In this article, we compare what we think are going to be two of this year’s hottest Android tablets – the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Both are excellent – there is no question. Really, at the end of the day, like with most things – it all comes down to personal preference. Google has just updated Android Honeycomb to Android 3.1, and with it, come several significant improvements to the user experience. Browsing is snappier and more responsive, flash plays more seamlessly, and things are just all around better. Critics in the mobile computing space are finally agreeing that Honeycomb is ready for prime time, and can finally stand tall and mighty next to the omnipresent iPad. So, without further adieu, here is our comparison of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 inch.

With so many good Android tablets already available, or soon to be, it can be an onerous and challenging task to choose one that’s best for you. It is very important to know what each tablet in the market offers so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase one for yourself. While each tablet today offers something unique, the hardware is, by and large, the same. Two of the most popular Honeycomb tablets in the market are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Here is a comparison between the two which (we hope) will make things easier for you if you are planning to buy a tablet.

Where they stand equal.

  • Operating system– Android 3.1 Honeycomb (but the Asus is yet to receive this particular update as of the date of posting)
  • Processor – 1GHz dual-core Nvidia processor and 1GB RAM
  • Display – Capacitive touch screen with 1280X800 resolution. The Transformer does have an IPS Display, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is TFT-LCD but the quality is very similar between the two, with both producing radiant images and video, but struggling in direct sunlight somewhat.
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, mini-USB, HDMI
  • Memory – Both come with equal internal memory but the Samsung Galaxy Tab does not have a MicroSD slot, while the Eee Pad Transform has one, supporting 32GB.

Where they battle it out.

Size and portability

This is one of the most important features you should consider when buying a tablet. Undoubtedly, you won’t want to hold a small brick in your hand. The Eee Pad Transformer is a bit chunkier than the new and improved, super thin Galaxy Tab 10.1. It measures 271 x 171 x 12.98 mm compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1′s 256.2 x 172.9 x 8.6 mm. It’s also a bit heavier, at 680 grams, whereas the Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs a mere 595 grams.

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The Asus Transformer features two cameras, a front-facing 1.2MP camera for video calls, and a 5MP rear-facing camera, while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes installed with a 3-megapixel camera in the back, capable of HD video capture at 1080p, and another 2-megapixel camera for video-calling in the front. Transformer scores with a better resolution. Additionally, the Transformer did have some problems with regards to video capture, but Asus has promised a software fix in the near future.

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Unique selling points

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is like many of the Android tablets available, except it has the claim to fame of being the thinnest tablet currently on the market.. Samsung is a brand that has caught a lot of companies off-guard recently. As one of the world’s largest technology companies, they make a significant amount of hardware for Apple, and their TV division is considered by many to be one of the world’s best. Additionally, they released the best selling Android phone of 2010 – the Samsung Galaxy S – and it’s without a doubt in our minds that they will be hungrily competing in the tablet space too.  Furthermore, some users maintain that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has fantastic performance, especially with Android 3.1, while the Transformer has the tendency to hang for brief moments here and there.  This is not important however, as the Asus Eee Pad Transformer will be receiving an update to Android 3.1 shortly. As i’m sure you already know, the Eee Pad Transformer has one very unique selling point to it: the ability to connect with a detachable keyboard dock (for a modest extra $150) which adds more functionality, definitely enables greater productivity, and adds an additional 7 hours of battery life. So really, it comes down to form versus function, but it should be noted that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 also has a connectivity dock, and has a keyboard accessory as well. Unfortunately, unlike the Asus, it does not charge the battery, and is not as portable. For those looking to have the productivity that a laptop/netbook affords, with the compactness of a tablet, we would recommend the Asus Eee Pad Transformer in this case. For those wanting a beautiful, thin tablet that don’t necessarily plan on doing a significant amount of writing, then we would recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

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Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers a 9 hour battery life, which we found to be accurate. The Transformer boasts 10 hours battery life, but in our tests found that it was much closer to 9 hours. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer can also be connected to its keyboard dock for charging, and to add an additional 7 hours of battery life, but you will have to spring an extra $150 for this benefit. Furthermore, one more disadvantage with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is that is cannot be charged using a laptop or desktop USB port which would have been very useful in some situations.

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Video and audio compatibility

Most buyers do not consider it an important point while buying but it can get to be quite annoying when your gadget repeatedly gives you the error message “This format is not supported”. The Tranformer supports more formats than Galaxy including AAC+, EAAC+, OGG, MIDI, AMR-NB/WB which are some formats supported by ASUS which are not compatible with Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, there is no doubt that software updates or apps will be able to handle virtually any file you throw at either tablet, but for now, the Transformer wins this round.

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Native apps and software

Scaled up smartphone apps alone don’t create a well rounded tablet experience. It takes native apps for the tablet to be truly competitive. The software running underneath is very important. Galaxy has a few Samsung apps that make it score over Transformer. Most of the third party apps are also scaled well, too.

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The lowdown

The two tablets have very similar specifications, so it’s not going to be an easy decision to make. We have to take into consideration the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a lot slimmer and lighter than its Asus competitor, so if you’re looking for increased portability, that’s clearly the way to go. On the other hand, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer comes with the potential to be equipped with its own detachable keyboard dock, which is a pretty useful accessory that will add more functionality to the device. Personally, if I was more concerned with style, I would go with Galaxy Tab 10.1, and if I wanted a better all around device that has more  usability down the line, then I would go with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Ultimately, while the Transformer comes with a few added advantages you simply cannot ignore that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is one sexy device.

What are your thoughts – does the Transformer have what it takes, or is thinness more important to you? Let’s also not forget that Samsung will be selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Android 3.1 on board already, and we don’t have a confirmed roll-out date for the Transformers’ update.
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