Inside an alleged iPad killer: the Samsung Galaxy Tab

Teardown specialists at iFixit confirm that the Samsung Galaxy Tab has delivered some technology to die for

Samsung's Galaxy Tab is aiming to challenge the Apple iPad in the tablet market.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab is aiming to challenge the Apple iPad in the tablet market.

While not quite ready to declare the Galaxy Tab a true Apple iPad killer after looking inside the new 7-inch touchscreen tablet computer, teardown specialists at iFixit confirm that Samsung has delivered some technology to die for.

iFixit, which has been tearing down products left and right of late (including the Microsoft Kinect and Google TV),  finds plenty in common between the Android OS 2.2-based Tab and iPad, though many differences, too. It calls the Galaxy Tab "the first solid Android tablet we've come across."

Also read: How does the Galaxy Pad compare to rival tablets

Immediately noticeable from the outside, when stacking the Galaxy Tab atop the iPad, is that the Samsung device is quite a bit smaller (190.1 x 120.6 x 12 mm for the Tab vs. 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4 for the iPad). iFixit also notes that the Galaxy Tab's plastic rear case construction should allow for better wireless reception than found with the iPad.

But iFixit's specialty is looking under the covers. Inside, it finds that the Galaxy Tab lacks any "self destructing copper retaining clips" like those holding the iPad together. Further, iFixit finds that the 3.7V Li-on battery hogs up about half the inside real estate, though boasts only 60% of the iPad battery's capacity. Motherboard features include an Infineon modem and RF transceiver, 16GB SanDisk Flash storage and Broadcom Bluetooth/FM/WiFi and GPS receiver technology.

What makes the Galaxy Tab a "true iPad competitor" is its Samsung S5PC110A01 Multimedia Applications Processor, a1GHz Hummingbird processor that compares favorably to the Apple iPad's 1GHz A4 processor (both share the ARM A8 architecture).

"We expect that with this kind of internal hardware, the Tab should work really well with Android apps," according to iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens.

Disappointments include a 3.2 megapixel camera that pales even in comparison to the 5 megapixel camera found on smaller devices like the Droid 2. iFixit much prefers the iPad's denser screen resolution as well. See entire teardown here.

The Galaxy Tab scored 6 out of 10 for repairability by iFixit, which found it needed everything from a glue gun to guitar picks to pry certain parts of the device apart (sections of the tablet could double as body armor, iFixit jokes).

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be sold by Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.  A report this week said AT&T will sell the Galaxy Tab for $650 without a contract, whereas other carriers might be offering it for about $50 less.

Earlier this week, iFixit launched a campaign for gadget lovers everywhere to take a new Self-Repair Manifesto to heart.

Bob Brown might be out of this galaxy at times, but you can still follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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Tags MicrosoftGooglewirelessAppleNetworkingData CenterWi-FiPChardware systemsConfiguration / maintenanceWLANs / Wi-FiSamsung Galaxy Tab

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Bob Brown

Network World
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