Samsung Galaxy Tab Review

Discussion in 'Android News' started by WenWM, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. WenWM
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    WenWM Premium Member Premium Member

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    When it comes down to the next big Android thing; Samsung would like to think they are involved in the making of this device, and that is where we get the Galaxy Tab. This new Android Tablet is the latest in technology from the Korean technology company and it brings together some things that are aimed at bringing Apple’s iPad to its knees. For now we shall just start out with a simple review of the tablet, but we shall also do a comparison of the Pad and the Tab, so look out for that as well.

    Now for this review

    Hardware

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    When spending our money comes in question, we have to make sure the software and provided hardware is well worth the money so let’s check what we get out of the Tab’s hardware. The device comes with a very vibrant, bright and responsive 7 inch LCD display rather than the usual SuperAMOLED display Samsung has been parading around on their latest device. In my use, this display is quite nice and watching movies on this is truly a great experience and is actually something I would not mind doing for a long period of time. Now using the screen to text input is a little less comfortable than I would like, using two fingers is a little tough due to the smaller display, but single finger text input is insanely respectable mainly because of the SWYPE keyboard. Other hardware features are the dual camera for video calling (front facing 1.3MP camera) which really does look great while using it for normal pictures but sadly the original function, video calling, is only available to use by means of third party applications. The rear camera is actually quite nice regardless of being a low res 3.2MP camera, the picture taken from it are quite nice and are comparable to some 5MP cameras seen on newer devices.
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    If those two hardware features don’t make you excited for this device, the 1 GHz processor might. The processor this device has is clocked at speeds we are all too familiar with, but surprisingly performs quite healthily on this device. Typical tasks on this tablet is handled well by the processor and even with multiple tasks running in the back, the device still speeds through web pages and allows you to destroy buildings with Angry birds.
    Other standard hardware features include the Wi-Fi, 3G, 16GB or 32GB with an SD card slot. All these things go together to make a great piece of hardware, and while we all know it is a bit over priced (actually a lot since reports show it cost $230 to make one), this is certainly the best tablet in terms of hardware mobility available in the current market and not even the iPad can touch this when it comes to ease of use while on the go.

    Software

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    Now here is where Samsung faced a huge challenge while constructing this new device. While Android is very flexible, the resolution of this tablet is not very common and so for applications to look good on it, it either has to have been built on a flexible resolution platform or better yet the build by them and brought to the tablet as default applications. The contact list, Calendar, and other applications have been modified a bit from the original Android software to something a bit more finger friendly, sleek, and scaled to size.


    One of my favorite software that comes with the Tab is its great video player. The quality you experience while watching movies with this device is amazing, and with its 16:9 aspect ratio, the quality is unmatched not even by the iPad.
    The note taking software is also very easy to use and allows you to take notes without going through too many problems. The keyboard being SWYPE (that makes text input with two fingers simultaneously nearly impossible) is not the best for serious student that want to use this for taking notes in class -- I tested this while in a board meeting, did not go well. Overall note taking experience is above average compared to most other tablet based devices in its class, but certainly not as easy as the iPad is.

    Web browsing on this tablet is also an iffy experience. Sometimes you can be using the smoothest, fastest browser around and enjoying it. While other times you simple do not get such great experience and you are stuck waiting for a page to load or the browser freezes. Now that might be a big problem if you do not know what Android is, but for me, I simple installed a new browser and continued on with my day.
    The software that comes with this device is also quite nice. The software you can install capable with this device (mostly free from the market, unlike most other tablets) is even better. I can say at the end of the day, Samsung did have a pretty nice package with their first generation tablet. The experience doesn’t differ much from normal Android device (which can be a turn off for some) but to most that is not a deal breaker.

    Overall
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    When it comes down to the device as a whole, this topic of would I recommend it becomes a little hard. My experience with this tablet has been quite nice; I mean it even fits in my pocket. The software I have on it is just about everything I need to be connected while on the go, and the hardware is as such that you really do not need anything else but this device as your one stop shop for a technology enhanced life. But here comes the problem. Being a first generation device, it does have its bugs, one that I noticed just before typing this review up is the it can crash (mine was down for 6 hours due to Home screen Ui Freeze). First gens will always have slight problems that will be fixed in later releases, but for those that do not want to wait the usual 6 months to a 1 years times it takes for Samsung to develop the Galaxy Tab 2; they can certainly feel comfortable getting something like this tablet and upgrading later to the next version.



    Would I recommend it…? I would have said Yes when mine is actually functioning correctly; it’s quite pleasant and is the best Android can offer at this time.
    Hardware Score: 9/10 – The hardware is great, but not perfect… Processor could at least be 1.2 GHz or dual core; I mean it is almost 2011.
    Software Score: 7/10 – While Samsung did bring in a lot of software to this device, there is still going to be some times that the software in the Android market does not scale very nicely like it should.
    Overall User Experience: 7/10 – The software did sometimes become really slow and buggy. Also the crashing of my review device is not really helping the scores.
    Price Score: 7/10 – Again, Samsung did a little over pricing here when it came to this device. For the same price you could get a 64 GB iPad or a new laptop. I don’t think they put too much thought on that.

    I hope this short review helps you decide if you would like to go out and buy this device. Now if you are still hang up on how this stands up against the iPad, don’t worry, our comparison on that will be coming soon.
  2. crimton
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    crimton New Member

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    great review however i think 7/10 on price is a little generous.
  3. WenWM
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    WenWM Premium Member Premium Member

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    I think so too, except you do get WiFi and a Data Connection. So what can I say.
  4. gadgetrants
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    gadgetrants Well-Known Member

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    Thanks wen, I enjoyed your review. BTW I just picked up the Nook Color...you might be surprised to hear it matches up with the Samsung Tab very well. If we remember that it costs $250--and ignore the lack of phone, 3G, and GPS--the only real hardware difference is the Tab runs a Cortex A8 @1GHz while the Nook has an A8 running @800MHz.

    Looking forward to the iPad match-up!

    -Matt
  5. Rword
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    Rword New Member

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    I want a tablet to take with me on a deployment to Afghanistan, but that is still like 9 months away and I want wifi only. So I guess I'll wait. Nice review too!
  6. Bilgediver
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    Bilgediver New Member

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    Rword, try out the Archos A8 line of tablets
    I ordered the 70 internet tablet with 250 GB hard drive, you can carry your whole music/video collection on it as well. It hasn't shown up yet but its supposedly very competitive. The only issue is the Archos 70 internet tablet only has 256 MB RAM, but videos on youtube that I've seen haven't shown much lag at all, very smooth and responsive UI.

    Even better because Archos claims to be upgrading their Gen8 tablets up to 2.2.1
  7. BodyBagz
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    BodyBagz Active Member

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    Nice review. This review is why the iPad is still reigning king in the small form factor/tablet market. While the Galaxy Tab is a nice piece of equipment, it is still too high priced and buggy...while a larger, more developed device with a proven software package is actually cheaper...this does not bode well for the Galaxy Tab IMO...you never want Apple to be the better price point.

    I want a tablet, but 7" is too small...I have 4.3" on my Droid X...atleast get me to 8".

    Hell, here is what I want in a tablet...

    1) 8-10" LCD/AMOLED screen
    2) 1ghz Dual Core processor so that true multi-tasking without lagging can be achieved
    3) Wifi as well as 3/4G connectivity...but allow me to use my current cell data plan on the tablet and not charge me in addition.
    4) 1gb of Ram...no reason this cant be accomplished using current technology in a larger format such as a tablet device.
    5) 16GB interal memory is fine out of the box, but also have a 32GB SD card/slot available
    6) Decent stereo speakers for normal audio playback...I wont always have a set of ear buds with me, as well as i might be the entertainment center for more than myself.
    7) Scrap the super-smooth rear coatings...lay some light texture coating on the back so my $300+ device doesnt slip&slide on a whim...
  8. sp0rk
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    sp0rk New Member

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    I think for being the first gen, the Galaxy Tab is a good start.

    It's obvious the Market will have to be adjusted or filtered to show tablet-compatible or tablet-only apps since some apps just won't be able to scale or even function properly on a tablet.

    I'd really like to see it make calls. Except, no ear piece because that's worse looking than the giant taco phone of 5 years ago. I would be content with needing to use a Bluetooth headset with it and, as a backup, having a speakerphone setup. Does Skype and a few other SIP apps work on it?

    I hope Samsung keeps working on the Galaxy Tab series, it's looking good so far.
  9. danyat
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    danyat New Member

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    Hi all
    This tablet thing is to big for me, I prefare small staff:icon_ banana:
  10. Preach2k
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    Preach2k DF News Team Premium Member

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    Great Article WenWM!!!!
  11. patfactorx
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    patfactorx Member

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    This is the worst time to buy a tablet with a contract. Wait till after CES to decide!
  12. xenokira
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    xenokira New Member

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    Nice review :)


    St. Paul, eh? How about all this snow we got :p
  13. TinGodz
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    TinGodz New Member

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    Good review. Looks like a sweet tablet, just a shame it's overpriced.
  14. WenWM
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    WenWM Premium Member Premium Member

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    I know right....
    I almost broke my back trying to lift the snow I had in front of my house... It sucked hardcore.
    I am so happy I am going to Florida soon to get a way from this snow. :)
    How'd you like it?
  15. joeybarclay
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    joeybarclay New Member

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    I wonder if this will get Honeycomb?
  16. DaHarder
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    DaHarder New Member

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    I've been conducting just such a 'match up' for quite some time now as I own an iPad 64gb/Wifi+3g, a Galaxy Tab/32gb, and the NOOKcolor/with a 32gb microSDHC card.

    Personally I find that as nice as the NOOKcolor is, it in no, way, shape or form offers the degree of true tablet/slate functionality as either my iPad or (especially) Samsung Galaxy Tab, largely for the very reasons you so readily dismissed, and the fact is that B&N has purposely limited its ability to be anything more than a read-centric device at this point.

    Make no mistake, it's a wonderful color eReader, easily the very best of its kind at this point, but even when the tools/opportunity come along to 'unleash' it as an (pseudo) Android tablet, it'll still lack more hardware features than you chose to mention to ever allow it to compete directly the far more versatile/functional/go-anywhere Samsung Galaxy Tab e.g. the essential 3G connectivity, dual cameras, and GPS functions, et al.

    As for the iPad, it's really a completely different device in many ways, and due to constraints imposed by its rather ungainly size/form factor, less mobile-friendly ergonomics, and far greater weight, is more wisely considered a home tablet device, as opposed to a reasonably larger-screened device that one could/would actually take with them almost any/everywhere they go.

    Nice review, but all these direct comparisons to the iPad are rather misguided, as they really do serve different purposes - IMO.
  17. DaHarder
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    DaHarder New Member

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  18. spillner
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    spillner New Member

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    This device needs a faster processor, I played with it at a Verizon store for a while and am very disappointed with its performance. Browser scrolling is laggy on full websites. Flash videos didn't work. Live wall papers cause overall lag throughout the system. I can't justify the price for something that doesn't outperform my phone.

    This is disappointing because I wanted to replace my bulky laptop and the iPad is too big IMO, but if someone had a gun to my head and told me to choose I'd choose an iPad. Of course someone would need to put a gun to my head to buy it.
  19. kadunkadunk
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    kadunkadunk New Member

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    Well played. My sentiments to the letter.
  20. TheOldFart
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    TheOldFart New Member

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    I just bought the NOOKcolor. Sure I would like the Galaxy tablet, but at over 2x the price, there is no way I could justify it. The NOOK color is a fine ebook reader and a good web browser for abound the house or at the many places my wife and I go that have free wifi access. I have no need for 3G access on it (always carry my Droid for that), the camera (phone cameras stink anyway and I have never used any of them), phone (again, I carry my Droid). GPS would be nice because of the higher resolution, but the Droid suffices. In my opinion, the Galaxy is definitely not worth the more than 2x cost of the NOOKcolor, at least not for me and I suspect many others who already own smartphones. I have no problem easily dismissing the things that the NOOKcolor doesn't have.
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