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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Galaxy Tab WiFi vs Nook Color – Galaxy Tab Life

Galaxy Tab WiFi vs Nook Color – Galaxy Tab Life: "Galaxy Tab WiFi vs Nook Color"

The Samsung Galaxy Tab WiFi (only) and the Nook Color from Barnes & Noble are currently the two best budget Android tablets worth your hard-earned cash right now. Let’s take a look at the differences, the pros and cons of each and then I’ll give you the low-down on which to buy.


Those highlighted in bold indicate differing specs between both tablets. I’ll explain the specs later in the post.

TabletGalaxy Tab WiFiNook Color
MakerSamsungBarnes & Noble
Model No.GT-P1010-
BuyAmazon.comBarnes & Noble
Display7″ 1024 x 6007″ 1024 x 600
Display Type-IPS
ProcessorTI OMAP 3630TI OMAP 3621
CPU1GHz ARM Cortex A8800MHz ARM Cortex A8
GPUPowerVR SGX 530PowerVR SGX 530
Built-in Storage16GB8GB
CamerasVGA / 3.2MPNone
Battery14.8 Wh, 4000 mAh14.8 Wh, 4000 mAh
Height190.1 mm (7.48″)205 mm (8.1″)
Width120.5 mm (4.74″)125 mm (5.0″)
Thickness12.0 mm (0.47″)12.2 mm (0.48″)
Weight380 g (13.4 oz)449 g (15.8 oz)


Both tablets sport above par displays, way better than the typical budget no-name Android tablet and certainly above those you find in, say, a 10-inch netbook. However, comparing both of these particular tablets, the Nook Color has a superior and “gorgeous” IPS display which offers better viewing angles and colors. Not everyone can tell the difference however from what I gather around from comments around the Internet. While the Galaxy Tab has a brighter display that might be more useful outdoors, the Nook Color has the best contrast ratio (909:1) ever seen on an Android tablet beating out the iPad 2 and BlackBerry PlayBook. Better contrast ratio means that blacks are “blacker” and not erring towards grey. Again, that’s not to say the Galaxy Tab has a poor display, far from it, only relatively comparing.

Bold indicates the better spec

TabletGalaxy Tab WiFiNook Color
Display7″ 1024 x 6007″ 1024 x 600
Display Type-IPS
Brightness436 nits378 nits
Contrast Ratio733:1909:1


The Galaxy Tab WiFi performs slightly faster, in general use and gaming, than the Nook Color as shown in benchmarks (about 10-20% faster). Both tablets sport the same class “Cortex A8″ processor although the Galaxy Tab’s newer TI OMAP3630 processor clocks in faster at 1GHz compared to the Nook Color’s 800MHz. However, you can root the Nook Color, install a custom Android distro such as CM7 and overclock the tablet to about 1.2GHz.

*In these benchmarks, the Nook Color is running Android 2.3 while the Galaxy Tab is on Android 2.2. Android 2.3 should make the Galaxy Tab even faster and explains why the browser performed better on the Nook Color.

TabletNotesGalaxy Tab WiFiNook Color
SunSpider JavascriptLower is better6,986 ms7,313 ms
Rightware BrowserMark*Higher is better25,27130,622
LinpackHigher is better14,19210,528
GUIMark 2 (Flash)Higher is better29.87 FPS28.36 FPS
GLBenchmark (Graphics)Higher is better9.1 FPS8 FPS
GLBenchmark #2Higher is better17.6 FPS14.4 FPS


The Nook Color does not have any cameras so the Galaxy Tab wins here, but then again you may, like me, have no use for the back camera or even a front one and it needlessly bumps up the price as well. Personally, the camera-less Nook Color is more appealing to me in this regard as I have a smartphone for taking pictures. The Galaxy Tab cannot record 720p video, only 480p quality (DVD quality).

Battery Life

Both the Galaxy Tab and Nook Color use a 3.7V, 4000mAh battery (14.8Wh). Benchmarks show the Galaxy Tab WiFi gets about 2 hours more battery life than the Nook Color. The Nook Color gets about 6.5 hours while the Galaxy Tab gets 8.5 – 10 hours. They should perform similarly but perhaps the higher quality display on the Nook Color eats more battery life?

TabletGalaxy Tab WiFiNook Color
Battery14.8 Wh, 4000 mAh14.8 Wh, 4000 mAh
Battery Life8.75 hours6.45 hours


Out of the box, the Galaxy Tab wins because it runs stock Android (with TouchWiz UI) and that means you can pretty much do what you want including installing whatever apps you’d like from the Android Marketplace, as well as having access to the Google suite of apps like GMail. The set of capacitive touch Android menu keys on the bezel make navigation easier on these pre-Honeycomb tablets. The Nook Color only has a home button and virtual buttons on custom distros which may not be to everyone’s liking.

The Nook Color, on the other hand, runs a custom distro that’s more restricted and focused on e-book reading. Barnes & Noble recently upgraded to Android 2.3 and added a whole new slew of features that make it much more attractive (like a app store with curated apps). Unlike the Galaxy Tab WiFi though, there’s a huge developer community around the Nook Color, and you can install a custom build of Android that can be overclocked, but don’t expect a perfect experience as there are bugs, but they are being squashed.


If you’re looking for an Android tablet that does everything out of the box, the Galaxy Tab is your choice, and it is the thinner and lighter of the both. If you like tweaking and messing around with your devices, the Nook Color may be a better choice with its huge developer community and custom OS builds. If you’re concerned about display quality then the Nook Color is your choice as it has the best display seen on a tablet yet. We shouldn’t forget price here. Both offer roughly the same performance in the budget-tablet class but the Nook Color is $100 cheaper and can be overclocked, made faster, on a custom OS build. Overall, the Nook Color is the better value of the two right now but watch for the price to drop on the Galaxy Tab WiFi as it’s still brand new.

1 comment:

mahasiswa teladan said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)