iPad’s Competition In The Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy Tab

The Samsung Galaxy Tab was recently released, making it the first piece of hardware competitive with Apple’s iPad. This highly anticipated tablet is the first to hit the market, and is available with the major carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

It features a nice 7-inch multitouch screen (versus the iPad’s 10-inch screen). The touch response is immediate and reliable, much different than some of the Android phones I’ve played with. Its screen offers you the standard two-fingered spread-and-pinch for zooming in and out.

My first impression of the Galaxy Tab is that it’s a polished product with the strong backbone of the existing Android Market’s 100,000-plus apps. I thought the Tab would be a cramped version of the iPad, but it really isn’t. It reminds me more of spacious Android phone.

Other than the nice screen, the first things I noticed were the front- and rear-facing cameras. In comparison, the iPad does-n’t have any cameras at the moment, but you probably noticed the little puka at the top that could be a possible space for one in the future. Taking a picture or videos with the Galaxy’s huge 7-inch screen is awesome. It’s almost as if you’re previewing your pictures/videos on a digital photo frame. Another plus is the ability to support Flash, thanks to its Android 2.2 operating system. The iPad does not support Flash.

The Web browser looks nice, but certain websites are stripped-down, mobile versions. Unfortunately, there is no way to turn that feature off and visit the full-sized sites. You can delete the “m” in the website address, but frustratingly, the Galaxy always adds it right back in. In addition, power-wise, I find it odd you cannot recharge it from your computer’s USB port. It needs to be plugged directly into a power outlet. The battery will last you about six hours (versus 10 hours on an iPad).

The Tab comes with a 1GHz processor, 32GB of storage space and is $600 for a no-contract version, or $400 for a two-year contract option. There will eventually be a Wi-Fi only model available, but it hasn’t been released yet. Visit Samsung.com/GalaxyTab for more information.

Bottom line: This isn’t an iPad killer, but it’s a good attempt at legitimate competition.

Organize Your Hard Drive

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Hawaii Computer User Group (aka The Retired Officers Association User Group, TUG, the-tug.org) will host computer backup guru Gene Barlo at its monthly meeting (Dec. 4, 10 a.m., Oahu Veterans Center in Foster Village, 1298 Kukila St.).

Barlow has been a presenter in the user group community for more than 28 years. For many years he managed IBM’s user group support organization and has been called the “Father of PC User Groups.” Now retired, Barlow and wife Linda started their own company called User Group Relations (ugr.com), providing support to the user group community for the software companies they represent. Barlow will discuss the best way to “Organize Your Hard Drive.” Many of you will find this informative. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Col. Lou Torraca USAF (Ret), TUG president, at 254-3286.

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