Android Thoughts: Totally Tabular: The Sprint Samsung Galaxy Tab Reviewed!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Totally Tabular: The Sprint Samsung Galaxy Tab Reviewed!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Android Tablet
Manufacturer: Samsung
Where to Buy: Sprint
Price: $399 (w/ 2 yr. agreement; $29.95/mo data plan)
Specifications: 7 inch 1024x600 Touchscreen, Android 2.2, Dual Cameras (1.3 MP Front, 3.0 MP Rear), Mobile hotspot, 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, 2 GB Onboard Memory, 16 GB SD Card Included, 4,000 mA battery, 1.0 Ghz AP S5PC110 Processor, Bluetooth 2.1

Pros:

  • Comfortable in one hand or two, portrait or landscape;
  • Samsung's customizations of Android 2.2 are useful and beautiful;
  • Excellent battery life.

Cons:

  • Proprietary connector - no micro-USB and no charging over USB;
  • Low resolution cameras;
  • Smaller size, higher price.

Summary: In a world where seemingly everyone wants to release an Android based tablet, Samsung has put forth the Galaxy Tab, a device that sports two cameras to the iPad's none, shaves off a few inches, and is popping up on networks all over the place. Recently I was able to spend a few weeks with Sprint's version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab... so was it Tabtacular or does it leave your slatesmitten soul sad? Read on and find out!

Presentation!

The Sprint review unit I received came in full retail packaging, which I'm more than happy to show you below. The box wasn't overly big - nice for those of us who keep boxes and don't like them taking up a ton of space (and better for the environment), and the accessories were nice and simple: USB cable, power charger with USA tip, headphones, manuals, and device. Sweet!

Figure 1: Samsung Galaxy Tab's Retail Box (I don't think you get the Sprint media rep's card though, unfortunately).

Figure 2: Open the box, and what do I see, a Galaxy Tab staring at me!

Figure 3: My Gorilla hands holding the Tab, although even my wife's smaller, normal sized hands could probably hold this without too much trouble.

The presentation was nice, the device beautiful, and of course my next question (as an iPad user) was "How does this compare", so go ahead and read on to the next section...

Size Matters

More than one time I've taken the Tab out of my bag and have had someone say "Wow, that's the perfect size". And this begs the question, Compared to what? Well, an iPad of course! So here are the comparison shots - you tell me if you think it's the perfect size:

Figure 4: iPad and Galaxy Tab, side by side.

Figure 5: iPad and Galaxy Tab, backside by backside. What's that on the Tab? Oh yeah, it's a camera...

Figure 6: iPad and Galaxy Tab, sitting on each other.

The practical implications for the Tab and its size compared to the iPad are simple: It's lighter, and easier to hold. I recall hearing a guest on TWiT last spring comment that the iPad "wears on you", and in my experience, that is true. It's just a bit big and heavy to be held completely out away from your body without any support for more than a few moments. The Tab, however, is just big enough to have a useful screen, and small enough to be operated without support and, dare I say it, with just one hand!


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