Tech: Olive Pad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab – Which tablet is better for travelling?

By Nimish Dubey
Some of us might think that notebooks are better travelling companions than tablets but the fact cannot be denied that it is tablets that are the rage in the market these days. And well, tablets do have their benefits for the traveller – they are lighter than notebooks, often support SIM cards, and if one does not have to do too much typing, are terrific for accessing the Web on the move. At the moment, the tablet battle in India is between the OlivePad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab (yes, there is the Dell Streak too but we are not including it because it has a smaller screen and anyway has a much smaller screen), so which of these are better for the traveller? Well, here is our take on it.

  1. Size and portability: In terms of size and design, the Samsung Galaxy Tab has the advantage of being sleeker and easier to hold. The OlivePad is relatively bulky in comparison, thanks to its consistent thickness, while the Tab only has a curve at the back and is relatively slimmer. If you intend to carry a tablet in your coat, the Tab is a better option, if you intend carrying it in a bag, the OlivePad is not too bad.
  2. Build quality: Honestly, we did not find too much to separate the two here. We found the OlivePad feeling just a little more solid and frankly, we think it will survive a fall much better than the Tab, but then that is something we have not actually tried out yet.
  3. Multimedia and apps: Both tablets have 7 inch displays and in terms of sheer quality, the Galaxy Tab has the edge as it is a higher resolution display and is even capable of playing HD video. The problem, however, is that most Android applications are not designed for that resolution and as a result, seem a bit stretched on it. In contrast, the lower resolution of the OlivePad handles the apps perfectly. So the choice is clear – if you are going to see a lot of video, the Galaxy Tab, if it is travel apps you are after, the OlivePad. Incidentally, both tablets come with MapMyIndia maps, which are excellent for travellers. You can, of course, also try out Google Maps, which are not too bad themselves!
  4. Features: Both tablets pretty much cancel each other out in this department. Both can be used as phones, both have connectivity options like Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth and both run the latest version of Android, 2.2. However, the Tab has 16GB and 32 GB onboard storage, while the OlivePad has a more modest 512 MB – but both support expansion cards. The Tab also has a much faster processor (1 GHz) than the OlivePad.
  5. Performance: For all its tech superiority, we did not find that much of a discernible difference in the performance of the Galaxy Tab and the OlivePad. Yes, the Tab is easier to hold and performs much better when you have multiple applications open, but that apart, the OlivePad pretty much holds its own. Travellers expecting a zippy tablet will be hard pressed to choose from these two.
  6. Camera: Yes, we know we would feel silly holding a seven inch display device as a camera but both tablets do have cameras for photography. In still photographs, we found the OlivePad holding the edge (even though it has no flash, unlike the Galaxy Tab), with the Galaxy Tab winning in video. While on the subject of photography, photo clickers might like the high-res screen of the Tab better for editing, and of course for watching any high-definition video they have shot, but for most tasks, the OlivePad is more than adequate.
  7. Battery life: Battery life is a crucial factor for most travellers and once again, we found the two tablets going neck and neck on this parameter – both gave us about 7 hours on Wi-Fi and lasted a day with normal usage.
  8. Value for money: This is the place where the OlivePad fairly makes mincemeat of the Galaxy Tab. The traveller on a budget would find its Rs 22,900 price tag much more appealing than the Rs 38,000 on the Tab. Frankly, if you have Rs 38,000 to spare, we would recommend spending a little more and asking someone to get you the iPad from the US or even buying a proper notebook.

So there you have it – the two major tablets in the Indian market compared in travel terms. Each has its strong points and its weaknesses. If asked to choose between the two, we would align with the OlivePad because it is a solid performer, handles apps better than the Tab and best of all, still costs a lot lesser than a decent notebook. The Tab, alas, loses out BIG time on the price tag – we would buy a Vaio for that kind of money and carry it around!

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69 COMMENTS

  1. i want buy a tab . but im still confused. which one is batter olive pad or samsung galaxy tab? plzzz suggust me . please provide me lots of information reguarding olive pad and samsung galaxy tad. thanking you.

    • In terms of sheer quality, I guess the Galaxy Tab has the edge very clearly with a better processor, display and design. However, it costs significantly more – Rs 37,000 as compared to Rs 22,500. So if budget is not an issue, it should be the Galaxy Tab, though honestly for that price, it would be better to go for a notebook or an iPad. There is lots of information available about the OlivePad at http://www.olivetelecom.in/laptop/olivepad/

  2. I have bought olive and its great to have it. Galaxy costs too much and have same operating system android 2.2 which do olive have in it, so application are same in both of them. olive offers much more than galaxy like life time subscription free for mapmyindia.com, 6 month zenga tv subscription free and offers 16 gb of MicroSD card where galaxy is providing only 2 gb card with it.

  3. @RavirnHey dear Ravi, since you are using Olive pad I would like to know your hand on experience about it as i am planning to buy Olive pad. Does it only support 3gp video format? How good is it’s touch screen? And can we use 3G USB modem (like tata photon) to access net on it? And kindly give me an insight into its processing speed and multitasking. Waiting eagerly for your response. Thanks in advance.

    • I have been using the OlivePad too for about a month and my answers are:
      1. Yes, it supports the 3gp video format.
      2. No, you cannot use a 3G USB modem to access the Internet on it – you will need to either used a GRPS/3G-enabled SIM card or Wi-Fi for that. But then, you cannot use a 3G USB modem with ANY of the major tablets in the market as none of them have USB ports.
      3. It does not have a very fast processor, as compared to the Dell Streak and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but its 600 MHz ARM 11 processor is VERY good at multi-tasking. Unless you are looking for something VERY intense, this will be able to handle most tasks easily.
      4. The touchscreen is for the most part quite good. There is multi-touch support. Of course, there are moments when it gets a bit moody (putting the display into standby generally fixes this) but then that tends to happen with most touchscreen devices that are not from Apple.
      All in all, I think the OlivePad is an excellent value for money device. It may not look as snazzy as the Galaxy Tab but when it comes to the value-price equation, it beats it hands-down.

  4. @Ravi:rnFYI, Samsung tab might only give 2gb card but it comes with inbuilt 16 GB or 32 GM memory capacity! whereas.. Olive comes with only 512 MB!!!! So dont fall for false comparison!!

    • Well, honestly, as both the Galaxy Tab and the OlivePad run FroYo, the latest version of Android, onboard storage space is not that much of an issue. It used to be an issue in previous versions of Android as you could only store apps on the device itself and not on the memory card. However, FroYo lets you install apps on the memory card, so the importance of onboard storage has kind of declined. Both the Galaxy Tab and OlivePad come with 16GB out of the box – in the Tab, it is onboard while in the OlivePad, it is through an expansion card. Personally speaking, I prefer the expansion card because it makes it easier for me to transfer information to a computer (via a card reader). Incidentally, although the Galaxy Tab has a much higher resolution screen as compared to the OlivePad, this can be a bit of a pain as not all Android apps support this higher resolution and you therefore will sometimes find them running only in part of the screen, which can be irritating. This does not happen with the OlivePad. Hopefully Samsung will work a way around it.

  5. @Nimish- Thanks for your response. But one of my question is still unanswered. I asked that does Olive Pad supports only 3gp video format? Doesn’t it support other video format? If it doesn’t support other video format then how can you watch youTube that supports .flv or how can you watch movies that are mostly in mpeg or mp4 format. Hope you answer my questions and clarify my doubts. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Rizwan, the OlivePad supports MP4 and most other popular movie formats. I was able to watch YouTube videos using the YouTube app on it without any trouble at all. It cannot handle high-definition video the way the Samsung Galaxy Tab does but is very handy for viewing films on the move.

  6. @Nimish- Thanks a lot for your response buddy. One more question please, hope you don’t mind. Does Olive pad support flash 10? Actually I want to know the detailed hand on experience before buying Olive Pad, that’s the reason why I have posted so many queries. I hope it doesn’t irk you.

  7. Agree, its tough, choosing between either a Galexy or a Samsung. Would only recomend 3 things. 1st Know what you really need. 2nd Keep long term usage e.g. after sales service in mind (it will be your or your Dad’s money, either way assume its hard earned, if its not, don’t bother wasting your time, reading this) and 3rd Do what your heart tells you to. (even if a new product comes up 2 weeks within your purchase, at least you stood your ground, can’t be said about most of the people in politics). Stay healthy & have a good time.

  8. hello, nimish, does olivepad support flash 10, jre, dotex. Can we install these applications, because i do share trading, these applications are needed for online trading.

  9. One thing no one, specially the review fails to mention is the use of something called "Gorrilla" Glass on the Tab. It’s basically reinforced glass, which will survive a fall! Someone bravely tested his tab with an AIR pistol with point blank range. Check it: http://phandroid.com/2010/11/09/galaxy-tabs-gorilla-glass-survives-point-blank-shooting/
    Apart from that: ARM 11 is now 2 generations old in terms of the ARM hierarchy. After ARM 11 came CortexA8 (used in the galaxy), and next up is Cortex A9 (which is brilliant, and will challenge the Atom processor).

    The problem i see with an ARM 11 600 mghz processor is that it isn’t future proof. Google announces a new version of android every 3-4 months, i doubt the ARM 11 will keep up for long.

    Plus one must also consider which one Olive or Samsung will be quick with their upgrades?

    apart from the 1Ghz pro on the galazy they have the hummingbird processor, which basically excels in graphical tasks. So if you are like me, and want to use a tablet for things other than browsing, and reading news (games!, and videos) olive pad won’t really cut it.

    the price for the tab is incredibly stupid, so i would wait a little while for it to come down, or for the Notion Ink Adam to become a reality. Cheers!

    • Agreed, Varun. The Galaxy Tab is a much better device than the OlivePad but is let down by its massive price tag. As for updates, I am not going to consider ANY device future proof unless it comes from Google itself. After all, the Galaxy S was capable of running Froyo a long time ago but got it only now – going by that record, the Tab will get 2.3 sometime in summer! The specs of the Tab are impressive but my entire problem with the device comes from the fact that firstly its strange resolution butchers a lot of apps and games (I hate seeing black spaces around a game or an app when I have spent more than 35k on the device) and secondly there is that price tag!

  10. I have an olive pad UNFORTUNATELY. This is a worst product . just a chinese device with indian name. with a worst after sale service. the battery is also very bad. they claim to put a L i polymer battery but actually it’s a li ion battery. I personally had a very bad experience the first device they sent was not working properly. they replaced it. but the new device hot crashed just after 4days and when I complained the same to their so called product manager Amit sharma he started blaming me of mis handling the device. they are so much over confident about their useless product. If any one is planning to purchase this olive pad than don’t go for it. this is a waste of money. any one can call me for a genuine suggestion at my no. 9074951460

  11. Hey guys, i own a Galaxy Tab and its really an awsum device. Kinda funny, but i barely open up my laptop these day. This thing can do much more than an ipad (as i have one too). Regarding memory it has a 16GB memory plus they give you a 2GB microSD card along with it. The video is just mind blowing in 1080i.
    Samsung is always known for delivering world class products and i have for the first time stepped out from the Apple shell and im not regretting it a bit. Go for the TAB. It rocks.. :-)

  12. I bought Olive pad just 28 days ago. Now it is not working. Every thing has just stopped. Touch screen not responding. It neither gets off. I am unable to force shut it down as there is no such switch in it. I do not know what to do now.

  13. Olive online support is great. I sent them mail that olive pad is not working. I got phone call from them with in 10 minutes & they told me to reset the device by putting a pin provided near mike hole. it is working now. I am fully satisfied with their service now.

  14. Hi,
    I am using Olive Pad from past 2 months now with no issues at all. As mentioned by some of the users here, as an Indian consumer, we have a mentality which forces us to look for cheaper things first and not to forget, we all actually look at the price tag first. Thus, why are we actually comparing these two devices? Galaxy Tab is too costly as compared to Olive PAD, and when I am getting exactly same features in Olive, why would I pay extra? And to people who are talking about processor and all, think again guys, how many of us actually uses or would use this device for tasks which a 600 mhz processor won’t pull off. Guys!!! this tab is geenrally used for watching movies, listening songs, making calls, keeping documents, checking emails, browsing and as per my experience, all this is well pulled off by Olive Pad…m using it and ENJOYING it. I have actually forgot the need of opening my laptop since i have purchased this one. So, if you are still confused, don’t be…go for it, it’s value for money. Also, as already mentioned, there service is great. You e-mail them and they give you a prompt response. I called them for some query.

  15. Well, with the iPad now coming for close to Rs 27,900, it is obviously the best option for those looking for a real tablet. However, if one is looking for an Android tablet which can also double up as a phone, then the Galaxy Tab now holds the aces, because of the price cut. The only catch is that not all Android apps will run on it because of its resolution. Still, in terms of design and specs, the Tab scores over the OlivePad, not that a vast gulf does not separate their prices.

  16. Nimish you ought to be out of mine to suggest ipad which is too old now. In april you will see new ipad. Guys buy olive pad. When new ipad comes buy it and sell off olive or use both. Android and ios both have unique advantages so well that is it

  17. Thanks for the comment on my sanity, Paresh, but as of now, the iPad 2 does not even exist – we do not what it will be like, when it will come to India and how much it will cost. My advice is not based on the future but on what is in the market at present. If I had to be futuristic, I would not even recommend the OlivePad or Galaxy Tab but simply ask you all to wait for the Motorola Xoom, which at least we know exists. If I am crazy for sticking for what is in the market, I can live with that.

  18. We are Distributors for Olive Pad VT 100, U can contact us for any technical clarifications:

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  19. Now galaxy tab is available for 25K! and online purchase of Olive wld be 20k! for 5k wat u get extra is wat we r gonna annalyze! HD Screen, Xtended battery Backup, Better touch sensitivity, processor speed, Brand name and availability f xclusive service centers! (Applications available are not developed for HD but on the longer go HD is the World!) Think n buy guys! Get somethin having the future in mind! u may not throw the device within 6months! we wld defietly use it for some more time where there are a new products released everyday

  20. Now that Galaxy Tab is available for 25K, its worth buying as you can now upgrade to new Android version 3.0 Honeycomb (still in beta development), without bother much for processor and RAM.

  21. I think the arrival of the iPad at Rs 24,990 has just turned the entire tablet scene in India on its head. It has got more apps than any of the competition. Rest my case.

  22. Guys, tel me that is olive a good tablet. when i tell people about this tab they make fun, says that its chinease, its , .touchscreen is bad. and many more.. tell me asap.plss guys
    i m confused

  23. It is all getting confusing. i go out to buy a tablet for all my non-business internet needs ( to spare my laptop and desktop of any damage) but always come back home a little confused as to what to buy. now that the acer iconia windows tablet w500 is also on the shelf with a decent price tag, how does it fare? also the samsung tab has an optional keyboard dock. which of them have a regular USB port? is it possible to connect an external HDD to any of these tablets? do any/all support flash content? thanks

  24. Well, Prashanth, I was not too impressed by the Iconia – Windows 7 is not really as touch friendly as Android or iOS. As for a regular USB port, you will find it only on the Iconia and the Viewsonic Viewpad (the Windows version), and as far as I know, you cannot connect a device via USB to any of these other tablets. Flash is supported, but very patchily as of now – the BlackBerry Playbook handles Flash best, but it has not been launched in India yet.

  25. Anant, I have been using an OlivePad for almost six months and believe me, it is very good value for money. Yes, it does not look as good as the Galaxy Tab or have as fast a processor, but it is nevertheless a decent device and about a fifth cheaper…

  26. Olive Pad now comes at INR 16,990/- with all other freebees remain same. Galaxy still at INR 25k…!!! Now what do you guys think…?

  27. Well, on the flip side, the Galaxy Tab now has been updated to Android 2.3, but yes, on sheer cost, the Olivepad remains formidable.

  28. however is it worth to buy olivepad..as i am looking to buy pad because that is what is in future,and i guess there is no pad/tab around this price tag of olivepad..so is it worth having olivepad in terms of performance ..

  29. i think olive is better then galexy tab
    it is now available in just 14500/-

    and it is having almost same feature as tab

    and it is our indian maintality we think the higher cost = higher quality

    it is not like that so just go with olive and save money

  30. The OlivePad remains the best choice for anyone looking for a low-cost tab that does most tasks well. It will fade out once more apps come on Gingerbread but as of now, it is the best value for money Android tablet out there.

  31. i think the problem with olive pad is they have not marketed the product well feature by feature it is on par with gaalxy tab its just people are not aware of the brand and the company has done nothing to promote the pad…at 15k its a sure winner….

  32. i think that if u want to buy something , then put as much money as you can so if u want to buy, then buy a better thing in 1st ime only. I was going to buy olive but i thought that galaxy features are nice and cool so i bought that and I’m happy with my decision. No dought that olive pad is a nice 1 for those who can’t afford high cost tab. now in few month i’m going to sell galaxy tab and going to buy ipad2 with galaxy s2.

  33. hey.., guys if olive pads get wrecked by default or some problems occur in it so where would i take it to fix the problems………….! plz tell me……….plz plz… is there any service centre or somthing else………?

  34. I gave Olive pad to Tyagi Mobile Solution. They took 1 month & 20 days to repair it. First there phone is always off. Secondly I went 4 times to take it but every time they left some fault. Finally today i.e. on 25.8.2011 I went to take it then they said that they do not have mini usb cable used for charging it & nor they have the charger. I tried & requested a lot but they did not check it. After reaching home I tried to charge it but no use. It is all dead. Very poor after sales service by Olive Pad service centres

  35. olive pads are good acc. 2 price n features but it is a waste never work properly the thng is its a china product no after sale services even addresses n phone numbers in the warranty book r wrong bloody china company i recommend u nt 2 buy thz product n go fr sme othr

  36. I brought this device about 6 months & I must say that I am impressed by it. I am in US now and even US people envy my tablet (despite all the worlds of iPad ruling here) for its phone function & GPS navigation. In India, we have never tried a tablet for GPS & Phone. Here, US people can’t go out without them and I’ve both of them in one device. Google navigation (not the maps) are better to Garmin/Map my India devices.

    The only flip side of this tablet are:
    – 600 MHz processor (not a problem if you don’t want to run 5 applications at one time)
    – just 512 MB internal memory (this ia huge let down)
    – no Car charger (unfortunately in India tablets are still homely devices, and not much for much navigation)
    – external speakers are not audible (again, not a problem if you can listen to the ear set provided by Olive, Its great. Or it won’t be a problem if you can connect it to any of your speakers at home, even your logitech speakers of your desktop will do).

    Olive can work on these parameters and I am pretty sure that if they come up with a 2nd launch & publicise it, the competitors will have a very hard time in India.

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