After months of rumors, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Tab touchscreen tablet computer at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany, last week. The 7-inch device runs on Google's Android 2.2 mobile operating system, has two cameras — one front-facing for video chatting — and can connect to the internet and make phone calls over a 3G wireless network. So far, the tablet has been met with praise from technology analysts — but the question remains: Can it compete with Apple's ultra-popular iPad? (Watch an ad for the Samsung Tab)
Beware, iPad: Samsung's new tablet compares "favorably" to the iPad, says Roger Cheng in The Wall Street Journal. "It matches up in terms of hardware," and has a "similar feel." Plus, it can make phone calls and supports Adobe Flash, allowing it to show more internet video than the iPad, so the Tab can actually do some things Apple's tablet can't.
"Samsung introduces its iPad rival"
The Tab's software will hold it back: The Tab's software will determine whether it's "a winner or a dud," says Harry McCracken in PC World, and, unfortunately for Samsung, the Android 2.2 operating system was designed for smartphones, not tablets. Most existing Android apps will run on the Tab, but "they won't take advantage of its large screen in the way that iPad apps do." So while the Tab certainly has "potential," it's got a long way to go to knock the iPad off its pedestal.
"Samsung's Galaxy Tab is official"
The battle has begun: Samsung has "shored up enough of Android's deficiencies" to make the Galaxy Tab experience "palatable," says Paul Miller in Engadget. And there are some new apps that take advantage of the tablet's screen size. The Tab's also "good looking," "solidly built," "lightweight," and "glossy to the max," making it "the gold standard for Android tablets." This 7-inch contender might just stand a chance "against Apple's 9.7-inch juggernaut."
"Samsung Galaxy Tab preview"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- California's epic drought
Subscribe to the Week