Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v

We've loved using the Galaxy Tab 10.1v; it's lightweight and extremely responsive, but it's hard to overlook the features it is missing.


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7.6
User Rating

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1v is a Vodafone exclusive variant and includes different features and specifications to the recently announced Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Design

As with the iPhone before it, Apple's iPad shot to instant success when it was released last year, prompting a quick reply from competitors like Samsung. Apple's success defined consumer expectations for what a tablet computer would look and feel like. Samsung has taken Apple's template and added its own flavour to it; keeping the iPad's 10-inch display and glossy black bezel, but covering the rear of the device with a textured plastic and moulded this grip to best fit your fingers when holding the tablet in landscape view.

The curved rear-facing grip on the Galaxy Tab feels fantastic.
(Credit: CBSi)

The basic shape and size isn't all that's borrowed from the iPad, however; like Apple, Samsung opts for a sealed device with no replaceable battery, no microSD card slot and no HDMI or micro USB ports. In fact, there are only three ports on the 10.1v: a headphone socket, a slot for a SIM card and a 30-pin charging port.

The 10.1-inch LCD display looks brilliant, even though it doesn't share the AMOLED tech of Samsung's Galaxy S phones. Its 1280x800 (WXGA) resolution looks crisp and sharp, and the colours are bold and vibrant. We've even found the screen mostly visible in sunlight, though the ultra glossy glass over the panel can make it difficult not to see yourself reflected along with your email.

User experience

Samsung has done a fine job delivering an attractive tablet that is comfortable to use, but the real star of this experience is Google's Honeycomb operating system. Those familiar with Android will see similarities with the software of their phones, but it also feels like a completely new experience, for the better.

The stock Honeycomb experience offers five user-customisable home screens with a persistent notifications bar along the bottom. In the bottom left of the screen, regardless of orientation, you'll find software navigation keys; Back, Home and Multitasking, plus a fourth Menu key within apps that require one.

Unlike the iPad version of iOS, Honeycomb takes full advantage of the screen real estate, with quick access to messages and settings in the bottom right of the screen. Navigating the home screens and app drawer is made even easier, just touch the left and right sides of the screen rather than swiping your finger across it.

Not quite 'appening

The only disappointment we've had with Honeycomb so far is the way that a majority of apps render on the larger screen. When Apple launched the iPad it had the forethought to add an app scaling tool, doubling the size of iPhone apps to fit the iPad's display. Google only goes halfway in this endeavour, with some apps filling up the whole screen, while others look ridiculous boxed into a corner of the viewing area.

But even those that do use the entire screen mostly fail to resize the content in the apps for optimal viewing. Facebook and Twitter, for example, open in full screen mode, but each entry is almost too small to read without squinting. Here's hoping these major apps get a tablet-focused update quick smart.

Many important apps, like Facebook, are yet to receive a tablet makeover.
(Credit: CBSi)

The pre-installed apps is a good cross-section of tools, however. There is the standard suite of Gmail, Google Maps (with turn-by-turn navigation) and a very sexy-looking new music player. You also get a full copy of Quickoffice HD, allowing you to create office-compatible documents, edit those stored locally or on a number of cloud-storage services, like Dropbox and Google Docs.

Media and the web

With all the possible use cases for a 10-inch tablet, Samsung has whittled it down to focus on two important uses; web browsing and multimedia, and in both cases the 10.1v is a real stand out. With the power of the dual-core processor behind it, the web browser renders even complex pages like grease lightning and it handles HD video superbly. The 16GB of storage on-board will be enough for most users, though the lack of expandable memory will infuriate others.

Surprisingly, the tablet's 8-megapixel camera is also a fantastic feature. With auto-focus and an LED photolight, plus a range of pre-set white balanced settings and photo filters, we managed to take some sharp, colourful pics with the 10.1v.

Our only real concern is the lack of a direct HDMI connection or some sort of wireless media sharing option, like DLNA. This year a majority of the top-shelf smartphones and tablets will ship with these features and we'll expect to see them as we'll use these devices as much for sharing media as for consuming it. Not to have one or both of these options is a real oversight in this product like this.

Performance

Our review of the Galaxy Tab 10.1v marked two firsts for our reviews team, it was our first Honeycomb device in the labs and it was also our first device making use of the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor. The results, comparatively speaking, were out of this world. The 10.1v flew past last year's best smartphones for in-browser benchmarks, and added well over 50 per cent to the Android-specific benchmarks we've run. But then, you'd expect this from dual-core 1GHz processors.

BrowserMark benchmark

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v
  • HTC Desire HD
  • Apple iPhone 4
  • Samsung Nexus S
  • Longer bars equal better performance 91507 41121 38010 36458

In real-world scenarios this resulted in outstanding multitasking performance, with instantaneous transitions between active tasks, and great performance in the 3D games we tested. Battery life was also solid, with about nine or 10 hours of use over two to three days, with a continuous 3G connection and two active push email accounts.

Overall

With Google's Honeycomb in place, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v is an outstanding device for personal media and web consumption. There isn't much Samsung can do about the sub-par app support for Android tablet so far (but this is bound to improve), though we do think not including HDMI or DLNA in the out-of-the-box experience is missing a trick, to say the least. On top of this, the lack of micro SD card support and a user-replaceable battery isn't going to win favour from those who refuse to buy an iPad for the same reasons.

But our strongest reservation comes from Samsung's own announcement of updated Galaxy Tab models arriving in Q3 2011. Boasting a thinner profile and the possibility of larger storage, good things may come to those who wait.



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RhysL Facebook
9
Rating
 

"Incredible screen beats Ipad2"

RhysL posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Screen, Battery Life, Weight, Honeycomb

The Bad:No USb/SD/HDMI, Only 16gb internal storage

I've had mine for 6weeks now and apart from some minor issues, love it!

The screen ratio is perfect and the sharpness is second to none.

Android Honeycomb is great to use, very slick and fast. More apps becoming available daily to suit which is a bonus. I especially like turning screen right down and using it with Kindle e-reader.

The fact that the Australian Vodafone version is only 16gb with no possibility of expansion is a massive negative, really, how hard is it to put a SD card reader in it???

All in all a near home run for Samsung/Android - Apple justified in being nervous about the future of Android!

CampbellS Facebook
5
Rating
 

"Honey comb looks great"

CampbellS posted a review   

The Good:Like the 10inch screen , but why no AMLOED??

The Bad:No SD/micro-sd no HDMI , no USB no buy

I wont be buying a tablet unless it comes with an SD slot , USB and/or HDMI.

Hell Xoom had an SD slot which shipped disabled !!!!!!!

 

MichaelB6 posted a comment   

Does anyone know when this is getting a wider release? All the Vodafone stores I've been to say they're out of stock.
Thanks

bobjill
7
Rating
 

"Great looking"

bobjill posted a review   

The Good:Speed

The Bad:Price no HDMI or micro expansion slot

Don%u2019t buy a PAD until you do your research on this product.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer
THE LATEST PAD TO HIT THE MARKET ( IT LAUNCHED EVEN BEFORE MOTOROLA%u2019S ZOOM.)
All up it looks like a US $500 product incl.the magilcal keyboard that extends battery life to 16hrs

Love to be in the Marketing Department of Apple, Motorola, or Samsung, they will be
pulling their hair out. Pity anyone that bought an ipad or is thinking about a xoom or tab.
What else are we yet to see this year. The apple ipad will look like a kids toy ( an expensive one at
that ) come the end of the year.
This is from the ASUS company web site WOW

Eee Pad Transformer comes with a slim lightweight design and 10.1" capacitive touch-screen. A custom user interface provides easy access to the Android? 3.0 HoneyComb operating system, while the NVIDIA? Tegra? 2 chipset provides full support for Adobe Flash, smooth HD video conferencing and playback, a lightning fast web experience and incredible mobile gaming performance.

An optional docking station turns the Transformer into a full-fledged notebook with a QWERTY keyboard for desktop use, while extending battery life up to 16 hours. As with the Slider, front (1.2MP) and rear (5MP) digital cameras make for easy video chat and digital photography, while a built-in mini-HDMI port makes for easy connections to external displays for full 1080p HD video playback.

Here it is a link to a video demonstrating the product.


http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2031374/cebit-asus-eee-pad-transformer
( copy and paste )

Asus' EE Pad Transformer appeared on BestBuy.com for $400

Additionally the Docking Station - Keyboard that extends battery life to 16 hrs is on sale in the UK for 50 pounds

In addition to the Tegra 2 processor, it has 1 GB DDR2, and will come in both 16GB and 32GB storage capacities. It also has a Micro SD card slot. What sets it apart from other tablets, though, is the detachable keyboard which has 2xUSB 2.0 and a card reader.

davidrm65
8
Rating
 

"Tantalising taste of what's ahead"

davidrm65 posted a review   

Excellent review. I have had the pleasure of using the 10.1v for a few days and totally agree with the points in the review. One major plus for me as an avid movie viewer is the screen ratio. One of the annoyances with my I pad is its squarer Shape which leave an annoying black strip top and bottom and therefor a smaller image size. No such issue with the galaxy with its more widescreen shape. The form also seems to make it easier to hold the tablet. It just feels better in the hand than the ipad does. Browsing is a pleasure, the stock browser even on vodaphone 3g is very snappy indeed. Just a pity that there does not seem to be a setting with the stock browser to select desktop versions instead of mobile versions of sites. I switched to third party app dolphin to do so which is a pity as the stock browser feels faster. Honeycomb is still something of a work in process but the easy way to configure the five screens is a joy, as are the easy one touch access to the last five applications, having a back button and the notification strip. The widgets defnitely need work and the sizes are too small and a definitely more of a phone real estate hangover. But honeycomb is more of a touch interface than ios as evidenced in the gmail app for example where you can drag messages between folders. The stereo sound is lound and clear, video quality excellent. The lag of apps is an issue that will change as the slew of android tablets arrive. But for now i couldn't even find a tablet section on the australian market. The biggest problem is samsung itself which has already announced a newer lighter thinner version with micro sd. If it wasn't for that I would almost certainly be dumping my ipad1. Just have to wait another six months

johnjohn
9
Rating
 

johnjohn posted a review   

It seems to have everything going for it BUT does it have a mobile phone capacity like its older (7") bro?

 

Sam posted a comment   

Is the resolution meant to be 1280x800?

 

Dunners posted a comment   
Australia

Looks interesting however i am disappointed Samsung increased the size of their tablet, i love my Galaxy tab because of it's size.


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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v

  • RhysL

    RhysL

    Rating9

    "I've had mine for 6weeks now and apart from some minor issues, love it!

    The screen ratio is perfect and the sharpness is second to none.

    Android Honeycomb is great to use,..."

  • CampbellS

    CampbellS

    Rating5

    "I wont be buying a tablet unless it comes with an SD slot , USB and/or HDMI.

    Hell Xoom had an SD slot which shipped disabled !!!!!!!"

  • MichaelB6

    MichaelB6

    "Does anyone know when this is getting a wider release? All the Vodafone stores I've been to say they're out of stock.
    Thanks"

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