The time has come to review the world’s most controversial tablet and it’s not even a HP model I’m talking about. Coming after a couple of months of legal trouble from Apple, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 started off as a potentially doomed slate, since it was banned in a few countries, but the ban was eventually lifted. What we have right here is a Honeycomb unit and the one that I tested lacked TouchWiz sadly.
Considering what I’ve been hearing recently, that the TouchWiz update cripples the Galaxy Tab 10.1 rather than enhance it, I’m lucky I didn’t get it. Supposedly, TouchWiz and the update bricked a number of units and really dug into the battery life. Back to our device on the testing table, this slate is thinner and lighter than the iPad, at 8.6mm and 565 grams respectively… and that’s felt the moment you grab the gadget with two hands.
The only time when I felt that Samsung was copying Apple was when I found out that this tablet lacks any kind of useful port. No trace of SD or microSD card slot, micro USB, full USB, HDMI or anything like that. We’ll have to do with an audio jack and the 30 pin port provided by Samsung. The display is top notch quality, with a 10.1 inch diagonal, widescreen view and 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, superior to the one on the iPad 2.
Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with a 1GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal memory and the usual dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor at 1GHz. HSPA+ connectivity of up to 21Mbps is available, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0. Don’t expect too much from the 3MP camera at the back, although on paper it promises HD 720p video recording. At least it has an LED flash and autofocus.. and it’s paired with a front 2 megapixel camera for videocalls.
The experience with this model didn’t give me any specific thrills in comparison with other Honeycomb models. The only difference here is the Samsung dedicated App Store and the Music Hub, that gives you the latest hits in the music industry for a certain price. In the Samsung application store there are a few nifty apps, like the Benny e-book for kids or the Star Chart for astronomy buffs. All in all I had a pleasant experience with this very light and thin tablet… but in the end the software spoiled it for me.
The tablet froze to bricked status for a day or two and that was a complete turn off for me. I may have been unlucky enough to get a buggy device, but that’s not the case. The bugs I saw here are the same as the ones on any other Honeycomb tablet: force closes especially in the YouTube app and lots of lag and blocks when the tablet runs multiple apps. Maybe with Android 4.0 this slate will perform better…