Though the Motorola Xoom is the first Honeycomb tablet flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy 8.9 looks like a good bet to give it a run for its money. The Galaxy is designed as a smaller alternative to the bulkier iPad 2 and Xoom slates. At 8.9 inches it’s larger than the previous 7 inch Galaxy, which was like a smart phone on growth hormones, yet it’s smaller than the sometimes large feeling traditional tablets. In the hand it feels just right, at about the same size as an A5 notebook.
The Xoom is currently on sale, but the Galaxy 8.9 is not available until later in the summer. Perhaps, this gives the Xoom a heads up, as it can get a comfortable position in the tablet market place before the Galaxy can even get going.
Samsung will hope the Galaxy’s dimensions will give it a distinct advantage in the handheld market, putting faith in the fact their tablet is sized ideally for long periods of holding. The Xoom is a bit of a monster compared to the Galaxy 8.9, weighing in at 730 grams to the Samsung’s 470 grams. It’s also a far thicker machine, its 12.6mm deep compared to the Galaxy which is a wafer thin 8.6mm deep.
This size difference is a plus for the Xoom as far as screen size is concerned. The Xoom’s screen is a netbook sized 10.1 inches and the Galaxy’s 8.9 inches. Both run the same 1200×800 resolution but as the Xoom’s display area is larger it’s better for watching films.
The machines are both powered by the same chip, a Tegra 2 chip, 1GHz dual-core processor. This processor is a fast piece of kit in any machine and is more than capable to do the donkey work in both these tablets.
Storage is a different story; the Samsung will come with a 16GB and a 32GB in built memory option, whereas the Xoom has 32GB’s of storage only. Both have the option of inserting up to 32GB of extra memory through the wonders of an SD card.
Dual cameras are available in both slates. The Xoom is equipped with a 5MP rear-camera capable of 720p recording and a 2MP camera for video calling. The Galaxy goes one step further with a whopping 8MP for the rear camera, that can capture 1080p video and a 2mp camera for video calling in the front. The two tablets are both set up for the Honeycomb Android 3.0 OS, so there is no difference here. The new OS allows multitasking and is seen as a huge improvement on the 2.2 Android OS as it’s created specifically for tablet usage.
Connectivity is the buzzword around tablets at the moment, with some not offering all the connections some feel is necessary. Fortunately, both the Samsung and the Motorola are well equipped. Both computers are compatible with Bluetooth, WI-Fi, 3G, and are upgradeable to 4G when it arrives. They also support Flash Player, a contentious issue in the tablet fraternity, and both have USB ports, though the Galaxy has no HDMI port.
As far as pricing is concerned the Xoom costs $599 for the Wi-Fi model whereas the Galaxy is expected to have a substantially lower price when it arrives, somewhere around the $500 mark, making it the cheaper of the two, though it has a smaller screen.
Considering which tablet to buy is a tough option, both have their pluses. Mainly it depends on whether you want portability over screen size. Though, as the only available option currently is the Xoom, it should probably win out for the moment.
This Guest post is written by Alex. Alex writes at the best android tablet, a web site dedicated to android tablets.