Samsung Galaxy Tab – among the first of many iPad clones

Samsung has announced final details and specifications of the Galaxy Tab, a tablet device running Android 2.2 “Froyo”.

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It has a 7-inch1024x600 multi-touch screen, 1.00 Ghz processor, GPS, wi-fi, 3G internet, 1.4 megapixel webcam, 7 hours battery life if playing a video (I imagine much longer than that in normal use) and 16GB or 32GB RAM plus optional MicroSD.

Apple’s iPad has a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 screen and better battery life – 10 hrs while playing a video, according to the specs.

So why would you buy a Galaxy Tab? Well, it is smaller and therefore handier, though you will squint a bit more. It has some freedoms that the iPad lacks, such as Adobe Flash, MicroSD, and FLAC playback. It has a camera. You will not need iTunes in order to interoperate with a PC.

I imagine the main reason, though, is that the Galaxy Tab will be cheaper – even though I cannot find prices anywhere, it is inevitable. This and other would-be iPads will be positioned as cheaper alternatives.

This will not harm Apple at all. It likes to occupy the premium ground and does so with great profitability.

But could the Galaxy Tab be better than an iPad? Well, it will be for certain tasks where the iPad is lacking – see above – but it will lack the careful design and attention to detail which characterises Apple’s device, and of course will not be compatible with all those iPad apps – though in some cases there will be Android equivalents.

Further, all the same doubts which were expressed about the iPad before its launch apply here as well. Do you really want a smartphone and a tablet and a notebook, and if not, which one will you abandon? Is it worth yet another contract with a mobile provider just to keep your tablet connected? It is possible that although Apple can make this category work, others will struggle.

When I played briefly with a Dell Streak, a 5-inch Android tablet, I found myself thinking that it will be a good deal when they sell them off cheap. Without that incentive, it is too big for a phone, too small for much else other than watching videos on the plane.

I would like to try one of these devices, of course, but whether they will succeed is an open question.

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4 comments to Samsung Galaxy Tab – among the first of many iPad clones

  • robby

    “but it will lack the careful design and attention to detail which characterises Apple’s device”

    Yeah like the iPhone 4, sent to market with a borked antenna! Or the iPad, which works great as long as its not hot.

    I sense you are a big fan of Apple products, and therefore willing to overlook their flaws to rationalise the massive premium you pay for them.

  • Rob

    To be fair, you haven’t used one, which makes this a biased article.

    I love my Apple products, and I love my Nexus One, and neither of which are perfect in any way, as this tablet will also not be perfect.

    However, smaller screen with a higher resolution than the iPad pekes my interest, and the fact that both devices are extremely similar in specs, with the Samsung having double the RAM, leads me to believe that the Samsung will be better, it’s also lighter than the iPad.

    These hardware manufacturers do not have the software edge that comes from being Apple, but Android’s system is so customizable, it would be difficult to think that it will always remain the same.

  • Chris

    Tim,
    I agree with your comments. IPad and its clones represent a new market but their usability it still need to be validated by users. I do not own IPad, although I played with in the store. I really liked but I really do not have use for it. I can do everything on my laptop; except I do not get a coolness factor; and I hate to pay another monthly subscription to a wireless carrier.
    …my thoughts.
    Chris

  • I read that price wise it will be a round £500 without contract so firmly in ipad pricing territory. I do own an ipad but have to be honest and say will I be keeping it? At the moment not sure for the reasons you cover in the article (and I have an iphone 4 so some overlap). An Android tab interests me but thats all it is curiosity and I think the market is looking for a cheap alternative android tablet device but if you want an ipad contender then I guess you will ipad prices.