When I picked up the original Galaxy Tab on deep discount I stopped using my iPad because the Tab is significantly lighter, smaller, and more convenient for general mobile use.

But a few days ago I re-charged the iPad, bought a book from the iBook store -- something I've not done previously, on the grounds of not wanting to be locked in to using only Apple devices to read, but this was acceptably cheap and disposable -- and yeah, the purchase experience is about as smooth as you would expect from Apple.

Having had the two for a fair while now -- the iPad for about ten months, the Tab for three -- I have a few conclusions:

  1. The iPad is a nicer overall tablet experience. The hardware is slicker, the battery lasts longer, and many applications are explicitly supporting the larger display. iPhone apps work acceptably, too.
  2. The Tab is a much better portable. It'll fit in a large-ish coat pocket with no trouble, and it's the sort of thing you can pull out while waiting at a tram stop to check email or do a little reading, much as you might with a mobile phone.
  3. Android 2.x works okay on a 7" display, and all the apps I've tried have been fine, but very few are really intended to run on such a large screen. This will presumably get better with 3.x and 4.x.
  4. Comparing what's currently available, even Android 2.2 is a more natural multi-tasking platform than iOS 4.3. This will likely change once iOS 5 is released, though Android does allow rather more background functionality if you want or need it.


Removing the iPad from the leather case I bought for it, it stops looking like a clunky old beast and goes back to the "wow, this is a really nice bit of kit!" category.

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October 2011

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