After snatching the smartphone crown from Apple courtesy of the incredibly successful Galaxy S3, Samsung has looked to focus more on tablets, a niche where the Koreans have always been a mere blip on Cupertino’s radar.
But despite Sammy’s best efforts, the iPads remain the unchallenged heavyweight champs, both when it comes to “full-size”, 10-inch tabs, and sleeker, more portable 7 to 8-inch slates. Then again, you can’t jump to the top all at once and if we’re talking about baby steps, Samsung is making them to at least narrow the gap.
The Nexus 10 is definitely a serious iPad contender and could be followed by an even more impressive N11, whereas the iPad Mini is challenged to the throne by the Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3.
Which brings us to today’s news, or rather an update to the GTab 3 announcement from a couple of days ago. You might remember I was less than impressed with how the new 7-incher looked on paper, but what I didn’t take into account then was Samsung didn’t reveal everything about it.
For instance, the dual-core 1.2 GHz processor was covered in mystery, with both its make and model kept under wraps. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 also featured a dual-core chip, a TI OMAP 4430 unit clocked at 1 GHz, so naturally I didn’t think that was a very major upgrade.
But what do you know, I was wrong. Based on the new tab’s first benchmark, the CPU, accompanied by a much zippier GPU, makes the Tab 3 a powerhouse compared with its predecessor. Each and every section of the comprehensive GFX Bench test has the Tab 3 on top, with some results even showing the new 7-incher is capable of double its forefather’s performance.
It is thus obvious the tablet codenamed SM-T211 is not a low-end device, as some guessed, though it’s still a long way from Apple iPad Mini’s performance. Bottom line, you may be surprised by how the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 can handle its gaming or multimedia playing and all that’s owed to… Marvell and Vivante.
Wait, who? Those are not Samsung’s usual providers of CPUs and GPUs. No, they are not, but apparently Sammy is branching out and looking away from just Qualcomm, Broadcom and PowerVR. Galaxy Tab 3’s chip is a Marvell PXA986 unit, while the GPU is a Vivante GC1000 core.
To be frank, I don’t know a whole lot about that CPU/GPU combo, save for the fact that many Chinese OEMs have been using it of late for budget-conscious tabs. Which sounds promising for Galaxy Tab 3’s price point. That remains a mystery for now, but I have every reason to be optimistic. How about you, do you think the Tab 3 will prove like serious iPad Mini or, at least, Nexus 7 competition? Why? Why not?