I have both an IPad
, with which I have a huge amount of experience, probably thousands of hours, and a Samsung Galaxy 7.7" Android tablet.
The comparison is not entirely fair because (a) I generally don't like Apple stuff very much; (b) the IPad is first generation, and the Samsung is recent.
The Samsung is a fraction of the volume of the IPad, making it portable at an entirely different level to the IPad. I can slip it in my briefcase without noticing it; can't do that with the IPad. It's almost pocket size. Yet there is a much smaller difference in the usability of the high-rez 7.7" screen
compared to usability of the 10" IPad screen
. There's actually hardly any difference in usability; the main thing really is if you wear different types of reading glasses, make sure you've got your strongest ones for the Samsung.
The Samsung screen is incredible -- extremely bright, high resolution, beautiful. The IPad screen looks like faded sepia photographs in comparison. I guess later generation IPad's probably have better screens.
The Samsung doesn't have a number of the quirky and horrible Apple "features" like, especially, not cacheing web pages. For limited bandwidth situations on board this is simply horrible -- if you switch to a different web page, then switch back, the damned IPad has to reload the whole page, eating up your bandwidth and wasting your time. Ick!!
The Samsung doesn't have the hyperaggressive spell checker/corrector of the IPad. Another thing which drives me mad about the IPad is that it is clumsy to overcome its very adamant opinion about what you meant to spell.
Samsung multitasks; IPad does not.
life is better (in fact it's quite amazing).
Samsung has cameras front and back, and does Skype really well. The back camera
is crappy, however. IPad does not do Skype (later ones probably do).
IPad has really good built-in navigation
(best I've seen in fact -- better than my dedicated Garmin
automobile navigators). Samsung also has built-in navigation
but I don't have much experience with it yet. But the Samsung form factor is much, much better for using it as an automobile navigator -- the IPad is too large and heavy.
Samsung uses regular SIM cards, not the cut down ones. This is REALLY important if you plan to share data plans between the tablet and other data devices like dongles or a Ubiquiti router, as I do.
Samsung has Flash; IPad doesn't, which causes problems with a multitude of web pages.
Samsung takes a micro SD card for memory expansion/data sharing; IPad does not.
Samsung has some improvements in text input -- in particular, it has a kind of "handle" which allows you to place the cursor anywhere in a text. This can be maddening on the IPad.
IPad has two-finger scrolling -- extremely useful. Samsung does not have this.
There are a number of marine
programs which seem to be available for IPad/IPhone, but not for Android. Be careful about that when making your final choice. I am not throwing away my IPad yet for exactly this reason.