Review: Samung Galaxy Tab 10.1

A slate war is about to break out, with Apple’s iPad2 and Samsung’s range of Galaxy Tab’s being in the frontlines for the consumer dollar.

About to be released into the market is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1V. The V stands for Vodafone, who will have an exclusive with the device when it is released mid-April.

As an avowed fan of the original Galaxy Tab (with the exception of its price), I was interested to see how the new version turned out.

Like any piece of kit, it has its good and bad points. First, the good. At just over 10mm thick, and with a 10.1-inch screen, it fits neatly into your handbag, briefcase or school satchel – so portability is not an issue. It offers you five home screens that you can customise to meet you needs – one for movies, another for social networking, yet another for apps etc.

The screen is nice and bright, and the colours of videos and pictures – as you would expect – are brilliant. You can download pics, music and movies via its USB port, with one end plugged into the device and the other into the back of the plug that also doubles at the charger. As you would expect it has Flash, and the videos I watched were seemless and colours were great.

Using the Android Honeycomb 3.0 operating system, it also comes with a 1GHz Dual Core application processor, which certainly did away with any speed of processing issues (there weren’t any).

It is a reasonably easy device to navigate. I say reasonably, because the average person who it not huge on technology might appreciate a few more prompts, especially on how to delete pics/vids etc. Speaking of which, it comes with two cameras that allow for Skyping and video conferencing, which means, unlike the original Tab – and one thing I particularly liked about it – is that it can no longer be used as a phone.

Samsung has indicated that the latest versions (there is an 8.9 Tab, too) are not seen as superceding the original, but are a new series. The original will still be available in the foreseeable future.

A feature that was being spruiked at launch was its dual surround-sound speakers. Although they do an adequate job of producing sound, if I were Samsung I wouldn’t be drawing anybody’s attention to them as being a prize feature of the device.

Now for the downside. There is an earphone jack, but there is a noticeable lack of other ports such as USB. I would have thought there would have been two or three USB ports; I like doing several things and once, and having to switch around USB sticks on the fly can be a little annoying.

The other faux pas (and I did ask the Samsung exec why they were using Vodafone, to which I got an ambiguous reply that didn’t really offer up any remedy to the question) is the browsing. A few sites (SMH, NZ Herald) came up quick as a flash, while other URLs, which were a bit more graphic intensive took an age to arrive, or in some cases didn’t show up at all. I know Vodafone have been having some issues, but this was their 3G network and I was well within range of local towers.

Overall, this is a step up on the original, but you kind of feel with a few more bits and pieces it could go from being a very good piece of kit, to a brilliant one.

Pros: Great graphics, fast processing, dual cameras, easy download
Cons: Speed of Internet downloads, lack of USB ports, speakers could be better

3.5 Shacks Out of 5