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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 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.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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