An Honest Look At The iPad And The Galaxy Tab

The introduction of the Nexus 10 by Google has added some much-needed diversity to the current Android tablet roster. Regardless, the Samsung Galaxy Tab line is still the definitive mainstream iPad competitor for many. The latest version, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, is an appealing alternative to the 4th generation iPad. The question everyone is asking at this point is whether the Galaxy Tab is finally capable of matching or exceeding the iPad pound for pound. Which tablet is the right choice for you? Read on to mull the pros and cons of each device. 

Hardware Showdown

As for tech specs, the Galaxy Tab has a 10.1-inch display good for 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core Krait CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal Flash memory, and a 3.0MP primary camera. All of that is shoehorned into a package that’s only 10mm thick and weighs 585 grams. The iPad, on the other hand, features a crisp 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina Display, an Apple A6X SoC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 5.0MP lens. Ultimately, the iPad has an appreciable, though not overwhelming, edge in the hardware and performance departments.

Operating Systems and Apps

Business Casual and Tablet

Capable of upgrading to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Tab’s operating system options are topnotch. The usual Samsung TouchWiz UI is present and accounted for, as well as plenty of unique Samsung goodies. It also supports over 600,000 apps from the Google Play app market. As of this writing, the iPad runs iOS 6.1, an exciting refresh of Apple’s OS that boasts Siri, FaceTime, and Apple Maps. In addition, a wealth of tablet-optimized apps from iTunes is available. You can basically chalk up this software comparison to a draw.

Networking Capabilities and Battery Life

Available in Wi-Fi and mobile broadband versions, the Galaxy Tab can support 3G and 4G LTE from every major carrier. Also, it has Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and GPS. Battery life on the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the expected 10 hours or so of continuous usage. The iPad comes equipped with 4G LTE support from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint and has the same wireless networking options. It’s also good for at least 10 hours per charge. Basically, these two tablets are equal when it comes to wireless functionality and battery life.

Expansion and Peripherals

In terms of extensibility, the full-size Galaxy Tab 2 is blessed with both microSD and USB 2.0 ports. That means you can bump up on-board storage space by 64GB and connect a host of external devices like digital cameras and smartphones. While the iPad has the new Lightning connector interface, it’s otherwise fairly spartan when it comes to external ports. Long story short, the Galaxy Tab 2 has a definite edge as far as expansion is concerned.

Decision Time

Both the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 are outstanding tablets that deliver tremendous bang for your buck. Getting down to brass tacks, each is exemplary in its own way. The iPad is the superior media tablet thanks to its high resolution Retina Display and robust graphics engine. It also supports the best tablet-specific apps you can find on any device. In comparison, the Galaxy Tab is less expensive, more customizable, and can support more on-board storage. If overall flexibility is a priority, opt for the Galaxy Tab. Otherwise, the iPad is your best bet.

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