The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a 7 inch tablet with a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, a 1024 x 600 pixel display, and Google. The Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor is a 7 inch eBook reader with a TIM OMAP3621 processor, a 1024 x 600 pixel display, and Google Android operating system. Out of the box, the NOOKcolor runs custom software and lacks some of the features found in the Galaxy Tab, but as the folks at the Unlockr point out, with a little tweaking, the NOOKcolor can rival the $500 Galaxy Tab in many ways.
The NOOKcolor is a little wider than the Galaxy Tab thanks to the larger bezel. The Galaxy Tab also has cameras, Android buttons, and 3G, giving it an edge in terms of hardware. But both machines have Buetooth and WiFi and audio jacks.
Once you hack the NOOKcolor and install Android 2.2 or a newer operating system though, overall performance is quite similar. Both machines can handle the Google Android Market (with the proper hacks applied to the NOOKcolor). Both load web pages quite quickly. Both support multitouch gestures such as pinch to zoom. And both can handle 3D graphics.
Aside from the hardware advantages the Galaxy Tab has over the NOOKcolor, you also don’t have to hack your device, install unsupported software, and possibly void your warranty to get everything working — but I imagine there are some people out there just as excited about the prospect of hacking a tablet to add functionality as they are about saving $250.