Comparing Verizon Galaxy Tab vs. Verizon iPad

Verizon customers have to weigh the pros and cons of the Galaxy Tab and the iPad to choose the best tablet value.

Verizon recently announced that it will begin selling the Apple iPad in its stores at the end of this month, followed by coming out as the first of the four major wireless carriers to officially confirm pricing and availability for the Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet. With both tablets at their disposal, which represents the better value for business users?

The Apple iPad is available in a 3G model that costs $130 more than it's Wi-Fi only equivalent (the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad is $499, while the 16GB Wi-Fi plus 3G iPad is $629). But, the 3G technology in the iPad is not compatible with Verizon's CDMA network so Verizon will bundle the Wi-Fi only iPad with a MiFi 3G portable hotspot -- enabling the Wi-Fi iPad to connect to the Verizon 3G network by proxy. The iPad/MiFi bundles are priced the same as the 3G iPads.

A few weeks after making the iPad bundle available, Verizon will also offer an Android-based alternative to the iPad in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Verizon announced that it will sell the Galaxy Tab for $600 without any carrier-subsidized discount. Verizon will offer contract-free month to month data plans starting at $20 for 1GB of data -- the same as the data plans for the iPad bundle.

So, Verizon will offer mobile business professionals a direct choice between the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Both tablets will be about the same price, so how do the two compare, and which is the better value?

There is a lot to like about the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It is a very capable tablet device which also incorporates virtually every feature that users wanted on the iPad. The Galaxy Tab has front and rear-facing cameras, expandable memory with an SD memory card slot, and double the RAM of the iPad. It also supports Adobe Flash, and weighs about half of what the iPad weighs -- and that doesn't include the fact that the Verizon iPad will require carrying around the additional MiFi gadget.

That said, the iPad is no slouch. The iPad weighs more, but that weight is a function of its larger size, higher quality construction, and higher capacity battery -- yielding three more hours of battery life than the Samsung rival. The iPad does not have expandable memory, but it is available in a model with 64Gb of storage internally. The Verizon iPad will require carrying the MiFi gadget, but that gadget will also allow up to five devices to connect simultaneously.

The smaller size and weight of the Galaxy Tab has some benefits, but for some the larger display real estate is more important. Connecting without having to carry an additional gadget is nice, but the ability to connect multiple users or devices through the MiFi has its advantages.

Determining which is the better value is entirely subjective, so I won't burden you with my opinion. Just consider carefully what you want the tablet for, and compare the pros and cons of each platform to determine which is the better tablet for your needs.

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
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