Samsung Galaxy Tab vs Toshiba Folio 100

As predicted, it’s tablet city at IFA 2010. Samsung swung in with the Android-running Samsung Galaxy Tab and that was one thing for the iPad to think about. Now, with Toshiba launching the Toshiba Folio 100, well, there’s some decisions tablet PC buyers out there are going to have make and make soon.

It’s easy enough if you're an Apple fanboy. You just pick the one with the OS to match the rest of your gear. However, given that both the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Toshiba Folio 100 both sport Google’s open mobile OS, which should the Android-ites be going for? The answer lies within these words...

Form

Winner: SamTab
91 x 120 x 12mm, 380g

Loser: Folio
281 x 181 x 14mm, 760g


You’re not exactly going to be fitting either of these tablets in your pocket. So, to some degree, the dimensions are a bit of a red herring. That said, it’s worth knowing that the SamTab is thinner and will feel a lot less weighty both in your hand an in your travel bag. While you get the bonus of a bigger screen on the Folio as a counterpoint, all the same, it is a little on the chunky side.

Display

Winner: SamTab
7in, 1024 x 600, multitouch

Loser: Folio
10.1in, 1024 x 600, multitouch


Even though the Folio has a bigger screen, it’s worth nothing as it has exactly the same resolution spread over a large area. In short, the pixel density is far better on the SamTab and you’re going to see much crisper pictures. Of course, the payback is that you might want to hold Samsung’s device a little closer to your eyes to get that same big screen effect as you do on the Toshiba Folio 100. The trouble is that you don’t get that choice to make the pixels denser with the Toshiba.

Engine Room

Winner: Folio
Nvidia Tegra 2

Loser: SamTab
Samsung Hummingbird


Both tablets run with the ever popular system on a chip solutions at their core and what the Hummingbird offers is almost identical to the iPad with an ARM Cortex A8 1.0GHz CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU combo. Toshiba has the edge though, even over what is already an impressive engine on the SamTab. There’s a dual Core 1GHz ARM 9 offering heavy mobile power as well as solid multi-operational processing plus there’s some hardcore Nvidia GPU action going on in there as well. For smoother video playback and better games performance, it has to be the Folio by a mile.

Software

Tie: SamTab
Android 2.2 (Froyo) + TouchWiz

Tie: Folio
Android 2.2 (Froyo)


Horses for courses in this department. Both devices are as up to date with Android as you can get right now and will happily cope with Android 3.0 and better as soon as they arrive. The only major difference is that the SamTab comes with Samsung’s TouchWiz custom UI on top. Now, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Toshiba didn’t come out with some Brandroid of its own. If that did happen, one would expect it to be a less accomplished work than TouchWiz - simply because Toshiba has had less practice at it. However, for the time being, we’ll consider this one a draw.

NB: Both of these devices are marketed as coming with all sorts of bits of software such as Fring, Swype, Evernote and others already installed. Do remember that 99 per cent of these you can go and get yourself on the Android Market. That said, the Folio is stated to come with Documents to Go which is a paid for app, if the full version.

Imaging

Winner: SamTab
1.3MP front facing, 3MP rear facing

Loser: Folio
1.3MP front facing


Both manufacturers have added the all important webcam, clearly recognising that video calling is one of the killer apps of this gadget form. However, it’s only Samsung that has adorned its creation with a 3-megapixel camera plus LED flash to play with on the other side. You might not be buying a tablet to be able to shoot snaps or capture video, but it’s one of those things you’ll get annoyed with when you start looking to download augmented reality apps.

Storage

Winner: SamTab
16/32GB + SD

Loser: Folio
16GB + SD


Neither of these devices offer as much storage on board as the iPad but, with an upper end model available from Samsung, there’s a lot more room to keep all your HD videos, photos and whatever else one keeps on a tablet these days. Neither are terrible here given that you can buy big, fat SD cards in this day and age.

Price

SamTab
TBC

Folio
£329


For the minute, there’s no 3G version of the Folio, but we know that the Wi-Fi only will cost £329 when it arrives in October. Whether the mobile broadband edition is more or less costly than the SamTab remains to be seen. Keep ‘em peeled on Pocket-lint and we’ll let you know as soon as the decision’s been made.

Battery

Winner: SamTab
7 hours video

Loser: Folio
Less


Toshiba’s power stats for the Folio are perfectly respectable. The headline is that you’ll get 7 hours of play, but only when split something like 65 per cent web browsing, 10 per cent video and 25 per cent standby. Whether it’s having to power a larger screen or not, that achievement has rather been blown out the water by Samsung who claims you can watch video for 7 hours straight on the Galaxy Tab. Significant when you’re talking about entertaining yourself on a long haul flight.

Connectivity

Tie: SamTab
Wi/3G/BT3.0/HDMI/DLNA

Tie: Folio
Wi/3G/BT2.1/HDMI/DLNA/USB


Although there are differences, we’re not going to be petty enough here to say that one device comes out over the other. The Galaxy Tab has Bluetooth 3.0 as well as the n-Wi-Fi, 3G and DLNA credentials, but there’s no USB port. Everything has to be done either by the 30-pin dock or removable SD cards.

On the other hand, strictly speaking, there isn’t actually a 3G version of the Folio available just now, but it does have USB 2.0 which might save a little bother when connecting peripheral devices.

Conclusions

The Toshiba Folio has only picked up one winner’s medal in this match up, but that doesn’t make it a bad device. It’s answered some very big questions with some very big answers and, on spec, anyone buying one is unlikely to be disappointed. If Tosh has tuned everything nicely - think a decent touchscreen interface - then you’ll get some seriously impressive grunt out of this larger tablet and that might pay dividends for those looking to run some more serious games.

All the same, we’re going with the Samsung Galaxy Tab as the better of the two. It’s a good size with a great screen, astounding battery life, plenty of guts, two cameras, just about all the connectivity you could ask for and it also happens to be a phone. Eat that, iPad.

Check out how the Galaxy Tab matches up to the Apple iPad and let us know your thoughts on which is the device for you in the comments below.



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