There have been several 10-inch Android tablets released in the Philippines over the past year. Several have been interesting. Asus Transformer series is very interesting, and pricing abroad is makes it look like a good alternative, but locally pricing of these units were priced rather high. Basically, the local Asus distributor seems to use a higher peso-dollar exchange rate than Apple.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 released last year was nice, but with only a 32 GB model with 3G offered locally, Apple's iPads offered more models are more price points. The market for a 30k tablet in the Philippine is not all that big.
Now you have Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100, and this one gets it right. With a suggested retail price of Php22,990 this 10-inch tablet offers 16 GB of expandable storage and 3 GB connectivity. This makes it cheaper than the 3G versions of iPad 2 (16 GB) and iPad 3 (16 GB) which will cost you Php24,990 and Php29,990 respectively.
Makes a lot of sense if you need more than 16 GB internal storage. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1's 16 GB storage is expandable via a MicroSD card. So for another Php650 to Php800, you can make it into a 32 GB tablet. The are no more 32 GB iPad 2 models in the market, and the 32 GB iPad 3 cost Php28.990 for the WiFi only version and Php34,990 for the 3G version.
Going beyond 32 GB is cheap enough. For about Php1,250 to Php1,500 you can expand the storage of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to 48 GB. For Php4,500 to Php5,000 you can expand the stroage of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 all the way to 80GB.
Basically, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is cheaper than its iPad 2 and iPad 3 competition, and the more storage you need, the bigger the price disparity gets.
You get Google Chrome. Yes, I know Google Chrome is available for the iPad too, but while Chrome for the iPad sync tabs between their computers, Android devices, and now iOS devices, Chrome for iPad is a lobotomized version of Google Chrome. Because of iOS restrictions all iPad browsers havethe same back-end as as Mobile Safari. Basically, in iOS other browsers are just Safari browser with different skins insofar as the core engine is concerned.
Its a phone! The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has full voice call and SMS functionality.
Is it better than the iPad? The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is not better than an iPad. Apple has a large offering of iPad specific apps, about 150,000. Still even this is a double edge sword. As any iPhone owner buying an iPad knows, since iPad apps are iPad specific you iPhone apps won't run on an iPad, and those that do wont run optimally. iOS apps do not auto-scale to different resolutions.
Many Android apps are not tablet optimized, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 runs at the same HD resolution as Android phones and apps do scale to different resolutions on Android.
So basically, Apple iPad has more optimized apps, but in the end, the tablets cost more, and even if you already bought apps for your iPhone, you will have to buy most of them again for the iPad.
Also the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 runs at a 800 x 1280 screen resolution, which is higher than the iPad 2 (768 x 1024) but lower than the iPad 3 (1546 x 2048), if you want the high resolution display. The high resolution does create a new issue. iPad apps are being optimized for the 1546 x 2048 display, the apps are getting heavier needing more space.
Looking Apple’s own iPad applications, Keynote has increased in size from from 115MB to 227MB; Numbers from 109MB to 283MB; Pages from 95MB to 296MB and iMovie increases from just 70MB to a whopping 404MB. Several gaming apps are over 1 GB each. This app size is the same whether you have an iPad, iPad 2 or iPad 3.
Basically, with the new retina optimized iPad apps, it is hard to recommend the 16 GB iPad 2 and iPad 3, unless you do not use many apps.
Which do we recommend? If you want the best tablet in the market, I would recommend a 32 GB or 64 GB iPad 3. But if you are on a budget and looking at the 16 GB iPad's I would recommend you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 as an alternative.