Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 built with Honeycomb, unlike the most of the Android tablets we tested like Motorola Xoom and others it feels like a finished product. The tablet was slightly thinner than iPad2, seems to be the competitor on the market leader today. Does this really compete with iPad2. Read the full review to get the answer
The Galaxy tab 10.1 looks similar to Xoom, A NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC with dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU powers the tablet, 1GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage. It got TFT CD display with 1280*800 display. It got 2MP front facing camera and 3MP rear camera with LED flash. The non-removable 7000 mAh battery is rated for 9hours of use. It got a glossy plastic rear, and the build quality was really nice.
The tab 10.1 got a slim power button and a volume rocker next to each other. The tablets power button is easier to find, didnt get any issues on accidentally hitting buttons. A regular headphone jack is integrated into the same edge as power and volume buttons. It got a pair of speakers, the dual speakers are a nice touch, it got us full left and right stereo audio. It doesnt have an expandable micro SD card slot as Xoom. It also comes with a 30-pin connector that can be used for charging the device or connecting to a computer. The Tab includes USB adapter for charging and a set of black earbuds, the quality of the earbuds are average. The Samsung website got some more accessories for the tablet includes multimedia dock, keyboard dock, an HDMI adapter, and a USB adapter.
The 3MP rear camera on the Tab 10.1 impressed us really, the images taken by it are fine really, but we are not very impressed by the cameras image quality. You can adjust white balance for certain light conditions, and set a timer. There is a way to raise or lower exposure for lighter and darker pictures and you can add GPS coordinates. You can also shoot 720p videos with the rear camera. The front camera is designed for video chats, we tested it beats iPad 2 somewhat in the video quality of the video calls we did with video conferencing. The rear camera is superior, has an auto-focus and a flash.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs Android 3.1, Samsung is developing its own stack of applications and user interface customizations to differentiate from the group of tablets. There is a TouchWiz layer for Galaxy Tab 10.1, the layer is not ready yet, but the Samsung will ship with Android 3.1, later it will hit the updates through the air. Its software customizations will make an impact in performance, reliability, and battery life. The Android experience to this tablet form factor suffers from poor reliability and other technical problems. The main problem here is the platform-wide instability. Many apps including Googles own crashed repeatedly during use. Android 3.1 also brings some welcome feature enhancements and better user interface. Some interactions like dragging icon from launcher to home screen, felt nicer due to slight reduction in latency. It also brings the widgets that can be resized vertically and horizontally, access to new-fangled movie section of Android Market, improved overall performance and support for a host of USB accessories.
The e-mail application got number of improvements, includes more flexibility for configuring IMAP folder prefixes and better support for handling replies and forwarding of formatted messages. IMAP support is extremely poor; users need reliable IMAP or Exchange mail support still need to use third party alternatives. It got more multi-tasking capabilities, Google put a dedicated task switching button; one app for thumbnails and in the Honeycomb notification panel in order to make the feature more accessible regular end users. The application list is now scrollable; the users can now go back further in their application history. Googles music player seems to be fine, by uploading files it automatically showed up them in the music albums without requiring any special configuration. The Google Music Cloud Service is a good part of Android Tablet experience, seems the Google will update this feature with some additional features. Now you can enjoy Music Player in beta version. Support for Adobes Flash in browser plug-in is now relatively mature on Android phones; its transition to tablets hasnt been entirely smooth. We installed Flash 10.3 on our Tab 10.1 device, we tested several different kinds of flash content on the Tab 10.1 includes streaming video, games, and interactive Flex applications. The performance of the Flash content was generally acceptable, aside from some slight lag we noticed during video streaming and graphically intensive games. The Samsung hasnt backed flash into ROM yet is a bit irritating and might prove confusing to novice users. Samsung licensed the full version of Quick Office for Android and includes it default for the tablet. Quick Office Mobile Suite documents, spread sheet, and presentation support designed for compatibility with standard Microsoft Office document formats.
TouchWiz hasnt shipped yet by the Samsung, its coming later in over-the-air update. It got two apps on the device. One is Samsung Apps, you can create your own application store and it only has a few third-party applications in it, most of them are already in Android market, in order to install apps from the Samsung App store, you have to enable side-loading by ticking the unknown sources check box in the system settings panel. The other app is Samsung Music Hub; its basically a music store backed by 7Digital, allows users to purchase music to add their library. The stability improvements are good. The third-party software apps still needs some improvements for Galaxy tab 10.1. The applications over there are step in right direction, but they are not even on the same playing field as the equivalent iOS software. We think application availability issue will get better until the release of Ice cream Sandwich.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 manages to hit an average of 1,970 within Quadrant benchmark- a standard benching tool. You had expect the streamlined Android 3.1 much better, after running it five time we got an average score of 1,540. The upside is that Andorid 3.1 doesnt seem to have negative impact on battery life. We played music through Music beta, and streamed 720p video and we can probably able to hit some 11 hours of battery life.
Thin and light, Bright Display, improved software keyboard, clean build and expects TouchWiz like updates
Lack of ports, No mini-USB, or MicroSD card slot, Honeycomb app selection trails iOS, Camera quality is not great
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 was very thin and light and not sacrificing any battery life and performance for the slim design. So it doesnt mean that it is better than iPad2. But in some aspects like camera take some better pictures and lighter to hold. Honeycomb App trail continues, anyways it has the best hardware of any Android tablet on the market today. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is more creditable than Xoom but it is not quite competitive with the iPad. If Google really wants to compete, it still needs lot of third-party apps in order to get more regular users for Android market.