By Quentin Fottrell
If Jenny Craig or WeightWatchers were giving out awards to the new generation of tablets for losing weight, who would win? The weighing scales don’t lie: the award wouldn’t go to Apple.
The iPad 2, which launched in 25 countries around the world on Friday, is 15% lighter than its predecessor at 601 grams, or 607 grams with 3G, and one-third thinner at .34 of an inch.
That data has been processed by millions of consumers worldwide. As a luxury goods product, the iPad 2 is powerful, but Apple spends at least as much time marketing its looks.
Samsung’s all-new 10.1 Wifi-only Galaxy Tab is 595 grams and .33 of an inch thick. (It also has an 8.9 inch version.) It will be the thinnest on the market when it hits U.S. stores on June 8th.
Joanna Stern, reviews editor at Engadget.com, has handled the rival tablets. “The size difference is insanely minimal,” she says. “To the naked eye you can’t see any difference.”
She says the Galaxy is far behind on the “compelling software experience of the iPad 2, largely due to the availability of third party apps that have been created specifically for larger screens.”
Apple has tens of thousands of apps for its iPad 2 “IOS 4.3″ operating system. Google’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system has just dozens specifically designed for the tablet market.
Both tablets have up to 10 hours of battery power, impressive for ones so trim, and both companies’ 16 gigabyte and 32 gigabyte tablets cost $499 and $599 respectively.
The Galaxy has 3 megapixel-cameras on the back and 2 megapixels on the front – and Flash video. All are improvements on the iPad 2, but consumers are not buying it for the cameras.
And, let’s face it, companies in Holland are unlikely to fashion beautiful cherry wood magnetic cover for Samsung’s 10.1 Galaxy Tab. This all helps transform the iPad 2 into must-have luxury goods products worth queuing for.
On Friday, Canadian Alex Lee was first in Sydney, Australia to buy an iPad 2. He waited over 50 hours. His reward? He got a mention from every news agency there … and an iPad 2.
So, on the day people around the world have lined up at Apple stores for an iPad 2, this is our question: would you stand in line for Samsung’s lighter, slimmer 10.1 Galaxy Tablet?