Camera comparison: iPad vs Transformer Prime vs XYBOARD 10.1 vs Galaxy Tab 10.1

By now, we all realize the advantage of having our smartphones on us at all times, especially when the opportunity comes around to snap up a shot of some kind. Obviously, thanks to the portability of our modern smartphones, we’re able to quickly capture the moment as they happen – all without missing a beat. On the other hand, there are plenty of tablets that provide us the same comforts of taking photos, though, there’s still this stigma attached to it that might make some people a tad bit hesitant about snapping something. Sure, you might get a few stares as you whip out that tablet to shoot something, but hey, if it’s the only thing within reach for you at the time, we’re certain that most of you will overlook those stares and simply focus on the task of hand.

Very recently, we’ve seen a handful of wonderful tablets that have proven themselves thanks primarily to their high-end status, but when it comes down to taking photos, we had to pit the best of the best against one another. Ready to accept the challenge, we have the Apple iPad 3, Asus Transformer Prime, Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for our tablet camera comparison. So with that in mind, we decided to shoot a few different images with each tablet and then compare them to one another. Ultimately, we’ll sniff out which tablet you’ll want to have next to you in the event that your smartphone is absent.


First and foremost, it’s only until we shoot the same photos with all four tablets that we visibly see which one produces the best details. Without that comparison, we can honestly say they all appear sharp looking to the eye. After dissecting each from head to toe, it’s evident that the 8-megapixel camera of the Asus Transformer Prime conjures up the sharpest details of the bunch – with the iPad 3 coming in a close second. As for the other two, they might look spiffy when we look at the big picture, but zooming into some of the background stuff, it’s plain as day that their details are a bit more soft looking – kind of muddy even. For example, with the details 1 set of images, we can distinctively read the tow away sign placed above the car with the Asus Transformer Prime’s shot, while the trees in the background of the details 2 set of photos appear to be faint with the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Color reproduction:

Here’s the thing with color reproduction. Our eyes are easily attracted to luscious looking colors, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. However, we have to remember that its accuracy to the real thing is what matters the most. Much like what we see going on in the display market, AMOLED panels can really be an attention grabber for its over saturated, yet unrealistic colors – mainly because they have that polarizing aura. In contrast, an LCD panel might look “bland” when placed next to an AMOLED panel, but it’s actually more realistic looking with its colors, well, some more than others.

Knowing that, we love the saturated color reproduction that’s prevalent throughout the shots taken by the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, since we’re instinctively attracted to their full-bodied appearance. As much as we’re enthralled by those vibrant and deep tones, it’s actually the iPad 3 that appears to be the most accurate looking of the bunch with its neutral results. To tell you the truth, its balanced tonal range is consistent with all colors and lighting conditions. And as for the Transformer Prime, it might win in the details department, but its color reproduction is rather bland to tell you the truth. Frankly, it seems to have a slight haze to it, which tends to wash down its colors even more than its rivals.



1. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Again lack of autofocus in Video Recording for iPad 3 non mentioned, and a camera without the flash loose pretty easly in every low light conditions

2. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

I had a transformer prime before the iPad 3 was announced. When it was announced, I got pissed when everyone started bragging about the iPad 3's "iSight" Camera, since it's only a 5MP one without flash whereas my prime had 8MP w/ Flash. Anyways, after reading this my mind cleared up quite a bit. I'm staying with my prime since I need details on taking pictures with my tablet, not actual professional photography. I also wonder if the front facing VGA camera on the iPad improved but since nobody's talking about it, I wouldn't care.

5. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Agreed. The only difference between the iPad and the Prime (for me) is app selection. Without well developed apps specifically for the Prime, it loses in that catagory. I like Android and WP more than iOS, but the apps and GOOD developers need to come to Android and WP. I read all the time that android almost has the same number of apps as ios, but that isn't taking in the fact that many android apps aren't as high quality as iOS ones may be, because all are accepted. A little off topic, but for cameras, the front is more important than the back (BB Playbook). And this shouldn't be a deciding factor *at all* between any of these tablets. All feature nice cameras.

19. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I think the Playbook has awesome cameras given that its a tablet and they usually arent good. I dont think that its as good as this new Ipad, but it certainly smoked the previous Ipad. I thought the front camera was better than the back on it personally, it just seems to have less noise on it, at least for video.

7. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

MP don't mean everything when the iPad has better optics then the prime. And even without flash it still performed well in low light conditions. MP just refers to the size of the image.

11. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

i said the iPad is the photog's option, while I chose the prime for it's camera captures more detail. i'm not starting a flame war here. the iPad does have better optics, i'm saying I just don't need it, and my prime comes in second place anyway, so that's not a deal breaker for me. still not getting the iPad.

3. denmcdon

Posts: 91; Member since: Jun 07, 2009

And let the flaming begin!lol

4. AJmeBOY

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

Why is ASUS #2? I didn't read any of the words of the article. But I looked at every picture comparison and I dismissed the ASUS as competition because of the quality of the images. Thought the Galaxy Tab was neck and neck with the iPad followed by the Xyboard with ASUS dead last. Am I the only one that saw this?

6. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

you sir are color blind and have eye deficiencies.

9. gemmabba

Posts: 51; Member since: May 09, 2011

i agree with AJme...for me the pic look pale and washed out in ASUS it should be ipad,samsung/xyboard, and then asus

10. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

my father has a galaxy tab 10.1 and comparing daily pics, my prime is indeed better.

8. kingstandup

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Wow! Surprise, surprise! Apple wins yet another Phone Arena competition. I don't know why I fool myself into reading an entire article knowing what the outcome will be even before I've finished. Perhaps one day, when I finally reach the "conclusion" I will see a brand other than Apple in the winner's circle. The Samsung pictures and videos were much better than the iPad. On that same token, why does Phone Arena continue to put "older" tablets up against the iPad 3, when it was literally just released. The other three models were meant to top the iPad 2, not the iPad 3. Regardless, they still stack up well against it. Come on Phone Arena, really?

12. Habib

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

i think its not what is new or what is old. It's about what is available in the camp ( and considered best). in this comparison each of them come from their camp as the top TABLETS yet! so it is justifiable to say so.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31757; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Man shutup, and take it like a man lmao!!!

17. Chronos

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

The thought the the iPad deserved to win never crossed your mind?

14. Habib

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

And yes, i kinda liked the XYBOARD 10.1 better thn the Asus... bcuz Prime does have details.... that is about it!!! IPad 3 was obviously the winner but Xyboard should been second thn .. idc which one comes 3rd or fourth between Prime or galaxy Tab 10.1

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31757; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

iPad #1 discussion over.

16. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

Am I the only one that think shouldn't put cameras on the back of the tablets at all? I never use it and wish they put something else instead, like HDMI, or just make it cheaper and thinner. Why use your tablet as a camera when there are other better and handier options? As for the quality, I think my Galaxy Tab takes terrible pictures.

21. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011


18. HTCFreak

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 17, 2010

Great comparison, but i don't think that anyone would actually take pictures with these big tablets... maybe at home tho. :)

20. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I'm curious Phonearena guys, did you release a comparison like this one when the iPad had only a crappy 0.9 MP back camera and the competition offered better shooters? I don't get it, suddenly having a tablet with a great camera matters and 1 year ago did not.

22. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Hey xtremesv, how about you stop complaining and do a little research for yourself. It's really annoying hearing you jealous hating android fans b*tch and b*tch and b*tch. If you like your tablets so much, go use it!!! Stop obsessing over Apple so much, lol. The iPad 3 has a much better camera, get over it. "But after checking out the results, it’s blatantly obvious that the XOOM has the upper hand in shooting photos thanks to its sharper looking details. Granted that we like the richer looking color production with the iPad 2, it unfortunately is RENDERED ALMOST USELESS for low lighting situations. Thankfully you still get some discernible details with the XOOM’s low lighting shots, but with the iPad 2, it’s plastered with an ABUNDANCE OF NOISE to make it look EXTREMELY GRAINY" "Without a doubt, the Motorola XOOM produces the best photos out of the bunch with its sharp looking snapshots and natural looking color production. Coming in at second place is none other than the G-Slate which closely produces the same quality as the XOOM, but colors are more on the dull side. Also, the two Android tablets handle macro shots and low lighting situations with ease thanks to their auto-focus and LED flash. Meanwhile, the PlayBook handles well on its own despite the lack of auto-focus with its acceptable looking shots. SADLY THOUGH, the iPad 2 just doesn’t cut it with its poor and grainy looking visuals." "Absolutely no denying it, the HTC Jetstream is hands-down the tablet you’ll want to pick if you’re interested in snapping a few photos. Generally, higher megapixel count doesn’t mean it’ll translate to better quality, but in this specific scenario, the Jetstream’s 8-megapixel shooter easily beats out the paltry less than 1-megapixel count of the iPad 2. In almost every situation, the Jetstream produces the better looking images with its sharper details and neutral looking color production – and it helps that the dual-LED flash is there to lighten things up. On the opposite end, the iPad 2’s results are DOWNRIGHT APPALLING WITH LOTS OF GRAININESS, MUDDY APPEARANCE, and lack of fine detail. Seriously, the results are literally night and day between the two." "The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the superior one when it comes to snapping photos. Blatantly, its 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera produces images that are filled with better detail and color production. Looking at the same shots, you can clearly see that the iPad 2’s results are filled with soft details and WASHED OUT LOOKING COLORS – making it look rather muddy and hazy overall. With macro shots, it’s obvious that images taken by the Galaxy Tab 10.1 are sharper looking. Additionally, there’s a noticeable amount of DIGITAL NOISE evident with the iPad 2’s shots in low lighting, which is something less prominent with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. " "Given the iPad's INABILITY TO TAKE PICTURES OR VIDEOS, we have no other choice but to proclaim the Samsung Galaxy Tab the better tablet for photography purposes"

24. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I see you did your homework, great! I didn't have the time I'm a busy person. BTW my comment was sarcastic not a conclusive statement and FYI I own an iPad 2 and don't care about tablet cameras.

26. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

how you got a thumbs down i will never know. You totally OWNED with this comment.

23. BrandT

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

IMO the Galaxy Tab won the macro shot.

25. Evil.Bunny

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

1. Everybody has a smartphone these days, a rear-facing camera on a tablet had very little use. 2. The only reason this article was put up was because of the iPad3, otherwise, phonearena would've never done a tablet camera comparison.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless