Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review: Is the Galaxy Tab 10.1 the new king of Android tablets?
- Superb thin and light design
- TouchWIZ UX adds handy features
- Built-in 3G on selected models
- No microSD card slot
- No HDMI-out connection
- Proprietary dock connection
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is without a doubt the best Android tablet on the market. It's thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad 2, despite having a larger screen, and offers most of the functions and features of its competitors. The lack of external storage is a pain, as is the fact there is no HDMI-out connection, but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a superb piece of industrial design and so far, the only real credible alternative to the iPad.
Apple has blocked it from going on sale in Australia, and Samsung postponed the launch event, but we did some probing and were lucky enough to get our hands on the hotly-anticipated Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet before its official release in Australia. Thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad 2, and equipped with a slightly larger screen, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a superb piece of industrial design and so far, the only real credible alternative to the iPad. The Google Android platform remains less polished compared with iOS, and the lack of native tablet applications is an issue, but these faults lie with Google and not with Samsung: the latter has done a fine job of producing a credible tablet that isn't emblazoned with an Apple logo.
Note: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 unit we are reviewing here is a European 3G model (GT-P7500) supplied by online store MobiCity. It is NOT an Australian version. A Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future, but no timeframe has been provided.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: Design and display
From the moment you pick up the Galaxy Tab 10.1, it's clear that this is a very different beast from the wealth of Android tablets already on the market. It shares a similar screen size (10.1in) and many of the same specifications as its competitors, but the build quality and design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is simply superb — something we can't say about most of its competitors.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 immediately stands out amongst the pack for all the right reasons. First of all, at just 8.6 millimetres thick, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is thin enough to be described by Samsung as "the world's thinnest mobile tablet". That is ever so slightly thinner than the 8.8mm thick iPad 2. Although a mere 0.2mm doesn't seem like a deal breaker if you're comparing it directly to the iPad 2, the Galaxy Tab 10.1's weight of just 565g is a big deal. The lightweight design makes it easy to use single-handedly, and very comfortable to hold for long periods. The overall design makes the Galaxy Tab 10.1 look much smaller than it really is — it really does not look or feel like a 10.1in tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet is constructed largely from plastic, but still manages to feel extremely well built. The materials used are of a high quality, right from the glossy black bezel surrounding the display, to the soft feeling, rubber-style plastic that adorns the rear, and the stylish, curved edges. The finish on the rear may not look as flashy as the glossy front of the tablet, but the soft feel makes the Galaxy Tab 10.1 easier to grip, particularly if you're holding it with one hand. We like how the rear-facing camera and LED flash is built into an attractive silver strip towards the top, while both the left and right side houses a speaker, both covered by glossy silver mesh that adds to the overall quality feel of the tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's svelte frame definitely made it tough for Samsung to include extra ports, but the tablet covers most of the basics. On the top edge of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 you'll find a headphone jack, volume buttons and a power/screen lock key. On the 3G model, you'll also find a SIM card slot that's covered by a relatively sturdy plastic flap. The buttons fit in well with the rest of the tablet's excellent design: they feel sturdy, are well placed and provide good tactility. The bottom of the device houses Samsung's proprietary dock connection. This connector looks remarkably similar to Apple's 30-pin connector port used on both the iPhone and iPad.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1in, capacitive, PLS TFT touchscreen display (yes, that's a mouthful). Samsung says that the inclusion of PLS (Plane-line-switching) technology gives the Galaxy Tab 10.1 better viewing angles and increased brightness compared with regular IPS screens. For most part that's true, as the Galaxy Tab 10.1's screen is bright and crisp, and can be clearly seen from even the most obscure angles. Sadly, the screen can't escape a common issue with most tablets, including the market leading iPad 2: it quickly becomes a grubby mess after use, and has poor sunlight legibility. The glare also affects use in an office environment under fluorescent lighting.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony returns to profit, cuts full-year loss forecast
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXQLD
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- TPSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- FTScrum MasterQLD
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA EngineerNSW
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- CCProgram ManagerVIC
- CCCyber Security ArchitectNSW
- FTSnr SOC Security Coordinator - Perm - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTApplication Support SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerVIC
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD