7 Reasons to Get a Samsung Galaxy Tab over an iPad

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By: Hillel Fuld

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been making waves in the early adopter community. It might not be the first tablet to run Google’s mobile operating system, Android, but it is definitely the most significant one coming from an industry giant like Samsung. Now that there have been a few videos of the Tab in action as well as some initial Tab reviews, I don’t think anyone denies the fact the Samsung tablet is an impressive device on all fronts. What seems to be the debate in the tech community is: iPad or Tab.

Update: Sharp just announced they are jumping into the tablet ring with two new Android Sharp tablets.

There are two major tablets on the market (the Dell Streak 5″ is too small to be called a tablet and the 7″ Streak is too new to call it major) and the big question is which one to buy. Of course, anyone who tells you there is a clear cut answer to this question is lying, but I have had an iPad 3G for a few months, and while it has definitely changed my idea of what a computer should be, the specs and reviews of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab definitely make me want one.

The following are seven reasons any iPad owner, or someone looking to purchase a tablet, should seriously consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab:

  1. Portability: One of the first things iPad owners notice about the Apple tablet is that holding it for an extended period of time, which is the nature of tablets, is not to easy to do. It gets heavy despite its relatively light 1.5lbs of weight. Not only does it get heavy but typing on a 9.7″ screen while holding it in your hand can get awkward. I solved this with the Marware Eco Vue case, which allows me to place the iPad on a surface and prop it up to the ideal angle for typing. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a lot smaller than the iPad, and while that means less screen real estate for viewing movies or pictures, it makes carrying around the device a whole lot easier.
  2. Flash: I do not intend on getting into the debate over Adobe Flash vs HTML 5. In fact, I can personally live with the lack of Flash on my iPad. Having said that, I would not yell and scream if Jobs would finally get over his ridiculous ego and need for vengeance by enabling Flash on Apple devices. The Tab runs Flash. I do not mean the choppy experience provided by some of the Android phones that supposedly support Flash as well. The Tab does Flash and it does it well, at least according to the initial reviews.
  3. Camera: Absolutely no one debates that iPad 2 (or whatever stroke of genius Jobs will come up with for the name of the next iPad) will have at least one camera. In fact, most people who know Apple, claim the only reason the current iPad does not have a camera is so they can add it to the next one and sell millions. The lack of a camera on a tablet is like the lack of Copy and Paste on a smartphone… Seeing a pattern here? Well the Galaxy Tab has a camera, and quite a nice one. At 3 MP, auto focus and an LED flash, this to me is an absolute deal breaker or decision maker for someone on the tablet market.
  4. Video Calling: I can’t help but imagine how amazing the experience would be if we were able to video call from the iPad. The vibrant screen, the impressive depth, and the overall experience the iPad provides is just yelling video calls. Yet, Apple left any instance of a camera lens out of their debut into the tablet market, and that sucks. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a front facing 1.3 MP camera making it on par with the top of the webcam category (yes, I know there are some webcams that are much higher than 1.3 MP) and adds a serious advantage to the Tab over the iPad.
  5. Video Formats: I have to admit, this is somewhat of a tricky one. Just last week, Apple surprisingly approved VLC Media Player for the iPad and the Tab’s ability to support all video codecs might have had something to do with Apple’s sudden change of heart. While the iPad now supports different video formates such as AVI and others using VLC, the Galaxy Tab does it out of the box. To be fair, the experience of watching a full length movie on a 7″ screen just cannot be compared to a 9.7″, but the Tab’s flexibility when it comes to video playback is yet another big advantage.
  6. SD Slot: So here is the thing with memory cards, they are getting bigger. While the highest SD storage is now 32 GBs, which means that combined with the 16 or 32GB of on board storage, the Tab maxes out at 64GB. I personally own a 64GB iPad, so where am I going with this? While right now, the iPad has more storage than the Tab can have, it won’t be long before a 64GB Micro SD card is released, then a 128 etc etc. There is no way to know if the Tab will support these new higher capacity cards, but assuming it will (not a crazy assumption at all if you know anything about SD standards), the 64GB iPad will be surpassed in storage capacity very soon. The important thing here is not the actual number of GBs, it is the ability to adjust the device’s storage capacity with an external card, something Apple will never do (or at least it does not seem to be going in that direction).
  7. Wide Screen Ratio: I am going to admit that I am no expert on this topic, but it did strike me as strange when the iPad was announced that it was a 4:3 ratio as opposed to 16:9. The Web video industry has definitely made widescreen videos the standard, which means you get those fun black lines when watching a video on the iPad. In all fairness, the iPad allows you to scale the video up to the full screen view, but that is not its natural ratio. The Tab is widescreen, which makes it more like an enlarged smartphone in its dimensions, which is a good thing since we are all pretty used to smartphones by now. While I am far from an expert on the human eye, Jake Kern, a Twitter friend who seems to know his stuff explained to me that the widescreen ratio is much more suitable for the human field of vision. Some examples of when widescreen would come in handy is opening two tabs simultaneously, eBooks, word processing files, and many others. To read more information on widescreen and its advantages, see here.

In conclusion, let there be no misunderstandings, for every advantage the Galaxy Tab brings, I can also name one for the iPad. The above points are not intended to belittle the iPad as a true game-changer, netbook-killer, industry-leader or any other name it has been called. I love the iPad for what it is, but it could have been so much more, and every feature that I think should have been included in the iPad seems to be present on the spec sheet of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, so you do the math.

Please feel free to tell me you think I am crazy or that you are now sold on the Tab. You can share your thoughts on the iPad-Tab rivalry in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter.

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Hillel Fuld is a global speaker, entrepreneur, journalist, vlogger, and leading startup advisor. He brings over a decade of marketing experience with leading Israeli and Silicon Valley startups, and currently collaborates with many global brands in an official marketing capacity including Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Huawei, and others.      Hillel covers the dynamic local tech scene for many leading publications including Entrepreneur magazine, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more.    Hillel has been named Israel’s top marketer, 7th top tech blogger worldwide, has been featured on CNBC, Inc, and was dubbed by Forbes as “The Man Transforming Startup Nation into Scale-up Nation”.       Hillel has hundreds of thousands of followers across the social web and can be found on Twitter at @Hilzfuld. You can learn more about him on his website: www.hilzfuld.com


19 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Get a Samsung Galaxy Tab over an iPad

  1. Hillel, 64GB SD cards have been out for over a year.. They’re going for about $200 right now. It’s called SDXC.
    What you should be checking is if the Samsung supports SDXC 😉

  2. Thanks Olivier, as usual you are first on the scene 🙂 I know they are “out” but they are not widely available on the mass market yet and the price is just one proof of that. Anyway, are you getting the Tab?

  3. all excellent unbiased points. thanks. i have the samsung epic phone and can personally vouche for the quality of their handheld products. battery life is the only question here..

  4. Not sure about them not being widely available.. I almost bought one in a best buy in Montreal in February.. My device just didn’t support SDXC.. They are still pricey though because their main use is camera’s and not tablets yet. And with Camera’s photographers don’t like swapping cards..
    I don’t think I’m getting a tablet. I really considered it, but with the $139 price tag on the new Kindle, I think that’s what I’ll get in November. I want to read book, not so much anything else.

  5. Never forget that having a microSD slot, you could swap around easily! And sharing huge files using this method!

  6. The Galaxy Tab has two versions when it comes to storage. one 16GB and one 32GB. Where did you get 2GB from?

  7. Best write-up I’ve seen to date: great job. I’m new to the iPad, and boy is my hand tired! I love the big, wonderful screen, so I’m not thrilled at the prospect of a 7″ viewing experience. OTOH, I sure don’t like being under Apple’s thumb (or Job’s bootheel). Were this iPad not a gift, I would be waiting for the Android-based simulacrum.

  8. i agree and i strongly tell: Price too elevated for some two deceptions: Rear camera is only 3 Megapixels, HTC EVO 4G ALSO HTC Desire have 8 Megapixels camera. Second deception is battery charge last 4 hours! They tell 7 but benchmark tets say 6 and WHEN WI-FI and BLUETOOTH ON drop to only 4 hours. No interchangeable battery, the battery is built inside and no access! Apart is interesting and i will buy, but many wont be able for so elevated price and as you said, after 1 year, nobody will want more than $350. at ebay! It does not keep value as HTC, Sony, HP. Mr. Samsung read me, don’t joust travel! Make a surprising Rollback price drop…You’ll sell MILLIONS and helping poor people to use it to work with as i do, i work on computers for printer company i built Posters and CD/DVD producer. So, more sales, for less high price. More expensive make stealers! ALL GPS were stealed…now prices dropped and few stolen and more people don’t lost there way, and less pollution for easyer fing there destination and more time having for be in family! You must think that, i would merit to be president of Samsung! Maybe if he reag me…or he’s lost for no GPS! LOL! Take the life as a game, we’re actors and God like to see how inteligent we are. Enjoy life.

  9. You forgot the most important reason!

    8. Apple Hatred: You hate Apple and Steve Jobs. You think the company is smug and that he is smug. You prefer open systems over closed ones. You mistrust Apple and think they are evil and trying to take over the world. Most of all, you never want to be accused of being an Apple fanboy!

  10. Your article makes a very compelling case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which is a very capable device. However, I still prefer the iPad, simply because it is such a pleasure to use, this is due to its superior user interface.

  11. Great review. Balanced and very clear. Practical and useful points indicated. I own a Dell Streak and a Galaxy Tab. I used the Tab yesterday while window shopping. I talked to my wife using its earphone set while it was in shorts pocket. To me, the portability, voice call and cameras play a big factor why this is a viable option.

    I love the IPad too. My flatmate owns one. There’s no quarrel here with the said devices. Thanks for the review.

  12. Being someone who works online 99% of the time, with my entire personal and professional life being managed on a Google or Google-related service in one way or another, Android appeals to me.

    But there is one un-mentioned downfall to the tab – every major carrier in North America has disabled the phone function, which the Galaxy Tab actually has built into it.

    I was ready to pawn my desktop, notebook, and dumb-phone just to get my hands on a Galaxy Tab – until I found out that it would be yet *another* device I have to carry around and keep updating.

    To me, the Galaxy Tab can’t accomplish anything that I can’t currently do with my laptop (and Google Chrome) and my existing Samsung Touchscreen DumbPhone.

    Now if they enabled the phone feature, I’d be first in line to buy one. I desperately want to move to a one-device world – but adding a Tablet to my home phone, cell phone, notebook, desktop setup is just… Not even an option.

    Desktop contains high-end graphics programs that Notebooks don’t have the capability to support, Notebook exists mostly for web browsing and remoting to the desktop, cell phone exists to send and receive phonecalls and text messages, home phone is to save on cell phone bill (funny how that works…) – why add a Tablet to that scenario?

    It can’t remote to my desktop so I can’t get rid of the notebook, it can’t do graphic design so I can’t get rid of the desktop, it can’t make phone calls so I can’t get rid of the cell phone… Yet it can text message? Gimmie a break!

    I’ve heard dozens of people complaining about the same thing. If they finally enable teh voice call feature, there will be many people in line to buy one, but as it stands now – there is no way I’m spending $700 on something that will make life MORE complicated. I’ll get myself a Galaxy S Smartphone instead, thanks.

    As a side note, the data plans for the Galaxy Tab in Canada are also 2-3X more expensive than iPad data plans, and the device costs a minimum of $100 more – even with a contract.

    Really, it is cell phone carriers that messed up this device – not Samsung.

  13. I was at sprint today to buy two Tabs (one for me and one for wifey) and guess what? We cannot make phones calls NOR does it come with 4g. US carriers blocked that. So guess what? We left, we have ordered two Archos 101 now instead for the fraction of the cost and no 2 year commitments! They ship out after Jan 8th 2011. Way to lose customers Big 4. I bet Apple has something to do with it. Galaxy tab had a lot of potential…I loved it when I tested it…but I am not going to have TWO extra plans and TWO 2 year commitments on my phone bill. No way.

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