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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review - The Best Android Tablet?

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Final Thoughts

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Samsung has come a long way since it introduced its first-generation Tab to the world in 2010. The second-generation Tab 10.1 is a very snappy and responsive tablet and the inclusion of Android's latest Honeycomb operating system was a smart move on Samsung's part. Their choices for using a 10" widescreen display with 1280x800 native resolution and incorporating a Tegra 2 chip as the centerpiece for the Tab 10.1 also contributed to our suburb performance results and overall user experience.

 

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Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to consider when purchasing a Tab 10.1. The tablet only uses a standard version of Honeycomb and doesn't include Samsung's TouchWiz user interface or any other custom apps from the vendor. The main work Samsung put into this product seems to be only in the hardware and design because they didn't bundle any of their own software when we purchased our Tab 10.1 from Amazon in July. While promises are out there to get their TouchWiz UI to consumers in a software update in August, I'm still baffled that they advertise this key feature on their own website and through other retailers selling the Tab 10.1. I'm not impressed with the exclusion of this custom UI and other custom apps from Samsung that should have been included on the day the product was release in June.

 

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While the tablet itself performed very well during our performance and battery tests, we would have liked Samsung to have added an HDMI out port, USB port, and mini SD card slot like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. Adding these features gives consumers more flexibility and functionality that would make it much more marketable and would help justify the $500 and $600 price tags for the 16GB and 32GB versions of the Tab 10.1. 

 

Conclusion

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The Tab 10.1 is the most sleek, lightweight, and portable 10" tablet I've ever tested and it was very quick and responsive during performance and usability testing. The 1280x800 display was very eyecatching when we watched high-definition videos and performed other general tasks. Using the standard keyboard was a bit challenging at first, and I was a pretty disappointed that the tablet didn't have Swype integrated into the keyboard functions as well. 

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While I appreciate the time Samsung spent on the overall quality of the Tab 10.1's construction and design, I would have liked more attention paid to the details in the software and custom apps department. Like many consumers, I have high expectations when I pay $500 for a mobile device. I expect it to do almost every task that my laptop can do, and in some instances, I expect to be more productive too. That being said, the Tab 10.1 met most of my expectations and I think they have room for improvement to make the tablet more flexible to consumer needs so we can integrate the tablet with other devices we use in our personal and professional lives.

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Strengths

  • 1GHz, dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
  • 1280x800 high-definition display
  • Lightweight, thin, and portable
  • Good construction and design
  • Android Honeycomb operating system 

Weaknesses

  • No HDMI out port
  • No USB port
  • No mini SD card slot
  • TouchWiz UI not installed
August 10, 2011 | 01:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Samsung Touch Wiz application was released on August 8, 2011, just prior to the publishing of this review. I agree it's unfortunate that it wasn't available sooner or in time for this review.

If you want the update you can snag it my using the device update feature on the settings menu -> About Table menu -> Software update.

Note you'll need to have an active Samsung account to complete the download and install the update.

It took my tablet about 20-30 mins to complete the install. It's easy and straight forward.

If there's any time maybe you can do an update on this review using the TWiz update? I'm interested in your thoughts.

S

ps. And no I don't work for Samsung, just a friendly reader /owner of this device.

Enjoy

April 8, 2013 | 09:11 AM - Posted by Angela (not verified)

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August 10, 2011 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Super Six Two

Most android fans would be glad that TouchWiz isn't there. I won't buy one simply because I knew they would be adding it. I like the true android experience. Just like with my PC's I just expect the hardware from the manufacturers. Let them stick to what they are good at and let google do its thing with android.

August 10, 2011 | 05:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just bought a Asus Eee Pad Transformer for $400. Has HDMI, external sd. 10.1 etc. So why is the samsung a 100 dollars more and you get less (no sd or hdmi) greedy!!!

August 16, 2011 | 10:22 AM - Posted by Ashish87 (not verified)

Just bought Tab 10.1 for 250$ extra...it makes me feel good coz I love Samsung and a tough competitor of Apple!!

August 10, 2011 | 08:17 PM - Posted by GMAN (not verified)

No SD slot? I don't get it. Does it add that much to the thinkness? What are they trying to be the iPad? Have a Transformer and a ICONIA and find the SD slot a must have. The full size USB port ( ICONIA ) for flash drives is also a must have for me. Oh well guess I will give this one a miss.

August 11, 2011 | 02:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Touch wiz update seems to remove the WMV drm support that came with the tab out of the box.

If you use digital copy because your a noob or just like a hassle free experience you might not want to update your Galaxy Tab.

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September 6, 2011 | 05:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice post...
see also:
http://tabletpc-id.com/samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1

September 6, 2011 | 07:59 AM - Posted by www.touchtabletpc.org (not verified)

I agree that the Galaxy tab has a lot to love. I like the feel of it and even how it works. However, I had had a hard time of letting go because there are no ports or SD card slot or HDMI. That I won't settle for and will go with a tablet that will meet my needs instead of purchasing something that is esthetically pleasing to the eye and performs decently. If you want to find more reviews like this one, checkout my site at http://www.touchtabletpc.org.

September 6, 2011 | 04:42 PM - Posted by Anthony Nguyen (not verified)

I love the Samsung Tablet 10.1 with 32Gb. It is light and portable, and the best part is the hd screen that is soothing in my eyes when I work and read ebooks on kindle for tablet software for hours. It is big enough to hold most of my documents and programs. When something, I don't need, I just store on my labtop, if I need space, I just move files to my labtop to make room for the tablet. It is not a big deal as long as I can access more files from my laptop. Of course, the SD feature would be nice, but I found out that it will outgrowth its limit quickly in a few years. For now 32Gb is big enough for my need. Thanks Samsung, you are the best.

September 19, 2011 | 03:20 AM - Posted by Allen (not verified)

I have to say Galaxy Tab 10.1 is one of the best tablet among all but new tablets really making things worried moments for Samsung specially Android 3.2 Tablets including Slider and some others! If you compare it to xoom that I found xoom much better one than Galaxy tab, even Gizmodigit also somehow agree with me as you can find detailed comparison here: Tablet Showdown : Motorola Xoom Vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Vs iPad 2

Also their is a rumor about powerful XOOM 2 is heading around year end!

November 17, 2011 | 01:06 AM - Posted by Emmi Bances (not verified)

Samsung galaxy is the one product which has come extremely closer to top iproducts....... But still Apple is Apple!!!

No one can replace them!!!

http://www.mobilespect.com/android-tablet-review-before-purchasing-one.html

December 23, 2011 | 06:38 AM - Posted by dany (not verified)

It's my favorite tablet, and probably the best out there, except maybe Transformer Prime because of it's quad-core processor, if you feel ok with the keyboard dock and the extra price for that. Although Motorola Droid Xyboard offers serious competition. Check this comparison: Motorola Droid Xyboard vs Samsung Galaxy Tab

November 23, 2013 | 02:09 PM - Posted by ronald lugo (not verified)

Samsung is always favorite to me . I like samsung products. Tablet are looking great . slim and stylish . Thanks to share this nice post .
zenithink C94

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