iPad gets some competition

December 2, 2010 8:32:06 PM PST
The iPad made quite a splash when it came out earlier this year. And it has dominated the market ever since. But competition is heating up. Consumer Reports just tested several new tablets to see whether any of them give the iPad a run for the money. Included in the tests were the Samsung Galaxy Tab and less-expensive tablets, including one sold at Walgreens.

The iPad is the most expensive tablet computer, ranging in price from $500 to more than $800. But you get a lot of bang for your buck. On the iPad, you can create documents, browse the Web, and play plenty of games.

The less-expensive tablets cost about $100, and Consumer Reports finds that you get what you pay for. One thing to notice with the less-expensive tablets is that you don't have access to the Android market, so you're limited to third-party applications. That's a big problem. Another drawback is that the touch screens on some are less sensitive, so it's difficult to get where you want.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a lot to offer. It costs less than the iPad, anywhere from $400 to $650. It's smaller and lighter, too, so it's easier to hold while reading books. And Consumer Reports' tests show that the Galaxy's screen quality is comparable to the iPad's. The Galaxy's small screen might make it less appealing than the iPad for watching movies and TV, but it definitely gives the iPad some competition.

One difference between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab is battery life. Consumer Reports testers found that while the iPad lasts for a full 10 hours, the Galaxy goes for just 7.

If you're looking for a tablet computer, right now your only real choices are the iPad or the Galaxy. And the choice depends on what's most important to you. Either could make the perfect present for someone on your holiday list this year.

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