Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review: Android 3.1 Tablet

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Galaxy Tab 10.1 Performance Summary: The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is competitive with the best of the Android tablets -- from both in terms of benchmark scores and real-world performance. There are a couple of areas where the unit trailed the Asus Transformer or Moto Xoom, but the delta's weren't dramatic.We feel confident in saying that anyone who uses a Galaxy Tab 10.1 for an extended period of time will be satisfied with its snappy performance, and while it doesn't do "true" multitasking in a way that webOS does, it's still good enough for average consumers, and it handles multiple applications / panes with ease. The 1GHz Tegra 2 chipset is a potent one, and it manages to be plenty powerful for HD video, yet energy efficient enough to eke out nearly as much battery life as the iPad 2 and more than the Transformer.

The design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is excellent. It's thinner than the iPad 2, and feels great in the hand. It's comfortable to hold and to operate, and the simplistic nature has kept ports and toggle switches to a minimum. Some may scoff at the fact that dedicated HDMI or USB ports are missing, but the media connector at the bottom is a suitable alternative given that adapters can be made for just about any connection out there. For what it's worth, Samsung throws a USB adapter in with the slate.

Is the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a real threat to the loads of other Honeycomb tablets on the market, and moreover, a threat to the iPad 2? For the former, the answer is a resounding "Yes," but the answer isn't so clear for the latter. The 16GB Wi-Fi model is priced at just $499 -- the iPad 2 is priced at the same starting point. The 32GB Wi-Fi model is $599. This makes the Tab 10.1 highly competitive on the Android landscape, considering what you get for the money.

The iPad 2, however, still maintains an edge at the $499 price point in our opinion. With nearly 100,000 iPad-centric apps available right now, the iOS catalog is simply more compelling than the growing Android Market. In a year or two, that field may be more level, but as it stands today, the vast majority of what's impressive on Honeycomb actually ships with Honeycomb -- there aren't very many compelling apps that truly exploit the capabilities of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 when digging through the Market.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still an excellent tablet and media consumption device, however, and if you're specifically in the market for a 10.1" unit, this one is going to be very tough to beat for a while to come. Fans of Android should have an easier decision here, but those who are OS-agnostic may take comfort in the larger app selection found on the iPad 2. Give developers a year or so, and we may be singing a different tune though.

  • Slimmer than the iPad 2
  • Great battery life
  • Good graphics performance
  • Android 3.1
  • Reasonably priced
  • No microSD card slot
  • Glossy display is really glossy
  • Wonky connection issues with Windows 7 and OS X
  • Not enough tablet apps in Android Market

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