Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v review: The Galaxy Tab 10.1v is a credible alternative to the iPad 2, but it lacks the polished feel of Apple's tablet.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (17)
  • Buy Now 1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v

Pros

  • Honeycomb Android 3.0 software
  • Excellent cameras
  • Slick Web browser

Cons

  • No memory card slot
  • No HDMI
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb still a work in progress

Bottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v and its Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system offer a credible alternative to the iPad 2, but one that falls behind Apple when it comes to general usability and slickness. The Galaxy Tab 10.1v is a nice albeit incomplete-feeling start to life with Honeycomb.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 1 store)

  • Galaxy Tab10.1 Bluetooth Keyboard Case Free Del... 35.29

Samsung was the first manufacturer to provide a credible iPad competitor with its original Samsung Galaxy Tab and now the company is back with a bigger and better tablet — the powerful Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v hands-on, and check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v: Design and display

Like the Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v is made from sturdy feeling plastic and has a carbon-like finish on the rear. This adds style, and makes the tablet easy to grip. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v feels well built despite its plastic body, and manages to remain lightweight at 599g. However, it does lack the premium feel of the iPad 2 and the rear casing creaks when pressed near the charging port.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v's power button and volume control are the only physical buttons on the tablet. A side-mounted headphone jack, a bottom-mounted proprietary charging/synchronising port and a SIM card slot keep the Galaxy Tab 10.1v's shell relatively clean looking. Like the iPad 2, the Galaxy Tab 10.1v doesn't have a memory card slot for extra storage, so the 16GB of internal memory will quickly fill up if you store a lot of videos and photos on the device.

As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800. The original Galaxy Tab had a 7in display, and the new model competes directly with the 9.7in iPad 2. The screen is crisp and clear and has excellent brightness. However, it shares two flaws with the iPad 2 — the Galaxy Tab 10.1v is almost impossible to see in direct sunlight, and the display quickly becomes a grubby mess after limited use.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v: Software and performance

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v is one of the first tablets to run Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, which has been specifically designed for tablets. The software is a "vanilla" version of the Honeycomb OS, so it doesn't come with any Samsung UI overlays like the Galaxy S Android phone does.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb has a completely redesigned interface that aims to take advantage of the larger screen. New UI features include an "action bar", a contextual option group displayed at the top of the screen, five customisable home screens with a big emphasis on widgets, a recent apps list for easier multitasking, a redesigned on-screen keyboard, a new browser and improved copy and paste.

Most of the changes are positive. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v's Web browser is slick, fast and displays Flash content, most of the time with minimal delay. It also supports tabbed Web browsing and out of the tablet devices and smartphones we've tested it comes closest to offering the browsing experience delivered by a full PC. The Honeycomb user interface, particularly the home screen, looks striking and is easy to use, and the handling of notifications is excellent. The recent apps list also makes flicking back and forth between recently used programs a breeze. We also love the flexibility of live widgets, and they are particularly useful on a tablet device with much more screen real estate than a smartphone. The on-screen keyboard is also spacious and comfortable to type on once you get used to its layout.

Unfortunately, using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v on a day-to-day basis isn't all positive. The Web browser still automatically switches to mobile versions of many websites (including Facebook) and Flash video performance — a key advantage the Galaxy Tab 10.1v is claimed to hold over the iPad 2 — is hit and miss. Sometimes, the browser would crash trying to load Flash-heavy sites, while other times it would load them almost perfectly. Trying to browse Twitter through the browser, for example, was also clunky at best. We also noticed that the home screen lagged if it was populated with more than two or three widgets.

Samsung was keen to point out that our Galaxy Tab 10.1v review unit was not running the final software it will ship with, so some of these issues may not be present in the final product. An issue that will remain is the fact that many applications in the Android Market, including official Twitter and Facebook apps, have not yet been optimised for tablets. Default apps like Maps, Gmail and YouTube worked excellently, and there are a handful of downloadable apps like Angry Birds and Pulse News Reader that filled the screen perfectly and worked without issue. But many apps in the Android Market simply resize to fit the screen, looking odd, or don't resize at all. While this will change over time as the platform evolves and develops, it means the out-of-box experience of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v is much inferior to that of the iPad 2, and even the original iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v: Other features

One advantage the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v Android tablet definitely holds over the iPad 2 is its cameras. It has a rear 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls — both take significantly better quality photos and video than the iPad 2. The interface of the camera app is also superb, but it is a shame you can't use the physical volume buttons to zoom in and out. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v lacks HDMI connectivity, so you can't hook it up to a television or monitor.

Samsung claims the Galaxy Tab 10.1v's battery is good for seven hours of video playback, which is less than the iPad 2's 10 hour figure but still respectable. In our testing, the Galaxy Tab 10.1v often lasted over two days with moderate use, a fair result for a tablet and a significantly better figure than pre-Honeycomb Android tablets.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v will be available for a limited time only, both online and in select Vodafone stores. The Wi-Fi + 3G device will cost $729 as an outright purchase which includes 6GB data with a three month expiry, or a $259 upfront payment, plus $39 per month over 12 months. The latter includes 1.5GB of data per month. The Galaxy Tab 10.1v is unlocked, and can be used with a SIM card from any carrier, including Telstra's Next G network as it supports the 850MHz network band. There is no Wi-Fi only version sold in Australia.

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

technobubble

1

I have a comment
Please stop expressing your personal options in reviews.
Please tell me what Scientific empirical data you used to formulate this quote "inferior usability experience to iPad". This is surely your option. Maybe I don't the Ipad look and feel. Maybe I would like to be able to customise & create my own look, so maybe this is a plus point for me.
Just review the product
It has this CPU , This RAM , Cameras (number of mega pix)
Weight, screen res.
Then let me decide if I want to take one for a test drive.

Mandy

2

Battery life?

Tin

3

Review says 16Gb of internal storage, specs page says 32Gb. Is one incorrect, or is there 16Gb free for user apps with OS and default apps installed?

Ross Catanzariti

4

Hi technobubble,

No scientific data was used to formulate that quote. It was simply based on my hands-on experience with both devices.

These devices are much more about usability than they are about specifications, which ultimately comes down to user opinion. If you want to read a review that just talks about specs, perhaps you should just look at the specifications sheet.

Steve Jabb

5

Ross,

You definitely sound biased and technobubble has a point. You didn't elaborate on what experience iPad are superior? In your review, all point to honeycomb superiority, yet you still put that quote in? You put non smoothness of flash support in Samsung, yet you don't mind completely broken web experience in iPad? Your review is good enough, lets keep the bullet point fair and balanced.

JRR2

6

Since you tested the Vodaphone version, how was the signal coverage? Better/worse than the iPad? That's be good for a review.

You said "limited time only", so it is already retired?

Any mention on Wifi-only versions?

I expected more in a review.

Ross Catanzariti

7

Steve,

Appreciate the feedback.

As I mentioned, based on my time with both units, the out-of-the box experience is inferior to that of the iPad 2, in my opinion. I like Honeycomb as outlined in the review, but it is far from perfect.

JRR2,

I have included some extra info in the review. My understanding is that Samsung has a limited amount of stock, and once stock is sold it will not be replenished. Samsung has a new Galaxy Tab 10.1 coming later this year that is thinner and has removable storage.

The device is unlocked, so you can use any SIM card in it, including Telstra. No Wi-Fi only version sold in Aus, only 3G.

Thanks.

Wycky

8

It looks like it has great specs but Samsung dropped ball on this one just before the finish line, why no HDMI??
I travel a lot for work and spend alot of time in hotels. With a HDMI output it would double as a portable media player... Guess ill wait for the Xoom.

Phil K

9

"The Web browser still automatically switches to mobile versions of many websites"

This is controlled by the server side, not the device. It's up to these websites to detect the Galaxy tab's user-agent and render the appropriate content. This will occur in time once the device is released into mainstream.

Wilson

10

Which screen is better? As you said 10.1v is hard to see under the sun, what about ipad2?

Ross Catanzariti

11

Hi Wilson,

I would say both screens are on par, iPad 2 is also hard to see in direct sunlight. However the Galaxy Tab 10.1v has a better resolution than the iPad 2 - 1280x800 compared to 1024x768.

BlackRyno

12

Hey Buddy,
Any news on when the new 10.1 (Not the v, the one with the removable storage) is due out in Oz? It sounds like (hopefully) Samsung are saying we've had a crack a the 10.1 it wasn't quite there so we'll release a few but the real one we'll hold back until later in 2011, yeah?

Frank Zhu

13

Ross,
1. Do you know what's the memory (not the storage)? Or the momeory and storage share the same flash drive?
2. Can you turn off the flash components on the web browser? Just want to browser faster if I know all the flash is ad. on a particular website.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

b b

3.5

1

Pros
flash
Cons
no flash
• • •

got my 64gb 3g Samsung 10.1 outright from jb hifi without sim, tried my Vodafone sim wont recognise not sure why, they told me it would work and that it was not locked. was offered a hdmi adapter for $45

ManixA

1.0

2

Pros
Features
Cons
Customer Repair Support
• • •

Yes, I agree the Samsung tablet is a good product with some excellent features. However, its not all about the features.

I recently bought a Samsung tablet 10.1, and yes it had to happen the screen cracked :-(. I called up Samsung and they passed me on to two companies whom they outsource repairs. I called up the first company (Granville NSW) and no one is picked up the phone. After 8 attempts I gave up, the other company quoted $300 to $400 repair a cracked screen.

Samsung customer Service support showed little interest in helping me. Based on my experience ...buy an Ipad.

Targ

5.0

3

Pros
galaxy tab
Cons
Ipad
• • •

I'd just like to point out that if the Galaxy tab is like the galaxy s then it does have tv out you just haveto get he cable they are like $5 on ebay... and work great... they RCA plug but still very goood quality all teh same.....

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?