In this small investigation, I’ll be comparing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to the iPad 2. Both tested devices are WiFi only and have 16GB of storage and are owned and managed by my school.
I am biased! I have been using an iPad for two years and am completely familiar with this device. That is why I call this a comparison and not a review of the SGT. The iPad is an excellent device for my work. With Android devices becoming more popular, I’d like to know if the devices that my school owns can match the iPad.
The rear camera of the SGT is better positioned: students will record
movies in landscape because the camera is in the middle instead of in the corner as the iPad’s camera is.
The SGT’s speakers are also better positioned in the front side of the device. Downside with this is that you should not hold the device upside down: the screen will rotate, but you will mute the speakers with your hands.
The SGT has a higher resolution screen on specs, but it doesn’t look so. Colors are less vibrant and it just doesn’t look that good.
The SGT can accommodate a micro SD. If you don’t use a cloud storage or don’t have a network connection, this extra storage can be useful.
I definitely prefer iOS. Here are a few reasons why:
The Android keyboard’s keys are rectangular. iOS has square keys. These resemble a real keyboard. Android has a row of numbers on top of the letters which is a plus, but it takes half of the screen. The iOS screen is slightly smaller.
I haven’t found an EASY way to change the keyboard language and spelling correction in Android. I really love that you can do this inside the keyboard in iOS.
Swipe to type is a good function in Android if you are holding the device in portrait view.
Navigating the OS
It took me a while to understand the home screen setup of the SGT. Why start with empty screens? On a computer you might like a clean desktop and a app folder, but on a mobile device, I prefer to see all my apps on home screens. You can reorder them and even put them in folders. On iOS, you only have three ways of viewing the OS screen: the home screens, Spotlight and the multitask bar with some settings. Android has home screens, apps, a multitask menu, a settings bar, widgets, a google search bar
Some might prefer Android because you can manipulate the devices settings more. I don’t think this is a positive thing when deploying tablets in schools: less confusion and less things to mess up is better.
The touchscreen of the SGT doesn’t react as crisp as the iPad does. I sometimes need to tap things twice to make the device act.
I won’t talk numbers. Just the essentials.
On the iPad, I use Pages for word processing. I haven’t found a competitor for Android with the same simple UI and great functionality.
Creating slideshows is another winner for iOS. Once again, the iWork sidekick for iOS excels in simplicity but has everything you expect from a slideshow creator. Prezi is available on iOS, Android only has a viewer.
Some of the reasons why I think a tablet can change education in a good way is because, as a teacher or student, you can use a plethora of high quality apps to create content and apps with specific content that can be used at school. I’m thinking of apps like Edmodo, Showbie, Explain Everything, GarageBand, iStopmotion, Comic Life, Book Creator, …
The iPad is my absolute winner. Yes, the full-size iPad is more expensive, but it is definitely worth the extra cost. If your school’s budget is small, you might consider buying iPad mini. I am using and iPad mini for one week now and I for sure think the screen size is big enough.