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Android tablets Reviews
15,497 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review

From £399 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

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 - UPDATED 25 AUG 2011

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 Expert Verdict »
Samsung Galaxy Tab GT-P7510 (16GB) Scores 8.9 out of 10 based on 210 reviews
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
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

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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