Galaxy Tab

Galaxy Tab

Posted On: November 11, 2010
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Comments: 5 Responses

Slick, well-designed & highly usable, the first major Android tablet release meant for humans arrives to challenge the iPad.

Samsung have released this humorous & quirky viral campaign to highlight awareness of the new Galaxy Tab:

“How To Survive Corporate Retreats!” –
The only positive, moving forward, that you can take from some cringe worthy corporate retreat is watching your boss get pummeled in the face with a paintball gun. Although extreme versions like this, lost at 14,000 ft in the Andes mountains, could have their ‘positives’, just make sure your boss and douchebaggery colleagues retreat all the way into the vast, wild jungle while you get some bonding sessions with that leggy blonde from accounts.

With the first legitimate competitor to iPad for the consumer-focused tablet-computer market, Samsung continues to take its cues from Apple — just as it’s been doing with cellphones.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. For all its faults, the iPad is still the tablet to beat. The Galaxy Tab takes direct aim at iPad’s shortcomings and does a credible job at addressing nearly all of them.

The most immediately noteworthy difference from the iPad is that the Galaxy is considerably smaller — physically about half the size and weight, with a 7-inch diagonal screen instead of the iPad’s 9.7 inches. However, the Tab’s 1024 x 600–pixel resolution makes this less of a big deal than you might expect.

Considering the iPad’s 1024 x 768–pixel resolution, you’ll find the Tab nearly as spacious, although the screen (a standard LCD) is not as bright and as clear as the iPad’s beauty.

What you gain, however, is considerably better portability: The iPad is not always convenient to tote with you, while the Tab really feels like a jumbo-sized cellphone and slips easily into any bag and many jacket pockets.

Any screen shortcomings are rapidly put out of mind by the Galaxy Tab’s rich feature set.

Everything you’d want from a modern Android phone (version 2.2, upgradeable when 3.0 hits) is here: Full app support (though, as with running iPhone apps on the iPad, many apps look JUMBO SIZE in use), a fair-enough camera (3.2 megapixels) with flash, a mobile hotspot and tethering option, and virtually no buttons.

The only physical buttons are the power button and volume toggle, both on the upper right side. Four touch-sensitive Android-standard buttons on the bottom of the front screen are usable only when the display is active.

Storage is what you make of it: A 16-GB microSD card, accessible via a flap on the side, is installed by default, and you can upgrade to 32 GB.

In use, the Galaxy Tab performs well, but is not exemplary. It feels snappy enough, but longish load times can sometimes be tiresome, and webpages invariably loaded more slowly than the iPad — sometimes taking twice as long.

There are also a few issues with apps hanging and the Wi-Fi connection suddenly vanishing without explanation. Reboots solved both issues.

On the hardware side, the light, 13.4-ounces unit just fits in a single hand, but the slick surface tends to be slippery and prone to dropping.

If you’re the kind of person who is always finding his phone falling out of your grip, your Tab is going to spend a lot of time on the floor. (Maybe that’s why Jobso was so critical of these devices?)

Compounding matters is the problematic location of the power and volume buttons. Holding the device in your left hand often causes you to hit these by accident. They’re temperamental and touchy, until you eventually adapt to a grip further down the chassis.

Pricing is complicated and modeled after the cellphone, so pay close attention: The base unit is $400 with a new or upgraded two-year contract, or $600 without a rate plan.

Data costs extra: $30 a month for 2 GB of service plus unlimited messaging, or $60 a month for 5 GB and unlimited messaging. Mobile Hotspot support is extra ($30 a month), and Sprint Navigation is extra, too.

These are relatively minor complaints, in the end. The Tab requires some retraining in the way you use a mobile device — it’s somewhere between a phone and a regular tablet — but once you get it, it’s a pleasure to use.

The Tab ultimately reveals itself not as a competitor to the iPad but as a new class of mobile devices: a minitablet that is designed to go everywhere you do.

To be honest, i think this will all come down to a ‘Marmite’ factor with the consumer, you will either love it, or hate it, depending on what camp your current handheld device resides in. Personally i LOVE it!

Article adapted, courtesy of Wired