Recently the world seems to have become obsessed with a new wave of tablet devices, the most popular brands of which seem to be Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, Acer, Motorola and HTC – All with a few common features in mind; all slim, large display, simple, and social media oriented.
One of the latest tablets on the market is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which seems to be the slimmest, loudest and fastest, but is it quite the best?
On opening the box, I found myself gazing at a flawlessly flat, glossy slate which I was scared to touch at first in fear of getting fingerprints all over the screen. I soon pulled myself together and dove into the very efficiently packed retail box. Before describing the actual Tab first I’ll confirm that inside the box is the following – USB Cable (Tab specific cable), high quality headset, power-brick for charging, and the usual paperwork.
Out of the box the Tab had zero battery, which gave me plenty of time to admire the device. On the front there are no physical features to speak of, only the Samsung logo and a front-facing camera break the silence here. Holding the device a few things are apparent here – the weight is perfectly distributed so no matter which way up the device is held, the screen feels very cold and solid, which is always a bonus for me, also, all ports seem to be very carefully placed to optimise use in landscape or portrait.
Once the Tab was all charged up I switched it on to be mighty impressed by the initial boot-up speed, starting up was effortless, and the initial layout of the widgets really showed off the benefits of having a large screen.
The first thing I was keen to test out was the capabilities of the large display, and from the word ‘go’ this display really delivered! Being accustomed to the Galaxy S 2’s Super AMOLED Plus display I did expect to be a bit disappointed, but boy was I wrong! Colours are presented with all the vibrance you could ask for, the resolution provides for some of the sharpest imagery I have ever seen, from bold photos to the tiniest of on-screen text everything is razor sharp. The widgets just seem to ‘jump’ out of the foreground, which is really impressive. Typing is as natural as it gets on a touch screen, it may take a bit of getting used to, but after a couple of days I found myself naturally writing out emails as quick as I can on my laptop. Touch-screen response is top notch, not a complaint at all.
As mentioned above, the factory layout for the widgets is just perfect for jumping in and exploring the device, I instantly found myself welcomed by new, large, interactive widgets which can be placed around the home screen so intuitively that it was if I had owned the Tab for months, customising the Tab to make it my own took 5 minutes initially but the sheer amount of freedom kept me coming back to tweak some more.
Another great thing about the large screen is having the ability to feel truly immersed in video, especially when combined with the brilliantly placed stereo speakers (on either side of the device), flaws in low-res videos are made apparent, but you didn’t buy a Galaxy tab 10.1 to play low-res videos, did you?? The YouTube app has been adapted especially for honeycomb tablets which is just stunning, viewing a video whilst writing a comment is now not only a possibility, but it’s a pleasure too!
I never thought I’d use the tab for reading Ebooks, but thanks to the high resolution, I found reading the many free news articles extremely stimulating as images and text could easily sit side-by-side for a real newspaper article experience. I personally wouldn’t be reading War and Peace on an Ebook reader but did find reading from this device very natural
There are a lot of games which adapt well to the higher resolution/increased screen size, the games I tested were angry birds (of course), stupid zombies and zynga poker, all of which were greatly augmented on the tab, physics are still represented accurately and the extra space on screen makes the games naturally more immersive.
Both cameras, despite the modest image resolution seem to pick up photos more than worthy of uploading to facebook etc... and unless you work for paramount pictures, video capture is non-too-shabby too!
One unexpected benefit I found with the Tab is the potential for business use, the calendar/agenda widgets are clear, with lots of information, and the email layout is perfect for viewing your emails whilst scrolling through other items simultaneously.
When it comes to typing, the options provided should cater for everyone... Even Swype has been added with the option to reduce the keyboard size for those of you who are used to your phone keyboards... The Tab 10.1 could seriously replace the laptop for your average business commuter.
Weight and size are unarguably in this devices strengths, but I have found myself utterly dumbstruck by the battery life of this thing. With light use, say fifteen to thirty minutes use a day this thing can be used easily for a week without need re-charging, that’s of course turning off wifi between use etc, but nevertheless is shockingly impressive. Sound is easily audible in a normal quiet-ish cafe scenario.
The Tab is a great device, for anyone remotely interested in social networking, passing time and viewing media how it was meant to be viewed on the go, it also seems to be perfect for business use.
Pros: Amazing display, great business potential, light and attractive.
Cons: In need of more Tab oriented apps.