Samsung Galaxy Tab: Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Android News' started by JohnDroid, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. JohnDroid
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    (This is a guest post by Dave D. from ThisGreenMachine.com the original article can be found at this link.)

    While not yet having the luxury of handling one of these tasty morsels, I (like many) have been scouring the web for every spec and minute detail. Boy is it a beaut. While a few details remain unknown, such as availability and pricing in the states, many questions have now been answered. Let’s take a look and see where Samsung really hit the nail on the head, and where the mark may have been missed.
    What We Know


    • Android 2.2 running TouchWiz 3.0
    • 7-inch TFT LCD with 1024 x 600 resolution (WSVGA)
    • Weighs 380 grams
    • 1GHz Cortex A8 processor
    • 16GB or 32GB internal storage
    • microSD expansion for up to 32GB additional storage
    • Front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and rear 3 megapixel camera with flash
    • 4,000mAh battery
    • 3G data / voice (there’s a speakerphone and Bluetooth for phone calls, but no earpiece)
    • 5GHz dual-band 802.11n WiFi
    • Standard back color is white, carriers might offer different colors
    • Full HD video playback
    • There’s a 30-pin dock connector on the bottom
    The Good


    • Hands down this thing looks pretty slick. At approximately 4.7 inches wide, the user is greeted with a comfortable one-handed experience, and typing isn’t a stretch for your thumbs. And what is this I spy? True multi-touch keyboard? Amen, brother.
    • Along with the smaller size comes reasonable weight. The Galaxy Tab tips the scales at a mere 380 grams. That’s about the same as two droids stacked on top of each other, or an iPad broken in half. Reports have echoed a solid but lightweight construction.
    • Custom software can be found in various places, such as the custom calendar and email application we saw in the preview. After some review they look pretty useful and offer some additional functionality that the included Google package does not. For those that use more than just Gmail, the unified inbox is a welcome sight.
    • Let’s be honest – there are two main uses for a tablet device: web surfing and playing videos. In addition to a great webkit browser, the Galaxy Tab makes playing videos a snap. While native DIVX support has been lacking in previous Android devices, our friends at Sammy have finally given us not only DIVX support, but also support for just about every common video codec under the sun.
    The Not So Good


    • I was secretly hoping for some sort of dual core powerhouse with the introduction of the Galaxy Tab. Yes, battery life is an issue and a faster processor does not always translate into a snappy experience (e.g., Droid 2), but I am trying to look forward. The current crop of applications offered in the market is geared towards smaller phones with less complex interfaces. As more tablet specific applications begin to emerge, processor demands will likely increase.
    • At seven hours of video battery life, the Galaxy Tab is no slouch. Yet, I’m left wishing the life were a little longer. The iPad was announced with an astounding estimated ten hours, and most tests found it was more. The reality of battery life is that most of us will get nervous around 50% and panic around 30%, which means most users will begin looking to plug in after 4-5 hours. Still enough for a long drive or plane ride, but that’s only assuming a full charge at the beginning and easy access to an outlet right after.
    • Although not 100% confirmed, it looks as if a Wi-Fi only model is not in the cards, which might be attributed to Samsung’s push for the “mobile” aspect of the experience. There seems to be a market for WiFi only devices; therefore it would be nice to see expanded consumer options. From this writers experience, many people that have purchased the iPad with 3G do not even use the service after one month.
    • While the US numbers are unknown, leaks of European pricing[1] have been accompanied with some sticker shock. At €699 and €799 ($897 and $1,025) for the 16 GB and 32 GB versions respectively, it will cost a pretty penny to own one of these bad boys. While US versions will most likely cheaper, I would not be surprised if prices turn out to be higher than the iPad. I’ve got a hunch that Samsung’s strategy might be to offer a choice between a high off-contract price and a subsidized price much lower than the iPad. As I’ve mentioned before, the typical American consumer would rather have a lower sticker price and pay for a contract.
    With most of the hardware specs out in the open, the real test will come in the future. Will developers accept the challenge and create great content and experiences tailored for tablets? My rose-tinted view of the future shows all signs pointing to “yes”. The Android community has proven that it’s not so much about an easy way to make a dollar as it is helping the ecosystem grow. While I still have not been convinced of the need for a tablet, I think my fellow Android brethren will not have such a hard time deciding.
    [1] Boy Genius Report


    -- Don't forget to check out Android Tablet Forum - our sister site dedicated to all Android Tablets.

  2. GrillMouster
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    GrillMouster New Member

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    Size, form factor, weight are perfect. However, the price (without carrier subsidy) needs to be less than the most basic iPad before I'll even consider one. Also, the proprietary connector is a big minus in my book. I'd have preferred that it stick with USB or the micro USB connection.
  3. bazar6
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    bazar6 Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    Nice to see some news about new tablets, but I'm looking for a pad/slate/tablet running 2.2 that will kick the iPads ass. I won't even bother with a 7" 1024x600 display, too small for me. The fact they left off the ear piece is funny, imagine someone walking down the street holding their 7" Galaxy Tab up to their ear haha. I agree with the article tho, I'd rather see a low sticker price, the 3G contract price will fluctuate regardless, and a WiFi only model would be nice, so we have some breathing room.. The economy hasn't fully recovered yet, people are still watching their wallets closely.
  4. Codiusprie
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    Codiusprie New Member

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    Don't mean to be rude, but what kind of initial impressions can someone get without actually playing with the device. Much of that seems to be guessing about an aspect of the device or regurgitating something that we have read already.

    That being said it looks like a nice device that is going to be killed by the price. Maybe the Tab2 or HTC's offering will get it right.
  5. Guyute
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    Guyute New Member

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    My buddy has an ipad and I've played with it a bunch. I still feel the same way about these things, I would rather lug my laptop around.
  6. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    Meh. No dual core Cortex A9, not interested. The Toshiba Folio 100 looks promising as long as it can be rooted and have a nice custom Froyo ROM with all the Google goodness on it. That thing is sporting a nVidia Tegra 2 250 @ 1 Ghz which happens to be a dual core Cortex A9 SoC along with a nVidia Geforce GPU. PLEASE PLEASE someone root that thing proper and I will have it the next day.
  7. syst3merror
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    syst3merror New Member

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    it looks nice, but the speculated price is still WAY too high for me to be interested!

    Info found at: Samsung Galaxy Tab roundup: Whole lotta’ Tab | DroidDog Android Blog
  8. Codiusprie
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    Codiusprie New Member

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    And for many lappys out there it isn't even "lugging" it around. Android or Apple, tablets are a luxury item and I refuse to believe that any real work can be done on them that couldn't be done on a laptop with less fuss. Yea, you look like less of a tool using a laptop, but some people are OK with that.
  9. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    Once some real powerhouse Android tablets are dropped real work can easily be done on them. The problem right now is that Android tablets are a virgin market with most manufacturers dropping either low/mid powered offerings. Q4 this year and throughout next year is when we will see 1 Ghz to 2 Ghz dual core Cortex A9 based tablets released. This will be the turning point from a luxury item to a netbook and possibly even laptop replacement. Not to mention IF the newer tablets have USB host mode then you are looking at a device that can be docked at home for full use of keyboard, mouse, external storage, etc... and then brought on the road as a touch only device to be tethered through your Android smartphone. NICE!
  10. tktouch12
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    tktouch12 New Member

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    honestly, i think it needs to have a faster processor than my phone if its going to be a legit tablet. its also on the small side. ands its extremely expensive. battery should also last longer than that in a tablet.
    i'd go with the ipad wifi only way before i bought this (and i love android over ios.)
  11. tktouch12
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    tktouch12 New Member

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    the rear camera should be at least 8 mp. and comparing the specs to the ipad is pointless because the different operating systems use the resources so differently.
  12. domino0415
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    domino0415 New Member

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    has anyone seen the Archos tablets ... they seem to pack all the things people are looking for in at and under 300 dollars :icon_ banana:
  13. bazar6
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    bazar6 Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    can you root that Archos tablet? Thats what I'd really want next, because ever since i rooted my Droid (wasn't that long ago either), I don't want to have stock again haha
  14. domino0415
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    domino0415 New Member

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    not sure ... it hasn't been released yet. its coming out in October though
  15. syst3merror
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    syst3merror New Member

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    I'm actually gonna order both the Archos 43 and Archos 101....I can't wait til they drop!
  16. domino0415
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    domino0415 New Member

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    im really looking forward to the 101 ... 10.1 inches of flash web browsing goodness .. 10 hours of heavy use battery life .. and the best of all and usb host .. that means data tethering from android devices (my droid) .. haha :icon_ banana:dancedroid
  17. UNC
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    UNC New Member

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    If it was on Verizon and didn't have Bing I'd buy it.
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