Galaxy Tab is first strong iPad alternative that features a compact design and dual cameras. In other words, it is everything an iPad is not. Contract free 3G version costs just $600 (unless you live in India where it costsgal more than $800) making it pretty affordable for a device with such amazing specs.
We have seen myriad of cheap Android tablets so far with really bad build quality and design, but fortunately, Galaxy Tab is not one of them. Weighing mere 13.5 ounces, it is lighter than the iPad that weighs 1.5 pounds. Beneath the display, you will find Backlit capacitive buttons that include Menu, Home, Back and Search buttons.
Above the display, you will find a 1.3MP camera for making video calls. At the back, there is a 3.0MP autofocus camera with LED flash.
Power buttons and volume buttons are present at the side of the tablet along with the microSD card slot.
At the top, you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack. Here is a comparison picture with my HTC HD2 phone that has 4.3-inch display.
It was sad to see that Samsung did not equip it with the gorgeous AMOLED display found in Galaxy S. Instead you get the usual, monotonous TFT style display, which still boasts pretty good viewing angles. It packs 1024×600 pixels, which are the same number of pixels you find a netbook.
But, since the pixels are closely packed, pictures look very crisp. That said, I had no problems in reading the text on the display.
There are two SIPs (soft input panels) includes the software. First is Swype and second is the simple onscreen QWERTY keyboard. Since the Tab is narrower than the iPad, text input was not a pain in you-know-what.
Galaxy Tab packs the same processor used in the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone which means that the performance is pretty snappy. Swiping through the menus was butter smooth and most of the apps opened within a second.
Galaxy Tab features garfunkel 2GB of onboard memory, but the company also supplies 16GB microSDHC card, so we are not complaining. You can expand the memory up to 34GB (32GB SDHC + built in 2GB).
Sufficient amount of RAM is free as well and you should be able to run a lot of apps concurrently without an issue.
Samsung’s contribution to the Android 2.2
It is often said that the Android 2.2 is not ready for the Tablet and Samsung should have wait until Android 3.0 before launching a tablet. But I was thrilled to see Samsung’s hard work that makes this Android tablet stand out. Most of the apps bundled made use of the bigger display, especially when used in landscape mode. Example: in the Email app, you can see the messages list on the left page and its preview on the right.
Since it runs Android 2.2 OS, flash content is supported inside the web browser. I opened http://netbooknes.com and was able to see Flash Google ad.
The unit ships with a 4000mAh battery life which is twice the capacity of what you would find in a smartphone. With active 3G connection, I was able to run it for straight 5.5 hours which is pretty good for such a powerful tablet. However, 3G iPad lasts 8 hours. Under Wi-Fi, the Tab ran for 6 hours.
+ Not too big, not too small
+ Nice display
+ Good Battery Life
+ Flash support
+ VGA out
+ Thumb friendly keyboard
+ Loud speaker
+ Dual cameras. iPad has none
– No built-in headset
– Looks cheap, compared to iPad
– Non-optimized apps don’t looks that good