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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1"
Tablet is Android's long awaited (true) answer to the iPad 2

South Korean gadget maker Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEO:005930) was one of the first to deploy a major Android tablet, releasing the 7-inch Galaxy Tab.  The small tablet wasn't exactly the "iPad-slayer" the market had been waiting for, but it occupied a unique niche in the food chain.  Now Samsung is stepping up to the plate, releasing a 10.1" direct challenger to the iPad and looking to go strong, where past competitors like Motorola Mobility Solutions, Inc. (MMIstruggled.

surprisingly slick iPad 2 design forced Samsung back to the drawing board.  It responded by trimming over 2 mm off its design.  In its new form, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a mere 8.6 mm thick -- 0.2 mm less than the iPad 2.  And with 4G wireless connectivity, it weighs in at 595g -- 15 grams less than the iPad 2.

The tablet’s construction is also apparently high quality.  Referencing the "Limited Edition" test builds that Google handed out to attendees of its I/O developers conference Engadget writes:

The consumer model is a spitting image of the LE variant, save for the motif on the rear; the one you'll pick up this month has a glossy white plastic rear, while the LE model had a glossy white plastic rear... with an Android army adorning it. Weight's the same, size is the same, build quality is the same. It's a tremendous thing to hold, and it truly oozes quality from corner to corner.

PC World adds:

In my hands-on testing, the Tab 10.1 achieved perhaps the best design compliment an Android tablet could hope for--often being mistaken by passers-by (including Apple iPad users) for an iPad 2.

Engadget seems to be the only ones who benchmarked it thoroughly, thus far.  They say the tablet's 7000 mAh battery offers 10 hours of battery life when playing video at 65 percent brightness.  That's only 0.5 hour less than the iPad.

Both the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1" should be similar in processing power as both pack dual-core ARMv7 proprietary CPUs (ironically Samsung manufacturers and likely helped design the iPad 2's CPU).  The one advantage the Galaxy Tab 10.1" has is it packs 1 GB of DDR2 memory, versus a mere 512 MB in the iPad 2.

The 16 GB model is priced the same as the iPad 2 for the 16 GB model with Wi-Fi only -- $499 USD.  As with Apple a 32 GB model ("the one with the bigger GBs") is available for $599 USD.  And Verizon will be offering 4G-equipped models for $130 USD more than their respective Wi-Fi counterparts -- the same premium as with the iPad 2.

The Galaxy Tab carries a minor update to Honeycomb -- Android 3.1.

Engadget concludes:

[T]his is the best Honeycomb tablet to date, and lucky for you, the one's available to purchase! Only time will tell if the Android Market will prove to be as well-stocked as the App Store, and if you're willing to wait, this here slate provides a world-class Gmail experience, better handling than the iPad 2 (in our humble opinion, anyway) and a higher resolution display.

PCWorld chimes in:

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 dealbreaker; heck, Apple's been doing that from the outset. Google's Android Market continues to make it more difficult to find tablet-optimized apps than Apple's App Store does, but again, that may not be a dealbreaker. 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.

Note, the reviews all around were much more positive than with the Motorola Xoom, and better even that the somewhat warmly received original Galaxy Tab (7-inch model).

Sounds like the wait was worth it -- Samsung may have a winner on its hands.  That would certainly be a godsend for the struggling Android tablet market.

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RE: Asus Transformer
By Mumrik on 6/8/2011 5:21:32 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, I'm not sure how it's a big achievement to hit the same value as Apple.

An Android tablet should be better or cheaper. Let's not accept Apple's value standards as the norm.

RE: Asus Transformer
By omnicronx on 6/8/2011 5:50:32 PM , Rating: 4
An Android tablet should be better or cheaper. Let's not accept Apple's value standards as the norm.
Kind of a catch 22 isnt it though?

You want more features, but you think the cost for the manufacturer is going to be the same.

Clearly in order for others to best Apple, they are going to have to spend more doing so.

Many analysts have already noted that as it currently stands, pretty much all other manufacturers simply can't meet the same build quality at the same pricepoint with expanded features while still maintaining acceptable gross margins.

It makes absolutely no sense for manufacturers like Motorola whom have poor sales NOT to lower their pricing if they actually could.

Please remember this is not a Mac priced far above comparable PC's with similar build quality and superior components.

RE: Asus Transformer
By omnicronx on 6/8/2011 6:01:01 PM , Rating: 1
As for the transformer..

Great device, great idea, but sub par build quality in my opinion.. (which I'm sure is one of the reason the price is lower, when you use plastic for most things costs drop)

RE: Asus Transformer
By Peter544 on 6/8/2011 7:15:26 PM , Rating: 3
Being objective here, or as much as I can be.

I have used the iPad, iPad2, Samsung 7", the Xoom and ASUS Transformer.

What exactly is it that you think makes the transformer of lesser quality? It feels really solid, looks stylish, works good. If it was just another version of the iPad, people would pee all over themselves about its designer look...

I haven't seen the new Samsung (the 10"), so I can't comment on it compared to the ASUS, but otherwise the Transformer kills the other ones, IMO.

RE: Asus Transformer
By jvillaro on 6/8/2011 9:46:37 PM , Rating: 1
Well I was going to buy the Transformer but didn't because it was always out of stock. When it was available again in amazon I checked the reviews there and posts on XDA forums and there are too many negative reviews about the quality, too many hardware faults specially about the screen.

RE: Asus Transformer
By darkhawk1980 on 6/9/11, Rating: 0
RE: Asus Transformer
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 6:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly in order for others to best Apple, they are going to have to spend more doing so.

Or they can pay Chinese next to nothing for doing it like Apple. Suicides? Explosions? No matter, gotta keep that profit margin up on our "quality" products...

RE: Asus Transformer
By themaster08 on 6/9/2011 3:00:54 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Asus Transformer
By mars2k on 6/9/2011 8:44:39 AM , Rating: 1
No they don’t have to spend more. They just have to find another Foxconn to work their employees to death even faster. Apple is the benchmark in so many ways.

RE: Asus Transformer
By B3an on 6/8/2011 8:11:03 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, I'm not sure how it's a big achievement to hit the same value as Apple. An Android tablet should be better or cheaper. Let's not accept Apple's value standards as the norm.


It IS better:

Twice as much RAM.
Thinner and lighter.
Higher resolution display.
And a better Super PLS display at that. It offers even better viewing angles than IPS. PLS is a new Samsung display tech. For more info and comparisons see:

RE: Asus Transformer
By michael2k on 6/8/2011 11:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's also got a slower GPU, too.

RE: Asus Transformer
By KoolAidMan1 on 6/9/2011 4:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
The GPU is the big thing:

It'll be a much more even playing field once the Tegra 3 tablets come out later this year, that and a selection of games made for Honeycomb that will take advantage of it.

RE: Asus Transformer
By robinthakur on 6/9/2011 5:27:30 AM , Rating: 3
The quality and number of games made for Honeycomb depend greatly upon whether Android tablets start selling in numbers to rival the iPad. You might have less hardware fragmentation of the market, but the cost of entry is high and Apple make selling of apps so much easier than on Android that it's a complete joke. A search company should be able to come up with a decent tool for searching their application store. In an ideal world, i'm sure most developers would prefer to develop for an opensource OS, but they all seem to develop for iOS instead as the primary platform despite Android now being in the lead and the reason for this is quite simple: They derive lots of revenue from the App Store and much less from the Android platform. People will always go where the money is and currently this means iOS.

RE: Asus Transformer
By robinthakur on 6/9/2011 6:00:04 AM , Rating: 1
Is the price better? It starts at $1150 in the UK, while the iPad is $655. This is a ridiculously high cost of entry, for a device with far less compatibility than the iPad.

RE: Asus Transformer
By robinthakur on 6/9/2011 5:18:25 AM , Rating: 3
This makes me laugh! The iPad originally was priced unbelievably low (far lower than analysts expectations) yet you seem to think that somehow a device from a manufacturer which does not control the environment from start to finish a la Apple and has higher specs is going to cost less than an iPad? It's not going to happen anytime soon because Samsung has watched Apple be unable to supply demand on the iPad2 (yes, still they are quoting a 2-3 week delivery time on the website) so clearly the market is interested in a tablet at this price point, but they just didn't go for the offerings on Android. They were reveiewed poorly and there wasn't the App support. One of those problems is fixed, the other is not quite there yet. The price will go down when the iPad 3 is released next March because there is no advantage to competing with Apple on price here for Samsung (or anyone else for that matter)

To be honest, even on the iPad the fact that not all apps are universal or have different versions for the iPad, by now is somewhat irritating, although there are enough iPad specific apps (65,000) like Pages, Numbers and Keynote as well as all the business software which make it usable for business now, not 6-12 months in the future when developers catch up. When I got bored of te standard apps and features of the iPad2 it was really handy to have all these Apps to hand, and I think without them, the device's functionality is significantly less than its potential.

Without this dimension, they are intriguing devices to kill time with, watching youTube, doing email, gaming, and browsing the web, but I would say there is a way to go before the Andoid tablets become as indispensible as the iPad for work and play, due to the lack of Apps in my experience.

RE: Asus Transformer
By Guspaz on 6/10/2011 1:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's values in hardware design are that it should have high build quality, an attractive but clean and simple design, and be as thin and light as they can make it. I don't see why every product should not try to hit these values. If you want the opposite of this, which would perhaps be a low quality build, heavy and bulky, unattractive or gaudy design, I don't think I want you designing my products!

People hate Apple for a lot of reasons, I don't think that their industrial design is generally one of them.

RE: Asus Transformer
By munky on 6/10/2011 1:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
You consider the defective antenna or glass back of iphone4 "high build quality?" Or the fact that you need itunes to do anything useful on it? Apple products are bough up by sheep who think "quality" is shiny packaging and a UI with flashy animations, dumbed down for the average Joe. That's not my definition of quality.

RE: Asus Transformer
By testerguy on 6/12/2011 5:20:15 AM , Rating: 2
Are you a moron?

Firstly - the 'defective antenna' - isn't defective. If you deliberately seek to hold the phone in a ridiculously obscure way (that nobody ever does) it can lose signal - but the reality is that the antenna works - and it works much better than the iPhone 3 antenna did. People who cry about the antenna are like people saying the phone doesn't work if you hold it on the power button. In other words, it's not an issue because YOU NEVER DO.

Secondly - At least with the Antenna Apple was trying to bring original elements of design - innovation, one of the main reasons they're so successful.

Thirdly - the iPhone 4 has the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any phone, ever. How could that be if the antenna didn't work? The reality is that insecure, irrational people desperate for reasons to hate Apple just jumped all over what is effectively a non-issue.

Fourthly - The glass back of the iPhone 4 DOES ooze high build quality, ABSOLUTELY. It's ridiculous to say anything else.

Fifthly - I don't know if you've seen, but you don't need iTunes anymore, you can sync and activate wirelessly - but even when you DID need iTunes, so what? It's free, takes 5 seconds to install and you don't have to deal with it again if you don't want to.

Sixthly - the GLOBAL recognition of the quality of the Apple engineering is a fact (even demonstrated from Samsung in this article) - packaging is completely irrelevant, as are the 'flashy' animations (which all phones have).

Seventhly? - You mistake 'dumbed down' with 'user friendly'. Who wants something to be unnecessarily complicated? Are you one of those original computer geeks who just wants to feel superior because you've wasted your life with nothing better to do than fiddle with computers, and hate that other people can now do anything they want too? I'm a very capable computer person, but I'm not so insecure to the point that I can't recognise something which is user friendly. In fact, EVERY company aims to develop user friendly products, so your 'dumbed down' comment is beyond ridiculous.

RE: Asus Transformer
By rburnham on 6/10/2011 3:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
Based on hardware specs alone, Android 3 tablets are better than the iPad 2.

RE: Asus Transformer
By testerguy on 6/12/2011 5:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
Based on 'How-Similar-Is-The-Brand-Name-To-Ford' test alone, Fords are better than Ferraris.

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