Motorola Xoom vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V

The Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone has made one hell of an impact at launch in Barcelona but there was another device from the Korean manufacturer out at MWC 2011 making plenty of waves of its own. If you haven’t already, then come and meet the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1V.

As the name suggest, this is Samsung’s answer to the iPad but perhaps more appropriate would be to compare it to a device that it’s going to be in direct conflict in when it hits the shelves. So, to decide which is the Android super-tab of choice, this is the Motorola Xoom vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Dimensions

1st: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
246.2 x 170.4 x 10.9mm, 599g

2nd: Motorola Xoom
249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm, 730g


One of the very few complaints from those who’ve had hands on time with the Motorola Xoom tablet is that it’s a little on the chunky side, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V attacks that weak spot with gusto. Not only is it much, much thinner, it’s also considerably lighter at over 100g less mass as well. While you’re not going to walk around with these devices in your pockets, you are going to feel the extra bulk taking its toll on your shoulders - particularly if you’re carrying your laptop too. So, don’t be mistaken into thinking that first blood to Samsung here is any small thing.

Display

Tie: Motorola Xoom
10.1-inch, 1280 x 800px, LCD

Tie: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
10.1-inch, 1280 x 800px, LCD


Neither Motorola nor Samsung has made any boasts about their respective screen technologies beyond the specs on offer. Both offer HD playback on very good sized, 16:9 aspect widescreen displays and neither make the promise of any kind of LED backlighting of super contrast or colour gamut action. As such, this one’s a very clear tie. If either had something on the other, you can bet they’d be shouting about it, and it rather makes us wonder if it’s in fact Samsung who’s supplying the panels for both devices anyway.

Engine Room

Tie: Motorola Xoom
NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM

Tie: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU


Yet again, not so much space as to slip a cigarette paper in between these two devices in the engine room department. Both the Xoom and the 10.1-inch SamTab come fitted with the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform with its 1GHz dual core processor and beefed up HD graphics power. Admittedly, there’s no word from Samsung as to how much memory it’s jamming into its device but we’d be seriously surprised if it was anything short of the same 1GB inside the Xoom. Plenty of bite from either tablet here.

Storage

1st: Motorola Xoom:
32GB + SD

2nd: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
16/32GB


At last, we have another winner. While both tablets come with standard issue amounts of flash memory on board, for some reason, Samsung has decided to ditch its microSD port as found on the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab. So, in effect, the Xoom can double what you can keep on the 10.1V. Do beware though that the SD card slot on the Xoom is not currently active and will only come into play once there’s been an update to the firmware.

Battery

Tie: Motorola Xoom
Up to 10 hour video playback

Tie: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
6860mAh


It’s a tricky one to decipher this time seeing as each company has quoted its battery specs in a different way, but it's not impossible by any means. The Xoom and the iPad have essentially the same longevity and we know that the Apple’s battery runs at 6600mAh. Therefore, taking into account the slightly bigger screen and more powerful engine of the Xoom, it’s not out of the question to think that it probably has something fairly equal to what the Galaxy Tab 10.1V has anyway. Naturally, we don’t know this for sure, but we’re willing to bet that when push comes to shove, we’ll get around 10 hours of video time out of Samsung’s latest tablet before the charge runs out.

Imaging

1st: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
8MP rear, 2MP front, 1080p video

2nd: Motorola Xoom
5MP rear, 2MP front, 720p video


Samsung has stuck the very same set of optics and circuitry inside the Galaxy Tab 10.1V as it has the super phone that is the Galaxy S 2 and those specs are very impressive indeed. It’s arguable as to whether a rear facing camera is actually all that useful in a tablet but, while we make up our minds, Samsung has fitted an 8MP resolution unit with AF and LED flash in its device which is capable of capturing Full HD video at 24fps. The Xoom is no slouch but instead drops down to 5MP and just the 720p. Mercifully both come with very solid 2MP webcams built in which should look great from the other end of video calls.

Software

Tie: Motorola Xoom
Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Tie: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
Android 3.0 Honeycomb


It’s another dead heat here with both gadgets sporting the exact same software. Each will feature Google’s debut all-tablet OS known as Android 3.0 or Honeycomb to its friends. Neither Samsung nor Motorola have taken it upon themselves to adulterate the experience with TouchWiz or Motoblur, so users are in for a real treat. What’s more, that leaves us with absolutely nothing to separate the Xoom and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 yet again.

Connectivity

1st: Motorola Xoom
3/4G, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI-out, BT

2nd: Galaxy Tab 10.1v
HSDPA+, Wi-Fi, BT, USB


It’s a serious let down here from Samsung given all of the amazing wireless goodies that the company has crammed into the Galaxy S 2 also announced at MWC 2011. There’s no DLNA, no 4G, no NFC and no wireless communication with your PC either. Fortunately, the Xoom doesn’t have any of that either. What Motorola has put in though is an HDMI-out and the promise that the company will bring out an LTE version for higher network speeds in the coming months.

Conclusions

Winner: Xoom

Loser: Galaxy Tab 10.1


This is one of the closer run contests we’ve had in quite a while but, all the same, we’re handing the winner’s medal to the Motorola Xoom. The categories have largely come down to a draw but of the four that were decided, two went to Samsung and two to Motorola. So, the way we’ve had to judge it is by asking ourselves which we would get more annoyed with. Is a slightly bulkier tablet with not quite such an impressive optical set more of a pain than one which doesn’t have an SD card slot nor an HDMI-out either?

The fact is that the Xoom can do everything the Galaxy Tab 10.1V can - if in slightly lower resolution - but the same can’t be said the other way round. Ultimately, of course, this argument may be academic. Once the prices are announced, the ticket value will probably end up being the deciding factor and we’re hearing some very scarey stories for the figure that Motorola has got in mind. Perhaps that's the very reason why Samsung has not tried to spec its 10-inch tab up to the gills this time.

So which of these would you prefer or are you considering a move to the webOS HP TouchPad instead? Let us know in the comments.

You can also check out more of our MWC 2011 coverage on Pocket-lint - as much as you like, in fact.

 



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