Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (2) : Positives come with ‘buts’

We know there are a lot of people out there who have been closely following the progress of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 device, later called the Galaxy Tab II and now officially named as the Galaxy Tab 10.1. We’ve been bringing you a lot of news and speculation about this upcoming tablet and have already brought you leaked specs and pictures, then first photos of it at MWC 2011, followed at last by the official specs, which were released yesterday.

Now we have news that we have been waiting for and that is of a hands-on look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1, courtesy of Chris Taylor over on Mashable, who is lucky enough to be at MWC in Barcelona. The release of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is due in spring in Europe but there’s no release date yet for the U.S. However when it is shipped it will undoubtedly have tough competition from the upcoming iPad 2 and also the Motorola Xoom to name but two.

At MWC the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is pulling a lot of attention and Taylor makes the point from the start that he is an iPad fan but still wants to be impressed by the competition. The most positive aspect for Taylor were the cameras on the Tab 10.1, with 8-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front-facing, along with the dual-core Nvidia chip making it capable of HD video capture at 24 frames per second, which is pretty good going. On this point at least the new Galaxy Tab definitely has one over on Apple’s iPad.

However apart from the camera functions Taylor felt that “every positive feature of the device comes with a large “but.”” The casing appears cheap, and the uneven back designed to stop it slipping got particularly hot in one corner. Taylor then turns his attention to the Honeycomb interface but found it a “confusing mess” and apparently was not the only MWC attendee to think so. Apart from the screen being crowded and difficult to negotiate the Launcher application crashed several times, although Taylor notes this may be put down to initial problems with Honeycomb.

The UI though was said to be smoother than that on the original Galaxy Tab and the responsive touchscreen was good. However, on initial impressions alone the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was not seen as competition to the iPad although of course it would be interesting to see it again when it’s ready for release in the U.S.

You may be interested in another hands-on look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and you can see one by Devin Coldewey over on CrunchGear with a selection of photographs too. This first look left a rather different impression and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was one of Coldewey’s favorites from the ones available at MWC so that leaves us eager to get our hands on one ourselves to make up our own minds!

What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and do you think it’s serious competition for the glut of upcoming tablets on their way? We’d be interested to hear from you so please do send us your comments.