Samsung's Galaxy Tab is an Android-based tablet computer that competes with the iPad and gives Apple's pioneering device a serious run for its money. Notable features of the Galaxy Tab that are absent from the first generation iPad are Swype (a faster way of typing on touchscreen devices), front and rear-facing cameras and a memory card slot for expanded storage (up to 32GB).
Samsung announced and demoed the Galaxy Tab in early September 2010 and the device is set to be released by the end of 2010 in time for the holiday season.
edit Size and Weight
The Galaxy Tab is smaller and lighter than the iPad. At 0.84 pounds, the Galaxy Tab weighs about half compared to the iPad. It is also a smaller device, with a 7-inch display and 7.48 (height) x 4.74 (width) x 0.47 (depth) inches in size. The iPad has a larger 9.7 inch display with a size of 9.56 (h) x 7.47 (w) x 0.5 (d) inches.
edit Screen and Display
As noted earlier, the iPad has a larger display. The iPad has an LED IPS screen whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a TFT LCD display. Both have multitouch screens but the iPad screen has a higher resolution (1024 x 768 pixels) compared to the Galaxy Tab (1024 x 600 pixels).
edit Operating System and Applications
The iPad uses the iOS (earlier called iPhone OS) operating system, which is a proprietary system found on about 90 million Apple mobile devices, including iPhones and iPods. Apples iTunes app store has over 200,000 applications built for this operating system (as of September 2010). The iPad's in-built software is capable of opening Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) as well as integrating with Microsoft Exchange servers.
Samsung Galaxy Tab is based on version 2.2 (Froyo) of the open source Android operating system. The apps marketplace for Android is smaller with about 75,000 apps (as of September 2010). Android devices can also be configured to access e-mail from Microsoft Exchange servers.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab is equipped with Swype, a faster way to type on touchscreen devices. This feature is absent on the iPad.
edit Location Based Services
The Android-powered Galaxy tablet offers Google's location-based services including Maps, Latitude and Places. It also offers a beta version of Google Maps Navigation, a turn-by-turn navigation system that replaces GPS systems in cars.
edit Flash Support
iPad, like other mobile devices from Apple, does not support Flash. Android supports Flash but the performance of Flash videos on Android is not always great.
edit Video Recording
Both tablets support full HD video playback, however the iPad does not have a camera so it does not support video recording or taking pictures.
Samsung Galaxy Tab also has built-in phone functionality so it can be used as a phone. It is, in essence, a larger version of Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone. The iPad cannot be used as a phone.
edit Music Player
Both tablets support a wide variety of music formats, including AAC, MP3 and WAV. The iPad also supports Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless and AIFF. The Galaxy Tab supports OGG, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, FLAC, AC3, MIDI, OTA and i-Melody.
Tethering is the approach of using your mobile device as a Wi-Fi hotspot (or router) to share the 3G Internet connection with other devices in the vicinity. Since Android has an open approach to apps, you can potentially use tethering without paying an additional fee.
edit Tablet as a Hard Drive
With Android, devices can be used like hard drives: You can drag and drop files from your PC, and you can browse your device as if it were a computer.
Bluetooth support for the iPad is for version 2.1 whereas the Galaxy Tab supports Bluetooth 3.
edit Hardware Features
Both devices have a 1 GHz processor but the Galaxy Tab has twice the amount of RAM (512 MB compared to iPad's 256 MB). Samsung's tablet also has front and rear facing cameras, a feature noticeably absent in the iPad. Another advantage for the Galaxy Tab is that it provides a memory card slot for expanded storage up to 32 GB. All models of the Galaxy Tab will have a GPS; however, only 3G models of iPads have GPS capability.
Apple sells the iPad directly and through a handful of retailing partners like BestBuy. In contrast, Samsung has decided to partner with wireless carriers to sell the Galaxy Tab, which will debut in Europe where it will be distributed by Vodafone.