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?
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.
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…
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!