Friday, February 25, 2011

Practical Review: Apple iPad (iOS) vs. Motorola XOOM vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab


I've been lucky enough to be able to play with the three tablets and I wanted to get my two cents out there to see which one is "better".


Speed. Motorola XOOM beats out the Galaxy Tab and the iPad. The CPU that the Tab and iPad uses are essentially the same, with the iPad having less components. The XOOM on my benchmark tests were 3x as fast. XOOM wins hands down.

Video chat.  XOOM and Galaxy Tab can do it.  I must admit it was kinda cool at first video chatting with my wife the other day.  Then we had a tiny argument about something and I think the facial expressions just further aggravated it.  So I'm not going to score this yet.  But just know, iPad is a loser here and in the camera category.

Internet surfing/browsing. Galaxy Tab wins for Flash support. XOOM is a faster experience, but no native Flash support yet. iPad's smooth browsing experience is good, but scores less overall against the two since it's slower, and there's no Flash support at all. Galaxy Tab wins, with XOOM a close second.

Applications/development. For sure iPad would have won this...until the revolution. No, not the Libyan revolution. The app developer revolution. Apple has ticked off big publishers and the little guys all at once with a 30% tax on in-subscription sales. Most of the top Apple apps have already been ported in the Android Market -- so yes you Angry Bird lovers, I've played it both on the Galaxy Tab and the XOOM. But boy those pigs are hard to bust after level 20! And for the "oh one inch of my screen is left empty because developers haven't fitted to the screen size" -- well kids, either use the Spare Parts app to do that, or just wait. Stop being a weemer. Galaxy and XOOM tie. Apple loses for being greedier.

Portability. Steve Jobs I think made a huge mistake by saying 7" tablets have no future. He could have helped define two markets, one for the 10" stay at home/office/couch/toilet types and the 7" go anywhere because it's portable and fits in my jacket types. I belong to the latter camp. I like to move, I like to go to places and take photos, I like to travel. I'm also the type that surfs on the Internet in the middle of nowhere, whether I'm climbing the slippery slopes of Mt. Kanlaon or I'm in a hot air balloon show, I want to be able to take pictures on a tripod plus my other hand looking at emails. If I'm in an airplane bunched up like a sardine, I want to fit healthy plane food on my tray, plus have a taste of Philippine Airlines' world renown wide assortment of beverages (water) and still have room on my tray to watch a movie with my tablet. The iPad and the XOOM sadly will not address this. Galaxy Tab wins hands down.

Hackability, customization. Have you seen the flying robot Kinect hack? The one that uses the sensors of XBOX's Kinect to be able to have better 3D depth perception? I'm not going to use my tablets for any Skynet hacks anytime soon less I want to be the Terminator's next target, but I do like the fact that you can modify Android tablets and hack 'em to do what you want. Motorola announced on Twitter that XOOM would have an unlocked bootloader. NICE. First thing that popped up in my mind was interlinking XOOMs in building architecture, using it like StarTrek touch/display consoles. But in all seriousness, Motorola gets street credit for being the first to unlock their premium Android tablet bootloader. XOOM wins.

Storage. Galaxy Tab and XOOM (in the future) takes in extra storage capacity. Extremely helpful when I have little kids competing for movies to watch on road trips or plane trips. I hookup my Galaxy Tab to the TV using its proprietary AV cable or hook it up to my car DVD player that has USB hookups. From Bible stories to Dora to Spongebob, I have an unlimited virtual home entertainment collection for the kiddos in these tiny little miniSD cards that probably should carry a choking hazard label. Tab and XOOM wins.

Snob aura. Apple wins hands down. "I just buy it cause it's Apple." Yep... You know who I'm talking about.  Apple wins.

Price. I bought Samsung Galaxy Tab in the Philippines for less than $85 USD, with a two year unlimited data plan (+voice) contract of $45/month USD. It's cheaper than the XOOM ($599+ w/ VZ contract) and the iPad ($499+).  And in an era when bottled water cost more than gas, every penny counts. Galaxy wins.


If you are like me where pricing, and portability is important to you, Galaxy Tab edges out from the rest of the pack despite the fact that it has less CPU power.  It offers "more bang for the buck".  XOOM though is a close second.

If you are the couch potato, or office/home user that want raw power and multitasking supremacy, XOOM would be the next choice. The XOOM can probably run Skynet, thanks to Motorola's unlocked bootloader and powerful CPU. And the SuperBowl commercial? Epic. And yes, XOOM would win this fight once it is 100% complete -- LTE speeds, Flash support, SD support. It's all coming in subsequent updates.

If you want the extra snob effect or just have a general need for Big Apple to watch over you, taking and sucking money out of your margins when you make a subscription-based app, iPad is still there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks this was helpful.