Round 2 - Usability

This is an interesting one. We have two screens here that have the same resolution, but really don’t feel like it. One of the things that Samsung did with the TouchWiz UI on the Galaxy Tab is that they made all of the UI elements a lot bigger. It’s like taking Windows and changing the DPI of the icons to 120 or something. Side-by-side with the unchanged Nook Color, you almost feel like the screen resolution is significantly lower, until you put the same image or website on both.

It’s not a good thing or bad thing, it’s just different. I personally liked having the smaller icons on the Nook, but at the same time, the Galaxy had a larger keyboard that was easier to use, so it was a bit of a tradeoff. 
 
The Galaxy was smoother to use than the Nook; the same stuttering and lost frame issues I saw in Nook OS were still there in Gingerbread. I’ve heard that a lot of that can be fixed through overclocking, installing different launcher applications, and the like, but I wanted to get a feel for how a quick root would be. And overall, I must say it was pretty good. I enjoy the stock Android UI, especially in Gingerbread. It’s a refreshing experience compared to some of the things that Motorola, Samsung, and HTC tend to do to Android. 
 
With that said, there are still some bugs. I ran into a weird one where I locked the device, came back 10 minutes later, and the phone-menu-browser launcher at the bottom had somehow lost the phone and browser buttons. Not that I necessarily minded, since the phone part of it was completely useless to begin with. The weird part was that after I ran the battery life test and rebooted the device, the application menu button was gone too. Another lock/unlock fixed that, but it’s a little weird. Unfinished, probably, would be the best way to describe it. 
 
Which is how most of these community projects go - if you follow the nightly builds closely, I’m sure a lot of these little things will be fixed. If you’re not on top of those things, you just have to learn to deal with those issues. 

I did like that the Android community had seen fit to give the Nook ROM software buttons for menu and return (located in the right corner of the top bar in Android), but the lack of hardware buttons wasn’t necessarily optimal. You get used to it, yes, but compared to the Galaxy, it just feels unfinished. 
 
Honestly, I like the stock Gingerbread ROM better than anything running TouchWiz, but for lack of polish, I think I’ll give Samsung the small victory here too. 
Round 1 - Performance Round 3 - Display
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  • nomagic - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    Because it is so damned affordable... Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    Nah. Street price for WiFi Samsung Galaxy Tab is about 260$.

    Basically this article sounds like hidden advertisment / Samsung bashing.

    Galaxy Tab is vastly superior. Screen is NOT better than that of Nook (I know, I've used both). With contrast of 700+ you care more about max brightness, than max contrast.

    Samsung's device is solid.

    And "hacker undriendlines" of Galaxy Tab is sush a piece of bull**it, it's rootable for ages, and there are custom roms. Not that it's built in ROM really needs rooting, as Nook does.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    Where are you seeing that street price? For a new one, the lowest I can see is $340 on Amazon, $345 on Google Shopping results, and $349 from most standard retailers. There's less out there for the Galaxy Tab as far as ROMs and the like, but just to root it, yeah just run SuperOneClick and you're all good. The point being that unlike the Galaxy Tab, you need to hack the Nook to make it useful, and once you do, you have more options than with the Samsung.

    Look, I like the Galaxy Tab, I've got two here and they're both great devices. I also like the Galaxy Tab more than the Nook Color, it says pretty clearly there that the Galaxy Tab is definitely the better device. If you can find it for $260 (the refurb deal on Woot, maybe), yes, no brainer right there. At $350, only $50 less than the ASUS Transformer, hell no. If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful barebones tablet, the Nook works better simply because it's a lot cheaper.

    And just for the record, the reason the screen is better has more to do with the viewing angles that come with the IPS display in the Nook, but as far as regular TN LCD panels go, the Galaxy Tab is one of the best. I can't wait to see the AMOLED panel in the next-gen Galaxy Tab 7".
    Reply
  • DJMiggy - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    The 3G/WiFi galaxy tab refurbished was 259.99 on woot today but that is sold out. Must be where you are getting that price from unless you mean with a two year contract which you can get it on Sprint's Network for $199.99 with a 2 year contract. Reply
  • zvadim - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    Overstock had a refurb Nook Color for $183 shipped a few days back & B&N sold brand new ones on e-bay a few times for $200. Reply
  • kkwst2 - Friday, May 27, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I recall some refurb prices for a little over $100. If you can put up with its speed, it is a great deal given the screen quality. Reply
  • redechelon - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    First off, great article! (in typical Anandtech fashion)

    But... the Asus Eee Pad Transformer seems like too much of a solid competitor to leave out of this budget category. I realize it's slightly more expensive ($399/$400) than these, but it seems th $50 difference from the Galaxy is well worth it, just a thought.
    Reply
  • redechelon - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    I also realize you talked about it, i just couldn't get over it =P. Out of the 2 though, I'd take the nook as well... would be fun to monkey with. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    Yeaaaap, the Transformer's pricepoint just blew the 7" Galaxy Tab off the market. I mentioned it at the beginning and only really discussed it at the end, but I figured that it made more sense to compare these two, since they're pretty similar, instead of comparing to any of the Honeycomb tablets. Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    No it didn't. No GPS, no 3G, crappy software, unpolished hardware.

    I don't get where do you get your conslusions from, guys. From articles filled with lies/semi-lies like this one?
    Reply

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