Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Galaxy Tab / Archos 7.0 / iPad

This morning’s big tech news came in the form of a 7-inch tablet. Yes, Samsung has finally officially unveiled the Galaxy Tab. Running Android 2.2, the Galaxy boasts a 7-inch touchscreen, 1024×600 resolution, and a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor. It also comes equipped with 16GB of onboard storage, MicroSD support up to 32GB, 1.3 megapixel, front-facing camera, and 3.0 megapixel, rear-facing camera. To round things out, it is GSM/GPRS/HSUPA/HSPDA and 802.11n capable.

According to the official press release, the device will be available in Europe, beginning in mid-September. U.S. and Asia releases are unspecified but reportedly scheduled for late 2010. Official pricing has yet to be published, but it is rumored that it could as much as 50% less than the Apple iPad. Okay, that’s the Samsung Galaxy news. So how does it measure up to the Apple iPad, or, for that matter, the similarly designed and equipped Archos 70 tablet? Will either of the new offerings be an iPad killer?

Comparing tablet functionality and specs

While some might put the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Archos 70 internet tablet side-by-side and say they are essentially the same, there are several key differences. The Galaxy’s resolution is 1024×600, but to achieve the same resolution on the Archos, one would have to upgrade from the Archos 7 to the Archos 10. The Archos 7’s resolution is only 800×480. Additionally, the Archos 7 may be internet capable and set up for tethering, but the Galaxy comes with built-in GSM/GPRS and HSUPA/HSPDA capabilities. Yes, a separate wireless carrier data plan might be required, but for some, the additional monthly cost will be offset by increased easy of mobility and use. Combining the resolution and connectivity specs together, this means that the Samsung Galaxy is more like the iPad (1024×768 resolution and 3G+Wi-Fi support) than the Archos 70 is.

Onboard storage is also an area where the Galaxy and Archos 70 differ greatly. The Galaxy has 16GB of onboard space for your stuff, while the Archos 70 seems to have 250Gb onboard storage. (Note: The product specifications pages from Archos are confusing in this area, since they do not reflect the onboard storage specs for any device except the Archos 70.). Only the Archos ) The Archos 43, 70 and 10 models (not the 32 and below) do come equipped with a Micro SD Slot. The Apple iPad comes in three different storage flavors, 16GB/32GB/64GB. For some, a Micro SD Slot may be preferrable, since they can easily back up the entire contents to a desktop or laptop computer. This benefit of the Archos 70, though, hardly offsets the lack of wireless carrier support provided by the Galaxy and iPad.

The other technical specification that could influence things is the fact that the Galaxy Tab and Archos 70 have front-facing cameras. As we all know, the iPad does not have a rear or front-facing camera. This could make the non-iPad choices more attractive to some consumers who like the idea of video chats. An unscientific poll among Android phone users that follow @GeekShui on Twitter reveal the Skype that exists for Android is currently available only to Verizon Wireless customers and limited to voice calls and instant messages. This means that, unless another cross-platform compatible video chat offering is included with or developed for the Galaxy and Archos 70, the benefit of the front-facing camera could be quite limited. Additionally, based on the Apple Keynote delivered yesterday, the iPad will soon have iOS 4.2. This means that the next generation release of the iPad is very likely to include both the front and rear-facing cameras boasted by the iPhone 4.

Note: The comparison between the iPad (9.7 inches), Galaxy Tab (7.0 inches) and Archos 70 (7.0 inches) were chosen based on their similar sizes, which make them more likely to be directly compared by consumers for the purpose of deciding which device to purchase.

There are no tablet killers among us

Of course, the big question that many will ask: “Is the Galaxy an iPad killer?” For that matter, is the Archos 70 (or 10 or any other model) a possible iPad killer? In our view, the answer is no. As we’ve asserted before, there is no such thing. Despite the higher price tag, people that own iPhones are more likely to opt for an iPad when choosing a tablet. Why? They’re accustomed to the Apple iOS’ functionality and behavior. Additionally, the apps, music, and movies purchased on their iPhones can be easily synced to their iPad.

Along the same lines, happy Android smartphone users are more likely to choose the Samsung Galaxy, the Archos 70, or any other Android-based tablet. The same logic applies, since, in most cases, the app need not be repurchased because (like iPhone/iPad apps) they are compatible with different models.

The bottom line is that people generally stick to what is the most comfortable for them. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Some technophiles change gadgets like some people change underwear. They may be the outlier in the tablet experiment, but they are also likely to trade it for the next best thing that hits the market.

Price does matter

Some may say that consumers are less concerned about the price tag and more concerned about how cool the device is. This may be the case for a certain segment of the market. For others, price does play a large role in their decision to purchase a tablet. As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Tab doesn’t have an official price tag, yet. The rumored 50% cost savings over the Apple iPad, which starts at $499 (16GB Wi-Fi model), could be accurate. A more accurate number is likely to be 50% of the cost of the 32GB or 64GB Wi-Fi models ($599 and $699, respectively). This would put the retail price of the Galaxy Tab somewhere between $300 and $350. The Archos 70 price is said to be around $279. This makes sense, since the currently selling version (not to be confused with the Archos 70 IT version discussed herein) retails for $199. Add in Android 2.2 (Froyo) and the other bells and whistles not present on the current generation, and you have an estimated price that seems reasonable for what you’re getting.

The truth will be revealed in the market share divesture

Right now, the Apple iPad is the only serious contender in the tablet market. When the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Archos tablets are released, it will be interesting to see how the market share develops. There isn’t a market share to speak of now, since the iPad is basically the only option. Over the course of the year following the release of the new tablet options, it is quite likely that the market share could mirror that of the smartphone market. Why is such the case? Currently, the iPhone, various Android phones, and BlackBerry dominate the market. If the trend develops as we theorize, regarding who is most likely to choose an Android tablet over the iPad, the percentages of ownership across the board could be close to equal.

There is also the release of the fabled Dell and HP tablets to consider. Will their releases be timely enough to capture a significant share of the tablet market? Or will they be too late in the game to establish a foothold? The theories laid out herein are just that. How the tablet market develops into maturity will ultimately be determined by consumers, who, as we all know, are often fickle in their choices. In the end, though, iPad sales are unlikely to decrease. This would be especially true if, as theorized above, the next generation iPad includes a front and rear-facing camera.

The best tablet is the one that fits your needs and budget

We’ve mentioned it numerous times in previous posts, the decision regarding any gadget purchase, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, or computer, comes down to the individual. While onboard storage may be important for some, external storage may be preferable for others. Front facing cameras might be important for Skype-dependent types, but, for people like me, Skype is used sparingly, which makes its support a non-factor in my gadget purchase.

The most important thing for any potential tablet buyer to do is to compare the specs and functionality, in a side-by-side manner. Don’t be overly-influenced by what friends and family have (sounds like 5th grade, right?). To this end, flashiness and aesthetics only go so far. After a few weeks of use, you’ll really get a feel for how well the device actually works, for you. They should also take it account their past use of tablets and similar gadgets. Which ones were the most comfortable to navigate and use?

Questions such as the one above and others like it will reduce the confusion sometimes brought on by technical spec overload. With the confusion out of the way, any buyer will be able to make a more appropriate and cost-effective decision that truly fits their needs. Yes, in this specific case in life, it is all about you. It doesn’t happen often, so you should take advantage and pick your tablet wisely.

Source: geekshuiliving.com

1 comment:

  1. IPad is not intended to replace computer in anyway.It however does a lot of things which a computer does and surprisingly it does better and faster.Ipad is an amazing invention from apple.It has many flaws and drawbacks too.Apple should consider those things.It doesnt have camera even.I usually shop on this online shopping site for ipad when i came acros with different blogs.Do check it out for many other products.Ipad and blackberry books are both the same.Blackberry book comes with many new feature while ipad lacks sum functions.