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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 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.

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