The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a cheeky rival to the iPad 2, now available in the UK. 

Apple’s attempt to erase the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the history books is a compelling reason to take a long hard look at this upstart tablet. See also: New iPad review.

Since Apple created the iPad, there have been numerous attempts by jealous competitors to emulate Apple’s innovation. Yet it’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that’s most conspicuously fired up the Apple legal artillery to remove a product from sale. But why Samsung, why this tablet? A recap of recent history may suggest why. See also Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Before the iPad launched in April 2010, just 18 short months ago, the instant-on fingertip-controlled tablet PC did not exist. A successful smartphone based on the concept, on the other hand, had been around for three years.

In a June 2010 interview, Steve Jobs revealed that Apple’s R&D team devised the tablet first, then shrank it down to telephone proportions, to make the iPhone the debut release. But Apple already had long experience of handheld computing, making one of the very first PDAs, the Newton, from 1993.

(There had been tablets before, of course, but they were rightly slated for being of little practical use. Microsoft tried to press its hardware allies into service to build the Windows tablet after its 2001 developer conference.

The results were fat, heavy, short-lived on battery, and needed a stylus to press into their murky, dull screens. Crippling them more than their chunky hardware was an operating system unsuited for the job.

Nevertheless these slabs were rolled out to businesses indoctrinated into wanting Windows everywhere. Ultimately, the effort petered out, and PC makers lost interest. The necessary screen and battery technology did not exist, while the very promoter of the concept didn’t get the fact that its desktop OS was entirely unsuited to the tablet space.)

Sincere flattery?

A few months from the release and ensuing meteoric success of the iPad, other tech giants hastily tried to copy the product. From a standing start, suddenly everyone thought they knew how to make a tablet. Samsung was one of the first to release a copycat tablet six months later.

Except, Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab was more like the unholy offspring of iPhone and iPad. Its 7in screen and telephone operating system created a Dom Jolly affair that, while a country light year behind either Apple product, was still about the best that any other technology brand could muster.

First it made limited amounts of what’s now called the Galaxy Tab 10.1V, an 11mm-thick tablet with 8Mp camera. Realising it must try harder, Samsung went away and oiled its photocopier.

So now, in August of 2011, it has the one true Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Where the original 7in Tab was a chunky slab with plastic screen and matching creaky back, the Tab 10.1 is ultra-slim and has a glass front.

Where every Google-sponsored tablet to date has found room for memory card slots and USB sockets – as much to appease techheads who say they can’t live without such expansion – the Tab 10.1 follows Apple's lead, and has none. And in place of high-gloss plastic casework, Tab 10.1 has satin-finished detailing: if only cod-metallic plastic.

In short, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is about as close as you can get to an iPad 2, short of handing £399 to Apple. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 curiously costs £399 but runs, instead of Apple iOS, Google’s presently closed-source Honeycomb Android software.

In the UK, the Dixons Stores Group (DSG) comprising PC World, Dixons and Currys has exclusive retail rights for the moment, and is matching Apple UK’s prices, spec for spec.

That includes other versions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 too, such as with 32GB storage and 3G modem, the latter still pending release.

Handling of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 feels good in the hands. In its bid to outdo Apple, the Tab’s been craftily designed to be even lighter and thinner than iPad 2 – but by spookily narrow margins: Samsung knows the importance of waving superlative specs under the eyes of undiscriminating consumers.

Where iPad 2 now weighs a comfortable-to-handle 597g on our digital scales, Samsung’s reprise of plastic for the case rear – now in softer rubber finish – has meant it can shed a few grammes from the blueprint’s weight, to 559g.

In real terms, that 38g is impossible to detect when judging the pair by hand. In fact, the longer body of the Samsung leads some to think it heavier due to a cantilever effect.

Laid down on a flat surface, Tab 10.1 and iPad 2’s thicknesses are indistinguishable to the eye. Our measuring calipers show a 0.15mm – just 150 micron – average difference, in Samsung’s favour: 8.70 versus iPad 2's 8.85mm.

Unlike the 4:3 aspect-ratio iPad that works well in landscape or portrait orientations, the 16:9-widecreen Tab 10.1 is essentially a  landscape device.

Like iPad, it has an accelerometer that can tell how it’s being held and rotate on-screen rendering accordingly. Yet a 16.9 panel used upright in portrait view looks wrong, and feels more cramped when you try reading webpage or text content that way.

Samsung wants you to use it landscape, and puts its name along the bezel bottom to remind you how to hold it. A very Apple-like slot lies below, a 30-pin dock connector for charging and PC syncing.

Note that unlike the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 must be charged by a separate adaptor, with no recourse to using a computer's USB socket. Charging time is slow. We left a drained Tab 10.1 on charge for seven hours, and it still showed only 80% capacity available.

In place of iPad 2’s mono speaker, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has smaller stereo speakers placed on its sides near the top corners. This brings some welcome spaciness to the sound, although in actual volume it’s no louder than iPad 2. In overall acoustic fidelity, we judged it a tie.

The touchscreen is well-suited to 16:9 widescreen content: that is to say, films and video. It’s similarly bright at maximum setting, although Samsung’s auto-brightness control leaves it slightly dimmer than an iPad. You can override this easily and set your own preference here.

Thanks to Super PLS display tech, a development of in-plane switching (IPS) technology that gives the iPad 2 such clarity from every angle, Tab 10.1’s display is as clear and colourful, and even renders small text in webpages slightly sharper.

Handily, a gently TouchWiz UX addition to otherwise near-stock Google Honeycomb includes a touch-activated shortcut to useful settings such as brightness, wireless, and battery meter in the screen bottom-right corner.

What make the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tick?

Inside, iPad 2 and Tab 10.1 have near-identical batteries, 25 and 25.9Wh respectively.

For an Android device, battery life is very good. It’s particularly difficult to benchmark lifespan meaningfully, but we found at least one whole day, sometime two or more, of ‘normal’ use was possible, all without having to get obsessive about switching off every battery-draining facility like Wi-Fi or manually killing apps. Perhaps tellingly, we couldn’t even find a way to do the latter with the default software setup.

The processor is from the same family as that used in the iPad, a dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based system-on-a-chip (SoC), also clocked at 1GHz. Samsung’s choice has a slower ultra-low power nVidia graphics processor against Apple’s PowerVR engine.

The iPad 2 benefits from a much faster graphics engine that helps accelerate such screen rendering, an effect felt throughout the tablet experience.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 inside shot

Inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Benchmark tests performed by AnandTech suggest that Apple’s graphics are not just a little faster; they’re around four times quicker than nVidia Tegra 2-based tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. That translates into far more fluid and realistic gaming for iPad 2 users.

Screen sensitivity is poorer on the Samsung, requiring a tad more finger pressure to scroll around web pages, for example. And while Android in this 3.1 incarnation has gotten smoother in its interface animation, it still just falls short of the slick frictionless feel that make the iPad so natural to control.

The Samsung’s cameras are more than capable, the rear-facing 3-megapixel especially, which can also take advantage of a neat facility to take well-stitched panaroma shots.

Web browsing is a touch slower than on an iPad, sometimes taking perceptibly twice as long for pages to load: our selection of pages took an average of 7 sec against iPad 2’s 4 sec.

But the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 does have the ability to play Adobe Flash content in web pages, which it does mostly well. Some pages filled the space reserved for Flash video with messages like ‘This content doesn’t seem to be working’, but at least the farcical lip-sync issues of mobile Flash video were less in evidence across numerous sites we tried.

NEXT PAGE: Earlier reviews from PC World US and PC World Australia >>

Jump to the PC Advisor Verdict >>

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi is the first Android tablet to effectively challenge Apple's iPad 2 at what Apple does best: design. Let's face it, when it comes to tablets, design is the attribute that's squarely at centre stage. And the Tab 10.1 has that in spades. In fact, its design, together with its Android 3.1 operating system, vaults the Tab 10.1 to the head of the Android pack.

The Tab 10.1 achieves perhaps the greatest design compliment an Android tablet can hope for; namely, it was often mistaken at first glance for being an iPad 2. Even by Apple iPad users. This is remarkably understandable when you see and hold the Tab 10.1 for the first time. The Tab 10.1 has a slim profile, 8.6mm - a hair's breadth slimmer than the iPad 2 (technically, 0.2mm slimmer for those keeping the scorecard). 

Tablet Advisor

From the side, the two tablets look very similar. The Tab 10.1 has a more rounded edge, though, to the iPad's tapered edge. The tablet comes in two colours: shipping first is white, which couples a silver-painted plastic edge with a white plastic black (identical to the limited edition Google I/O version of the Tab, sans the Android graphic imprint); available on June 17, when the Tab 10.1 ships in volume, you can choose a Metallic Grey, with edges and back that more closely match.

I actually preferred the grey variety, even though that model would be less likely to be mistaken for Apple's ultra-hip tablet. I liked the feel and texture of the dark backing, as opposed to the more chintzy feeling plastic white backing.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 edges the iPad 2 on weight, too: 570g, to the iPad's 600g. And it stands slightly taller and narrower than iPad, dimensions you'd expect simply by virtue of its 10.1in display. It measures 260x175mm, compared with iPad 2's 240x185mm.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Using the Galaxy Tab 10.1

All of this is meaningless, though, compared with the reality of actually handling the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Tab 10.1 feels lightweight and extremely well-balanced in-hand. I found it conducive to hold in one hand or two, and found it lightweight enough that I hardly noticed it was in my bag. I'd still like to see the weight on tablets of this size get closer still to the one pound mark, while adding even more built-in functionality (like additional ports), but this is a good start towards that goal. Especially considering the Tab 10.1 is Samsung's first mass-market tablet of this size (I'm not counting the region-specific, heavier and thicker 10.1V).

The Tab 10.1's overall design takes a minimalist design cue from Apple, as well. Beyond the docking port, you have a power button and volume rocker at top (horizontal) or along the right side (vertical). Also along the right top is the headphone jack; it's awkwardly situated if you're holding the tablet horizontally and video chatting at the same time, since the jack is just off to the right above where the camera is. But if you flip the orientation to put the jack at the bottom of the horizontal display, or hold the tablet vertically, with the jack running along the right side, the jack's location works fine).

The stereo speakers are situated a little more than an inch down from the top, along the left and right horizontal edges. This position proved a good one, since my hands didn't get in the way of the speakers. The speakers sounded surprisingly good, among the better I've heard on Android tablets, far better than iPad 2's single rear-facing speaker. But that's not saying much; audio still sounded too tinny on my test tracks.

The 1280x800 pixel resolution display looks bright and brilliant, two characteristics we've come to associate with Samsung displays on its phones and tablets. Like the 7in Galaxy Tab before it, the display also has over-saturated colours. On a colour chart test image, most of the colours, including reds and blues, were blown out. In our test images of sights and scenes, this tendency translated to images that popped, but had a bit too much red and blue thrown into the mix. In side-by-side comparison, the Apple iPad 2 generated better colour reproduction, especially when it came to the soft browns for skin tones.

However, the Tab 10.1 rendered images with terrific sharpness and detail. This is the first Android tablet to ship natively with Google's Android 3.1 update. And images clearly benefit from the updated OS: Images were crisp, with no signs of the fuzzy rendering issue that plagued earlier the earlier Honeycomb versions.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola Xoom

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (top) and Motorola Xoom

Inside the Galaxy Tab 10.1

Like other Honeycomb tablets, the Tab 10.1 runs nVidia's Tegra 2 platform, with a dual-core 1GHz processor and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. The Tab 10.1 has many of the now-standard tablet accoutrements like a rear- and front- facing cameras (3Mp and 2Mp respectively, with rear flash), gyroscope, accelerometer, digital compass, and ambient light sensor.

Impressively, the specs for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 have actually changed - for better and for worse - since its initial introduction at CTIA just a few months ago. Most notably, the weight has decreased-from 595g to 570g. Unfortunately, that weight reduction might be due to the now-gone microSD card slot, a disappointing omission given that would have provided a significant edge over the Apple iPad 2.

Also missing so far: any mention of a 64GB version, which was previously announced. The Tab 10.1 supports Adobe Flash, but I was surprised to find my test unit came without Flash preinstalled. Nor did it have a shortcut on the desktop linking directly to Adobe's Flash Player on the Android Market, as other Honeycomb tablets have handled the Flash installation conundrum (since it's not native to the Android OS).

And yet, other file support surprises abound. The Tab 10.1 actually comes with support for Windows Media audio and video files (including .WMA, .WMV, and .AVI); these files are not natively supported by Android 3.1, so it's impressive that Samsung jumped in to the fill the void. It also can read Xvid, another format not noted on Android's official list. The Tab 10.1 comes pre-loaded with Quickoffice HD, for reading and editing Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files as well as serving as a functional file browser. (Interesting observation: files I downloaded via Gmail appear only in the Download folder, even though the images and videos appear directly in the Gallery app, and the music shows in the Music app.)

As initially shipped, the Tab 10.1 comes with stock Android 3.1 on board, and very little to distinguish it. It's the first Honeycomb tablet to ship with Google's facile Android Movie Studio (the Google answer to Apple's iMovie on iOS). And it does have a customised keyboard from Nuance, with trace typing capabilities. This keyboard is the default keyboard, although you could switch to the native Honeycomb keyboard if you prefer. I found I liked the Samsung keyboard; it's grey, with black letters, large keys and mostly useful shortcut keys (for example, @, .com, and :-) in the email keyboard).

Android Advisor

Beyond that, you get Samsung's attractive orange-and-blue sunrise-like wallpaper scheme; Samsung Apps, Samsung's nascent and for now, irrelevant app store; Samsung Music Hub, a music store and player powered by 7digital; and Pulse news reader.

Samsung's more customised overlay, TouchWiz UX, will be available later this summer as an over-the-air update. It's not available pre-installed at launch, Samsung says, because the company didn't have enough time to test it with Android 3.1. When the overlay does arrive, Samsung says the current plan is for users to be able to opt to use elements of it, or they can go back to stock Android. That said, we won't know the implementation for sure until it arrives.

TouchWiz UX will add a variety of interface customisations to improve Android 3.1's usability. It will also add Samsung's Media Hub movie and TV purchase and rental service, as well as Reader Hub (powered by Kobo Books and Zinio) and Social Hub (for accessing social networks under one roof).

Of note for business users: The Tab 10.1 can be set to encrypt user data, and supports enhanced Exchange ActiveSync, Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN, and F5 SSL VPN.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 back

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: What you sacrifice

By going slim and light, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 makes some trade-offs. And those tradeoffs may limit, or at least temper, the Tab 10.1's appeal depending upon your needs. For starters, like Apple's iPad 2, it has no ports beyond its docking port, located centred along the horizontal bottom edge. To add connectivity, you'll need to invest in the optional dongles coming later this month.

Samsung will have docking port dongles to add USB, SD Card, and HDMI. Unfortunately, all of these feel like the afterthoughts they are; it would be nice to get to a point where at least HDMI and USB connectivity can be integrated directly into the tablet. Many competitors in the red-hot tablet space build in at least one such port, but those competitors are also far heavier, at 1.5 to 1.65 pounds. Once the dongles come available, I'll update the review with hands on.

Another thing I noticed in my casual testing: The 7000mAh battery took inordinately long to charge. After two hours plugged in, my test unit only came up to about 30 percent charged. The battery is rated for up to nine hours of use.

Stay tuned for our full labs performance test results, including battery life and recharge times.

Next page: Our preview of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, by PC World Australia's Ross Catanzariti, from 1 April 2011 >>

Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PC - another 10.1in tablet using Google Android 3, this time with an 8Mp camera. Preview, 1 April 2011, by PC World Australia's Ross Catanzariti.

Samsung was the first manufacturer to provide a credible iPad competitor with its original Samsung Galaxy Tab and now the company is back with a bigger and better tablet - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Design and display

Like the Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is made from sturdy feeling plastic and has a carbon-like finish on the rear. This adds style, and makes the tablet easy to grip. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 feels well built despite its plastic body and manages to remain lightweight at 599g.

However, it does lack the premium feel of the Apple iPad 2 and the rear casing creaks when pressed near the charging port.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's power button and volume control are the only physical buttons on the tablet. A side mounted headphone jack, a bottom-mounted proprietary charging/synchronising port and a SIM card slot keep the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's shell relatively clean looking.

Like the iPad 2, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't have a memory card slot for extra storage.

As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800. The original Galaxy Tab had a 7in display, and the new model competes directly with the 9.7in-screen Apple iPad 2.

The screen is crisp and clear and has excellent brightness. However, it shares two flaws with the iPad 2. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is almost impossible to see in direct sunlight, and the display quickly becomes a grubby mess after limited use.

Software and performance

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is one of the first tablets to run Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, which has been specifically designed for tablets. The software is a "vanilla" version of the Honeycomb OS, so it doesn't come with any Samsung UI overlays like the Galaxy S Android phone does.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb has a completely redesigned interface that aims to take advantage of the larger screen. New UI features include an "action bar", a contextual option group displayed at the top of the screen, five customisable home screens with a big emphasis on widgets, a recent apps list for easier multitasking, a redesigned on-screen keyboard, a new browser and improved copy and paste.

Most of the changes are positive. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's web browser is slick, fast and displays Adobe Flash content, most of the time with minimal delay. It also supports tabbed web browsing and out of the tablet devices and smartphones we've tested it comes closest to offering the browsing experience delivered by a full PC.

The Honeycomb user interface, particularly the home screen, looks striking and is easy to use, and the handling of notifications is excellent. The recent-apps list also makes flicking back and forth between recently used programs a breeze.

We also love the flexibility of live widgets, and they are particularly useful on a tablet device with much more screen real estate than a smartphone. The on-screen keyboard is also spacious and comfortable to type on once you get used to its layout.

Unfortunately, using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on a day-to-day basis isn't all positive.

The web browser still automatically switches to mobile versions of many websites (including Facebook) and Adobe Flash video performance, a key advantage that Android followers claim over the iPad 2, is hit and miss.

Sometimes, the browser would crash trying to load Flash-heavy sites, while other times it would load them almost perfectly. Trying to browse Twitter through the browser, for example, was clunky at best.

We also noticed that the home screen lagged if it was populated with more than two or three widgets.

Tablet PCs reviews

Samsung was keen to point out that our Galaxy Tab 10.1 review unit was not running the final software it will ship with, so some of these issues may not be present in the final product. An issue that will remain is the fact that many applications in the Android Market, including official Twitter and Facebook apps, have not yet been optimised for Android tablets.

Default apps like Maps, Gmail and YouTube worked excellently, and there are a handful of downloadable apps like Angry Birds and Pulse News Reader that filled the screen and worked without issue.

But many apps in the Android Market simply resize to fit the screen, looking odd - or don't resize at all.

While this may change over time as the platform evolves and develops, it means the out-of-the-box-experience of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is much inferior to that of the Apple iPad 2. Inferior even to the original iPad.

Other features

One advantage the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet definitely holds over the iPad 2 is its cameras. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls.

Both take significantly better quality photos and video than the iPad 2. The interface of the camera app is also superb, but it is a shame you can't use the physical volume buttons to zoom in and out.

Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 lacks HDMI connectivity, so you can't hook it up to any television or monitor.

Samsung claims the Galaxy Tab 10.1's battery is good for seven hours of video playback, which is shorter than the iPad 2's 10-hour figure but still respectable.

In our testing, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 often lasted over two days with moderate use, a fair result for a tablet and a significantly better figure than pre-Honeycomb Android tablets.

NEXT PAGE: Original first-look >>

Running Google Android Honeycomb (also known as Android 3.0), the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sports a 10.1in LCD display with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The Tab 10.1 joins Samsung's arsenal of Android devices including the original 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab and the dual-core Galaxy S II smartphone.

I got a chance to play with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 briefly at the event and I have to say, I really like the larger size. Recently at another press event I tried to take notes with the 7in Samsung Galaxy Tab and found it a bit awkward and small for my liking. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 handles very nicely. It is lightweight (lighter than the 25-ounce Motorola Xoom at 21 ounces), thin (a mere 0.44 inches) with a nice textured back.

Samsung's phones generally have textured backs, which I always appreciate because it not only gives them a unique look, but it also makes the phones easier to grip. It makes even more sense in the tablet PC world. I found that I could comfortably hold the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in one hand (and my hands are small) and type out a quick message with the other without feeling like I was going to drop it.

Like the Motorola Xoom and the LG G-Slate, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is powered by an nVidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and runs the vanilla version of Honeycomb. There's no TouchWiz overlay for this tablet, which is kind of surprising considering TouchWiz is on the 7in Tab and all of the Galaxy S phones.

Other specs include an 8-megapixel back-facing camera and a front-facing 2Mp camera for video calls. For the fun of it, I snapped a picture with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's back-facing camera and yes, it felt totally awkward.

In the tablet wars, it is hard to see how the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. I mean, unless you're really partial to Samsung products, why pick the Tab 10.1 over the Xoom or the G-Slate?

Whether you go Wi-Fi only or opt for a connected version, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first Android tablet that makes a credible, and successful, run at competing with Apple's iPad 2. It matches iPad in most every way-design, price, and even that intangible IT factor. Where it falls short lies is in sacrificing ports, but that alone isn't a deal-breaker; heck, Apple's been doing that from the outset. Google's Android Market continues to make it more difficult to find tablet-optimised apps than Apple's App Store does, but again, that may not be a deal-breaker. If neither of those constraints phase you, then the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is one of the top tablets you can consider buying today. And it becomes the flagship Honeycomb tablet for showcasing what Android 3.1 can do.

Ginny Mies, PCWorld.com

NEXT PAGE: our verdict >>

See also: Samsung Galaxy S review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: Specs

  • 1GHz nVidia Tegra 250 T20 (dual-core SoC ARM Cortex A9 with 333MHz nVidia GeForce GPU)
  • 10.1in (1280 × 800-pixel) capacitive multi-touch Super PLS (IPS) LCD
  • 149 ppi
  • Google Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • 16/32GB flash storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • 3.0Mp AF camera with LED flash, 2.0Mp front facing
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • proprietary 30-pin docking port
  • A-GPS
  • mic
  • 257 x 173 x 8.7 mm
  • 559g
  • 1GHz nVidia Tegra 250 T20 (dual-core SoC ARM Cortex A9 with 333MHz nVidia GeForce GPU)
  • 10.1in (1280 × 800-pixel) capacitive multi-touch Super PLS (IPS) LCD
  • 149 ppi
  • Google Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • 16/32GB flash storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • 3.0Mp AF camera with LED flash, 2.0Mp front facing
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • proprietary 30-pin docking port
  • A-GPS
  • mic
  • 257 x 173 x 8.7 mm
  • 559g

OUR VERDICT

With the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung has patently tried its damnedest to recreate an Apple iPad 2. It’s essentially matched the iPad 2 in size and weight, and can boast a screen at least as good as Apple’s. But the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is demonstrably inferior in overall speed, battery life, materials and build quality, as well as graphics performance. Potential buyers should also be prepared to always keep security in mind. It’s no coincidence that anti-virus software is now being pushed out for Android: Google Market has been home to dangerous malware, against Apple’s larger, curated App Store of screened and digitally signed apps. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 can take on internet Adobe Flash content better than we’ve seen before on any tablet. Otherwise we can think of no persuasive reason why anyone would want a demonstrably inferior copy when the iPad 2 is available at exactly the same price. If Samsung were to price the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from £299, it would be on to something. Until then, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 stands right now as arguably the finest Android tablet available, but an also-ran behind its mentor.

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