Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. iPad 2 vs. Clarke's Newspad
Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a worthy competitor to Apple's iPad 2 (in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I received a Galaxy Tab at Google IO). Although the limited edition Tab has some pre-production bugs (I found a partial work-around for the music transfer problem, BTW; see below), the operating system is as quick as the iPad's.
As it turns out, either one is a good implementation of Arthur C. Clarke's Newspad from his 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey:
When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world's major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display unit's short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him.
Each had its own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-sized rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he had finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination.
(Read more about Clarke's NewsPad.)
One of the most interesting differences between the Tab and the iPad 2 is the aspect ratio of the screen; the iPad has an aspect ratio (AR) of 4:3 and the Tab has an AR of 16:9.
An AR of 16:9 is associated with widescreen displays, while 4:3 is associated with standard television; for this reason, the Tab is better at presenting widescreen video with less letterboxing than the iPad (and it has a screen able to present full 1080p video, see below).
However, a tablet computer needs to do more than present video, which is an essentially passive activity. Tablet computers are for doing things; it is easier for a 4:3 AR screen to "become" different things, particularly books. And speaking of the tablet becoming different things, you need apps to make it happen: the iPad App Store has about 92,000 apps, while the Android market has a paltry 50 (ahem, Android developers? you have your Tabs, let's get cracking!).
Clarke says the Newspad is "foolscap-sized", which corresponds to a sheet that is about 17x13.5 inches; closer to 4:3, like the iPad.
One of the key differentiators of the Tab is its slightly higher resolution screen ( 1280x800 pixels on a 10.1 inch diagonal screen, as opposed to 1024x768 on 9.7 inches for the iPad, which gives the tab 30% more pixels), which made a surprising difference for tasks like reading. I downloaded the same books on the Kindle app, and the Tab's screen is significantly easier on the eyes.
Usability experts have said for years that the biggest problem with reading on a screen is that it is significantly more tiring; studies suggest that people read 25% less than on paper. Screen resolution is one of the key contributors to this problem.
Another differentiator between the two devices is the backing. Some people have commented disparagingly on the plastic back of the Tab compared to the metal back of the iPad. Frankly, I found that the Tab is easier to hold on to, because the plastic back feels more "grippy" when held in the hands.
I compared the iPad 2 and the Tab directly; I noticed that the iPad 2 would often appear to display graphics more quickly, but the Tab seemed to complete the page more quickly.
One of the annoying things about the preproduction version of the Galaxy Tab, which I assume will be corrected in a downloadable update, is the inability to transfer music and video from your Mac to the Tab. I found out that you can at least partially take care of this problem if you have music on another Android device [ like, say, your HTC Evo device ;) ], by downloading Bluetooth File Transfer by Medieval Software and installing it on both the Tab and your other device. Then, you can conveniently transfer your music and video using Bluetooth.
All in all, I found the Tab to be real competitor for the iPad 2; I'm sure both devices will find enthusiastic fans. Oh, and I think that Clarke would be thrilled with either one.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/13/2011)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
AIREAL Lets You Feel Virtual Objects In The Open Air
'Startled, he touched his mouth. 'How the devil did you do that?' he shouted.'- Frederick Pohl, 1965.
Millimeter-Scale Computing For 'Internet of Things'
'In their megalomania they thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'- Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
Fujitsu Touchscreen Mixes Real And Virtual Worlds
'His hands flashed over the keyboard - it had not been there a moment before, but it was operative...'- Frederik Pohl, 1965.
Nanowire Memristor Networks Form 'Brains'
'He had constructed ... a brain, of metal... whose atomic structure he claimed was analogous to the atomic structure of a living brain.'- Edmond Hamilton, 1926.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye...'
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
NASA's LADEE Enters Lunar Orbit
'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'
3D Printing An Entire Car
"... Almost as good as the original it was printed from."
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
'See Vee Threepio - Vee for versatility - at your service...'
Google's Skin Tattoo Lie Detector
'Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'
inFORM Dynamic Shape Output Device
Like that pushpin device you remember, but supercharged.
Owlet Vitals, The Future Of Baby Monitoring
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Personal Electric Helicopter Will Be Ready In 2016
"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade."
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Almost.
HiBot's ACM-R5H Robot Video Shows Graceful Terminator-Style Swimming
'No! No! Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh!'
tDCS Jumpstarts Your Future
'We invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses...'.
RealView Interactive Live Medical Holography
Surgeons can see an organ in its entirety in a live image.
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
Aireal Haptics Inching Towards Holodeck Experience
How to feel something that isn't there?
Starchase Pursuit Management ala Star Wars
Yes, but does it follow evil doers through hyperspace?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories