Samsung has models that connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi only (starting at $499), and also a model that connects over Wi-Fi or Verizons cellular network, including its high-speed LTE 4G network (starting at $529 plus cellular data plan).
Like the iPad, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes in two different colors, white and metallic grey (although the Verizon version only comes in metallic grey). And like the iPad, it comes in models with different storage capacities: 32 or 16 gigabytes (GB).
On hardware, it may hold a slight edge. However, Apples iOS, the operating system of the iPad (and iPhone and iPod Touch), still has a clear advantage over Googles Android operating system in terms of the number and, arguably, quality of apps available.
Still, if youve decided to go with the Android star because it appears to be a more open operating system, or it supports Adobes widely-used Flash online video technology (which the iPad does not) the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a very strong contender.
The Samsung Tablet PC
Brilliant screenUnlike Samsungs other tablet product, the Galaxy Tab 7.0, introduced in January, this new tab has a screen about the same size as the iPad 10.1 inches diagonally, compared to 9.7 inches for the iPad. (The earlier Samsung product has a seven-inch screen.)
The apparently slight difference in screen size between the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the iPad 2 is in fact one of the most immediately noticeable differences between the two products.
The Galaxy Tabs crisp, bright screen is longer and narrower, as are the units overall dimensions: 10.1 x 6.9 x 0.34 inches, compared to 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.34 inches for the iPad. (The iPad also outweighs the Samsung product by an ounce or so: 21.3 versus 20 oz.) The Galaxy Tab 10.1 screen is slightly higher resolution 1280 x 800 pixels compared to the iPad 2s 1024 x 768 although not enough to make a really noticeable difference to our eyes.
Power to spareInside, it runs a 1GHz dual-core processor (as does the iPad), and the latest Honeycomb iteration of the Android operating system (Version 3.1), with 1 GB of memory. Apple doesnt officially state how much memory the iPad 2 has, but it is reported to be half as much, 512 kilobytes (KB).
Memory is sometimes an important determinant of overall speed of operation in a computing device, but in testing of the same or similar applications, such as Web browsing and file synching, there appeared to be little difference in computing performance between Galaxy Tab and iPad.
One of Samsungs boasts is that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers a better, more computer-like, multi-tasking experience. It does give slightly easier and faster access to multiple running programs, but in real-world use, this delivers only a slight gain in convenience.
One place where most other iPad competitors fall down is on battery life, but the Samsung product promises 12 hours on a single charge, actually better than the iPads break-through nine hours of continuous use.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 includes all the now standard features for a tablet, including Bluetooth, and speakers and microphone for playing back multimedia content, recording voice notes and enabling voice over Internet telephony.
High-res camerasIt also has front- and rear-facing video-capable cameras to support video conferencing and video chat apps. Both are 3 megapixels, so are capable of producing HD-resolution video. And both are higher resolution than either of the two iPad 2 cameras. The iPads front-facing camera is significantly lower resolution (640x480 pixels).