20 Aug Has The iPad Finally Met Its Match?
For those of you who have been waiting for a worthy rival to step up and really challenge the enormously popular iPad, you may not have to wait much longer. It is no secret that the iPad is the most successful tablet to date, with 3 million units sold during the opening weekend following its launch.
However, Samsung have just announced a tablet that may sway avid iOS users to do the unthinkable: switch to Android.
Despite an uninspiring history in tablet sales, totalling only a fraction of the iPad’s sales (1.4 million including original Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE) Samsung may have finally produced a winner with the Galaxy Note 10.1. The tech giant has certainly banked on the success of the Galaxy Note 10.1, particularly after the admission of Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung during a media roundtable at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona earlier on in the year:
The Galaxy Note 10.1 has had high expectations placed upon its success, with three separate announcements of the device held this year: first in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress; then with a second international announcement two weeks ago; and then a third one in the U.S. at a recent splashy event in Manhattan. These high expectations are also fuelled by the surprising success of the 5.3inch Galaxy Note, which had sold 10 million units in the past nine months despite criticism over its ‘neither phone nor tablet’ sized screen.
What Makes This A Threat To The iPad?
It’s all in your hands.
Many believe the stylus (dubbed the S Pen) will be the winning factor for the Galaxy note 10.1, particularly with the aforementioned widespread adoption of the 5.3 inch Galaxy Note, which also made use of the stylus. While the S Pen may initially come across as a gimmick, it seems to have been integrated well into how the tablet functions, right from the “pen-friendly” apps the digital pen launches when removed from its slot in the tablet to the unique multitasking solution that shows and allows the user to use two apps at the same time.
The tablet comes preloaded with a free copy of Adobe PS Touch (essentially a tablet version of photoshop, $10 on Google Play), Adobe Ideas, 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years, Polaris Office, Kno e-textbook platform and the Barnes & Noble Nook reading app. While initially the Galaxy Note 10.1 appears to be geared more towards creatives, it actually provides quite a few tools for productivity too, such as the S Memo app.
S Memo allows you to choose from three function modes: formula, shape or text match. Select the formula option and your screen will
be divided into two, with the lower portion dedicated to input and the above a near final preview of your entry. Scrawl in an equation and the software will do its best to discern it, translating your arithmetic up above and presenting you with the option to go ahead and calculate. It’s pretty simple stuff and, more often than not, the software was able to accurately determine which numbers and symbols are written down. The shape function has a less obvious utility and was cause for a bit of trial and error to work properly. It won’t correct your attempts at anthropomorphic sketches, but if the composition of basic circles and squares poses great difficulty, this neat mode will redraw them for you in proper alignment. Of course, the main drawcard of S Memo lies within its ability to turn your handwriting on the tablet into print fairly accurately, which makes taking notes in a hurry so much easier.
The range of apps optimised for the S Pen, doesn’t stop there. There are a wide variety of third party apps which also make use of the S Pen such as Touch Retouch, Makeup, Zen Brush, Omni Sketch and Hello Crayon.
Specs and Features: New iPad Vs Galaxy Note 10.1
The iPad’s beautiful 9.7 inch ‘retina display’ certainly gives it a leg up against the Galaxy Note, with a 2048 X 1536 screen resolution with a ppi rating of 263. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 10.1 has a 10.1 inch PLS TFT screen with a resolution of 1280 X 800 and a ppi rating of 149, which while not as inspiring as the iPad is respectable. If display is a deal breaker for you, the iPad would certainly be the better choice.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 seems to offer a lot more in the specs area, with 2GB RAM, quad-core Exynos 1.4GHz processor and up to 64GB internal memory. For heavy tablet uses, the microSD slot for extra storage will be a big bonus, particularly as the Galaxy Note 10.1 could theoretically support up to 128 GB of memory on the 64GB model. The tablet also comes in 16GB and 32GB variations.
While the iPad does not offer expandable storage, and it’s specs aren’t quite as impressive as the Galaxy Note 10.1, it is respectable in its own right. The iPad offers 1GB RAM and it powered by a dual-core A5X processor with a quad-core graphics processor, making the iPad certainly optimised for gaming and other graphic intensive uses. It comes in 16, 32 or 64 GB variations.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 certainly takes the lead in this area, with a significantly better front-facing camera. The Galaxy Note 10.1 sports a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, which is certainly more impressive than the iPad’s VGA front-facing camera.
Both tablets feature a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, however the Galaxy Note 10.1 add a single LED flash to aid in low light photos.
Galaxy Note 10.1 Specs Snapshot:
[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]
- 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor
- 10.1 inch display with 1280 X 800 resolution
- 2GB RAM
- microSD slot for expandable storage
- Available with 16GB and 32GB internal storage
- 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- S Pen
- Available in Wi-Fi only, Wi-Fi plus HSPA+ and Wi-Fi plus LTE (sometime after initial launch).
While Samsung’s latest foray into the tablet market is very promising (and quite exciting), whether or not it will be enough to dethrone the iPad as the king of tablets is uncertain.
What are your thoughts?