The iPad seems to have the momentum of a bullet train, with everyone else’s tablet trotting along like a local on New Jersey Transit. That could soon change, in June specifically, when Samsung introduces its Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Don’t confuse this gadget with Samsung’s previous Galaxy Tabs, which Xconomy’s Wade Roush calls an “awkward, plasticky, overgrown phone .” The new version is a close cousin of Apple’s iPad, and a real competitor, too.
Roush says the Galaxy Tab stacks up well in several areas:
- Its wide 1.6:1 screen ratio.
- Two speakers, letting you get stereo sound without headphones. (It’s louder too, if you like the Pet Shop Boys or someone like that.)
- Better cameras, front and back.
- Its prices, which are the same as the iPad’s: $499 for 16 gigabytes and $599 for 32 gigabytes. There isn’t a 64-gigabyte unit.
Among the downsides: Fewer apps and less ease of use. It’s not that the Galaxy Tab is difficult, but it trades the iPad’s simplicity for more flexibility, and flexibility means a more complex approach to simple tasks (there’s no home button, for example).
A game changer in the tablet market? Who knows. So far no one’s come close to slowing Apple down in the tablet wars. But Samsung looks like it’s at least going to come close.