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Review roundup: Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the iPad's first "real" competitor

post #1 of 188
Thread Starter 
Initial reviews of the Galaxy Tab, Samsung's answer to Apple's iPad, have been mostly positive, though some reviewers have taken issue with the pricing and stability of the new tablet device.

Samsung launched its Galaxy Tab in the U.S. this week, and four major wireless carriers will eventually carry the device. The 7-inch tablet sports a 1GHz Cortex A8 ARM processor, a 1,024x600-pixel resolution touchscreen and rear- and forward-facing cameras. The device comes with 16GB of storage, expandable to 32GB. The base model of the Tab sells for $600, customers who sign a two-year contract can get the device for $400.

The Wall Street Journal

Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal called the Galaxy Tab the iPad's "first real rival," despite it having some minor usability issues. During tests of the tablet's video calling service, Mossberg experienced problems with the Qik video software, noting that some calls failed to go through, dropped, or dropped audio. According to Mossberg, Qik is "fixing the problems."

Though the Tab is touted partly for its compatibility with Adobe Flash, Mossberg wrote that it "needs work," as it slowed the browser down. "Sometimes they [embedded Flash videos] played and sometimes they didn't," said Mossberg, noting that Flash caused the Tab to crash at one point.

Mossberg also took issue with the lack of tablet specific apps on the Android Market app store. Some of the apps written for phones scaled to tablet size, but others "were surrounded by large black bars."

Using the same battery test as when he reviewed the iPad, Mossberg got 6 hours and 50 minutes of battery life out of the Tab, compared to 11 hours and 28 minutes from the iPad.

The New York Times

In his review for The New York Times, David Pogue called the new tablet "gorgeous and expensive." Pogue found that the device's diminutive size wasn't a significant issue, preferring to think of it as "like an extra-spacious Android phone" rather than a "cramped iPad." According to Pogue, the smaller size has a "huge" payoff, with the Tab weighing 13 ounces compared to the iPad's 1.5 pounds. Pogue enjoyed the portability of the device, noting that users can carry it in a blazer or jeans pocket.

However, Pogue's experience with the device wasn't completely positive. Like Mossberg, Pogue had trouble getting Flash videos to play, especially on the ESPN website.

"As smooth and slick and convenient as the Galaxy is, though, its not without its frustrations," wrote Pogue, who found the Android ecosystem "unlimited, chaotic, and more confusing." "The biggest drawback of the Galaxy may be its price: $600," said Pogue. The review also lamented the Galaxy Tab's inability to charge from a laptop USB port.

"So yes, the dawn of the would-be iPad is upon us. But the Android tablet concept represents more than just a lame effort to grab a slice of tablet hype. As with Android phones, it represents an alternative thats different enough to justify its existence," Pogue concluded.

Wired

Wired reviewer Christopher Null wrote that, as with its smartphones, Samsung "continues to take its cues from Apple," adding that it's "not necessarily a bad thing."

Null appreciated the better portability afforded by the Galaxy Tab's smaller size, remarking that the Tab "feels like a jumbo-sized cellphone." However, Null found that the tablet was "prone to dropping" because of its smaller form factor and slick surface.

"In use, the Galaxy Tab performs well, but is not exemplary," wrote Null. "It feels snappy enough, but longish load times can sometimes be tiresome, and webpages invariably loaded more slowly than the iPad sometimes taking twice as long. We also ran into a few issues with apps hanging and the Wi-Fi connection suddenly vanishing without explanation. Reboots solved both issues."

Null had only a few "relatively minor complaints" about the Galaxy Tab, deciding in the end that the device might not compete directly with the iPad. "The Tab ultimately reveals itself not as a competitor to the iPad but as a new class of mobile devices: a minitablet that is designed to go everywhere you do."



More to come

The Galaxy Tab is largely considered the first "real" competitor to the iPad, which launched in April. As such, sales of the Tab will likely stand as a touchstone for the "raft of new devices" scheduled to be released on the heels of the Tab.

Competitors will have significant ground to make up. In the September quarter, the iPad dominated the tablet market with a 95 percent market share.

Research in Motion is set to launch its own 7-inch tablet in early 2011. RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie told Bloomberg this week that the PlayBook will go on sale for "under" $500. The BlackBerry maker unveiled the tablet, which is aimed at business users, in September.

In October, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs disparaged the 7-inch form factor, calling it "too small to express the software." Jobs joked that the smaller tablets would need to ship with sandpaper so users can file down their fingers in order to hit smaller targets on the screen.

"We think the 7 inch tablets will be dead on arrival, and manufacturers will realize they're too small and abandon them next year. They'll then increase the size, abandoning the customers and developers who bought into the smaller format," Jobs predicted.
post #2 of 188
Gizmodo's review is pretty damning, calling the Tab a "...train wreck. The Tab is like a compromise's evil twin, merging the worst of a tablet and the worst of a phone."

http://gizmodo.com/5686161/samsung-g...le-train-wreck

Which seems to back up Google's own admission that Android isn't suitable for tablets until version 3 is released:

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-...ablets--715550

Personally, if it was half the price, it would be fairly good value, certainly better than the awful 7" tablets with resistive screens doing the rounds here in Australia like the Telstra T-touch Tab.
post #3 of 188
AND, even though the exchange rate is currently $1AU = $1US, it's on sale outright here for $999!!

http://www.harveynorman.com.au/produ...ung-galaxy-tab
post #4 of 188
Given how much grief iOS gets over the lack of flash

this

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Though the Tab is touted partly for its compatibility with Adobe Flash, Mossberg wrote that it "needs work," as it slowed the browser down. "Sometimes they [embedded Flash videos] played and sometimes they didn't," said Mossberg, noting that Flash caused the Tab to crash at one point.

kinda hurts.

It seems more like points in favor of Apple's decision and more proof that Flash is not ready to go Mobile
post #5 of 188
What, wait... so suddenly "just a big phone" has become a positive review meme?!
post #6 of 188
BS. The Tab is a quick to the market Android device getting trumped up before the other Android tablets stampede onto the market and show it the door.
Ipad is in a league all its own.
post #7 of 188
The Galaxy isn't an iPad alternative. It should never have been released.

We need to wait for Android 3.0 before any meaningful comparison can be made.
post #8 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by joindup View Post

AND, even though the exchange rate is currently $1AU = $1US, it's on sale outright here for $999!!

http://www.harveynorman.com.au/produ...ung-galaxy-tab

For that price it should come with a baby kangaroo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFEB1VyvZEA
post #9 of 188
Can anyone confirm that the Samsung Galaxy Tab now has no "Samsung" logo on the front!? This makes a huge difference for me in the aesthetics of the device! This may seem small, but its a big deal to me!

If Samsung decided to remove their logo from the front, they get a great BIG thumbs up from me!
post #10 of 188
What happened to Google Chromium (or whatever its OS is called)?

It seems like only yesterday everyone was supposedly clamoring for netbooks and being told that they were the future. And in the midst of it, Google offered Chromium as a lightweight, web-centric (err Google-centric), OS that would be adopted by netbook vendors to replace clunky old MS and its bloated Windows OS.

But technology has moved so quickly that it feels like netbooks have gone from conception to abortion in a window of time that's has made the Chromium effort seem unneeded. Now that the industry has moved on to tablets, and Google is offering Android 3 rather than Chromium as the OS solution for these tablets, where does that leave their netbook/Chromium effort?

Is it DoA?
post #11 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

It seems more like points in favor of Apple's decision and more proof that Flash is not ready to go Mobile

We're still waiting for it to be ready for the desktop.

It is reassuring (yet again - they've proved it many times in the past) to know that Apple tests the products and assesses the best decision to make and what is disappointing is that Apple-haters always try to latch onto products like the Tab as iPad-killers when they are way lower spec, pricier, worse quality.

It's actually quite funny to see new 7" tablets being launched with $600-1000 entry price tags when so many people were ready to put down the iPad under the expectation that the entry price would be high and the same people are now baffled as to what the competitors are thinking but still refuse to buy an iPad anyway. Their line of argument now is 'well it's the same price as an iPad but it's a better product'. Sure it is.
post #12 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

What happened to Google Chromium (or whatever its OS is called)?

It seems like only yesterday everyone was supposedly clamoring for netbooks and being told that they were the future. And in the midst of it, Google offered Chromium as a lightweight, web-centric (err Google-centric), OS that would be adopted by netbook vendors to replace clunky old MS and its bloated Windows OS.

But technology has moved so quickly that it feels like netbooks have gone from conception to abortion in a window of time that's has made the Chromium effort seem unneeded. Now that the industry has moved on to tablets, and Google is offering Android 3 rather than Chromium as the OS solution for these tablets, where does that leave their netbook/Chromium effort?

Is it DoA?

To be honest a netbook with good build quality (which is what is rumoured for the first chrome OS google branded netbook available later this month) appeals to me a lot more than an ipad. This is because I am a content producer more than a consumer. Also I find it frustrating and too slow to browse the web on an iPad because of lack of a keyboard. Sure the iPad looks great but for me the novelty wears off too quickly and all it performs really well at is mobile video.

The netbook market is still growing too and it will continue to. Not everyone, especially those not in the western world, can buy an iPad instead of a netbook.
post #13 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Given how much grief iOS gets over the lack of flash

this



kinda hurts.

It seems more like points in favor of Apple's decision and more proof that Flash is not ready to go Mobile

Here we go again, every topic gets turned into a bloody debate about flash. If flash isn't ready for mobile then please explain why the latest android phones can load a full web page complete with flash faster than the iPhone 4 can without loading the flash.

This is a problem with the galaxy tab.

The very fact that the skyfire browser has grossed over a million dollars in its first week is proof that people want to use flash on their mobile devices.
post #14 of 188
I played with one a few weeks ago. It's bollocks.
post #15 of 188
It looks like a cheap Chinese knock off of an iPad. Can't these fucks at least come up with an original color scheme.
post #16 of 188
I disagree with Jobs on the size, I really like the 7" size or at least one that is a bit smaller than the current iPad but this Galaxy Tab is not good enough and it's price is way out of proportion.. its not even worth 200 bucks let alone 600! It is a DoA.

I do hope though that Apple thinks of something to slim down the iPad line up. If they keep the same screen size, it's fine with me but then the edges need to slim down and the weight definitely needs to come down.
post #17 of 188
So if iPad is for users who want something between a phone and a computer, I suppose that makes the Galaxy Tab something which sits between a phone and an iPad. But with a phone.

Who in their right mind would get this on a 2 year contract? No one is going to use it as their primary mobile phone, therefore the inclusion is pointless. I thought the Dell Streak was too big for a mobile phone, this is ridiculous.

I saw a Galaxy Tab in a retail store yesterday, so I had a go on it. First thing I tried, of course, was flash video on the BBC News website. It's jumpy, slow and difficult to use. When trying to turn the volume up on the video itself, there was actually no way to do it. I could mute and unmute (after pressing the mute button once to focus on the video, then pressing it again to actually get the button function) but that was about it. Flash just isn't built for touch screens. I mentioned this to a colleague of mine this morning, and he basically said flash which barely works is about as useful as having no flash at all.
post #18 of 188
I was recently in my local electronics store and was able to compare the Galaxy Tab and the iPad side by side (the Tab has been out in Europe for a few weeks now). Seriously, there is NO comparison; the iPad runs rings around the Tab. The Tab's 7-inch screen and its ability to play Flash are its two biggest weak spots.

Every single person I observed comparing the two devices side by side - EVERY SINGLE PERSON - preferred the iPad. Given that the Tab is (here in Germany) €200 more expensive than the iPad it it's base configuration, I believe the Tab is indeed DOA, at least here in Europe.
post #19 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I disagree with Jobs on the size, I really like the 7" size or at least one that is a bit smaller than the current iPad but this Galaxy Tab is not good enough and it's price is way out of proportion.. its not even worth 200 bucks let alone 600! It is a DoA.

I do hope though that Apple thinks of something to slim down the iPad line up. If they keep the same screen size, it's fine with me but then the edges need to slim down and the weight definitely needs to come down.

The next iPad should definitely be lighter. It's a bit over-engineered in terms of the Alu Unibody. They were quite conservative with it. The iPad can take a heck of a beating.
post #20 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Given how much grief iOS gets over the lack of flash ... this ... kinda hurts. It seems more like points in favor of Apple's decision and more proof that Flash is not ready to go Mobile

I've been trying to make this point for months! Everyone is promising "the full Internet" but (A) what percentage of Android users have 2.2 and (B) what is the *actual* Flash playback and performance they encounter. Just saying "oh, well, it plays Flash" is total nonsense because it is not working at least as well as on a PC or Mac -- even then on the PC or Mac it's not that great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

What happened to Google Chromium (or whatever its OS is called)?

It seems like only yesterday everyone was supposedly clamoring for netbooks and being told that they were the future. And in the midst of it, Google offered Chromium as a lightweight, web-centric (err Google-centric), OS that would be adopted by netbook vendors to replace clunky old MS and its bloated Windows OS.

But technology has moved so quickly that it feels like netbooks have gone from conception to abortion in a window of time that's has made the Chromium effort seem unneeded. Now that the industry has moved on to tablets, and Google is offering Android 3 rather than Chromium as the OS solution for these tablets, where does that leave their netbook/Chromium effort?

Is it DoA?

Another one of Google's INFINITE BETA things bites the dust. But, I do admire their intense R&D. They have some real talent there. Android from nothing to big-time player in just a few years. Important lesson from them though: don't do the hardware yourselves.
post #21 of 188
Some people are claiming the Tab isn't an iPad competitor. Ok, I can see that. I'd say the Tab is the first real competitor to the Newton. ha.
post #22 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

Here we go again, every topic gets turned into a bloody debate about flash. If flash isn't ready for mobile then please explain why the latest android phones can load a full web page complete with flash faster than the iPhone 4 can without loading the flash.

This is a problem with the galaxy tab.

The very fact that the skyfire browser has grossed over a million dollars in its first week is proof that people want to use flash on their mobile devices.

That's a problem with Flash implementation too. If a colossal manufacturer like Samsung can't get Flash right, who can? Something is amiss in Flash-Android-land.
post #23 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

To be honest a netbook with good build quality (which is what is rumoured for the first chrome OS google branded netbook available later this month) appeals to me a lot more than an ipad. This is because I am a content producer more than a consumer. Also I find it frustrating and too slow to browse the web on an iPad because of lack of a keyboard. Sure the iPad looks great but for me the novelty wears off too quickly and all it performs really well at is mobile video.

The netbook market is still growing too and it will continue to. Not everyone, especially those not in the western world, can buy an iPad instead of a netbook.

The MacBook Air 11" is really impressive, even with just the 1.4ghz processor. Friends and I tested one out with Parallels Windows 7, playing back movies on OS X (at the same time), and the Flash performance is surprisingly acceptable. Definitely the one to get if not an iPad.
post #24 of 188
So what are we going to call this new mini tablet category........NetPads, NetTablets, NetSlates?

Well best of luck with it, hope it doesn't go the way of the NetBook!
post #25 of 188
Why Buy a Tab when you can buy "the real thing". This question dates to 1963, well actually 1969. Although Coca-Cola introduced Tab in 1963, we were not told that Coke was the real thing until 1969.

Sings jingle: iPad, it's the real thing.

I tried Tab in 1964 and it would gag a vulture!
post #26 of 188
So, 3 years after announcing that Adobe were working on a mobile version of flash for the iPhone and future devices, they are still unable to get it working properly on an mobile device.

Maybe in the next 10 years when mobile CPU technology reaches the power of todays desktops, maybe, just maybe, they will have it working?!?
post #27 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Model A1181 View Post

Why Buy a Tab when you can buy "the real thing". This question dates to 1963, well actually 1969. Although Coca-Cola introduced Tab in 1963, we were not told that Coke was the real thing until 1969.

Sings jingle: iPad, it's the real thing.

I tried Tab in 1964 and it would gag a vulture!

Hey! - I remember Tab - sigh \
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #28 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

So, 3 years after announcing that Adobe were working on a mobile version of flash for the iPhone and future devices, they are still unable to get it working properly on an mobile device.

Maybe in the next 10 years when mobile CPU technology reaches the power of todays desktops, maybe, just maybe, they will have it working?!?

post #29 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Model A1181 View Post

Why Buy a Tab when you can buy "the real thing". This question dates to 1963, well actually 1969. Although Coca-Cola introduced Tab in 1963, we were not told that Coke was the real thing until 1969.

Sings jingle: iPad, it's the real thing.

I tried Tab in 1964 and it would gag a vulture!

Wow. They decided Coke was the real thing even before I was born. That no doubt set me on the straight and narrow growing up.
post #30 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Hey! - I remember Tab - sigh \

tab

http://don-has-that.amazonwebstore.c...source=froogle
post #31 of 188
Had a play with this thing last weekend and I wasn't that impressed. It's thicker and heavier than you think and I found it slow and unresponsive compared to the iPad. It's better than the other 7" tablets I've seen but the iPad is so much better. At the price points here in the UK I can't see it selling too well. If this is the best of the competition then Apple is going to have a stellar Christmas.
post #32 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gxcad View Post

Can anyone confirm that the Samsung Galaxy Tab now has no "Samsung" logo on the front!? This makes a huge difference for me in the aesthetics of the device! This may seem small, but its a big deal to me!

If Samsung decided to remove their logo from the front, they get a great BIG thumbs up from me!

Perhaps they don't want their brand name to be tarnished by this 'thing'.
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post #33 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

So, 3 years after announcing that Adobe were working on a mobile version of flash for the iPhone and future devices, they are still unable to get it working properly on an mobile device.

Maybe in the next 10 years when mobile CPU technology reaches the power of todays desktops, maybe, just maybe, they will have it working?!?

Yes and you'd think they would have gone all out to make a version for Android that was awesome by now just to prove SJ wrong wouldn't you?
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #34 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by csimmons View Post

I was recently in my local electronics store and was able to compare the Galaxy Tab and the iPad side by side (the Tab has been out in Europe for a few weeks now). Seriously, there is NO comparison; the iPad runs rings around the Tab. The Tab's 7-inch screen and its ability to play Flash are its two biggest weak spots.

Every single person I observed comparing the two devices side by side - EVERY SINGLE PERSON - preferred the iPad. Given that the Tab is (here in Germany) 200 more expensive than the iPad it it's base configuration, I believe the Tab is indeed DOA, at least here in Europe.

Being Flash enabled resulting as a 'weakness' is truly ironic.
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post #35 of 188
There is nothing worth to be proud of till SAMSAMG can make its os .
post #36 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

The MacBook Air 11" is really impressive, even with just the 1.4ghz processor. Friends and I tested one out with Parallels Windows 7, playing back movies on OS X (at the same time), and the Flash performance is surprisingly acceptable. Definitely the one to get if not an iPad.

I used one in the Apple store. I loaded up pure Flash sites on an 11 inch MacBook Mini. They all played just fine. I don't quite understand why people complain so much.

Are the new Minis better at Flash than regular Macs?
post #37 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

Here we go again, every topic gets turned into a bloody debate about flash. If flash isn't ready for mobile then please explain why the latest android phones can load a full web page complete with flash faster than the iPhone 4 can without loading the flash.

This is a problem with the galaxy tab.

The very fact that the skyfire browser has grossed over a million dollars in its first week is proof that people want to use flash on their mobile devices.

I agree. No one seems to get html5 has it's share of problems, as shown by many examples, and I think that will rear it's ugly head as it becomes more standardized. People will begin to wonder why they were so reverently praying for it.

I played with a tab, and while I think it's a matter of personal taste, and I couldn't predict how sales will go, but I can say I had no trouble with any flash, and I was running a super intense 3d flash site. No crashes, or slowdowns I was aware of. YMMWV I suppose.

I think Apple was very right to bar flash from iOS from the start, where it goes from here, is unclear, the new plugin has vastly improved, but I sense a shift away from using a plugin to view content like flash. SOme interesting developments happening these days.
What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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post #38 of 188
Google basically shot themselves in the foot by choosing JAVA as a development platform for their phones and tablets!

Baaad decision!
bb
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bb
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post #39 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Google basically shot themselves in the foot by choosing JAVA as a development platform for their phones and tablets!

Baaad decision!

why exactly is this a baaaad decision? Pretty massive java development community out there. And, wile it may not be popular here, it also allows adobe air.
What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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post #40 of 188
So all these new tabs coming out were labeled iPad killers, all of a sudden they're not competing with the iPad? I find that odd, especially since their first release has far more significant issues than the iPad.
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