Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review

I recently got my hands on a device I have been dying to get a hold of for quite some time.   Whether it is the iPad or XOOM or any other Tablet that has come out, I never got the opportunity to really hold it and play with it and make it my best friend.  When tablets first came out I was like some people who thought “what is the point?  I already have a laptop why do I NEED this thing?”  Well let me say this now as a firm believer, there is a place for this in your electronic library.   The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 delivers in so many ways that this could be a true rival to the almighty Apple iPad.  Don’t believe me let me show you the ways of the Tab.

The Look and Feel of SLIM

When you hold the Galaxy Tab you notice just how slim it really it.  It does jolt your soul to think that something so powerful and awesome can come in such a slim package.  The Galaxy Tab is technically the thinnest Tablet on the market beating out the iPad 2 by this much.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 feels fantastic in your hands either in Landscape or Portrait mode.  It is very easy to carry and easy to store as well.  I kept it with my laptop in my laptop bag and could hardly see a bulge of where it was resting in my bag.  So that is a huge bonus.

Also with it being so slim you never imagine that everything underneath of it could actually fit under and inside the device.  You have a Dual-Core Snapdragon 1GHz CPU and a NVIDIA Tegra2 graphic chip and let me tell you the graphics on this thing are AMAZING.  Excellent lights and effects for games and the other applications seem to be just a bit crisper as well.

Battery Life

Now everyone always wants to know just how well the battery will hold up in something as useful as this.  Well to put it into simple terms the battery life is great.   The tablet itself is a fantastic device and the battery would have to match that.  Let us not forget that this tab is running Android 3.1 and has a Tegra 2 chip inside of it and it will demand a hefty payload from your battery for video playback and high end gaming.  The battery for the Galaxy Tab seems to handle it all with a smile on its face although sometimes it does tend to frown.

I mean that sometimes if you aren’t careful (as most tech people are) to not run to many applications in the background it will drain your battery life very quickly.  If you keep up with and shut down your apps then you can garnish some more life out of the old battery with ease.  Also if you are just inclined to let the Tablet get your emails or Twitter feeds or whatever have you and just minimally use it you can easily get over a day and a half out of one overnight charge.

How soft is your Software?

One of the things most people are talking about with this Tab is the fact you can resize your widgets.  While that is nice and all I don’t think I would call that a selling point.  You also have access to the Android Movies section in the Android Market; you have a host of USB accessories at your disposal as well.  However the sad part is the movie department is available for 3G radios and sad to say our WiFi version wasn’t able to access this but it does open up for the Cellphone Carriers to market that as well for the Tablet.

Now what is the major difference between Android 3.0 and Android 3.1?  Take your time I will wait…can’t see any…us either but that doesn’t away from the fact that there are subtle differences.  Speed is one and processing applications and how quickly they load is another.  Just one gripe is that there is really no major apps for Tablets just yet.  I am sure Android will change that in the coming days and months but as of right now there is a severe lacking. 

One thing I did enjoy was the NVIDIA market that has apps SPECIFICALLY designed for Tablets and especially the Tegra2 chip.  I played a few of the games they had and each one of them looked stunning and rendered beautifully.  Didn’t have a problem with blurs or images chipping into each other they all worked splendidly. 

Sadly I do have to say that one thing I did notice is that while surfing the internet at times the screen would flicker in the top left section of the screen.  It didn’t do this all the time just enough for me to not write it off as a coincidence. 

Stop! Let me hold up this huge tablet to take your picture!

Now we understand that people like taking photos and videos and things of that nature.  As you can see when you watch a concert or sporting event people holding up their cellphones and camera and things like that to capture video or pictures.  Now imagine holding up what would be the size of your standard college English book and taking a pic with that.  I mean sure you have a HUGE view screen and the people behind you will be better suited to tell you to move down or pan left or right but the overtly huge Tablet isn’t conducive to taking photos mostly. 

When you do take photos they come out very nicely.  So long as you are outdoors.  Indoor photos have a soft blur to them nothing that washes out just a gentle hue about them.  Outdoor photos come out much better.  You still only have a 3 mega-pixel camera and that can only do so much and I don’t think Tablets are the best medium to take photos and videos right now.  Don’t let that stop you from taking photos or videos if you have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 as I found out my favorite feature is the panoramic option.  This option takes 8 different camera shots and splices them together for one giant view.  I tried that on numerous occasions and it was a great thing to show people.

Other Things I Noticed

While playing back movies the quality and sound were great along with when I would play music through the tablet.  It never sounded distorted or like it was coming through a tin can.  You will have to encode your files a lot of times as not all files are supported and you can also enjoy Flash video as well and can really enjoy playing games on this Tablet.

I also liked just how quickly the display changed as you went from landscape to portrait mode.  It was very quick responsive as you tilt the screen for certain games, everything seemed to be quick response in nature and that is a very good thing for people.  The touchscreen responded well to slight touches or quick flicks of my fingers to change screens.  I could easily add and take away icons with ease. 

This tablet is very easy to hold, work with and manipulate.  There are downsides however.  The camera quality is ok but not what it could be.  Overall after a while I just felt like I couldn’t do any more with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that I couldn’t do with my phone.  I know it is a great go between your phone to your tablet to your laptop but after a while I didn’t know what else to do.  So because of that we must now go to our scientific laboratory and render a verdict on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Slim
  • Powerful
  • Fun to play with

Cons

  • Poor Camera Quality
  • Lack of Tablet Applications

 

 

To the Scales

Now after being adjusted and reweighed we have come to a decision on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.  We fire up the lasers and turn on the Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama and of course our standard scale of measurements of 0 – 10 with 0 being a crappy rollercoaster ride at your local fair and 10 being Kindom-Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure (read all about it) we give the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 a decent 8.7 out of 10 on the Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama.  There are improvements to be made and fun times to be had.  Overall one of the best Android Tablets on the market fairly prices with the 16GB version at $499 and the 32Gb $599 and soon enough available through your cell phone companies and pricing will vary. 

So this is a great rival to the almighty iPad with some easy fixes and upgrades this could very well surpass that iPad.  Only time and developers will tell.

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