Comparing iPad 2, Xoom, Galaxy Tab and Color Nook

Discussion in 'iPad' started by infosprt, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. infosprt macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Temecula, CA
    Had an opportunity this evening to try out all of the devices mentioned at a local Best Buy store. I used each device for about 5 minutes with the devices running over the instore broadband service using the device's Internet browser. This is what I observed...

    iPad 2 - Best of the bunch. Browser was very responsive and smooth while using street view. Physical appearance best as well.

    Xoom - About the same responsiveness as the iPad 2. Screen not quite as usable with the 16x9 orientation (I think). Appearance was good. Price slightly higher than the iPad. However, I don't believe you can turn 3G data off and on like you can with the AT&T iPad. So price wise I think it is about $200 too high.

    Galaxy tab - Worst of the bunch. Very, very sluggish. Thick, heavy and practically unusable for the test I did (street views). Price too high for what you get. It also had a hideous screen protector which made it even uglier. Possibly the new line of Galaxy tabs will be competitive. But this version should be pulled from the market because it is so bad.

    Color nook - Browser quite good. Performance about the same as the iPad 1. Price very good as well. I believe the Color Nook only works over wifi though so it wouldn't be good if you want to use it on the road. Screen was also very nice. I didn't expect much for the color nook and was pleasantly surprised. I don't have an opinion on how good it would be for reading books.

    I also own the Kindle 2 and Kindle 3 and in my opinion the K3 beats all devices if you want to read books with very little web browsing.

    I would be curious if others have had the opportunity to use the devices mentioned and what their opinion would be.
  2. OSMac, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    You cant beat the ipad 1 or 2 only negatives are the need to be anchored to iTunes on a single pc, and the somewhat blurry font rendering on the low resolution screen.

    I like the Dell Streak as a pocketable phone / tablet, text reflow, 185dpi 5" screen with nice sharp fonts, drag and drop music , videos from any pc. Since I got it never use the small screen 3GS anymore.

    The Galaxy Tab out of the box does have some programs that lag. The default browser is horrible but if you download the free Dolphin HD browser it works great. Gmail has instant notifications and text reflow works great when needed. Fonts are also sharp.

    The galaxy tab is also capable of being used as a phone if one is willing to flash the firmware, not sure how desired a 7" phone/tablet is but it's an option to save carrying 2 devices.

    Overall I find the Streak / iPad combo the best.
  3. ravenas macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    I tested out the iPad2, Xoom and GalaxyTab last week. And the Dell Streak a week before.

    Xoom impressed me with the form factor and specs.
    I really liked the GalaxyTab's 7" size. Very pocketable. But it's laggy due to poorer hardware.
    I never got the Dell Streak to respond for me.

    I have been sorely tempted to pick up a Xoom WiFi ($599) same price tag as an iPad2 32GB. I held off though because there is so much development coming over the next few months for Honeycomb. I want to see what Samsung, LG and the others have available over the summer.

    The thing I found the biggest surprise for me was how nice a 7" tablet felt to me. I've been trained to think only an iPad size will do. But the smaller tablet is much more conducive to slipping in my purse like an old paperback or datebook.

    When I got the iPad1 last year I tired of the big size and weight after a few weeks. So I picked up a Touch for those times I just want something small to slip in a pocket for a quick trip. The 7" form factor was a nice compromise between size and yet still a usable screen.
  4. infosprt thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Temecula, CA
    I agree the smaller form factor is nice. To me the perfect mobile (something you can take with you when you walk or shop) pad device would be something around the size of the Kindle 3 since it is easy to slip in your pocket. Also the K3 is about 3/8 thick at its thickest point. For browsing at home the iPad is the perfect size.
  5. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Hmm. Must be something weird about trying a store display for five minutes :)

    I have exactly the opposite experience with the 7" Tab. Street views are very fast, as is everything else.

    I own and use one daily in a nice leather daybook style case that I can flip open, and I have a stylus attached as well for occasional drawings.


    I like the Tab a lot. OTOH, I was not impressed by the Xoom. Go figure.
  6. JohnDG macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Why would one buy a GalaxyTab instead of rooting a Color Nook?

  7. doboy macrumors 68020

    Jul 6, 2007
    I also think the 7" form factor is nice since I can hold it comfortably with one hand. Sure it doesn't have the real estate like the iPad or Xoom, but enough for browsing and reading. Now that Verizon is selling it for $199 with contract and no activation fee, I may pick one up. I've never liked taking my iPad around, especially since only wifi. I was thinking about getting iPad 2, but I already have an iPad 1.
  8. doboy macrumors 68020

    Jul 6, 2007
    No 3G and no, I don't want to tether.
  9. Lefort1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    I'd take a Color Nook any day over the Tab at their respective prices.

    As far as the Xoom and iPAD2, it's a toss-up. The pricing I've seen from Staples on the Wifi only version makes it very competitive. I'm not sure if they are doing it anymore, but they were selling it for $480. This trumps the 16GB ipad 2 at $499 (if you could even buy one right now).

    If motorola made the Xoom a little lighter and sleeker, it would have been even more tempting.

    Oh well, choices are good!
  10. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    I have both. The Tab has 3G. Adobe Flash. Also, its battery lasts a lot longer for me. Days longer.

    The Nook doesn't feel as quick, nor are the graphics hacks optimized yet. I'm running Honeycomb on it because Froyo was very slow, and needed those virtual keys that Honeycomb doesn't.

    However, I see that apparently B&N is back to promising their own Froyo update pretty soon, with lots of Nook specific apps, market access and Flash. That would make the Nook a tablet I could recommend to anyone, hacker or not.
  11. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I have used a Nook Color for a week or so and there were some good things and some bad things about it:

    -Small, thin, light
    -Expandable storage
    -Rubberized back doesn't get scratched.

    -Rooting isn't super straightforward
    -No apps really take advantage of the 7" screen
    -Terrible backlight bleed (At least on mine..)
    -Touch screen was less responsive in the corners (had to press harder)
    -Overall touch screen required a firmer push than iPad.
    -Software overall was less responsive and lagged more than the iPad (1).

    I like the hardware which is pretty nice for the price, but the software was not that great.

    Just a note: When I rooted it I put 2.2 on there, at the time honeycomb roms weren't available.

    Now with iPad 2 out and iPad 1 going for as low as $300 I would go for that rather than hacking the Nook. Supposedly an official update for the Nook is coming out soon bringing apps and other tweaks, so after that it may be more viable.
  12. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    Back in January I sold my ipad 1 because I knew the ipad 2 was coming soon. I was able to get a decent price for my ipad. In the meantime, I got a nook color and rooted it. I was impressed with speed, apps, and gaming, but overall was not as polished as the ipad. For the price savings, I was able to live with the shortcomings.

    As time went on some things started be annoying. Tethering didn't work right because the nook can't support adhoc networks well. Rooting was a pain, and 2.2/honeycomb ROMS didn't work right. Touchscreen was not as responsive. But I did love the smaller size.

    When ipad 2 was announced, I didn't see anything that groundbreaking, therefore I decided that ipad 1 was good enough. I sold the nook and picked up a newer ipad 1.

    I am very happy with it.
  13. mkruck macrumors regular


    Apr 30, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    I own the original iPad, Nook Color and WiFi Xoom.

    Nook Color: Rooted stock, took all of 20 minutes to root. Tons of apps available, my 5 year old is playing Doodle Jump as I type this. I started out running Honeycomb preview 4 on SD card a month ago on it but man it was slow. Wasn't impressed with Honeycomb at all, but I was running it on a tablet that wasn't designed for it. My kids love it, and it keeps them from constantly using my wife's and my iPads. Well worth the $185 bucks. Loaded Beautiful Widgets and Launcher Pro. It's fun to play with.

    Xoom WiFi: It's...different, but in a good way. Honeycomb on a device it was written for is amazing. Being able to make the tablet "mine", customizing each screen with the apps, widgets and wallpapers is a huge, huge improvement over iOS. The notification system is a beautiful thing. I've had it since Sunday and have been using it exclusively at work - email, VPN, RDP into the data center environment, creating Word and Excel files. Having an OS with a file system that's accessible to store documents, images, video, etc., in a typical directory structure is great. Hundreds of apps available for Honeycomb (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, hundreds of thousands on iOS). The only one I can't find is Zite, a news reader. Stuck with Pulse for now

    But. Yes, there's always a but...the screen is washed out compared to the iPad, which I didn't notice until I looked at the same image side by side, iPad vs. Xoom. It's not horrible, but it's not as crisp and deep as the images on the iPad.

    iPad: I'm torn. Conflicted. Full of angst. I love my iPad. But I'm leaning towards selling it in favor of the Xoom, strictly based on functionality in a corporate environment. I have 86 days left on my Xoom return window at Costco, and if Google releases an update to fix the display issue, I really think it's going to be a no-brainer to keep the Xoom and eighty-six the iPad. if they don't address the screen issue, it's going back.

    Here's what I noticed after 4 full days of Android vs. iOS: iOS just feels too "simple/limited/whatever" now, and that's not a bad thing. My wife doesn't like the Xoom at all, her comment is that it's not as easy as the iPad. I remember writing a post about 3 weeks ago saying I wanted simple when I got home from work.

    Like I said, conflicted.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  14. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    One reason I like the Nook is because I can give it to my daughter to play Angry Birds etc on, without worrying about the cost too much if she drops it :)

    As for my next tablet, it's without a doubt going to be the HTC Flyer, with its active pen and Evernote compatibility.

    HTC just released their first real ad for it here on YouTube.
  15. Lefort1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    I see the Xoom as that manual transmission sportscar you want to "make yours" whether it's throwing on a nice set of wheels, going all nuts with the engine, whatever. It's fast and makers like to focus on specs. It takes a little more effort to row through all of the gears. But for those that enjoy it, you'll love it.

    The Ipad is more like your Mom's Automatic Camry. Simple. One pedal (or button in this case) and you go. Any teenage kid with a license could drive it. You could try to put in some fancy floormats to make it yours (eg. Jailbreak it) but at the end of the day it will still be your mom's reliable old Camry.
  16. PCClone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2010
    It is the apps that matter and that is why the iPad is selling millions.
  17. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Perhaps, a larger phone would serve that smaller tablet needs. I would love a 4 inch screen with the same size iphone. 7" is a bit too small for a tablet and too big for a phone. Unless, we can use the 7 in as a phone but via bluetooth or something better. The problem with this that I cannot find any ear piece bluetooth to feel comfortable to wear all day. Unless, you have a bluetooth earpiece planted onto the 7inch tablet like a stylus is part with a DS. This earpiece can have multiple function that can also serve as a stylus. Although, 7 in is not always pocketable.

    iPad serves like a business folder or device that professionals can carry for work. For average person, it is basically for home or a device to do homework or study with. I carry mine every day to work and use at home daily.
  18. infosprt thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Temecula, CA
    Interesting video. Thanks
  19. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    You're very welcome. Here's an live video taken at a recent show.

    It's no secret that I like the idea of the Flyer. (Or as it'll be called on Sprint, the EVO View 4G. T-Mobile will still call it by Flyer.)

    It reminds me of the Courier project a bit. I'm constantly running across snippets of info I'd like to reference later.

    Reportedly HTC has already had over a million pre-orders. I have a feeling its price will stay high for a while, due to demand.

    Best Buy is supposed to have it sometime soon.

    It starts with Gingerbread and might or might not have Honeycomb later, but that doesn't deter me one bit :)
  20. Karnivore macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    I too am a big fan of Galaxy Tab. I had a AT&T version and it took me less then an hour to root, flash, enable phone function, and SIM unlock.m I am not sure why OP called it "heavy", it's very much lightweight and unlike most Samsung mobile devices it's very sturdy.
  21. a042349 macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    I actually think that's becoming less and less true. Most all major apps, that reel in 90% of the smartphone/tablet users, are going to be more or less available on Android and iOS. Somewhat less on WinPhone7, WebOS and Rim.

    Most users I know only scratch the surface of a handful of apps, and once these devices are all leveled and reasonably good at web browsing, email, messaging/IM, calendar, office apps, music, video, etc. I think the "total" number of apps means less than it used to.

    My HO of course.

    PS - I owned a Galaxy Tab, now own a Xoom and have an iPad 2 arriving on Thursday - so I like all of em!
  22. ssspinball macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    Disagree strongly.

    Play with Garageband on an iPad 2 for a half hour (there's a small learning curve) and to a lesser extent iMovie = wondering why anyone would want the other tablets.
  23. Lefort1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    Well for one, not everyone care about Garageband or iMovie. I'm more wondering why someone would want to edit movies on a tablet compared to on Windows7 or their Macbook Pro. Waste of time?

    I have an ipad and an HTC droid incredible. And while its nice, the lack of choices in form factor, features, etc. have me constantly checking Android offerings.
  24. kindaobsessed macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    Sure you can customize the Xoom, and it's a good thing you can otherwise it would useless.

    I tried to keep an open mind, my co-worker brought his new Xoom to work today. The screen orientation switch took forever. When I was telling him what Apps he should came up nothing for almost all of them. I felt kinda bad and changed the subject as it would look like I am gloating on the almost perfection of the iPad.

    I will say it took great pics!

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