Saturday, June 18, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Tablet Review

Up for review today is Samsung's 7 inch and 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab tablet computers. It is Samsung's answer to the iPad. We here at Stereowise Plus were so excited to get these units in for review. The 7 inch size is much more portable friendly then the larger 10 inch size. And the 10 inch size is also very handy. Both of them run on the Android operating system. The 7 inch size comes with Android 2.2, and the 10.1 actually comes with the most recent 3.1. The basic preloaded settings are great, with a number of chances for you to customize easily with your local weather and stock updates as well as Facebook and twitter status updates and a number of wonderful interactive wallpapers to choose from. It is also easy to link to your existing email accounts for pain free email updates.

The Galaxy Tab 7 features and specs are:
Wi-fi Only
Form Factor- Touchscreen Tablet
Operating System- Android 2.2, Froyo
Front Camera: 1.3 Megapixel
Rear Camera: 3.0 Megapixel Auto Focus with Flash
Features: Auto Focus, Shot Modes, Smile Shot, Geo-tagging, Editing Modes, Camcorder, HD Recording, HD Playback, Video Share, Online Image Uploading
Dimensions (W x H x D) 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.47 inches
Weight- 13.58 ounces
Battery- Li-Polymer, 4000 mAh
Memory- 16GB Internal Memory
Up to 32GB Expandable Memory (microSD™)
Network- WiFi Only
Connectivity- WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n
USB 2.0
Bluetooth 2.1 Connectivity Short range wireless technology that enables fixed and mobile devices to exchange data. EDR is high-speed.
CPU- 1GHz A8 Cortex Processor
Display- 7.0" WSVGA Display
600 x 1024 Pixel Display Resolution
3.54" x 6.05" Display Size
16M TFT Display Technology
User Interface- Widgets, Social Hub, Smart Unlock, Accelerometer, Bilingual: Spanish/English
Video- Codec: Mpeg4, H.264, H.263, Divx/XviD
Format: 3gp(mp4), wmv(asf), avi(divx), mkv, flv
Fun and Entertainment- Downloadable Content, Animated Wallpapers, Widget Gallery, Media Hub
Business and Office- Microsoft® Office Compatible
Messaging Options- Personal and Work Email, Instant Messaging, SWYPE™, Video Chat

Samsung up's the ante with the Galaxt Tab 10.1:
Android Honeycomb 3.1
NVDIA Tegra 2 1GHz Dual-Core Processor
10.1 inch screen
1280x800 display
2MP front facing and 3MP rear facing cameras
Thinner than the iPad 2

Included in the packages was the Galaxy Tab, a wall charger and USB connector cable, the instruction booklet and a pair of IEM's.

The wall charger is a great design. The actual wall plug had a USB Port so the cord that you use for syncing the Galaxy Tab to your computer is the same one you use to charge it from the wall. It is an elegant solution to having the over abundance of cords handing on the computer, each one used for a different device. This way, there is only the one and it's easy to identify and use.

The Samsung comes preloaded with Kindle from Amazon. Their app was easy to use and navigate and I was able to pull up a number of my books and even audio books easily and distortion free. The screen has the option of locking the orientation so it doesn't switch on you unexpectedly while reading when you shift positions. That is available on the main screen options.

While I wasn't able to access my Netflix account due to an app downloading problem, the videos I was able to access on YouTube were crisp and clear. The picture was wonderful and there was little to no pixelation, or artifacts. I also didn't have a problem loading the videos, and waiting on any buffering. Even when I was watching in HD the video didn't freeze, buffer, or skip. Resolution was great on the display, with excellent contrast, saturation, and pop to the picture. Shadow details were ok. The screen even looked good at sharp off angles.

The built-in speakers actually sounded fairly good as well. The volume did not let you go too loud, which was a good thing. They are small and could be blown fairly easily. They played sufficiently loud for personal listening, and if you really want to rock out there are headphone jacks. Bass out put was lacking to be expected, but it did have decent resolution and full sound for a small device. Listening to the included headphones brought out much higher output, and good sound. I was also glad to see a pair of IEM's (In Ear Monitor's) included with the Galaxy Tabs. They were cheap IEM's, but still better than even cheaper earbuds.

The Camera took excellent pictures and videos and the unit has the option of video chat, for the sensor size they had. The videos taken were of great quality. They scanned well with no skips in audio or visual even in high action and had a good picture quality. However, I wouldn't use this to try to load videos on YouTube. The less than a minute video I attempted to FOREVER to upload, probably due to the amount of information involved.

I loved browsing through the Market and finding new free apps to download and play with. The vast number of them available seem to indicate that I will never need to be bored again. The graphics on the games were excellent and the sound kept up with the picture. Angry Birds was never more fun to play.

The virtual keyboard popped up automatically every time I navigated to a screen that needed any typing at all. It was large enough to be easy to use without taking up more than half of the screen. That also made it easy to use the note app and to type up notes that are easy to access later. The touchscreen was pleasantly sensitive and worked extremely well!

I must say that I was thrilled with the battery life. It lasted different amounts depending on what I was doing, but tended to last between 6-10 hours. If I was just reading on the Kindle, it lasted longer than if I was playing Angry Birds,or watching video, but still it lasted longer than I expected.

I did have one small issue. The Galaxy Tab 7 unit froze on me during my testing of it. I had to do the equivalent of a hard boot to get it to come up again. I wasn't doing anything special when it happened and it wasn't enough to discourage me. I was giving the unit some hard use to test it out. And most systems have these little glitches from time to time, but it needed to be mentioned. This certainly wouldn't discourage me from buying this unit.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has had no issues whatsoever. Every aspect of the testing has gone glitch free. Whether is be taking pictures, watching videos downloaded, and playing games, there were no issues. That could be partly due to the more powerful Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor in the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Although with that being said, I also just recently got in a Motorola Xoom to review, and I have had some glitches show up in playing Angry Birds with it. The motion sensors in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 also worked very good. The screen looked just as good if not a bit better than the 7" model, only it is larger to show more of it's goodness. Internet browsing was quick and pages looked great, with sharp text and great graphics. And the touchscreen is nice and sensitive, but not overly so. It responded excellently to the touch. And I LOVE how thin it is. It is a little taller and wider than the Motorola Xoom, but thinner. And I also liked the gloss white back that is easier to keep clean from fingerprints. Benchmark performance was good, although they only tell part of the story. Actual performance performed very well.

All in all, there were only a few things that I would prefer my laptop over the Galaxy Tabs. For the most part, my laptop would be sitting in the corner gathering dust. And at a MSRP of $349.99 for the Galaxy Tab 7, and $499 for the Galaxy tab 10.1 And while the models reviewed were all Wi-Fi models, they are also available from select cell phone providers. I will be recommending it for many different reasons in the future. The Galaxy Tab 7 performed well, and was more compact for easier portability. The Galaxy tab 10.1 performed even better, and is what I expected an Android Tablet should be. Samsung proved they are King of the Hill with the Galaxy S android smartphone last year. And with the Samsung Galaxy Tabs, especially the 10.1, they are making the same claim in the tablet market, and rightly so. Ipad 2 what? For all this, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 has earned our Highly Recommended Award, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has earned our Editor's Choice Award, even if they didn't have their famous Super AMOLED screen found on Samsungs smartphones. For complete specs and more info please visit their website at