Apple iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab review

Is this the tablet to finally topple iPad?

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Samsung has outed what appears to be the closest challenger to the iPad yet. Can it steal the tablet crown?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the biggest news to come out of the IFA 2010 tech fest with those returning home proclaiming that after a series of disappointments, this could be the tablet to finally end Apple's domination of the burgeoning new tech sector. With the Android 2.2 FroYo operating system on board and tons more functionality like voice calling and cameras, Are the iPad's days of ruling the roost coming to an end? Here's how things look so far...

Design and build:
Apple iPad: Has there ever been a better-looking, slicker piece of tech? Apple's design values really shine through, but at 680g (WiFi) and 730g (3G), using it with one-hand can be a little tiring. The two handed-approach is better.
Galaxy Tab: At just 380g it's almost half as light as the iPad and, inspired by the design of the excellent Galaxy S smartphone, the Tab comes a relatively close second in the tablet beauty pageant too.
Winner: Apple iPad

Related links:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab: hands on review and video
- Apple iPad: The ultimate guide
- Best iPad apps from the T3 App Chart
- 50 Free Android apps

Operating System:
Apple iPad: iPad users will soon be able to upgrade to iOS 4, which means adding the multi-tasking and folders functionality to an already magnificently slick Apple-designed interface.
Galaxy Tab: With Android, FroYo 2.2 comes improved Exchange Support, a better gallery feature and the ability to make the device a mobile hotspot. Add to this, great functionality like Google Maps Navigation and Android Market and an impressive package. We're not so sure about yet the TouchWiz UI though.
Winner: Draw

Apple iPad:
With only the standard Apple charging port and a 3.5mm jack, you're going to need a dock to add the keyboard and mouse accessories. However, with Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n and 3G data through the proprietory microSIM (if you're willing to shell out an extra £100 and a monthly premium) it's not shy on connectivity.
Galaxy Tab: The big difference here is the inclusion a SIM slot of allows voice calling through a regular SIM card, which makes the tablet a very large phone. As well as Bluetooth v3.0, there's also Wi-Fi b/g/n, HSDPA 7.2Mbps data and a 3.5mm jack. There's a Micro SD port, but still no USB or HDMI outs. No news yet on potential network contracts and data tariffs.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab

Apple iPad: Nothing comes near to the multitouch on the iPad's 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS screen. With a resolution of 1024x768 everything looks spectacular, but not so hot in sunlight.
Galaxy Tab: The 7-inch screen makes it a slightly different proposition, but the multi-touch compares well to the iPad without beating it. The TFT 1024x600 resolution screen is really great, but again isn't quite as good. We wonder why Samsung didn't employ its Super AMOLED tech here?
Winner: Apple iPad

Apple iPad: Nothing, nada, zilch. No face-time, no video recording and no stills. It does have a lovely Gallery interface though
Galaxy Tab: 6-0 6-0 6-0. A walkover. The Galaxy Tab boats a 3.2-megapixel stills camera with an LED flash, and can also shoot 720p video. More importantly there's a 1.3-megapixel front-loaded cam for video calling using Skype and the like.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab

Apple iPad: There are now 25,000 iPad-specific apps, with magnificent games, creation tools and web apps with optimised iPad UIs. It's the apps that make this device so special and we're just getting started.
Galaxy Tab: Android Market is improving rapidly, but can't compare to the App Store. There are no tablet specific apps for this device, so it's the same offering as on the Galaxy S.
Winner: Apple iPad

Apple iPad: The iPad has the brilliant iBooks UI, offering all of the top titles and a host of great annotation features but they can be quite expensive compared to other stores. iPad editons of the top magazines and newspapers offer magnificent advances in web/print interactive hybrid content. The screen is superb for reading, but holding the 9.7-inch, 680g device can be quite taxing.
Galaxy Tab: The 7-inch screen is a much more comfortable device for reading on, with the feel of a more traditional Ereader. The Reader Hub aggregates book, magazine and newspaper stores in one place, with a user-friendly interface, but it's all print reproduction with no interaction or video content.
Winner: Tie

Apple iPad: With upto 64GB of storage, which you'll pay a premium of up to £699 for, there's plenty of room for apps, music, books, and some video. There's no ability to add external storage or a microUSB card.
Galaxy Tab: The tab ranges from 16/32GB, with the option to add another 32GB through a microSD card, so a little more freedom to transfer content.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab

Apple iPad: The iPad 16GB, Wi-Fi is £429. That still seems like very good value to us for such a premium product. Let's just say we expected it to be more. If you want the full monty of Wi-Fi, 3G and 64GB of storage then you're looking at £699.
Galaxy Tab: Are you guys serious? £799? That's £100 more expensive than the most expensive iPad. Ok, you can pick it up for £599 online, but that's considerably more than the cheapest iPad. Surely any contender is going to have to undercut Apple to have a chance at beating-down the iPad? We're hoping to see some decent deals offered with network contracts.

Winner: Apple iPad

Make no mistake, the Apple iPad survives the challenge to the throne with its head still firmly attached to its shoulders. It has a more striking design, a better screen, a better price and far, far better apps. However, for Android aficionados and Apple haters, the Galaxy Tab is easily the best alternative yet. Adding front and back-loaded cameras into the mix and the advantage of voice calls, it does plenty that the iPad can't. It has a great design, a fantastic operating system, great touchscreen, but sadly the vastly inflated price may prevent it becoming as big a success. We'll find out soon enough...
Overall winner: Apple iPad