We’ve had four Samsung Galaxy Tabs on order from Amazon for the last few weeks. They were due to show up this morning, but we got an email first thing to say they’d be a few weeks late. Undeterred, Ben and I went on a mission to Phones4U in central Cambridge, and ended up with all of their stock.
Back at the office, I had a brief play with it while we were testing the release candidate of our new SQL Server monitoring and alerting tool, SQL Monitor, and I brought it home this evening to carry on trying it out. I’ve been using an iPad for work and play every day for the last five months and think it’s a brilliant device, lacking only multitasking and a camera for video calls – which is why I was so keen to try out the Galaxy Tab. The four we bought today were £499 SIM free, which isn’t loads less than the iPad, so these are my first impressions, compared to the iPad:
- The Systems Tray. Android does this so much better than iOS at the moment. It’s a faff to turn Bluetooth, GPS, WIFI or 3G on or off on an iDevice, but it’s easy on the Galaxy Tab.
- Notifications. Particularly on the iPad where an alert currently causes a running app to be suspended, the implementation on Android is lovely.
- Turn-by-turn navigation for free, together with better integration from other Google Apps like Latitude and Voice.
- The keyboard. The iOS ones are good, but I think I’d be faster with the Samsung one.
- I can’t find any way of making a video call between the Galaxy Tab and a PC or Mac. This would be a big differentiator against the iPad if it worked.
- It’s… j..ust…a..bit..jerk….y.
- Multitouch is hit and miss.
- For Linux, it looks lovely. Compared to iOS? Not so much.
- Android Marketplace is just a bit grim, compared to the App Store.
On the look, feel and form factor, I’d call it a tie. With its metal case, 9.7″ screen and sleek finish, the iPad feels like the classier device – but it’s relatively heavy and too big to be truly portable for many – and the Galaxy Tab is both light and small.
But overall? I’m not seeing this threaten the iPad in my affections, which is a shame because with video calling to a desktop/laptop, I would have been torn.
Red Gate will be at the PASS Summit in Seattle next week, and we’ll have a couple of Galaxy Tabs on the stand – they’re not released in the US until later in November. If you’re attending, come and use one to monitor some of our database servers with SQL Monitor. Particularly if you’ve already had a play with an iPad, I’d love to hear what you think.