Samsung Galaxy Tab review

Over the past year or so, we’ve seen a number of companies release tablets running Google’s Android operating system. These machines range in side from 5 to 10 inches, and tend to engender comparisons to Apple’s iPad, because let’s face it — the iPad is probably the most popular tablet computer ever released, and like Android tablets, it basically runs an operating system that was initially designed to run on smartphones.

The difference is that Apple designed and built the iPad and optimized the iOS mobile operating system to run well on the larger display before releasing the product. Google hasn’t yet officially released a version of Android that’s optimized for tablets, which means that many apps don’t scale well to larger screens.

It also means that since many tablets don’t meet Google’s hardware requirements, Google prevents the manufacturers from installing a suite of apps designed to run on Android phones, including Gmail, Google Maps, and the Android Market — although someusers have figured out how to unofficially add these apps to tablets such as the latest models from Archos.

But a handful of companies have decided that rather than wait for Google to release a tablet-friendly version of Android, they would take the initiative and release their own Android tablets and custom software designed to improve the experience of using the smartphone operating system on a larger device.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is probably the best known of these devices. In fact, the company has already sold over a million units worldwide since launching the Galaxy Tab recently. That’s not even close to the number of iPads Apple has sold, but it means Samsung has probably sold more Android tablets in a short period of time than any other company.

Samsung has done this largely by using its pull with mobile phone companies around the world. In the US alone, Samsung has partnered with five major telecoms (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular) to distribute the Galaxy Tab. Simply put, there are more opportunities to buy the Galaxy Tab than nearly an other Android tablet.

The device also comes with some of the best specs you can find on any Android device. It has a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive touchscreen display, 3G, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity, and a Gorilla Glass display which is nearly unbreakable.

All in all, as 2010 draws to a close, it’s hard to argue that the Galaxy Tab isn’t the best Android tablet available today. but is that good enough? Read on to find out.

Samsung sent me a demo unit to review. My model is connected to T-Mobile’s wireless network, but as I mentioned the Galaxy Tab is available from a number of wireless providers around the globe. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S line of smartphones, which feature different physical designs depending on which carrier you purchase the phone from, the Galaxy Tab looks the same no matter where you buy it — although it may come with a few different apps loaded by each carrier. For instance, the model sent to me features the T-Mobile “My Account” app.

The Galaxy Tab is also priced differently by each carrier, with prices ranging from $399.99 to $649.99 in the US, and mobile broadband plans running between $14.99 and $59.99 per month depending on which carrier you choose and how much bandwidth you need. While in some parts of the world, you can use the Galaxy Tab to make phone calls over mobile networks, in the US the Tab is a data-only machine (although you can install third party apps including Skype or Fring to make VoIP calls).

Samsung is also expected to launch a WiFi-only version of the tablet, but it’s not available for purchase yet.

There’s one thing I want to get out of the way before I continue this review: I don’t own an iPad. I’ve used them in stores for brief periods of time, so I have an idea of what the user experience is like. I also do own an iPod touch, so I’m familiar with iOS. I also have a Google Nexus One smartphone, so I’m familiar with Android.

If you’re looking for a head-to-head comparison between the Galaxy Tab and an iPad, you won’t find it here. I will make some comparisons between the Tab and other Android tablets, as well as Android smartphones, but mostly I’m trying to judge the Tab on its own merits.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab’s most prominent features is the 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive touchscreen display. It’s bright and clear, and has a higher pixel density than the iPad or most netbooks.

The screen has a glossy finish , which reflects quite a bit of glare in bright sunlight, and while it offers excellent viewing angles, I found that the glare was too great to really see the screen at a 45 degree angle when I placed it down on a tablet in front of a window on a bright day.

The screen is made of Corning’s Gorilla Glass, which is heavy duty stuff. Not only is it scratch resistant, it’s also pretty hard to crack. The Dell Streak 5 inch tablet uses Gorilla Glass, and the folks at Engadget were kind enough to stab that tablet repeatedly with a pen to see what kind of damage it incurred. The answer? None.Your results may vary, but suffice it to say that the screen is pretty tough stuff.

Around the edges of the display you’ll find a bit of a black bezel, and before you complain that you want a tablet that’s all screen, you have to stop and think about how you’re going to hold the thing.

At 7 inches, you can wrap a hand all the way around the back of the Galaxy Tab and hold it between your thumb and fingers like you would a phone. But it’s not very comfortable unless you have enormous hands. It’s much easier to grip the Tab on one side, with your fingers on the back and thumb on the front, much as you would hold a book or a piece of paper.

The bezel also serves another purpose. At the top, you’ll find a front-facing 1.3MP camera. At the bottom there are capacitive touch buttons for Android’s Menu, Home, Back, and Search functions. The buttons light up for a few seconds when you tap the screen for easier viewing, but one thing that bugs me is that icons for these buttons are painted very dimly, so that it can be a bit tough to find the button you’re looking for after the button lights go away.

On the left side of the tablet you’ll find the built-in mic, and nothing else. The top is similarly sparse, with just a port for the headphone jack.

The right side is a bit busier, with a power button at the top and volume buttons just below it. Toward the bottom you’ll find slots for microSD and SIM cards, protected by plastic doors. The doors are held on by thin pieces of plastic and it feels like it would be easy to break them off, but honestly, I don’t expect most users will open these doors very often.

The bottom of the device has a docking port which you can use to connect the Tab to a computer’s USB port. This connector also works with optional docking stations accessories.

There are also stereo speakers on either side of the docking port, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the speakers are not only loud, but also quite clear. In fact, I’d say the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s speakers sound better than those on most 10 inch netbooks, even though there’s much more room in a netbook case for decent speakers.

No mini-speakers are going to be able to replace a good set of headphones or external speakers with 2.1 channel audio or better, but I found listening to music and podcasts as well as watching movies using the built-in speakers to be rather pleasant.

The back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 3MP camera with autofocus capability and an LED flash.

The back is slightly curved so that the Tab is thicker in the middle than on the left and right sides. The corners are also rounded, but overall the Tab still feels a bit boxy, thanks to the 90 degree angles between the front and sides of the device.

There are no removable panels, which means the battery is not user replaceable. Fortunately, the Galaxy Tab comes with a 4000mAh battery which provides excellent run time (depending on what you’re doing with the tablet, but more on that in a bit).

Clockwise from top: ExoPC, Samsung Galaxy Tab, WiiPad, Augen GenTouch78, Google Nexus One

The case is made of plastic and lacks the sleek aluminum look of some competitor’s devices, but the plastic is both sturdy and light, giving the Galaxy Tab a much more professional look and feel than cheaper Android tablets such as the Augen Gentouch78 or the WiiPad.

Left: WiiPad / Right: Galaxy Tab

It’s kind of tough to tell from these photos, but when you hold the tablets in hand, the Galaxy Tab inspires much more confidence. The screen is also more responsive, reflects less glare, and doesn’t have that same cheap plastic feel as the displays on the WiiPad and GenTouch78.

The tablet has an ambient light sensor and an accelerometer and G-Sensor which let you control games and other apps by tilting the device. You can also quickly rotate the display by changing the position of the tablet from portrait to landscape mode. This even works when you’re viewing the Home Screen, even though most Android smartphones can only display the Home Screen in portrait mode.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy Tab runs Google Android 2.2 (although Samsung will likely roll out updates to Android 2.3 and future versions of Android when available). I won’t delve into all the details of the Android operating system, but here are some of the basics:

Android was developed for touchscreen smartphones. The UI is basically divided into a few different sections.

  • Home Screen with shortcuts to frequently used apps and widgets for things like weather, search, and news.
  • Status Bar which shows up at the top of the Home Screen and is also visible from most apps, showing you some running programs, battery and wireless status, and the time.
  • Pull-down menu which you can access by swiping down from the Status Bar
  • Application Launcher where you can find a complete list of installed applications
  • Settings Menu

The Galaxy Tab provides you with five virtual Home Screens, which you can flip through by swiping your finger left or right across the screen. The pull-down menu has been tweaked to give you quick access to your brightness settings, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS toggles, a mute button, and an orientation lock — as well as notifications from various apps (email, music, etc).

Samsung has also replaced the stock Android program launcher with its own app which doesn’t automatically arrange apps alphabetically, but instead lets you order apps any way you’d like, by using an edit button. Each new app you install shows up at the end of the list, but if you’d like it to be the first item on your list you can just drag and drop it to that position.

While many Android tablets ship without access to the full suite of Google Apps, the Galaxy Tab comes with full access to the Google Android Market and other Google apps including Gmail, Google Maps, and Google’s turn-by-turn navigation.

Samsung did replace some of Google’s standard apps including the audio and video players, the calendar, and camera apps. While the calendar has been redesigned to take full advantage of the Galaxy Tab’s high resolution display, the audio and video apps are designed to not only make it easier to navigate through your media collection, but also to handle additional media formats. For instance, the Galaxy Tab, like Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones can handle Xvid and DiVX video as well as MP4 and H.264 video.

Also like Samsung’s smartphones, the Galaxy Tab comes with the Swype keyboard in addition to Samsung’s own keyboard. Swype’s claim to fame is that you can form some words by swiping your finger across the screen from one letter to the next without lifting your finger first. The utility uses text prediction algorithms to help make text entry accurate and fast… but honestly, this feature seems like it would be a lot more useful on a smartphone than a 7 inch tablet. I had no problem typing with my thumbs in portrait mode on the Galaxy Tab, although landscape mode was a bit trickier since my fingers had further to move.

Touch-typing with all ten fingers is probably out of the question for most users. The screen and keyboard just aren’t large enough to do that comfortably.

The Galaxy Tab also includes a file browser, something which doesn’t come standard with many Android devices. The demo unit Samsung sent me also came with the Amazon Kindle app, Slacker Radio, ThinkFree Office, and a racing game called Asphalt 5 preloaded. I’m not sure if these apps come on all units, or if they were included on the review unit to give me a taste of what the Tab is capable of. All of these apps looked great on the Tab.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said for all third party apps — at least not out of the box. Some apps scale perfectly to the Tab’s 1024 x 600 pixel display. The New York Times app, for instance, looked fantastic. Other apps were clearly designed with lower resolution displays in mind though. Robo Defense showed up in a small box in the center of the display, surrounded by thick black borders.

Not only did the game not take full advantage of the screen real estate, but it was actually harder to play than it should have been, because I had to reach my fingers further to interact with the game.

There is a hack available that will force all apps to show up in full screen mode on the Galaxy Tab, but it’s a bit tricky to implement, and this just shows that the Android operating system and many third party apps were really designed for smartphones, not tablets with larger, higher resolution displays.

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is quite zippy when flipping through Home Screens, launching applications, or running apps. The machine has one of the fastest ARM-based processors on the market today, and supports a decent range of audio and video formats out of the box.

The Tab also makes a great gaming machine… assuming the game you want to play has been optimized for a 1024 x 600 pixel display (or you’ve applied some sort of voodoo to make all apps run in full screen mode). The Asphalt 5 3D racing game that Samsung preloaded on the Tab played beautifully… or it would have if I were better at racing games.

I did have trouble getting some videos in my collection to play properly, so I downloaded RockPlayer and VPlayer which have support for even more video formats than the default video player. Unfortunately, these apps rely on software to decode video, rather than the default video player which has hardware acceleration for video playback. That meant that I wasn’t able to decode HD video streams using either app, and they both ran down the battery rather quickly. Whether you’re viewing HD or standard definition video, movies look great on the 7 inch tablet which, after all, doesn’t actually have an HD display.

Using these apps to watch videos with VGA resolutions, I was able to get about 5-6 hours of battery life out of the Galaxy Tab. But it’d be hard to tax the CPU much more than I was doing during those tests. In terms of normal day to day use, you should get much better battery life.

Samsung says you should be able to get about 7 hours of HD video playback when watching videos in officially supported codecs, and from what I’ve seen, I believe them. You should also get closer to 10 hours of run time when surfing the web or performing other less resource-intensive tasks.

When listening to music or podcasts with the screen off, you should get far more run time, since the screen uses more power than just about anything else.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab works great as an Android device. It has an excellent processor, good display, loud and clear speakers, and excellent battery life. The tablet can run virtually any app available for Android, even if some apps don’t scale properly to the display. In other words, the Tab is at least as good as the best Android phones on the market… except the US version doesn’t make phone calls.

There are a few things the Galaxy Tab arguably does better than a smartphone. Movies and TV shows are always going to look better on a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display than on a 3.7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel screen. Newspapers, eBooks, and web pages will likewise look better on the large display.

But here’s the thing: it’s not really that much better than an Android phone. Over the past few weeks I’ve been constantly reminding myself that I need to pick up the Galaxy Tab and use it for the purposes of this review. But the truth is, most of the time I haven’t really thought to use it, because I’ve had my Google Nexus One or iPod touch handy, and they do pretty much everything the Galaxy Tab does.

When Apple launched the iPad, some people derided it as little more than an oversized iPod touch, but many fans have come to realize that just by increasing the screen size Apple has opened up the door to different types of apps and user experiences. For instance, you don’t need to view the mobile versions of web pages on the iPad, because the screen is much more like a typical laptop screen.

Musical instruments like virtual pianos or guitars also make more sense, because you can use all ten fingers on the iPad display, unlike the iPhone. And you can actually use all ten fingers to type on the iPad, assuming you can angle the device in a way that lets you see the screen without giving yourself neck strain.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab, on the other hand, really is little more than an oversized Android phone. That’s not entirely Samsung’s fault. The company went out of its way to develop apps like the custom calendar app which do take advantage of the larger screen. But the Android operating system is still designed first and foremost for smaller phones, and third party developers aren’t really writing many apps for larger devices like the Tab yet, which means that basically most of the apps you’ll run are designed for 4 inch and smaller displays and simply scaled up to the Tab’s 7 inch screen.

For instance, the web browser still identifies itself as the Android browser, which means that even though you have a display with the same resolution as most netbooks, you’re stuck viewing mobile versions of many web sites you visit unless you can turn off the mobile themes (or install a third party browser such as Dolphin HD which makes it easy to change the user agent).

While many of the people who are attracted to the iPad are people who already have an iPhone or iPod touch, I just don’t really see why I would want an Android phone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a smartphone at all, the Galaxy Tab is certainly a good Android device for surfing the web, playing games, reading books, and running Android apps. But if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t have a smartphone, are you the sort of person who’s likely to be attracted to the Galaxy tab in the first place — especially while it’s only available from 3G wireless carriers?

My guess is no, but I could be wrong. Anyway, a WiFi-only version should be available soon, hopefully for a reasonably price, which could make the Galaxy Tab a lower cost alternative to the iPad for users looking for something a little smaller or a little less Apple and a little more Google.

I could also see people who shudder at the thought of reading books or even web pages on a 3 inch screen gravitating toward devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. So clearly, there are reasons Samsung has managed to sell over a million units so far… I’m just not sure I can see one fitting into my life very well. Your mileage may vary.

For a little more detail, you can check out my video review below:

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the insight. I’ll take your word on it. So you now are seeing tablets like McDonalds? You know when they make like 50 Big Macs and they are sitting under the heat lamps? They are getting squishy and stale while waiting for hungry mouths. Problem? The geeks in the back miscalculated the fatties wanting their wonderful Big Macs. So is that pretty much this “tablet invasion” in a nutshell? Because afterall, people are going to own a smartphone in the first place. Buying a tablet on top of that? Doesn’t sound like you’re sold on that concept.

    • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      I’m not, but 7 million iPads and 1 million Galaxy Tabs sold suggest I may be the odd man out here. I’m interested in hearing from happy tablet owners as well.

      I really do think the Galaxy Tab would be a great device if I didn’t already have a smartphone. I just don’t see the need for both. Perhaps Android 3.0 will bring a better use case that I haven’t thought about.

      I also have friends who can’t stand to read web sites, eBooks and other items on tiny smartphone displays, and can’t stand the tiny keyboards. I could totally see them picking up a tablet like this and continuing to use a standard cellphone. I just don’t know if they’d carry the tablet with them everywhere or primarily use it around the house, in which case a WiFi-only model might be a better buy.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Brad. Yes, hard to dispute the iPad sales. I think all along I’ve been extremely skeptical of the Tab sales figures. I think it’s a crock in all honesty. Perhaps regarding the iPad, it has the Apple fan base for starters and is a home bound device mainly for reading ebooks. Instead of Kindles, people have been buying iPads. It’s just the fact that I don’t see these devices in public. I’m in Canada and the Tab hasn’t been around for long, but I haven’t seen one out in public. Overall, the Tab, I say flop. Just an opinion so nobody can do anything aside from insulting me for saying it.

      • Matt May

        Sooooooo… the iPad has been out for 8 months, and has sold 7+ million. The Galaxy Tab has been out for a month, and has sold 1+ million. What makes one a success and the other a flop?

      • Anonymous

        The iPad sold over 3 millions in the first 80 days. The following months were slow, but the first 3 months saw skyrocket sales.Considering the features that the Galaxy Tab boasted, 1 million in 30 days is not all that surprising, but it’s surprising that the iPad sold more when it launched several months ago.Edit: and that’s not to say that I think the Galaxy Tab is a flop, but just from that perspective, the Galaxy Tab should have sold more than the iPad considering how much more it offers over the iPad.

      • Anonymous

        Well here’s to gullible. Why do you believe what you hear about sales? No proof. Who says there aren’t 800,000 sitting in somebody elses warehouse that isn’t Samsung. Sure, yep, they shipping 1 million which are in the hands of….. 100,000? Look around. Where are these 1 million Tabs. You see them out on the street? The number is a joke, but believe whatever you choose to believe. It looks like BS and smells like BS. Don’t believe everything you hear coming from that part of the world. You’ll be better off. Like I said, shitty movies have the critical acclaims in the trailers because….yes the movie sucks and they are compensating and brainwashing you into believing that everyone loved the movie.

      • Anonymous

        There’s gullible and there’s skeptical, the same can be said of any sales figures. Thing is either way it’s hard to prove but it should be pointed out that a million may seem like a lot but world wide that isn’t many.

        Like compared to well over 30 million sub-notebook sales for just 2010 example… How many people do you actually see daily with sub notebooks? Then ask yourself if that’s the same for everywhere in the world that these things are sold?

        Clearly such subjective observations can’t be used to make any solid conclusions. In the end, if the company makes enough money to come out with the next version of the product is the only sure way of knowing that it was successful or not…

  • onthefarm

    Some readers gush over your reviews and I have never understood why they make such a big deal about it, but now I think I understand. I think you’ve broken some tech reviewer code of silence or something by stating the obvious: it’s not really that much better than an Android phone. If we stop kidding ourselves about what things are because they seem new and look at what they really are, all of these tablets are just bigger version of popular smartphones. Same hardware and software and apps. Even funnier is that “smartphone” is just a word. Really, the PDA never died, the software just caught up with what we use on desktops and laptops. So instead of calling these big smartphones we can just call them big PDAs. People seem a little too excited about these as new devices considering that they’ve been around for such a long time. and aren’t really better than phones.

    Thanks for giving a solid review and a solid dose of reality in your conclusion. It seems clear that the tablets probably won’t last, and the best way to sell them is to brand them with a company that targets uneducated consumers (Apple). Personally I would rather have a windows tablet I think. There are some trade-offs compared to this, but it lets you do a lot more things than just a big phone could do and that seems worth it.

  • geep

    Oddly but understandably missing from the comparisons of 7″ tabs is the ARCHOS 70, no 3G but other than that fits the category…..I wonder how come?

    • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Because Archos hasn’t sent me one to review yet.

      Having spent a little time with the Archos 70 before launch, I can say that the overall build quality of the Galaxy Tab is much better. It also supports the full Android Market out of the box, while it takes a hack to get Android Market access and other Google apps on the Archos 70… but the Tab is also a much more expensive device than the Archos 70.

      For people primarily looking for a multimedia device, WiFi-only web browsing device, or an eBook reader, the 70 might indeed be a good alternative.

      • geep

        “Because Archos hasn’t sent me one to review yet.” My point exactly Brad…..I wonder why not ;(
        I am lamenting over why there have been no mainstream reviews of the ARCHOS 70/101 products once they were released to the wild!

      • Anonymous

        Samsung is a much larger company with much greater resources and reach than Archos, which is primarily a French company and has had production delays and still is limited to pre-order in many places around the world.

        Remember Brad is in the US but if you check French and German review sites you’ll see review units have been sent out, and reviewers like Charbax (check his videos on Youtube) have been rather outspoken about Archos.

      • geep

        “Charbax is rather outspoken”? hahaha…he poops ARCHOS! I have never seen a guy that gungho about something before :)
        But I hardly think he is capable of an objective review of the ARCHOS Internet line…

      • Anonymous

        Well “gungho” basically describes his general personality. He’s rather passionate about anything he’s reviewing and is a strong supporter of ARM based devices in general.

        To that end he likely perceives Archos as a good way to get ARM systems more mainstream to the masses but he’s definitely a Archos tablet fan and is strongly promoting them.

        The point though is Archos is sending out review units, just not world wide and that has a lot to do with the size and resources of the company for which Archos clearly can’t compete with Samsung on anywhere near an equal footing.

      • Anonymous

        Down sides to the Galaxy Tab versus the Archos…

        The smooth casing is too smooth. So prone to slip from your grip if you aren’t careful. You require the dock or other accessory for many peripherals while the Archos has Mini HDMI and micro USB built in. The 10.1″ Archos even has a full size USB port. While the GT is also heavier than the Archos 70, thicker, and lacks a build in kick stand to let you set it down without holding it at a viewable angle.

        You do need to do more work setting up the Archos but for the price it’s worth it and makes an excellent media consumption device and now with Froyo finally available for it, gives a decent web browsing experience as well.

        The GT does have two cameras and the Archos only has a very basic webcam but many newer Smartphones will give you better camera quality. So not a big plus for the GT.

        Performance though does clearly fall into the GT’s advantage but for over twice the price it better have something better :P

  • C Pham

    Great review, Brad. Since you mentioned you wanted to hear from a tablet owner, I thought I might chime in.

    I have an iPad 3G version that I got right on launch day, and honestly, it has been my primary device for the past half year, much to my surprise.

    Like you mentioned, the bigger screen is much more pleasant for viewing texts and websites. I’m a big fan of your blog and a few others, so a device that I can whip out, turn on, navigate to a web site and read anywhere I go is almost a godsend.

    I’ve also found myself traveling a lot in the past months, and the GPS capability coupled with the bigger screen on the iPad meant I could see the entire area surrounding me on Google Maps, and know exactly where to go. I often travel on foot, and while the iPad might be a bit large to put in my pocket, a small side bag can fit the thing just fine. Holding the tablet with one hand briefly for ten minutes is also not that big a deal. Honestly, that’s all I need to see where I need to go.

    Another thing I like about the iPad, aside from being an excellent surfing device and navigation device for my use case, is that it can be used to find whatever I need from the internet. Instructions on how to fix my bike, plan my travel tickets, product reviews for things I’m about to purchase, price check on things I’m about to purchase, look up facts for a conversation, look up definitions for things I don’t understand. Now, arguably, all of those things can be done on my smartphone as well, but, as they are more pleasant to view on the iPad’s screen, I found myself catering to the iPad more. Plus it saves the battery on my phone for… phone calls. Prior to owning the iPad, my phone wouldn’t even last through a whole day from dusk til dawn, and that’s crucial to me as I wander about a lot on weekends.

    Now, there are actually a few things that the iPad does that I just can’t do on my phone. I can actually type a few pages of reports or even do my web programming work on the iPad without feeling much fatigue. Some reviewers have noted that they probably wouldn’t write the next Great America novel on the iPad, and I agree. But I would say that writing 10 pages of that novel is not too much a chore on the iPad. Since owning the iPad, I have gotten so used to the touchscreen that my touch-typing speed on the iPad can reach well over 60WPM in landscape mode, and it’s not all that bad in portrait mode. Autocorrect off, of course.

    Then, there are a number of iPad apps that I really can’t live without. eTextbooks is a great app for me as I still go back to school every now and then. The app links itself to a vast library of textbooks for some colleges, and luckily, mine was on the list, so I could find most textbooks on there and at half off their hard copy price as well. So instead of fitting a few heavy hard covers into my measly side bag, the iPad was all that needed to be there. Note taking on the iPad is also much more pleasant. The microphone can be used to record the session, while I type away on the keyboard, or use my capacitive stylus to doodle in graphs and other things related to the subject. VNC on the iPad is also a much more pleasant experience. I can view the entirety of my desktop on the iPad and still actually be able to see things on it. I need VNC to occasionally connect back to my home, fire up my computer, and grab a document or something that I forgot to take with the iPad, then I can just download it off with the iPad. Aside from websites, videos embedded in websites are another reason for me to stick with the iPad. It’s not a fullscreen video or a flash version, it’s a dedicated HTML5 player. So instead of clicking on the video, watch it, then read the article again, I can watch the video, or just listen to the sounds while I do other things. Even getting out of the app now allows me to still be able to listen to the sounds of the video playing in the web browser. That’s just phenomenon. And it does that with nary a hiccup! Case in point, I’m listening to your voice describing the Galaxy Tab usage as I type all of this away.

    In my opinions, a WIFI version would be good enough for home use, but if you really want to bust away, you might want a 3G version. From what I can see, the only reason why most iPad users leave theirs at home is because… it turns out they only have WIFI at home. WIFI is indeed rampant nowadays, but they all come with some form of security. Unless it’s a Starbucks location or at the airport, I don’t see how you can catch a rougue WIFI signal to see what the new title image for Google’s home page is like, and the signal would not be too good in some cases. Then if you have to pull out your phone, do some gestures and activate WIFI tethering, then it’s very tedious as you will have to do that all the time. I find having a 3G iPad the be all and end all convenience. You just pull it out, and do your thing.

    So that’s my take as a very happy iPad owner. Some of the points are actually there because of the recent 4.2.1 update that enabled multitasking for the tablet. It’s even more usable now, and the web browser alone is very satisfying for me.

    All the best, and thanks for the great review and your honest opinions.

    Written from start to finish on my iPad.

  • jafferi mdnor

    we;ll i can”t say further on this since the hand right/thumbnail is always hacking the button for Archos 101 & Arabic 101 maybe infuture RSS/Feed the authority will provide move bicycles parking for city folk to take a rides and allow us to prevaial more with widget/thats we have,what do you thinks ,it;s a good ideas?for myself this is the best for future generation 50 year to 100 year student to potray their next off kin neither collage or Vercity to make commucation and excellent their study till getting their certificates nor diplomas.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TA5IIIE2VZEALB6WFC2FG43JS4 RONNIE

    Performance is sluggish as well, especially for what it is listed with. It feels like it is running on a 600Mhz processor, not a 1Ghz. Even the touch performance is annoying. During pinch to zoom and scrolling, there a delay between what your fingers do and what the screen is doing. It’s definitely not smooth. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but after awhile I start to hate it. Also at times the unit gets hot even though it doesn’t seem to be doing much.

    Thanks
    http://www.thedigitalshopper.net

  • D.Holloway,Jr.

    Too many Apple lovers here. Blind support of a product just because it has the Apple name. Shame really.

    And the average, uneducated US consumer doesn’t know that for every iPhone and iPad sold it hurts the US economy (in terms of trade deficit) as most of the iPhone and iPad parts are made in Japan and Korea and assembled in China. A real American hit/product? No — they are “imports.”

    Samsung rolled out mulit-million-selling touch-screen mobile phones long before the iPhone and long before the word “smart phone” came to use. Tablet pcs been around the block long before the iPad. So you can’t say that Apple is “innovative”.

    The best selling “smart phone” in the world is made by Samsung, a model sold only in Europe and South America – over 20 million sold. And if you don’t trust the numbers because it’s from another part of the world, go back into your caves.

    I have both the iPad and the Galaxy Tab, and I also have the iPhone and Galaxy S. All good products. Can’t compare 1:1 — different niche, especially the tabs.

    If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it.

  • D.Holloway,Jr.

    Too many Apple lovers here. Blind support of a product just because it has the Apple name. Shame really.

    And the average, uneducated US consumer doesn’t know that for every iPhone and iPad sold it hurts the US economy (in terms of trade deficit) as most of the iPhone and iPad parts are made in Japan and Korea and assembled in China. A real American hit/product? No — they are “imports.”

    Samsung rolled out mulit-million-selling touch-screen mobile phones long before the iPhone and long before the word “smart phone” came to use. Tablet pcs been around the block long before the iPad. So you can’t say that Apple is “innovative”.

    The best selling “smart phone” in the world is made by Samsung, a model sold only in Europe and South America – over 20 million sold. And if you don’t trust the numbers because it’s from another part of the world, go back into your caves.

    I have both the iPad and the Galaxy Tab, and I also have the iPhone and Galaxy S. All good products. Can’t compare 1:1 — different niche, especially the tabs.

    If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it.

  • Anonymous

    Internal Memory 16/32 GB storage, 512 MB RAM,Memory Card Slot,Edge,
    WiFi and 3.15 MP camera,check this out http://www.puremobile.com/Samsung/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab/ you could see for your self what am talking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Lopez/100002210504205 Jesus Lopez

    I really enjoy my Galaxy Tab; I am a big fan of the size because I am all about portability. I am just happy that is works great with my Sling adapter from DISH Network. I have and work at DISH and with the Sling adapter; I can stream live and recorded TV to my Galaxy Tab. The best part is that I can use it everywhere; all I need is 3G coverage or WiFi.

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