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June 12th 2011 1:36 pm

What do you like better about the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 over the Motorola Xoom and Vice Versa?

I'm wondering if there's anyone who owns both who could speak to the pros and cons of one tablet over the other. A friend of mine asked, but I'm not really the most knowledgeable person with Android tablets, so I thought I'd turn it over to you guys.
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benhyams' pick

I have a 3G (maybe 4G someday) Xoom and a Wifi Galaxy Tab 10.1.

For the most part the Galaxy Tab has the Xoom beat, but there are some significant as well as some subtle differences, and it is important to understand the trade-offs.

Benefits of the Galaxy Tab 10.1:

- The GT is significantly lighter. This is very important for one-handed operation.

- The bezel on the GT is wide enough for a big thumb. The Xoom's bezel is not. This is important in that it makes it easier to hold the GT in one hand without inadvertently pressing on the touch screen. This is especially important for holding the device like a book in portrait mode.

- The GT screen seems brighter.

- The external buttons on the GT are easily accessible and easy to press. The Xoom's buttons are incredibly difficult to access and press.

- The build quality of the GT is a little better than the Xoom. e.g. If you press hard on the back of the Xoom it is easy to cause the case to separate. The GT, although tough plastic on the back, is not at all flimsy.

- The speakers on the GT are located on the edges of the device. They sound pretty good and produce a good stereo image. The speakers on the Xoom are on the back and are easily muffled when placed on a surface. Also I've often experienced overdriving of the Xoom speakers after setting the volume to maximum.

Benefits of the Xoom:

- Micro HDMI out port. The Xoom can be connected and mirrored to an HDTV with a relatively easy to find (e.g. from Amazon) Micro HDMI cable. The GT may be able to connect to HDMI through a proprietary dongle adapter, but I've yet to see one.

- Micro USB port. The Xoom uses a standard micro USB port and can be connected to a PC with a standard Micro USB cable. The Xoom can also use a standard (although they have been difficult to find) Micro USB OTG host mode cable to connect as a host of USB devices like cameras, keyboards, mice and perhaps in the future other USB devices. (The Motorola Camera Connection Kit which is a Micro USB OTG cable is apparently now readily available in the US for $20.) The GT will require a proprietary Samsung dongle Camera/Host Mode adapter to do the latter. Again, I've never seen one.

- The Xoom file system can be accessed from a Mac using a utility available for download from Google. The GT file system currently is not compatible with the Mac or the Google file utility. (This is because Honeycomb no longer supports USB mass storage mode. Honeycomb only supports MTP mode which Windows Vista and 7 have built-in, but Macs don't support MTP.) You can still move files to the GT and Xoom using other techniques like SMB network shares, but you need to be more tech savvy.

- Separate power port. The Xoom is powered from a separate jack so that you can use USB host mode and/or HDMI with the device externally powered at the same time. The GT has only a single dock port and USB or HDMI dongles take the place of a power adapter. It is theoretically possible Samsung will produce a dock extender that powers the device and provides all the output options at the same time, but as far as I know such a thing doesn't yet exist.

- Power charging. The Xoom charges from a separate jack rather than USB or the proprietary dock the GT uses. The Xoom charger is 12V so it charges very quickly -- 2 or 3 hours for a full charge. The GT takes much longer to charge via its proprietary adapter -- maybe 6 hours.

- The Xoom has a micro SD card slot, but this is not really a benefit because it doesn't currently work. (It will apparently require an update to the Honeycomb OS.) Maybe someday it will be supported. The GT has no SD card slot. (A dongle could theoretically support an external SD card reader in the future after the Honeycomb update.)

- The Xoom has a barometer. I don't know what this is practically useful for, but I've read it might be used to help with indoor navigation.

- The Xoom has a LED to indicate some things like new mail, but honestly, I've not quite cracked the code. The GT has no LEDs.

- The back camera on the Xoom is higher res. I've not tried comparing their picture quality or the focus or flash performance. Camera quality is an often overlooked aspect of tablets. The back camera can be very handy for quick document scan/capture as well as things like AR.
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benhyams' pick

I'm sorry, I don't own either, so maybe I shouldn't answer this question, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway because I have played around with both.

The Tab has the Xoom beat in EVERY way (weight, thickness, etc...) except for the rear camera and 4G capabilities. The Tab 10.1 will probably feature some sort of 4G connection at some point, but currently, a 5MP rear camera and 4G LTE on Verizon are the only things the Xoom has going for it. In every other regard the Tab 10.1 is better.
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