Is it a worthy competitor to the iPad?
The Galaxy Tab comes with Swype pre-installed, a software that allows you to quickly type in any application by simply dragging over the letters of the on-screen keyboard instead of tapping the,. In time, you’ll find that this is quite an intuitive way to enter text, and the software can accurately predict most entries and learn new ones.
The one thing I really wanted to test on both these devices was the web experience. With the whole Flash debate running around with Apple, I was interested to see how the Galaxy Tab faired on this ground, as it loudly boasted Flash 10.1 support. Sure enough, the Tab did properly display all of the websites that I visited which had Flash content on it. Sadly though, the unit began to stutter when I tried to play a Flash Tower Defense game, and completely froze up when I launched a fullscreen Flash game.
Even with a 1GHz processor, the Tab wasn’t able to properly handle full-screen Flash, which in all honesty isn’t too much of a hassle for me. If I owned a Tab, I wouldn’t be sitting around trying to play Flash games on it; I would just be poking around the web and doing any heavy surfing on my laptop. Having said that though, I found that the web experience on the iPad was significantly better. Why? Well, since the iPad doesn’t show any Flash, websites load quicker, and zooming and scrolling around is trouble-free. On the websites that I surfed on the Galaxy Tab, scrolling stuttered just a little bit, and zooming in and out wasn’t as instantaneous as it was on the iPad. The bigger screen estate of the iPad also meant that websites were easier on the eyes, whereas on the Tab I found myself often zooming in and out on certain sites to read content.
My next experiment was with the email, and both devices have a beautiful native email application. In landscape view you can view folders and emails on a left pane, with the entire message expanding to fill the right pane. Both devices easily paired with my Exchange server and downloaded all my contacts and emails, and also gave me the option to search my company’s Global Address Book – a feature still missing on my HTC Hero. The only annoyance with my email on the Galaxy Tab was that it would only show the last name of the sender, not the entire person, which I found to be very odd. The other snag was that any emails with embedded images in them showed up as image attachments, while the iPad was able to display HTML emails without any issue.
Music and video were good on both devices, though I found the iPad to win in this department thanks to its larger screen, the iTunes ecosystem and better interface to sort video and music. In fact, because of the iPad’s larger screen, I found the overall viewing experience on the iPad to be better than on the Galaxy Tab. Everything from email to web to even Twitter seemed much brighter and in focus on the iPad that it did on the Tab.