Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: A Second-Gen Android Tablet

Is Samsung's Second-Gen Galaxy A Winner?

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers almost everything we want from an iPad 2 competitor. Its Super PLS display is nothing short of amazing; clearly the best display that we've seen on a tablet, with wide viewing angles and superior color. TouchWiz UX takes the visual experience one-step further by providing a more refined and differentiated user interface. However, Samsung should provide a way for users to create custom skins or disable TouchWiz outright for anyone with a preference for Android's default UI. Functionality could also use a big of tweaking. We love the Social Hub app, but it still feels more like it a glorified RSS reader. Synergy in webOS is truly more useful.

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Tablet Pricing16 GB32 GB64 GB
iPad 2 (Wi-Fi)$499$599$699
iPad 2 (AT&T 3G)$629$729$829
iPad 2 (Verizon 3G)$629$729$829
Xoom (Wi-Fi)-$499-
Iconia Tab A500 (Wi-Fi)$399$499-
Eee Pad Transformer (Wi-Fi)$399$499-
Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wi-Fi)$499$599-

There's a lot we love about Samsung's second-gen Android tablet, but its price is a turn-off. Acer, Asus, and Motorola recently dropped their prices in the face of tougher competition, but Samsung seems intent on matching Apple's pricing structure. That leaves most shoppers in a difficult position because a 16 GB Galaxy Tab 10.1 costs just as much as a 32 GB Eee Pad Transformer or a 16 GB iPad 2 (the established incumbent).

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is thin and sexy, but it's also missing a few features compared to other tablets. For example, the Iconia Tab A500 provides USB connectivity. The Eee Pad Transformer performs double duty as a notebook and tablet, while the Xoom offers better camera hardware. And, if you include the iPad 2, all four competing tablets offer HDMI video output. Even if we put aside those deficiencies, our biggest complaint has to do with recharge time. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers similar battery life as other Android-based tablets, it takes nearly three times as long to charge. The fact that you have to hook up to a wall with the charging adapter (a PC's USB port won't do) only makes this more painful.

Samsung really needs to drop its price if it wants to make the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a clear stand-out in relation to the iPad 2. Right now, its price premium over other Android-based tablets is excessive, given other solid options.

If you're in the market for a premium tablet, Apple's iPad 2 is still on top, if only because of its superior third-party developer backing. However, as a product, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes in a close second thanks to its phenomenal display. Samsung clearly proves that it has what it takes to design a proper tablet. Now it's up to Google to improve the software situation.

The gap between Apple and its competitors will only close if Google pushes Android development more aggressively. Almost eight months have passed since Honeycomb's launch, and tablet-specific apps still number fewer than 300. The selection in App Market only seems higher because many apps are upconverted for a larger screen. Very few programs are explicitly designed for Android-based tablets.

Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab of your own. You could also win anEee Pad Transformer, an Acer Iconia Tab, or a Lenovo IdeaPad K1! Simply read the rules and then fill out our SurveyGizmo contest form. Everyone already entered in the contest through Google Docs is still in the running to win!

  • killerclick
    No surprises here, iPad 2 is still on top, being the engineering masterpiece that it is. Take a look at side-by-side comparisons of iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 on YouTube and you'll see how much smoother animations and video recording are on the iPad 2.
  • Martell77
    I'm going to be in the market to buy about 150 tablets soon and from this article it appears that the ASUS 3.2 is the best all around for price/performance/recharge. While it doesn't win alot, it appears to be a consistant performer and has a relativly short recharge time.

    Or am I missing something here?
  • dthx
    The reason why Samsung doesn't want to lower it's price is easy to understand: there are many (stupid) persons who are convinced that the iPad is superior to any other tablet just because it's priced higher... Samsung wants to make sure they capture that part of the market.
    But the author is right: if there is one reason Apple should sue Samsung, it's for copying the price structure of the iPad!
  • Haserath
    Samsung Galaxy Tab needs a split keyboard feature in portrait mode; it isn't comfortable enough to have to stretch to hit the virtual keys.

    The 10.1 is still too slow for certain browsing. Flash is good as long as you don't want to rewind or fast forward through it. It sometimes slows down when I try typing also.

    Since Apple produces both hardware and software, they can optimize their OS for the exact hardware they put out.

    After trying the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, I would say it's just a little too immature still. A good year or two and tablets will be perfect for browsing, gaming, and some other tasks while also being lightweight and easy to use even compared to laptops.
  • Hmmm, many talk about iPad dominance but don't know all the facts. Just looking at a device in the store doesn't cut it folks. Android tablets are going to start cutting into market share, like it or not. For an IT person or true techie, most would choose an Android tablet. 4 core coming soon and they are going to rock the scene. Example: my Acer Iconia costs quite a bit less than iPad2.
    -Full USB port for mouse, keyboard, portable hard disks/thumb drives, cameras
    -Overclocked and stable dual core CPU @ 1.504 Ghz (big change in performance)
    -Customizable and open operating system (and it's going to get better with ICS)
    -Honeycomb 3.2
    -Netflix and Hulu working
    -Mount drives from Linux, Windows, and OSX
    -Websites with Flash that look the same as on a PC browser (now theres a concept)
    -Wide screen 16:9
    -5MP rear camera + front facing camera.
    -HDMI out
    -Charges back up in 1hr
  • dennisburke
    Price, proprietary cable management, and lack of expandable storage all lead me to want to wait to see what happens after Windows 8 becomes available.
  • iceman1992
    PowerVR SGX545MP2 (dual-core)
    i think it's supposed to be SGX543MP2?
  • tacoslave
    call me when Kal-el comes out
  • damric
    I'll be getting this for $199 with my Sprint upgrade :D
  • thrasher32
    Wake me up when someone does something innovative.