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Samsung Galaxy Tab review

David Ludlow
1 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
529
inc VAT

The combination of Android and Samsung's hardware makes this tablet at least as good as the iPad, but the relatively high price could be hard to swallow.

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Specifications

7 in 1,024x600 display, 385g, 1GHz Cortex A8, 512MB RAM, 16GB disk, Linux

With the Galaxy Tab, Samsung is hoping to prove that Android can make a tablet computer that's as slick and easy to use as the Apple iPad. It could be a tough initial sell, particularly as Steve Jobs has recently hit out at 7in tablets, saying that they're simply not big enough to compete with the iPad. Glance quickly at the Galaxy Tab and you might think he's got a point: it doesn't quite look big enough to be better than a smartphone nor small enough to be carried everywhere.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

However, as soon as you pick it up and start using it, this misconception soon disappears. In fact, in many ways, the 7in screen actually makes the Galaxy Tab more comfortable to use than the iPad. The Tab is just small enough to fit comfortably in one hand while you use the touchscreen with the other. This tablet is a touch thicker than the iPad, but the extra bulk arguably makes it easier to grip. Spin it to landscape mode and it's just as comfy to hold and doesn't need to be put on your lap like the iPad.

In terms of resolution, the Galaxy Tab's screen is very similar to the iPad's. At 1,024x600, it's 168 pixels narrower than the iPad's 1,024x768 resolution, but this is because the Tab has a widescreen display with the same resolution as most netbooks. The difference between this tablet and netbooks is that while Windows feels cramped on a screen resolution like this, the Android operating system is designed for lower resolutions, so feels spacious.

In terms of quality we found that the display was every bit the equal of the iPad's. It's very bright, while colours looked accurate and vibrant. The glossy finish helps boost contrast, but also picks up reflections easily, so keeping it out of direct light is essential if you want the best quality.

Samsung Galaxy Tab left

There's little else to cause any controversy over the hardware, with Samsung packing the Galaxy Tab with the latest hardware, including a GPS receiver, Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G (an easily-accessible SIM-card slot sits on the side of the device). It's powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, while a PowerVR SGX540 handles graphics. There's also plenty of storage on board with 16GB of internal memory and a Micro SDHC slot that will take a further 32GB of RAM. Plus, there 2GB of internal phone storage for apps.

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