News from CTIA 2011 in Orlando Florida shows us that Samsung isn’t about to go down without a fight. Not content to be simply competing in the tablet arena, they want to take the trophy. The original Galaxy Tab was, in this writer’s opinion, somewhere between a fancy-pants e-reader and a phone that was “too big for it’s britches” as my loving grandmother might say. It was popular enough, moving a large number of units in a short amount of time which proved that people liked what Samsung was doing. Then came news of the Galaxy Tab 10.1; all of the goodness of the original in a bigger, more tablet-like size. Well she’s had a bit of a makeover in the last month and she looks gooooood. During Apple’s iPad 2 ego-stroking bonanza, Steve Jobs was quick to flex all of the numbers that made the iPad look good. Thinnest. Lightest. Fastest. As of June 8th, none of those will be true any longer.
Now let’s be clear about this: yes, we are talking about fractions of a millimeter which is literally splitting hairs. But that’s what we’ve come to these days in the tech world: splitting hairs. The new Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been redesigned from a hardware standpoint and now boasts a thickness of 8.6mm (compared to the iPad’s already svelte 8.8mm) and a weight of just 595 grams (a sneeze away from the iPad’s 601 grams). I used grams to illustrate just how minuscule these differences are. I also want everyone to take note of these tiny little differences now because in a year when the new iPad is released and it is 7 grams lighter and 0.3mm thinner, the same people that are dismissing the GT10.1’s advancements are going to be shitting themselves with happiness over their shiny new Apple product.
Another thing that Stevie was really happy about was that the iPad 2 was more affordable than any of its competitors. Samsung poked out its head and spoke clearly on this one: “Bitchsayswhat?” While we don’t yet have pricing info on the 64GB models or the 3G/4G models, we do have prices for the 16GB and 32GB versions of the GT10.1: $499 and $599, respectively. And for those of you keeping track (and I know that’s all of you, good little geeks that you are) those are the exact same prices as the iPad 2. Not really a big deal? Let’s continue with the differences then, shall we?
I’m not going to bother comparing the ways they are the same since the real money is in the differences. Screen resolution goes to the GT10.1 with 1280×800 (150 ppi) vs the iPad 2’s 1024×768 (132 ppi). Full-web experience? All Samsung since there’s still a ton of content on the web that is Flash-based and the iPad doesn’t (and won’t) support Flash but the GT10.1 has Flash 10.2 support. Expandability shouldn’t be a part of the contest, but it is because Apple refuses to let you do it: GT10.1 has support for microSD cards up to 32GB which means that your 64GB GT10.1 could potentially be a 96GB tablet… just sayin’. The back camera chalks up another win for the GT10.1, which is now laughing at the iPad 2 while it takes a drunken piss on its azalea bushes and records the whole thing in 1080p. Oh, and then the GT10.1 recorded himself making out with the iPad 2’s platonic female BFF (the supermodel-sexy one that it writes poetry for all the time) with the front-facing camera and that was in 1080p as well. Just to show how much of a good sport he was about the whole thing, the GT10.1 handed the iPad 2 a tube of cream for all of the sick burns. Unfortunately for the iPad 2, it can’t get the cream to stay on the burns because of that goddamned oleophobic coating that Jobs refuses to shut the fuck up about. Ability to exist independent of a computer award goes to… okay, I’ll stop. The iPad is crying and Stevie’s goons are headed to my house to murder me in my sleep.
There is one big flaw in Samsung’s strategy though. Those silly fucks decided to take the positively gorgeous Honeycomb interface and put that Touch Wiz bullshit on it. Why, Samsung? Why would you go and do such a thing? The Honeycomb interface is so slick and intuitive that it doesn’t need to be skinned. Nothing you could possibly do with Cheez Whiz will improve the experience in any way. Fucking stop with the UI skins already. Give us some sexy hardware and leave the software to Android. The only reason I’m not more upset about this is because I know they won’t encrypt the bootloader and someone will have a way to take it to stock 3.0 before I get my hands on one.
Obligatory basic rundown wrap-up: With the upcoming Galaxy Tab you’re getting more tablet for the same number of greenbacks. There’s no good reason to not buy the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Unless you prefer your gadgets with half-eaten fruit on them, of course.