There are hundreds of websites and YouTube video clips who do a details comparison so there is real no point in replicating that here. What I would say is that when you have them side by side, the size of the devices are nearly identical, the iPad does seem brighter and has a smoother “swipe” motion when you changing screens. the video is better on the Galaxy and the camera have more option on the Galaxy than on the iPad. And I am sure there are lots of other differences.
Given the choice: would I get the iPad of the Galaxy Tab ?
I would get the Galaxy Tab. The reason is that is has the flexibility, its has the portability and I don’t feel like I am about to get screwed because the new release of even better hardware is just around the next corner. a feeling I distinctly get when it comes to Apple. Just as we buy iPad2 the iPad 3 is about to launch. Just as we buy iPhone 4 the latest and greatest – the iPhone 5 is about to launch. I also don’t like the fact that there is no flash on the iPad (full Flash on the Galaxy) and most websites who had their Flash designed site are not simply going to convert it to HTML5 – no matter what the Apple marketing team tell you. Finally, with the iPad, I don’t like the “you must buy apps ONLY through us at the App Store” – so the device is essentially a gateway to all those seemingly cheap 99c apps which keeps the Apple cash flow pumping.
The fact that Galaxy runs Android and that Android is open to developers, being part of Google and is designed specifically for the cloud-based-mobile-thinking environment, gives me the level of comfort that I need to know that the future for the device and the platform is secure.
Final comment: I am still not convinced. In my tablet quest I would like to look at the 7inch Galaxy tablet and see how that compares to the Blackberry Playbook
For me, Tablets still fall into the category of “the coolest devices you don’t know why you need to have but you cant do without”
ps. if there are any hard-core Android people out there who can contribute to this, please get in touch !