Samsung's Android tablet: split and eviscerated
Inside the wannabe 'iPad killer'
To see how the Galaxy Tab's innards stack up to those in the Cupertinian "magical and revolutionary" device, the repairmen and vivisectionists at iFixit split one open — with the help of a guitar pick, tri-bladed screwdriver, heat gun, and other weapons of tablet destruction.
The first serious challenger to the iPad: Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab (source: Samsung)
What the found inside was a disappointing camera, an impressive processor, and a battery about half the size of Jobs & Co.'s market leader. Well, at this point in the tablet tussle, "market-owner" would be more accurate.
The size of that smaller battery — which iFixit says is "about 55 per cent the weight and 60 per cent the capacity" of the iPad's battery — is necessary due to the fact that the Galaxy Tab is significantly smaller than the iPad.
The Galaxy Tab (top) is both smaller and chubbier than its Jobsian rival (source: iFixit)
With its 7-inch display — the iPad's is 9.7-inches — the Galaxy Tab is, in the words of Steve Jobs, "dead on arrival." Despite Jobs' "size does matter" flak, the Galaxy Tab's Android operating system has already gained a trove of smartphone followers — it remains to be seen whether it'll capture tablettrons as well.
Samsung certainly thinks so. They've boasted that they plan to sell 10 million of the little fellows in the device's first year.
Inside the Galaxy Tab, a goodly amount of space is taken up by the aforementioned battery — not unusual for most, if not all, handheld devices. Samsung claims that the battery can power "up to 7 hours" of video playback. If you absolutely must watch Lawrence of Arabia twice in succession, the Tab would be 12 minutes short of accommodating your inordinate love of sand.
Yes, the Tab's back is white — a fashion statement that Apple can't seem to achieve (source: iFixit)
The iFixers weren't impressed with the Tab's rear-facing camera, noting in an email that its 3.2 megapixelage is "a bit sub-par for a device of this caliber, seeing how much smaller devices (like the original Droid) are packed with 5 MP imagers."
The Tab's processor and memory subsystem, on the other hand, is crackerjack: a 1GHz ARM-based, Samsung-branded Hummingbird that shares its package with 1GB of RAM, 128MB of DRAM, and 384MB of low-power Mobile DRAM. There's also 16GB of SanDisk NAND flash.
Even in a seven-inch form factor, that logic board doesn't appear crowded (source: iFixit)
For more info on the Galaxy Tab's internal organs, check out iFixit's full tabular teardown, with 42 photos in 20 steps. ®
large megapixel does not mean better quality
" 3.2 megapixelage is a bit sub-par for a device of this caliber, seeing how much smaller devices (like the original Droid) are packed with 5 MP imagers."
When will people realise that having a larger megapixel image sensor without the optics to go with it will not result in better quality photos. I have taken some great photos taken on a 2 MP fuji digital camera from years ago because it has good lenses where as i have seen mostly crap photos from my phones 5 MP camera.
The size if fine for a portable video player.
Yes, a bigger size is defintately more useful if viewing webpages, but if you are after a portable video player then the iPad is a bit big to be really portable and a phone is a bit too small to watch videos on, so something in between those two sizes is ideal.
Can I have one of each please?
I'd be quite happy to buy both a 7" and a 10" tablet. The 7" isn't really big enough for the home but a 10" is too big to lug around all day.
I saw this device in Tesco today and I was much impressed with it.
The U/I is smooth and the web browser shows a decent amount of real-estate.
But it's is shockingly over priced.
Maybe once its down to £300 I could afford to buy one.
An proper small portable
It's about the same price as the 3G iPad, which is fair enough. Well, actually it can be cheaper, depending on where you look for the Galaxy Tab and how badly you want to be ripped off for the Jobsian thingy.
I bought one of these, having played around with several peoples' iPads (hmm, fondled others' slabs, perhaps?). My overwhelming impression of the iPad was "slick, responsive, too damn big". Size does matter, but not quite the way Steve says it does. I can use the Galaxy Tab while standing, holding it in one hand, which I can't do with the iPad; that has to rest at least an edge on something, be it a lap or a table. Yes, some apps don't handle the big screen well, but a surprising number do, and the (few, so far) I've found that don't I don't really care - I use them for function, not form and the function works fine. If I want to play proper games on the go (which is not often), I own a proper portable game thingy which only runs down its own battery...
The real kicker is I find I can actually use it properly as a terminal, ssh into things and use them. This is the first usable mobile computer I've had since someone sat on my Psion V. I mean, I'm sure you can do pretty much everything with an iPad too, but not while standing at a bus stop.
 It's at this point, to revive a flame war even the gods thought long dead, that one discovers how great it is to know vi as well as emacs :-)
 This being El Reg, I'm sure I don't have to point out the advantages of one-handed operation when engaged in certain other activities that are Not Allowed with an iPad...