Samsung Ativ Tab vs iPad 3 (Apple new iPad)
With the introduction of Microsoft’s Windows 8 and a similar Windows RT version for the tablets, the tablet market may well revert back to Microsoft operating systems, as well. At the IFA 2012 in Berlin, we were able to observe the strategy at work with Samsung revealing their Windows 8 tablet. Samsung unpacked Samsung Ativ Tab that comes in Windows RT, which is optimized for ARM devices like tablets. Hence, we can only expect many more tablets to follow this trend which would lead to increased competition. As in any business, increased competition is healthier for consumers like us for the benefit of competitive prices and brilliant innovations would be ours.
We decided to compare Samsung Ativ Tab with a prominent competitor that it would have to go head on within the market. Apple new iPad (iPad 3) has been released for few months now, but some of the features introduced by the king of slates aren’t matched by any of the slates available in the market right now. However, comparing Samsung Ativ Tab with Apple new iPad will lead us to a bottom-line on what we can expect with this new tablet introduced by the Korean Tech giant Samsung. It would be wise to notice that Samsung has simultaneously released a smartphone with Windows Phone 8 and tablets with Windows 8 and Windows RT which would indicate that Samsung is diversifying their product portfolio and hence we can expect some good Windows based handheld devices in the future.
Samsung Ativ Tab Review
Samsung Ativ Tab is Samsung’s effort in coming up with a Windows 8 tablet that is different from all the other slates available out there. Samsung guarantees full Windows 8 functionality in this tablet although there seems to be some confusion involved in what exactly it is offering. The specification of the operating system indicates that this is actually Windows RT, which is the Windows 8 version for energy efficient processors. However, demonstrations clearly show the metro style interface as well as the windowed interface and hence the ambiguity. Hence as of now, we can assume the Ativ Tab to have some of the Windows 8 functionality as well although it’s rather doubtful whether we can install full-fledged Windows 8 applications in this slate.
Samsung Ativ Tab is powered by Snapdragon S4 APQ8060A dual core processor that is clocked at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM. It has a 10.1 inch HD display that has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels in a thin 8.9mm profile. It isn’t that hefty either with a weight of 570g. The first look at this tablet lands you on the metro user interface which is rather intuitive to use. Ativ Tab hosts a Windows button at the bottom which is used to flip back to generic windowed interface. The general design pattern follows Samsung’s similar Android slates with an Aluminum brushed back-plate although it’s made with Plastic.
Usually the connectivity is rather important if you’re aiming at replacing a personal computer with a slate like this. Samsung has actually taken that to consideration and provides a range of connectivity options with this slate. It has NFC and you can link printers and other USB devices using USB keys as well as expand the storage using microSD cards. This slate also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n as well as Bluetooth. The default versions come in either 32GB or 64GB and Samsung has integrated the Microsoft Skydrive very well. It is somewhat unusual to find a camera in a slate like this, but Samsung has included 5MP camera with autofocus and LED flash along with a 1.9MP front camera that can be used for video conferencing. Samsung reports this slate to have a 8200mAh battery which we assume to contribute to the better proportion of the weight and on the fortunate side, it may well last a long time.
Apple iPad 3 (The new iPad) Review
Apple tried to revolutionize the market again with the new iPad. The new iPad (iPad 3) comes with a 9.7 inches HD IPS retina display that features a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at a pixel density of 264ppi. This is a huge barrier that Apple has broken, and they have introduced 1 million more pixels to the generic 1920 x 1080 pixels display which used to be the best resolution a mobile device provides. The total number of pixels adds up to 3.1 million, which is actually a monster resolution that hasn’t been matched by any tablet currently available in the market. Apple guarantees that iPad 3 has 44% more color saturation compared to previous models and, in fact, photos and texts look wonderful in the big screen.
That’s not all about it; the new iPad has 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core CPU with quad core SGX 543MP4 GPU built into the Apple A5X Chipset. Apple claims A5X to offer two-times the graphic performance of an A5 chipset used in iPad 2. It is, needless to say, that this processor will make everything work smooth and seamlessly with 1GB of RAM. The new iPad (iPad 3) has three variations based on internal storage, which is enough to stuff all of your favorite TV shows.
The new iPad runs on Apple iOS 5.1, which is a great operating system with a very intuitive user interface. There is a physical home button available at the bottom of the device, as usual. The next big feature Apple introduces is iSight camera, which is 5MP with autofocus and auto-exposure using a backside illuminated sensor. It has an IR filter built into it which is really great. The camera can also capture 1080p HD videos, and they have smart video stabilization software integrated with the camera which is a good move. This slate also supports the best digital assistant in the world, Siri which was supported by iPhone 4S only.
The new iPad also comes with 4G LTE connectivity apart from EV-DO, HSDPA, HSPA+21Mbps, DC-HSDPA+42Mbps, though 4G connectivity is region based. LTE supports speeds up to 73Mbps. Apple has built separate LTE variations for AT&T and Verizon. The LTE device makes the best use of LTE network and loads everything super-fast and handled the load very well. Apple also claims the new iPad is the device that supports most number of bands ever. It is said to have Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n for continuous connectivity, which was expected by default. Fortunately, you can let your new iPad share your internet connection with your friends by making it a Wi-Fi hotspot. The new iPad (iPad 3) is 9.4mm thick and has a weight of 1.44-1.46lbs, which is rather comforting, though it is slightly thicker and heftier than iPad 2. The new iPad promises a battery life of 10 hours on normal usage and 9 hours on 3G/4G usage, which is another game changer for the new iPad.
The new iPad is available in either Black or White, and the 16GB variant is offered at $499 which is rather low. The 4G version of the same storage capacity is offered at $629 which is still a good deal. There are two other variants, 32GB and 64GB which comes at $599 / $729 and $699 / $829 respectively without 4G and with 4G.
A Brief Comparison Between Samsung Ativ Tab and iPad 3 (The new iPad)
• Samsung Ativ Tab is powered by 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 APQ8060A dual core processor with 2GB of RAM while Apple the new iPad 3 is powered by 1GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core processor on top of Apple A5X chipset with PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Samsung Ativ Tab runs on Windows RT while iPad 3 runs on iOS 5.1.
• Samsung Ativ Tab has 10.1 inches HD LCD touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels while the new iPad has 9.7 inches LED backlit IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at a pixel density of 264ppi.
• Samsung Ativ Tab is slightly bigger but thinner and lighter (265.8 x 168.1mm / 8.9mm / 570g) than iPad 3 (241.2 x 185.7mm / 9.4mm / 662g).
• Samsung Ativ Tab has 8200mAh battery while iPad 3 has 11560mAh battery.
We’ll be making a value for money evaluation on both of these slates in order to identify what suits you best. This is because these are two distinctively placed slates, and more than that, Windows RT is rather new. It’s true that Windows RT might become a sensation in time to come; however, right now it’s not a matured product. Hence we may well stick to comparing the hardware with the price tag embedded in them. On the surface, both these tablets have more or less the same hardware specs. Samsung Ativ Tab may perform better since it has a processor that is overclocked at 1.5GHz compared to 1GHz of the iPad but then again, it all depends on the operating system. No benchmarking tests have been performed as of yet, but we wouldn’t be wrong if we say that iPad 3 is going to excel in the graphics section fair and square. Obviously the mega resolution would be the best witness for this. We are hoping that the Ativ Tab would be priced lower than iPad 3 (the New iPad), but both tablets would anchor the prices in the same range. Hence it all comes down to what you actually prefer, iOS or Windows RT and what you prefer is what you should get.