Apple iPad 3
Apple is holding a media event on 7 March, where it is widely predicted to announce the iPad 3

The Galaxy Note 10.1 created quite the commotion at the 2012 Mobile World Congress (MWC), sporting as it did some exotic features (including that stylus). Meanwhile, rivals Apple are mere hours away from launching their next-gen tablet - the iPad 3.

The fate of Apple's new tablet hangs in the balance because its success depends not only its features but also the performance of rival products from Kindle Fire, the PlayBook, the Transformer EEE Pad and the Galaxy Tab, not to mention the iPad 2 itself.

The big question everyone is asking has to do with the pricing of the iPad 3... will it be the same as the iPad 2... costlier, maybe? Or will it, if at all possible, be cheaper?

It could be argued that half the fate of the tablet will be decided by its price. No wonder then that Apple is seriously contemplating slashing the tablet's starting price to $399. It means the cost for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi only models will be $399, $499 and $599, respectively. Furthermore, the models sporting both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G features may be priced at $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB) and $829 (64GB), respectively.

There is still no word on price or release date yet for the Galaxy Note. However, expect its price to hover around the upper-price bracket of mid-range tablets such as the iPad 3. The low-end tablet segment is clearly dominated by the likes of the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire. This could also mean that Apple may have an iPad Mini around the corner.

Display: This is one area where the iPad 3 surely excels, given the possibility of its 9.7-inch (or 10.1?) double-resolution (2048x1536 pixels) Retina screen, based on modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology with a pixel density of 330ppi. In contrast, the Galaxy Note Tab sports a 10.1-inch 1280x800 pixels widescreen PLS TFT capacitive touch screen display with 149ppi pixel density.

Processor and Memory: Several launch rumours have suggested the new iPad will have a powerful A6 quad-core processor (ditching the older A5 processor-based logic board). This is contrary to earlier reports of a S5L8945X chip on the device; the latter is touted as a minor upgrade to the original A5 dual-core chip. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 10.1 features a less-powerful 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.

Operating System: The Galaxy Note 10.1 is powered by Google's famed Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) Operating System, while the iPad 3 will probably have iOS 5.1 (although some reports suggest the iOS 6.0 is a possibility).

Camera: The iPad 3 is expected to address concerns surrounding a poor camera on the iPad 2, with an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and a standard 2 megapixel front-facing unit for video calling. There were reports, showing purportedly leaked images of the iPad 3's back panel that suggested a significantly bigger camera for the new tablet. Samsung's device, on the other hand, features a 3.15-megapixel rear-facing camera, besides LED flash and autofocus.

Connectivity: The Galaxy Note supports 3G networks with 21 Mbps download speed and 5.76 Mbps upload speed but provides no support for 4G LTE. Meanwhile, various reports, from ReutersBloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, besides leaked photos of the iPad 3 rear panel, seem to confirm the new tablet will come LTE-enabled. Further rumours suggest Apple is working closely with Qualcomm towards making the new tablet compatible with the Gobi chip to support 4G LTE.

Storage:  Both tablets are expected to come in three storage variants - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. However, the Galaxy Tab does pack a micro SD slot to support external storage up to 32GB... something Apple is unlikely to offer.

Battery: The Galaxy Tab has a standard Li-Ion 7000 mAh battery. Reports suggest the iPad 3 will have a more powerful 14,000 mAh battery to support the anticipated HD screen and power-hungry processor.

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