Galaxy Tab 10.1 - Touchy-feely

6/1/2012 2:52:07 PM


Price: $600

Manufacturer: Samsung


Predominately black in colour with a silver trim, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a high quality capacitive WXGA screen delivering a resolution of 1280x800 pixels with a propensity for collecting finger smears. The tablet has dimensions of 256.7x175.3x8.6mm and weighs 565g. While too large to fit into most pockets, the unit can easily be balanced one handed allowing the other hand to carry out actions.

Description: Galaxy Tab 10.1

Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung has made a conscious effort to keep the external controls and connections to a minimum. Occupying the top left of the unit’s body are the on/off switch and volume control rocket. In a more central position is a 3.5mm jack socket for inserting the supplied earplug style headset. Sound, when not using a headset, is delivered from speaker grills on either side of the unit. While not up to the quality of the screen, the audio is more than adequate for many tasks.

Completing the external options is a 30-pin connection socket on the base of the unit. This connection, used in conjunction with the supplied lead, allows you to recharge the device’s 7000 mAh battery pack via the mains or a USB port on a computer. However, this is the sole purpose of this USB link.

The Galaxy Tab is powered by an NVidia 1GHz Tegra dual-core processor with 16GB of RAM for storing apps and the Android Honeycomb 3.1 operating system. Powering up the unit from cold took approximately 30 seconds to arrive at the unlock screen. Following a quick finger swipe, the home screen appears and you have the option to create panes for specific tasks.

Helped by the tablet’s built-in four-way accelerometer and gyro, scrolling in any direction and switching between landscape and portrait orientation is quick and smooth. Graphics quality is of a high standard with a well-defined and bright appearance usable in various lighting conditions.

Description: Galaxy Tab 10.1

Galaxy Tab 10.1

Both front and rear-mounted cameras are available. The front camera is a 2MP model while the rear unit is of the 3MP variety. The supplied camera app allows you to switch between these two cameras enabling you to take a self-portrait using the tablet’s screen as your viewfinder.

When held in either orientation, a taskbar runs across the bottom of the screen. This bar displays status details, task icons including a screen grab feature, and a pop-up that holds widgets for Task Manager, Calendar, World Clock, Pen Memo, Calculator and Music Player.

The full complement of standard Android apps (Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search etc) are provided along with certain Samsung offerings. Featured among the Samsung apps is a Social Hub with links to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn plus email and scheduling management. You also get links to the Android Market plus Samsung’s own app store which duplicates many of the Android offering but does include some specific NVidia Tegra programs.

Performance-wise I cannot fault the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. You get great graphics with a range of features plus a speed of operation that should satisfy most users. In tests I was downloading web pages within a two second window while battery life was approaching nine hours when used for a mixture of tasks. I do, however, have one request for the next model in the series: could we please have a standard USB port to make life easier when wi-fi access is not available.

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