Samsung today made its 7″ Android 2.2 powered tablet official at IFA 2010 and marked the arrival of the first real iPad rival. The Galaxy Tab has a lot going for it, the flexibility of Android, a powerful Cortex A8 1.0GHz processor, dual cameras, video calls and the ability to be used as a phone.
At 7″ it threatens to be pocket-able but falls slightly short, although you could easily slip it into a coat pocket. With 3G HSPA connectivity, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0 the Galaxy Tab becomes the best connected tablet on the market and the ability to use a SIM card for data and calls is a huge plus. The screen is a 1024×600 WSVGA TFT display and personally that’s a disappointment because I wanted to see Samsung’s superb Super AMOLED display that powers its Galaxy S lineup of phone inside.
My use case for a tablet is very simple. Video playback and Web browsing are a priority while apps and games come a close second. The reason the iPad was not for me is because of a clear lack of multitasking, but more importantly the inability to play a host of popular video codecs. The Galaxy Tab on the other hand plays DivX, XviD, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and more out of the box and this means I can throw virtually anything at it and it will play just fine, even if it is 1080P HD content.
The Galaxy Tab also packs a very capable browser with support for Flash 10.1. Two clear wins over the iPad. So does the Galaxy Tab have it in it to succeed? It is after all just an larger version of the Galaxy S phone with a 3″ jump in screen size and a 4000 mAh battery.
It will come down to the price Samsung can retail it at in addition to the the time to market. It is slated to go on sale in Europe this month while it will hit the US and Asia sometime next month, India might see it late September itself. The iPad is not available in a lot of countries till date and if Samsung can push the Galaxy Tab to those countries first, it might just gain a distinct advantage. The i9000 Galaxy S smartphone retails for about 28000 INR (600$), and if the Galaxy Tab crosses the 30,000 INR (640$) mark I don’t see many people picking one up as the iPad then becomes a cheaper option.
But if priced reasonably, we might just have a device that is compact, powerful and much more usable in bed or on the go. 380 grams in light.
The official Galaxy Tab site – http://galaxytab.samsungmobile.com/