We take a look at two of the hottest tablets on the market, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Apple’s trend setting iPad 2

The tablet market is rapidly becoming as diverse and popular as the smartphone one. Manufacturers are beginning to push boundaries with every release, looking to create the ultimate product.
Two tablets that have come pretty close to perfection are Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Apple’s iPad 2, and we’re here to play a little game of tablet top trumps to see which one has the most to offer.

Apple’s iPad 2 comes equipped with a 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS TFT touchscreen which operates at resolution of 768×1024 pixels and performs brilliantly. Colours are well represented, responsiveness is good and the overall user experience is pleasing.
Unfortunately the iPad 2 doesn’t bring the fabled Retina Display to the tablet market. In fact its pixel density, 136ppi, is lower than average, but studies have shown the quality to be A+ regardless.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 boasts – yep, you guessed it – a 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen that runs at a resolution of 800×1280.

To put it bluntly, the Galaxy Tab 7.7’s display is fantastic. Colours are vivid, responsiveness is excellent, blacks are pitch and the pixel density (196ppi) gives the device a great level of detail.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
Both of our competitors are dual core toting tablets, with the Apple iPad 2 offering up a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 a 1.4GHz Cortex A9, giving the Galaxy Tab 7.7 a fair bit more punch.
Both devices offer high performance GPU’s too, though, the Galaxy Tab 7.7’s Mali-400MP again gives it the edge over the iPad 2’s PowerVR SGX543MP2.

It’s a similar tale when you look at installed memory too, as the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with 1GB and the iPad 2 only 512MB of RAM.

The iPad 2 knows how to use what power it has, but we can’t see it being a very future proof device. But we think that could be what Apple wants, so mission accomplished.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

The iPad 2 runs on Apple’s iOS platform and it’s as pleasing to use on a tablet as it is on the iPhone.
The OS runs quickly, it’s simple and looks great, plus you get access to the Apple App Store which is where the iPad 2 really comes into its own, as you get access to hundreds of thousands of quality apps, not to mention tons designed solely for the iPad.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 runs on version 3.2 (Honeycomb) of Google’s Android platform, which has been designed with tablets firmly in mind.
As well as plenty of new speed and security enhancements, you’re treated to re-designed core apps and a vast array of UI improvements.

Some of those UI tweaks won’t be visible at first glance though, because the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX UI – a custom overlay designed to allow the user to get the most out of the tablet.
TouchWiz UX brings new widgets, icons, social networking integration and a whole lot more to-boot, but even with all this third-part finery has been added it still doesn’t feel as slick and smooth as the iPad 2.

Winner – Apple iPad 2

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with a primary 3.15-megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus and geo-tagging, as well as 720p video capture. The device also offers a 2-megapixel secondary camera.
Apple’s iPad 2 is similarly underwhelming in the camera stakes, with a 0.7-megapixel primary offering that captures video at 720p and a paltry VGA secondary for FaceTime duty.
Neither of these devices are going to set tongues wagging based on their photographic capability, but the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is the least disappointing so it takes this round by default.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Form and build
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 measures 196.7x133x7.9mm and weighs-in at a respectable 335g, making it a sure-fire hit with those that cart their tablet everywhere with them.
It’s constructed largely of plastics with a smattering of metal thrown-in to give it a lightweight yet premium feel.

The iPad 2 measures 241.2×185.7×8.8mm and tips the scale at a comparatively obese 607g, which isn’t quite as bad as it sounds, but still a way behind the compact and bijou Galaxy Tab 7.7.
As with all Apple products, the iPad 2 has a neat, premium feel to it and the materials used in construction are top-tier.

One area where the iPad 2 pips the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is battery life, with the iPad 2 offering up to 10 hours of usage thanks to the built-in 6930mAh cell. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 only comes with a 5100mAh battery, so you can expect a bit less. However, only our review will reveal whether that’s actually the case.
Winner – Apple iPad 2

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 has taken-on the mighty iPad 2 and beaten it, with a respectable score of 3-2.
If you’re after a small, high performance tablet then the Galaxy Tab 7.7 must make your shortlist. It’s a wonderful gadget that looks to excel in nearly every area, though it could have done with a better snapper.
The iPad 2 is still, despite its loss, a fantastic tablet and let’s not forget it’s the follow-up to the device, which re-ignited the tablet trend, makes it something akin to tablet royalty.

The apps on offer are great and the user experience is second-to-none, and they are arguably the most important thing with any device, so you’d be hard pushed to find a better tablet if you’re looking to one-up the iPad 2 there.
Overall there can only be one winner though, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a worthy one!


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