Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Good
  • Bright screen with vibrant colours
  • Light and portable
  • Great battery life
  • 3G & WiFi models available
The Bad
  • No 1080p video recording
  • Limited app availability
  • No HDMI out
  • No standard USB connection
The Verdict
★★★☆☆

Whilst the Asus Prime Transformer is a strong challenger to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the best overall Android tablet to date, it is still the best option if you need 3G connectivity.

R5,100.00
Buy Now

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 [Review]

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was released as a direct response to Apple’s iPad 2 and features a large, wide-screen display inside an incredibly thin and light body. The 10-inch Samsung Galaxy tab weighs less than most tablets on the market today, yet still finds room for a dual-core 1GHz processor and the latest version of Android 3.1 Honeycomb.

Design & Features

One key feature that sets the the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 apart from other Android competitors is its superior design and build quality. At 256.6mm x 172.9mm it is a fairly large tablet, yet manages to keep the weight below 565g which is significantly lighter than both the new iPad and the iPad 2.

Whilst we generally prefer a more metallic finish to the plastic, high gloss material of the Galaxy Tab 10.0, it does not look cheap and feels solid and tightly put together. Similar to most modern tablets, the screen is devoid of any buttons and merely contains the 1280 x 800 pixel touchscreen display as well as the forward-facing 2 megapixel camera.

Controls for volume and power as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack are found along the top ridge of the tablet. Two stereo speakers – one each on the left and right edge – round of the external features of the Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1.

Whilst the 3 megapixel rear-facing camera on the device does provide some handy extra features (like flash and auto-focus), it is inferior to the updated 8 megapixel camera found on the Asus Transformer Prime. The auto-focus feels somewhat sluggish at times and we had trouble capturing a decent imag eof anything that wasn’t stationary. The camera also supports video recording of up to 720p. It does /data port can be found on the bottom edge.

The front facing 2 megapixel camera provides a slightly higher resolution than the iPad 2, and whilst adequate for basic instant messaging sessions, it’s still a long way from the quality of a real tele-conferencing app.

Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs of a NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor, offering 16GB or 32GB of internal storage.

Whilst you can easily rely on cloud-based storage solutions for additional storage space, we found the lack of additional memory expansion options via SD or microSD somewhat limiting. The Samsung Tab also doesn’t have a USB port, but can connect to other devices with Bluetooth.

The tablet offers both WiFi and 3G connection options.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs – the now slightly outdated – Android 3.2.

One thing to note is that Samsung uses it’s own customized skin to add additional styling elements to the standard Android OS design and feel. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 displays the Live Panel view upon start up, which is a magazine-like widget view where you can get immediate access to weather, social updates, email, news, etc. With the upgrade of Ice Cream Sandwich, a lot of critics say that the TouchWiz skin takes away from the major design updates of ICS, but we found the skin to provide improved user navigation and an overall more visual, fluid and intuitive computing experience.

The main question is how and when Samsung will update the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich release – but as of yet there is no official word from the company.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes pre-loaded with several applications, most of them either develped by Google or made by Samsung. The Google pre-loaded apps include Books, Calendar, Gmail, Google Search, Latitude, Maps, Market, Navigation, Places, Talk, Videos, Voice Search and YouTube. The Samsung pre-loaded apps include eBook, Media Hub, Music Hub, Pen Memo, Photo Editor, Samsung Apps, and Social Hub. Whilst the Samsung apps provide nice alternatives to the more established Andriod Market or Amazon for example, we prefered to stick with more established apps in order to avoid having to maintain an additional account with Samsung.

In addition to the above, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 also offers some improved enterprise focused software, with Cisco VPN, Sybase MDM and Cisco WebEx mobile conference solution for meetings on the go.

Display

The display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is exeptionally bright and clear, and provides vibrant colours on the back of its 1280 x 800 Super PLS-based display.

The touchscreen is responsive and refreshes quickly. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1’s screen runs at 149 pixels per inch and provides a wide viewing angle that looks great when Web surfing or browsing the app store.

Conclusion

Before the release of the Asus Transformer Prime, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was definitely the best Android tablet around. It still offers some features that keep it right at the top – particulalry the 3G connection option is crucial if you want to connect on the go.

Compared to the iPad 2, Apple still has superior support for games, apps, music, and movies. Apart from this, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is just as capable as the Apple iPad 2. It’s smaller, thinner and lighter. The design is sexy and the build quality is outstanding. And, the screen is just as bright and a bit clearer.

The Good
  • Bright screen with vibrant colours
  • Light and portable
  • Great battery life
  • 3G & WiFi models available
The Bad
  • No 1080p video recording
  • Limited app availability
  • No HDMI out
  • No standard USB connection
The Verdict
★★★☆☆

Whilst the Asus Prime Transformer is a strong challenger to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the best overall Android tablet to date, it is still the best option if you need 3G connectivity.

R5,100.00
Buy Now

Comments

  1. I have having problems with my sim card .It is not recognising and have tried 3 different cards already .Quite frustrating as this is the second tablet .Purchased a new Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 on Sunday ,returned it to the store ,purchased another one and still having the same problem .
    Question.Do we need to purchase a stand alone new sim .
    Why is the product not recognising the mobile sim ??
    Thanks
    David

    • Have you try shutting down the tablet before inserting the sim card?
      That’s how I got my sim card recognized by the tablet.
      Good Luck.

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