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Galaxy Tab review

Post image for Galaxy Tab review

December 26, 2010

in All Articles,Tablet PCs

The Galaxy Tab is an excellent adaptation by Samsung for their first entry into the tablet PC world. In this case, the Galaxy Tab has inevitable comparisons to the Apple iPad, and it should – conceptually the Tab and iPad are very similar devices, only one is designed by Apple (that’s software and hardware) and the other is Android (software by Google, hardware by Samsung).

The Apple / Android question is not the purpose of this article, though (and could easily be the topic of a book). Here I focus solely on the Galaxy Tab itself:

How good is the Galaxy Tab? Does it do its job well?

If you have a Samsung Epic or a Fascinate or any of the Samsung “Galaxy” devices, you’ll be immediately comfortable with the Galaxy Tab. It’s running a slightly customized version of the Galaxy front-end to the Android OS. It scales perfectly to the Tab’s physical size. In fact, much like what Apple did with the iPad, it seems that tablet PCs really are much better when they run a cellphone-custom interface as opposed to a scaled down PC interface (are you listening, Microsoft?)

I like the size a lot. It’s just about perfect for playing mobile games. The 7” screen size is just right for displaying plenty of information while keeping the device small enough to be easily carried, and the entire device can securely be held in one hand (you can’t say that about the iPad).

To demonstrate size and usability, see the three pictures below. In order, we have the Galaxy Tab being held in one hand, then two examples of how the Tab works well for wide-screen multimedia applications (like, in this case, games). The final picture also has a size comparison with a Leatherman Wave.

The almost-one-pound weight is also fine if you’re using this as anything but an ereader or a feature-length movie player. As something you’d have to hold and stare at for an extended amount of time, the device is a little heavier than I’d prefer. For example, the Kindle is designed to be very lightweight, so you could lay on your back in bed and hold the Kindle over your face, like you would a paperback book. The Tab is too heavy for that (and don’t even think about it if using an iPad. If your ereading or movie watching is done in an easy-to-hold position, or you prefer using two hands, this isn’t a problem.

So to address the questions I asked at the beginning of this article:

Is the Galaxy Tab any good?

Yes, it’s very good. It’s a well-functioning, powerful device. The display looks great and it’s well-sized to properly display many applications. I have no problems with it at all. Samsung did a really nice job. If I had a need for a tablet, I’d love to use the Galaxy Tab.

Does the Galaxy Tab do its job well?

Yes, assuming the job is to be a merger of netbook and cellphone. And that’s the question on all tablets in general (not just the Tab). I would argue yes, but only for certain applications. It’s not a laptop replacement, especially for those who need to type a lot. It’s not a cellphone replacement. But it could be a netbook replacement for the right users, is much for fun to browse the web, check email, do simple document work and is a good ereader device.We as a tech-wielding society need to carve out a place for the tablet device, or at least determine if they’re signifigantly better at enough network/cellphone/laptop aspects to justify their existence.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is a great device. But the tablet PC is so new to the consumer tech industry, and yet there are already four tablet operating systems planned for 2011, from Apple (iOS), Google (Android), HP (Palm webOS ) and RIM (PlayBook). Microsoft has yet to get into the game, but you can bet they will. Is all that too much for a market that doesn’t yet have its legs? Will the Galaxy Tab be successful? It’s one of the earliest arrivals to this new tablet PC market, and the results are out of Samsung’s hands and into those of the consumers: It’s up to us to decide!

The Galaxy Tab is available for $600 from Verizon Wireless. Verizon cellular plans start at $20 per month for 1GB of downloads.


Galaxy Tab features and specifications (from

Network: CDMA 800/1900
Operating System: Android 2.2 (Froyo)
Form Factor: Tablet – Portrait Primary
Dimensions (W x H x D): 7.48” x 4.74” x 0.47”
Weight: 13.58 ounces
CPU: Cortex A8, 1GHz CPU, Hummingbird
Display Type: 7.0″ WSVGA TFT (600 x 1024 pixels)
Memory Capacity: 512MB(ROM) + 592MB(RAM) + 2GB (User Memory) + 16GB microSD™ card preinstalled (supports up to 32GB microSD card)
Connectivity: WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0
Bluetooth Connectivity
Sensor Type: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Luminance, Gyro
Battery: 4000mAh
Camera (Front): 1.3MP
Camera (Rear): 3MP Auto Focus

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