Nov 29, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab - A short review

Samsung Galaxy Tab
An iPad-killer it is not, but Samsung's contribution to the tablet world is without a doubt an interesting and rich product. But there are two clear groups of tablet purchasers out there: the 10-inchers and the 7-inchers. This is obviously a completely platform independent preference.

Let's get this out of the was before continuing. If you have your mind set on maximizing real estate (physically), a 7-inch just won't do. I will, however, recommend that if you fall into this group, wait until testing a smaller device before making your decision. There are very real advantages to a 7-inch tablet.

First off, the Galaxy Tab (Or any similarly sized tablet) fits nicely in a large jacket pocket. (For the record, it fits in my front pants pocket as well, although I don't prefer sitting with it there). This makes it more practical as an on-the-go device. So, unless you are a lady with a large purse (or guy with a man-bag), you'll be hard struck to have a 10-inch tablet with you when out. Even if you do have a purse (...or man-bag), a 7-inch device is still more conveniently sized for such use.

Using a car mounting bracket, it's the perfect size for navigational purposes. It is essentially identically sized to the larger GPS-devices, so using the built-in Google Maps or a third party application gets you a car GPS. I've tested Google Maps (no Navigation in my area unfortunately), and found this very convenient. Definitely a better experience than a 3.5 to 4-inch device offers, which has become the norm.

It is also very conveniently passed to the back seat to quiet a child on a longer car trip. There are plenty of games and drawing apps to choose from, and more always on the way. The 7-inch screen is also quite usable for movies (viewing on a 7-inch screen at 30 cm is equivalent to a 46-inch screen at 2 meters!) And with a resolution of 1024x600 on the Galaxy Tab, it offers quite a nice picture.

I'm not much of a reader, but am already on my second book since purchasing the Tab. The size is equivalent to a paperback book and quite comfortable. I also find myself reading more mail and news on it than on my PC now. I feel the size of the galaxy Tab lends itself well to this purpose.

The Tab is also a fully functioning phone; at least if you only use speakerphone or a headset. Since my purchase I have used the TAB exclusively, and honestly have no plans on stopping. What I would love is a some way to conveniently carry it around at work. I doubt most Tab users would want to go so far as to use it as their only phone, though. It is just too big to be convenient.

Now to the negative: I have experienced some lagging while browsing, as stated in other reviews. This seems to be site related, and possible caused by Flash content. However, I don't feels it drastically reduces the value of the Tab itself. This will more than likely be an issue (not sure I would go as far as to consider it an 'issue') with any Android device in the near future. This should not be a reason to purchase en iPad unless you have already decided to purchase one and are looking for excuses. ;)

Some application aren't running at full screen. This is due to the design of the apps themselves, as the Galaxy Tab has a greater resolution than other Android devices. Basically, not all apps scale to use the full screen. I have heard reports of quality issues with scaled apps. I don't feel that this is the case for normal use. Unless you are looking for scaling quality issues, I doubt you will find them.

The largest issue with the Galaxy Tab is actually the price. It costs a little more than the iPad, which is a larger device. This isn't necessarily so bad. It is common that we pay more for reduced size products, and I in no way regret my purchase. I would, however, have liked to see a more competitive pricing structure.

To conclude, I would warmly recommend the Galaxy Tab to anyone considering a tablet for the GPS, reading, browsing, mail, etc. It has a nice screen, the size is perfect for portability, and it is a wondering device that does many things well.

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