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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 hasn't hit Australia yet, but that hasn't stopped us reviewing it

Apple may have stopped for Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet being released in Australia for now, but that didn't stop us getting our hands on a review unit courtesy of importer MobiCity.

Our review tablet was the European 3G model (GT-P7500).

The most striking thing about the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is its excellent build quality compared to the 10.1-inch Android tablets. It's a smidgen thinner than the iPad 2, measuring just 8.6mm thick. Its weight is also impressive: At 565g it's lighter than the iPad 2 and can easily be held in one hand.

The tablet's screen is a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen. It offers bright and clear text and graphics, and it has excellent viewing angles. However, like most tablets it quickly becomes covered with fingerprints and it's hard to see in bright sunlight.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs Google's Android mobile platform. It uses version 3.1 — Honeycomb — of the operating system, which has been designed for use with tablets. The tablet includes Samsung's TouchWiz UX user interface overlay.

TouchWiz UX adds a number of features to Android, There is a 'quick panel' that offers access to a handy set of toggles in the notifications pop-up. There are toggles for Wi-Fi, notifications, GPS, sound vibration, auto rotation, Bluetooth and flight mode, making it very easy to access these options.

Samsung has also added a screen capture button next to the standard back, home and recent apps keys: Tapping this button will immediately capture a screenshot of the device.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 preview, and check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Tapping a small up arrow at the bottom of the screen brings up a tray of 'mini apps' — a task manager, calendar, world clock, pen memo, calculator and music player. These apps appear on top of the screen, allowing you to continue working on any other open applications. The mini apps can be dragged to any part of the screen, meaning you can theoretically have two apps open side-by-side.

Unfortunately, the mini app tray can't be customised, and right now there are only six mini apps available. We'd love to see more of these developed, and we can only hope Samsung will eventually open them up to third-party developers — there's only so much use you'll get out of a world clock and a calculator, for example.

Although Honeycomb and TouchWIZ UX are an impressive combination, the overall user experience isn't as slick as it should be.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1's browser automatically switches to mobile versions of many Web sites, the home screen jitters if there are too many widgets on the screen, and performance is often questionable. The tablet is sometimes sluggish, especially when using the browser.

A more pressing issue is the lack of third-party apps in the Android market that have been designed with a tablet in mind. Many common apps have not yet been optimised for the larger screen size the Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers.

Sadly the tablet doesn't include a regular USB port: Charging and connecting the unit to a computer require a proprietary cable. On the plus side, the proprietary connector charges the Galaxy Tab 10.1 much faster than a standard micro-USB port could.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and has 1GB of RAM. It offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. 3G connectivity is also an option. The tablet also has dual cameras and is capable of recording 720p HD video, and playing back 1080p HD video. Disappointingly, it does not have a microSD card slot for extra storage.

Score: 4/5

The verdict:

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the best Android tablet on the market. It's thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad 2, despite having a larger screen, and offers most of the functions and features of its competitors. So far it's the only real credible alternative to the iPad.

Original review Ross Catanzariti, PC World Australia

Tags google android tabletsAndroidGoogle Androidtabletstablet PCs

More about AppleGalaxyGoogleSamsung

4 Comments

DL

1

wow, interesting review; while the majorities are well loving 10.1, this reviewer clearly describes like an ...
If the review was meant to be short, then say that it was a brief first-impression-5min-review, then i could possibly forgive, otherwise it is just unstructured, and the reviewer needs some serious education. I hope techworld can take a well care of him.

I read words of 'sadly, unfortunately, disappointedly', this implies that you will also amplify the same words for any other tablets. Go do some proper head-to-head test on any tablet. Without any relative comparison, your review is just stupid.

here's the answer to you.
>Unfortunately, the mini app tray can't be customised,
so other tablet like ipad has the mini trap? custimised? oh yes by jailbreaking. or tell us other OS that's as good.

> the overall user experience isn't as slick as it should be.
I realized that you wanted even slicker, so let's go back to much-less-functional, e.g., ipad-os-like, as this seems to the official design standard now, oh, i mean people like you.

>The tablet is sometimes sluggish, especially when using the browser.
Somehow 10.1 is still the fastest, given the amount of programs it's running.

>Sadly the tablet doesn't include a regular USB port
>Disappointingly, it does not have a microSD card slot for extra storage.
When you output a garbage, make sure you also 'compare' and give examples of other tablets that has better functionality.

Jojo

2

I liek this but at hte same itme i doent...

Rohan Pearce

Staff

3

Hi @DL,
it's only a snapshot review - check out the full review here: http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/review/broadband/samsung/galaxy_tab_10_1/380741

ManixA

4

Yes, I agree the Samsung tablet is a good product with some excellent features. However, its not all about the features.

I recently bought a Samsung tablet 10.1, and yes it had to happen the screen cracked :-(. I called up Samsung and they passed me on to two companies whom they outsource repairs. I called up the first company (Granville NSW) and no one is picked up the phone. After 8 attempts I gave up, the other company quoted $300 to $400 repair a cracked screen.

Samsung customer Service support showed little interest in helping me. Based on my experience ...buy an Ipad.

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