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iPad vs. the Galaxy Tab. The Winner is… Something Else?

I’ve always been unlucky when it comes to notebooks. They never last more than a few years before their motherboard explodes, usually just a few days after the warranty expires. That’s why last year I decided to get a desktop instead. It has everything I’ll ever need (hopefully) in a computer:

  • Intel i5 CPU
  • 8 GB DDR3
  • 500 GB HDD
  • Windows 7 64-bit OS
  • NVIDIA graphics card
  • Dual monitors from Acer

In fact, the only thing my desktop lacks is mobility, which is why I keep ending up staring at the iPad display in every electronics store I wander into and why I have been obsessively reading reviews for the Galaxy Tab, stalking my local Radio Shack until they finally put one on display.

Sure, the Tab only has a 7” display, but that means I can throw it in my bag and go, unlike the iPad, which will require a larger bag though it is easier to interact with. The iPad is established with people across the board praising it and remarking how it is changing the way children interact with electronics. As a bonus, the iPad has a larger marketplace and everything is plug and play. But do I want to support something that isn’t open source?

And round and round we go. Electronically, both devices are similar. For someone who is constantly on the go and wants to keep up with social networking, ebooks, games, and some light business, both devices will fit those needs. And as for price, both the Tab and iPad have different price points depending on 3G, but $400+ is guaranteed.

One of the reasons why the Tab is so intriguing is that I also have an HTC EVO 4G, and I love it. They have the same operating system (and the same lag problems), so basically this would just be like getting a larger version of my phone.

Semico is forecasting that the Tablet market will reach 24 million shipments by the end of 2011, meaning the next year is going to be inundated with tablets, much like last year was inundated with ereaders and they’ll all be focused on being sleek and stylish. Its enough to make someone focus on the product instead of their own needs.

Which is what I’ve been doing obsessing over these products. What exactly will I be using this mobile device for? Typing on the go and internet browsing.

So with that in mind, what is my choice?

I’m going with the Eee PC 1015PEM.  Seems crazy, I know.  But it has a 13 hour battery life, a keyboard, clam shell for the screen protection, no service agreement, and an LED-backlit display. Oh, and its half the price. My heart breaks a little because this little netbook isn’t as sleek as the two tablets, but I know I won’t use half of the capabilities of either the iPad or the Tab, so its hard to justify purchasing them, no matter how much I want to.

I may regret this choice by the second half of 2011, considering multiple companies will be releasing tablets over the next few months, including LG, Notion Ink, Acer (April), Toshiba, Dell, RIM (Blackberry PlayBook), Kno (a Dual-screen tablet), JooJoo, HP, etc.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and the motherboard will explode. It’ll be the perfect excuse to upgrade.

-Michell Prunty, Consumer Analyst

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