Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Verdicts: Review Roundup

A lot of tech talk at present surrounds a tablet device, this time the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, due for release in the U.S. on June 8. This contender to other leading tablets such as the Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom has a lot of people talking and we thought it would be timely to give you a review roundup of what the people in the know have to say about the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and their verdicts.

We’ve previously posted many articles on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and most recently have informed about U.S. pre-order details and price, the fact that the device has already been rooted before it has even been released and details of a hands-on experience. As a brief recap we’ll remind you that this is an ultra-slim tablet, comes in a 16 or 32GB version and runs on the very latest Android OS 3.0 Honeycomb, formulated specifically for tablets. There’s also that 10.1-inch display, a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 3-megapixel camera and a 2-megapixel camera for video chat.

We’ve looked for some reviews to get an overall impression of what the experts think and we’ll start with one of the first we spotted over on BGR and by Todd Haselton. At the recent Google I/O developers’ conference some limited editions of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 were given out and it was one of these that has been reviewed although there may be some subtle differences such as the glossy white reverse being replaced with a brushed metal or black finish. One of the first things noted was how very slim this tablet is, in fact the “thinnest tablet available on the market today.” We’re then informed that in fact Samsung has already promised an update very soon to Android 3.1.

The review then went on to look in-depth at the display, which was noted to be bright but difficult to view in sunlight, then progressed to the software, camera and video chat, multimedia and battery. Haselton was struck by the aesthetic quality of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 but noted that the Honeycomb OS still isn’t up to scratch, a criticism also noted about Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom reviews. Despite the Galaxy Tab 10.1’s dual-core processor, Android 3.0 Honeycomb was described as “slow and sluggish” and there were app crashes and browser freezing too. In conclusion it was felt that if you’re an avid enthusiast for all things Android then this device could be for you, especially if you want a good-looking tablet, but the QNX OS of the BlackBerry PlayBook was said to be “more polished” and Apple’s iOS on the iPad 2 is an easier-to-use operating system.

The next review that caught our attention, also using a special edition Galaxy Tab 10.1, was by Phil Nickinson over on Android Central. The review begins by saying that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the device that Android 3.0 Honeycomb should have been launched on, rather than the Motorola Xoom, which sounds promising. Speed-wise it was said to be not noticeably quicker than the Xoom but as far as the battery life goes it’s pretty decent. The “stock” Honeycomb experience was noted but Nickinson was reluctant to draw too much attention to any bugs that were present bearing in mind it’s a pre-release edition of the Tab 10.1. In conclusion the form factor of the Tab 10.1 scored points and as far as pricing goes it’s on a level with other Honeycomb tablets. Nickinson seems fairly impressed overall by the Galaxy Tab 10.1 saying he wouldn’t change very much about it and that the tablet deserves attention from those in the market for such a device.

Over on Laptop there’s a hugely comprehensive review, this time by K.T. Bradford, who rates the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 3.5 out of 5 stars, so pretty good. This review also includes test result comparisons and once again the limited edition was used for this review. Looking at the design the Tab 10.1 was noted to feel light and easy to hold with the “minimalist design” said to be similar to that of the iPad 2. Audio quality was said to be “better than expected,” and it was also noted that this edition of the device is without the TouchWiz UI that will be on the consumer version. Pros were seen as the lightness of the device, the display, good battery life, powerful speakers and decent keyboard. Cons were the Honeycomb OS still feeling buggy, the fact that there’s no microSD card slot, and the grainy video quality of the rear camera. Overall though it was among the favorite Honeycomb tablets this reviewer had looked at.

In conclusion then it seems that the Honeycomb OS that’s soon to receive an update, which should solve any issues anyway, is the main drawback to this tablet. Apart from this, generally we’d say impressions of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 seem pretty decent, so if you have your heart set on one then it might be worth trying one out for size to see if it’s right for you. If you’re not an Android devotee you may prefer the iPad 2 or another device but hopefully you will have gleaned enough information from this review roundup to help you make the right choice. Let us know if you’ll be making a purchase of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and if so, what is it about this tablet that makes it so desirable to you?

  • James

    Most of these software issues were fixed with the Android Honeycomb 3.1 update which is rolling out in phases as we speak.