At Electricpig towers we’ve been watching the great wave of Android tablets begin in earnest. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is one of the most talked about, firstly because of its form factor, and more recently because of the sky high prices announced. In contrast we’re seeing more budget options, and while tablets from the likes of Next don’t hold much promise, the Advent Vega looks like an absolute bargain, sitting at £250  for a 10.1” Android powered tablet. So how do the two stack up? Is the Tab worth the extra couple of hundred quid you’ll have to shell out?

Price
The Advent Vega is £250, and currently only comes in a Wi-fi only version, although there will be a 3G version heading this way in the first half of next year. The Galaxy Tab on the other hand, whilst we haven’t had an official price handed down from Samsung yet, has been priced at upwards of £530 unlocked, which prices it the same as the 16GB Wi-fi and 3G iPad. News of these prices have baffled everyone, not least because Samsung assured us that the Galaxy Tab would be more affordable than the iPad.

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Functionality
Despite the steep price tag on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, it does have rich functionality, and when we tried it out, was a dream to use. It functions as a phone as well, whereas the Advent Vega has stripped all the phone functionality out of Android Froyo 2.2. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has the Samsung UI over the top, which gives it multiple home screens and some extra widgets. In comparison, the Advent Vega has been pared down to what’s necessary. While most people can’t envisage themselves holding the 7” tablet up to their faces to call, it does mean that you do only need one device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is far more feature rich than the Advent Vega tablet. Question is, do people want a tablet that’s a phone as well?

Connectivity and Apps
The big difference between the two devices, aside from the form factor, is connectivity. The Advent Vega, until next year, will only have Wi-fi, which is fine for sitting on the sofa, but might not be so handy elsewhere. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has 3G and Wi-fi, and is geared much more towards being on the go. This connectivity means that the Samsung Galaxy Tab has the Android Marketplace, whereas the Advent Vega will have the AppsLib marketplace from launch, which has 5,000 apps available, in comparison to the 80,000 Android has.

Size and weight
The Samsung Galaxy Tab occupies a strange form factor. Its 7″ screen is just about small enough to fit in one hand, although it does feel silly to put it up to your ear to make a phone call. The Advent Tablet different, a standard 10.1″ tablet. As such, in lots of ways the two are pitched at different needs. The Advent Vega wants to be the tablet you keep on the sofa, whereas the Galaxy Tab is your multifunction, all in one device, encompassing a phone, tablet, and e-reader. The Advent Vega tablet weighs double the 380g the Samsung Galaxy Tab clocks in at. The Advent Vega is 275 x 178 x 13.6 mm, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab is 190 x 120.4 x 12 mm. That puts the Vega almost 10cm taller than the Tab, 6cm wider and a little deeper.

Before you skip to the conclusion, check out the Advent Vega tablet below, if you haven’t seen it already…


Conclusion
There’s lots of areas where these Android tablets fall in line though. Both have a 1GHz processor, and have similar claims to battery life, and essentially, they are different form factors. The major differentiator here is the price. You get richer functions at a higher cost with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but the Advent Vega is a bargain stripped-back tablet for the sofa, which browse, watch movies, and hook up to social networking. We’ve yet to have some decent one on time time with both of these tablets, so it’s impossible to get into minute details. Stay tuned though, because we’re set to give both of these a full Electricpig shakedown in the near future.

What do you think? Would you rather shell out the extra cash for the Samsung Galaxy Tab or go budget, losing the phone functionality and Android Marketplace? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us what you think!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620300204 Joe Walters

    I think the Samsung is overkill for my needs in particular. I want a sofa device (and so does the wife) that we can chuck around a bit between us sitting on the sofas and watch iplayer / internet access / facebook etc .. I think alot of people fall into this category.

    1 question though. The Vega release date is something of a confusion. Some put it down as having had to be released on the 18th (yesterday).. Other sites have the 1st of Nov .. Any news on this? I intend to get my hands of the Vega at launch and be happy with it until the January Gingerbread update so I can access more apps.

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      Joe, as far as we're concerned it's the 1 November, which is the date we've been given by the category manager for Advent, Adam Lockyer. If we find out any different I'll drop you a line in the comments here!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620300204 Joe Walters

        Cheers, much appreciated.

  • Jonaldhinio

    I am bitterly disappointed regarding the price of the samsung tab,I have been checking out the prices for sometime now and to be honest I am shocked, pricing cartell or what!!

    Looking on ebay which I know you can pay more for items the starting price is £600 reaching up to £900 for an unlocked 16gb version how ridiculous!!!

    Amazon £600+ and so on.

    Is it because we are in the UK and manufacturers feel they can rip us off ???

    To show some consistency I even think the ipad is well over priced!!!

    I feel samsung where ideally situated to take a great percentage of the tablet market from apple but with the prices that are being touted I now can't see that.

    The tab has great features and so does the ipad but i would favout the tab if the price was right.

    The advent vega is the best buy as Joe states in his comments as for no access to the app market on the vega and no 3G at the moment I would be willing to lay my money out for one and like Joe wait for the ginger bread update or upgrade to the 3G model later again depending on cost.

    Also check out the Toshiba folio.

    • Boyers

      Totally agree with you. The half-wits at Samsung have got it very wrong and hopefully they will strangle the baby even before it is born! Most reviewers have described the cost of this unit as 'eye watering' and one major UK distributor told me it was chronically over-priced.
      I suppose a few twits will buy it but in the end the consumer has the ultimate power over inane companies (Samsung is one of them) and their over-priced toys – we elect not to purchase.And the ultimate reward for consumers? We can make stupid companies bankrupt!!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KMBIE5LJCEUR5NBSPTMHLPLGJQ HC

        The Galaxy S is $499 retail but $199 with a 2 yr contract wireless contract. None of these 3G or 4G products is cheap without a wireless contract.

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      I agree Jonaldhinio, Samsung have missed a trick with this pricing. It's far to steep, and does not offer a cheaper option than the iPad at all, as they said it would do. I wonder if this has got anything to do with the level of excitement about it – Nintendo said the 3DS priced had been pushed for Japan because everyone got so hyped about it, and they thought they could push the price. In the end though, I think Samsung might be pricing themselves out of the tablet race in the long run.

  • Scott Deagan

    I think the Vega is the tablet for me. I already have a Samsung Galaxy S that has tethering, and a MiFi device, so lack of 3G is a non-issue. What I'm most interested in is what's at the heart of the Vega – a dual-core Tegra 2 T20! If in turns out to be a complete lemon (which I very much doubt it will), then I'll use it as a digital photo frame or blu-tac it to my refrigerator and greet those who enter the kitchen with a loud “Behold the home of the future!”.

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      Scott, that sounds like a plan.

    • Jonaldhinio

      scott,the new toshiba folio 100 android tablet also features the nvidia tegra 2 processor so it can't be bad can it? nvidia also make high powered graphics cards so I suspect it will be ideal

      • Scott Deagan

        Hi Jonaldhinio – thanks for that! It's the first I've heard of the Toshiba Folio 100. After performing a quick search, I can't seem to find a release date more accurate than “some time in the fourth quarter”. It's also mentioned that the price of the Folio 100 will be £80 more than the Vega, but I can't see £80 worth of extra features.

        I more curious about the T20 chip that anything else – reports so far vary from “slow and sluggish” to “super fast”. On paper it looks pretty awesome. I have noticed that Boxee, for whatever reason, have decided to (at the last minute) ditch the T20 in favour of the Intel CE4100. Not sure what to make of that – may have been some “corporate politics” involved there…

  • BrianIUP

    im really liking the vega. with tethering on the phone you dont need to pay for 3g on a tablet its a waste.
    the specs are great, screen size is perfect and market will be easy to hack on to it.
    as long as the reviews dont bash the build quality i will be finding a way to get it here in the states

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      Brian, thanks for the comment, and we'd be keen to hear how you get on with it. When we got our hands on the tablet, the build felt pretty solid, not plasticky or flimsy feeling. We've (ahem) had our hands on MUCH flimsier feeling tablets, that cost upwards of £100 more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Johnson/1315346778 Patrick Johnson

    I have a 16gb iPad but I was going to get a advent, before I got the iPad last week, cannot seem to save money to save my life lol.

    But after watching the number of video demos of this device my 10 year old wants one for watching youtube on it. Seems fast and the CPU/GPU should last a few years in terms of speed.

    So looks like if advent really support this device I might get him one for Xmas.

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      Patrick, if you're looking to save pennies, Advent are also bringing out an even cheaper tablet along with the Vega, called the Advent Amico, that's about £130, if my memory serves me right. It is a very different proposition than the vega though, the biggest (and probably most frustrating) difference, being that it has a resistive touchscreen. It runs Android 2.1, but is mega cheap.

  • http://twitter.com/utrt Graeme Simpson

    it's got to be battery life is something that really needs looking at. The infamous “next” tablet claimed to have 3 hours yet i'm hearing people only getting 30 mins with just web browsing. 10 hours that the Vega claims is very bold…if true

    failing that, everything else is making me put this at the top of the wish list

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      Graeme, the category manager for Advent (although he's not impartial) said that he and his team had played the A-Team film three times over and had around half the battery life left, whether or not this was an accurate reading of how much battery was left, it means that after 6 hrs of video playback there's probably a couple of hours on top of that. The Tab, because review copies are still sparse, we can only say what the specs claim, which is 7 hours of video playback.

  • Guest

    Guys I think you missed the mark here. You aren't meant to hold these to your head to make a call you are meant to use speakerphone or bluetooth, hence the forward facing camera for video chatting. You can chat with or without video naturally, but the calling is meant to happen hands free (speakerphone or bluetooth), not with the thing against your face.
    Now that I have stopped laughing at the concept of a 7-10inch tablet against your face… what needs to be held to your faces is your palm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683642868 Simon Stewart

    “although it does feel silly to put it up to your ear to make a phone call.”

    I can't help but wonder if you lot have even SEEN one of these things in real life, because if you did you would know that this is NOT how phone calls work on it.

    As for all the haters going on about £529 being overpriced. Seriously, get a better income. It's the same price as the 16GB 3G iPad.

    With sooo many more features.

    • Jameswoodhouseuk

      “As for all the haters going on about £529 being overpriced. Seriously, get a better income. It's the same price as the 16GB 3G iPad.”

      It's hardly being a 'hater' to discuss the vast difference in cost between two similarly specced models. Nor is it to discuss whether Samsung's pricing strategy has misjudged what the market will bear, and hence whether their tab will be commercially successful as a result.

      Comparative pricing strategies is clearly going to be an interesting topic of conversation, and certainly not indicative of income. Perhaps £500 represents literally more money than sense in some instances.

  • Jonaldhinio

    Technology is a wonderful thing and I love the idea of a light weight tablet pc with plenty of power and connectivity.

    Tablets I think will replace laptop/netbooks in due course and why not!!!

    We are so lucky we live in an age where we have these gadgets and we have choice its magic.

    Check out the new archos 101 also :-)

  • Alisman

    As long as the Advent vega will be able to view flash media etc then thats exactly what i need. Like others have commented i want a sofa / bed / table top tablet at a reasonable price that i can view my mutlimedia content on without having to sit my my computer to do so.

    as far of costs are considered I would not pay the extra for the galaxy tab just because it can access the market apps sorry but most of the apps are pointless in my opinion and even thou i have a andriod phone I only really used a small selection of free apps, so no not worth spending the extra for plus, I want the bigger screen too.

    I called dixons yesterday to find out when they plan to start selling Vega, they said no date has been set yet. This was the number i used For general (non media) enquiries please call: Dixons Retail switchboard on 0844 800 2030.

  • http://twitter.com/tdroza Tom D'Roza

    In 6 or 12 months from now wireless tethering will be commonplace and it well seem rediculous that we ever considered paying out for 2 separate data contacts. I specifically *don't* want a tablet with 3g because I'd be paying for hardware that I don't need and won't use. The Vega is the tablet for me.

  • http://twitter.com/bigwhoopitweet bigwhoop

    Ha ha some funny comments, I agree also with the commonly held view of I don't want 3G, wifi is what most people have? except people which go jezza Kyle who does not have wifi? And if bright house do that that then most of them would too.

  • Matt L

    Sumsung is “eye watering” even before the prices are taken into account. I've got an “eye watering” wait for them to upgrade the Galaxy S to 2.2 delayed since late Sep, now Nov.

    Vega might to the go if the battery time holds up!

  • Kan9al

    The things that people need to consider are:

    1) Form factor.
    10″ screen is better when you consider that more content can be seen and things can be sized larger. The 10″ size is also quite portable (you can carry wedged in your arm/between notebooks or in a small bag. However the 7″ size gives you roughly 47% the screen-estate but can be put into a medium-purse or inside of men's jackets.
    Personally, I prefer the 10″ as it will be substituting my netbook which a 7″ tablet cannot.

    2) Performance.
    If the Advent Vega comes with 1GB of RAM, it would eliminate the bottleneck and really make use of its dualcore-A9 processor and allow smoother 3D graphics. This would mean applications that are resource intensive (and there are many on Android's platform due to sloppier coding), the Vega will be more smoother whereas the Galaxy Tab may jitter every now-and-again. A simple example would be; fullspeed psx emulation compared to highspeed psx emulation. Also in the future we would see new Apps that do some fantastic things they will need the extra punch. However, if the Vega only has 512MB RAM it will only run comparatively to the SG Tab.

    3) Screen Resolution.
    We know the Galaxy Tab has a resolution of 1024×600 (600p). At 7″ size this keeps the graphics nice and sharp. The Vega we do not know. It was leaked to have the same 600p resolution which is a big let down at the 10″ size = mediocre graphics. But in a recent video the PR said the video playback was higher than 720p but below 1080p. This implies 1366×768, which would give it the same sharp graphics as the SGTab but also support some nifty things such as watching HD content without conversion also make it possible to view digital TV.
    We will have to wait and see what the resolution really is.

    4) Functionality.
    The Vega has HDMI out (supports virtually all tv's) so it can double as a media centre or even a console. Plus it would make powerpoint presentations stupidly simple. It also has a full USB (probably with host mode) so that you can plug in a keyboard/mouse/flashdrives/peripherals. The SGTab lacks both so it is in fact at a great disadvantage. The only advantages the SGTab has is 3G (which the Vega may get 2011 Q1), wireless tethering (which is possible on the Vega as well but hasn't been disclosed), phone functionality (which is pointless, and Skype over 3G on the Vega actually compensates for this), Bluetooth 3.0 (which has no advantages over 2.1 on the Vega currently). Another thing the SGTab has going for it is Google Apps… or should I say it has Android Market out-of-the-box. That is a huge favour for the SGT but the Vega can compensate for this by side-loading Apps (ie install Apps directly from the seller's website or to your SDcard on your phone and put the SDcard into the Vega) … but the Vega also has another hope and this is known as “The Market Hack”, where it has been possible to actually retrieve the Google Market “App” and trick it into thinking this is an Google offical device (and this has been done on several devices).
    So it looks like the Vega truly out-features the SGTab by including things that are no-brainer for the enthusiast.

    5) There are other factors that come into play (ie price, battery life, custom ROMs etc) but we will have to wait for both devices to launch to properly size them up, but so far the Vega looks like the more compelling device without even considering the price.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy-Washington/100000190010519 Jeremy Washington

      tegra 2 has 2 processors and had a software android issue that was patched try again sir

  • John

    I want to have access to the Android market place so will wait for the 10.1″ Galaxy tab :)

    • bensillis

      The 7-inch Tab has Market access John – most apps work pretty well on it too.

  • Scott Deagan

    I just returned from a Curry's store – the Vega is NOT £250 – they are charging £750 for it. Better off with an iPad.

    • Fdsfsad

      not true at all.
      false info…probably given from a saturday staff idiot

  • supersteve1

    I think there is to many new tablets coming out on the market, the ipad is way to expensive, as is some of the others, why dont they think of all the people who arnt working, just carnt afford to pay these extortionate prices, and lower the prices they charge.
    I know lots of people are getting in to much debt just to pay for one of these tablets,eg: credit cards, store cards, and overdrafts.
    Plus you dont really know which tablet is the best for you, some say the apple ipad, and some say the android ones, but can anyone tell me which are the best tablets out there at present.

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