Many people jumped on the iPad because it was a revolutionary change in the tablet world. Small size, no Microsoft Windows & stylus (or dumb start button). The App Store is full of great low-priced apps. However, the iPad isn't a perfect device yet, and I think there are five major reasons you may find the Tab is a better choice for you.
Reason #1 : Size Matters
The iPad 10 inch screen is a big wow-factor for most people. It's glossy, thin, and unlike any other slate/tablet devices most people have seen. Unfortunately it's a bit too big for most bags or purses (forget about a coat pocket). The 3G iPad with a case on (you need one because it's very slippery IMHO) is over 25 ounces - the Tab is 13 ounces! It's too large and heavy to hold in one hand and you can get tired holding it up in front of you (most people like me cross a leg to set it up on when using). The Tab's dimensions are about half the iPad! it's roughly 7.5 x 5 where the iPad is roughly 10 x 7.5. Steve Jobs may think 7" tablets are DOA but the sales of the Tab and new nook Color seem to indicate otherwise. The resolution of the two devices is very similar which means the pixel density (and clarity) is a bit nicer on the Tab.
- Better Pixel Density with similar resolution. Text clarity when viewed side by side the Tab has the advantage.
- Easier to hold for longer periods (like reading eBooks)
- More portable. It fits in bags and big pockets easily
Reason #2 : Cameras
The iPad lacks any kind of camera. The big disappointment for most is the lack of the front facing camera. Even if it did...can you imagine holding a 10-inch iPad up to snap a picture anyway? Well, maybe it's no more silly than holding the Tab at half the size.
The Galaxy Tab has two cameras, a 3.2 MP on the back and a 1.3 MP front-facing one. The Tab is small enough so that the rear camera can still be useful (though even the Tab is pretty big to hold for snapping pictures).
Skype, Fring, and other applications allow you to do face to face video which is a very popular feature - popular enough everyone expects iPad #2 will have two cameras like the Tab.
Reason #3 : Open Environment = Freedom
Apple and Steve Jobs have a bit of a reputation on controlling their platforms and devices. Many people find this very frustrating when they can't decide if they want to use Flash or run applications in the background. To Apple's credit the iPad and iPhone have great battery life, need no "app-killer" tools, and work very consistently. Some people would be happy to sacrifice a bit of performance and risk problems to have those features. The Tab is built on the Android OS which has a very nice way for apps to save their running state while idle or run in the background. Sometimes this can be a problem. I find the application that uses most of my battery on my Tab is the Gallery program (which is very odd). I use the task manager to kill it now when I'm done with it. The Android devices are trivial to root and install any software you want, you aren't restricted to the "App Store". The Android software platform is open to all vendors and developers.
You can download the source for Android... Try that with your iPad :)
Reason #4 : Expandable Storage
Apple charges a premium for small amounts of memory. Yes, it is actually $100 more for another 16GB of memory! The Galaxy Tab allows you to add an SD card, which at $30 for a fast SD card is a savings of $70. This also allows you to load content on your computer with a memory card reader and then move it to the Tab. It's very easy to remove and add the SD card to the device.
Reason #5 : Carrier Options
The iPad has one real carrier choice, AT&T. They have a nice pay-as-you-go plan and good service in many areas (this is an area of much debate on the Internet). The Tab is available from most carriers with different data plans. If you are already a Sprint customer you might not want to add another bill and vendor so this choice is a big plus for new tablet purchasers.
The iPad may have set the bar for a new generation of tablets, but I think there are some great reasons to look beyond Apple - and specifically at the Galaxy Tab.