Samsung quietly lowers tablet graphics chip spec
Not only 3G that the Wi-Fi-only Tab lacks
Samsung has annoyed buyers of the Wi-Fi-only version of its 7in Galaxy Tab Android tablet by equipping the gadget with seemingly lesser chippery than the 3G model.
The Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi - aka the P-1010; the original is the P-1000 - also comes with Bluetooth 2.1 while the 3G-enabled Tab comes with Bluetooth 3.0, but since that's clearly mentioned on Samsung's product pages, no one can really complain about it.
No, what's got some buyers' irate is the choice of CPU platform. The 3G Tab uses a Samsung ARM chip, but it has been discovered by users comparing the two tablets that the Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi uses a Texas Instruments OMAP processor.
Both parts are clocked at 1GHz but differ in graphical performance: the on-board GPU on the Samsung part is an Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX540. The Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi has a PowerVR SGX530, a lesser part, as revealed in a number of screen snaps posted at XDA Developers forum:
Source: XDA Developers
Certainly, some Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi buyers noticed the tablet's UI animations runs less smoothly than they do on the original Tab. More to the point, others claim the change makes the Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi less than optimal for HD video playback.
Samsung doesn't make any but the broadest of claims on it website about either model's graphical capabilities or raw performance, but some Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi will have bought the model assuming, not unreasonably, that its spec matches that of the 3G Galaxy Tab - minus the cellular network connectivity, of course.
We've asked Samsung to comment. We'll report back when it does. ®
I've got four Galaxy devices, and they all work perfectly. The new Galaxy S2 is a thing of real beauty, in fact.
Perhaps you're not holding them right?
The success of the iPad had made this an interesting market. For the majority of *Pad buyers (Apple-phobes aside), Android offerings need iPad-like performance for less or cost signifiantly less to have a chance. Expect a lot more vague claims about performance and read the reviews carefully.
Me? I'm just glad I'm not an early adopter!
Like for like?
Remember that Apple charge extra for 3G, that they don't have expandable memory, and that the higher memory versions cost more. I don't recall any Android tablet actually costing more than the equivalent iPad, as opposed to the non-expandable, non-3G entry spec iPad.
My knowledge is not exhaustive, however, are there any examples you know of?
Don't buy the Wifi!
.. Just buy the 3G one instead for the same price!
O2 sell the 3G version for £299.
The Wifi version is £299. No brainer!
Better still, pop into PC world and price match against O2 getting an extra tenner off in the bargain.
At £289 the 3G Galaxy Tab has to be the best value tablet in the UK at the moment.
Why do you say that?
Is it actually the case? My experience is that some buyers will buy Apple no matter what, but others will buy whatever does the job for them, and don't have a bias towards Apple gear if the price/performance curves are approximately equal.
Of course, Apple do have a formidable marketing machine to persuade floating purchasers, but I'm not sure that carries the weight you seem to ascribe to it. Still, we will see in time, I guess.
Personally, I'm enjoying being an early adopter, but then I like a little chaos in my life :-)