Consumer Report: iPad Gets Some Competition

The iPad made quite a splash when it came out earlier this year, and it's dominated the market ever since, but competition is heating up.

Consumer Reports tested several competitors, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and less-expensive tablets including one sold at Walgreens.

The iPad is the most expensive tablet computer, ranging in price from $500 to more than $800, but you get a lot of bang for your buck.

On the iPad, you can create documents, browse the web, and play plenty of games.

The less-expensive tablets cost about $100, and Consumer Reports finds you get what you pay for.

"One of the drawbacks we've noticed with some of the less-expensive tablets is you don't get access to Android Market, which is where you get your third-party apps from," explains Donna Tapellini of Consumer Reports. "That's a pretty big problem."

Another drawback? The touch screens on some are less sensitive, so it's hard to get where you want.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a lot to offer though. It costs less than the iPad - anywhere from $400 to 650.

It's smaller and lighter, too, so it's easier to hold while reading books, and Consumer Reports' tests show that the Galaxy's screen quality is comparable to the iPad.

While the Galaxy's small screen might make it less appealing than the iPad for watching movies and TV, it definitely gives the iPad some competition.

"If you're in the market for a tablet computer, right now your only choices really are the Galaxy Tab or the Apple iPad," says Tapellini. "And the one you choose really depends on what's most important to you."

Consumer Reports' battery-life tests show the iPad has more staying power. Its battery charge lasts a full 10 hours, while the Galaxy Tab battery runs only for seven hours.


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