When I was a kid the magic slate used to amuse me a lot, I used to write with chalk and everything could be erased without even rubbing the slate. With the advent of technology, my magic slate was revolutionized and had been given different names, iPad, Kindle, eReaders and other touch screen devices. They are now known as tablets, which are much portable than other devices and are now coming up as promising technology for educational as well as business purposes.
Tablets had been around before, Apple Newton, released in 1993 and Linux tablet, the ProGear by FrontPath but due to poor execution and features they could not become a hit among consumers. Till then nobody had the slightest of idea that the first patent for an electronic tablet used for handwriting granted in 1888, would come in picture so beautifully with the launch of Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 in the August of 2011.
On 10th August 2011, 12 PM (IST) was the launch of my dream magic slate, the day of Samsung Galaxy 750 tab release. TechQuark.com hosted the live webcast. I was mesmerized by Samsung Galaxy Tab’s looks. It’s sleekness, faster and better features made me fall in love with it immediately. It has two names, in India it is popularly launched as Samsung Galaxy Tab 750, while in other parts of the world it is known as Galaxy Tab 10.1
The media launch of the event was huge success. It was a breathtaking presentation of the introduction of two new versions of Samsung Galaxy Tab. The presenters were among the famous faces, Younghee Lee, senior vice president of global marketing at Samsung, Mr. Ranjeet Yadav – country head of Samsung India, and beautiful Indian actress Lara Dutta. Samsung gave us a surprise with a launch of a smaller galaxy Tab 730 with 8.9” screen.
This 10.1 –inch Samsung’s new device is sure going to give a stiff competition to Apple’s iPad2. It is only not above par when it comes to weight and thinness being 6 grams lighter and 1 mm thinner than iPad2. Its features like 1280x800 display, 3MpxRear and 2mpx Front camera, Adobe flash playback and of course Android honeycomb interface are defining Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 an iPad killer.
Let us see how Samsung Galaxy Tab’s unique features help it in proving its dominance over other tablets.
Android Honeycomb – The Vital Factor
The major factor which makes Samsung Tab 10.1 unconventional is the fact of it being the only accompanished vendor to have introduced the first Android built tablet. It is comes fully loaded with Android's 3.1 "Honeycomb" operating system. Android Honeycomb is Android’s new version which is dedicated for large screen devices, distinctly tablets. Android 3.1’s content specific interaction model, an amazing UI design makes the screen look scintillating and the vital energy that the 3D experience is having makes it so real that you feel like touching it.
Android 3.1 has all the features that people love most about android, home screen customizations, notifications, widgets, etc. Android 3.1 is made better than 3.0 as the User Interface variance polished across the standard apps. Accessibility is improved to let users customize the touch-hold interval on their consent and consistent audible feedback throughout the UI. Some additional new features being an "action bar", five home screens with a large number of widgets and are customizable, easier multitasking with an app list, a redesigned browser and onscreen keyboard and an all new enhanced copy and paste.
- Screen: Hi-resolution, Super Amoled 10.1″ or 8.9″ Display
- Processors: 1GHz dual-core NVidia Tegra processor
- Memory: 1GB RAM
- Weight: 565 gm & 495 gm
- Storage: 16GB, 32GB on-board & expandable up to 32GB using MicroSD card.
- Connectivity: 3G + Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
- Camera: 3 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera with Auto focus, Auto exposure.
- Battery: 7000 mAh for all day long activities
- Video: 1080p playback, 720p capture Video Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, XviD, WMV7/8, VP8, MP43, VC-1 Format: 3GP (MP4), WMV (asf), AVI
- Audio: MP3, OGG, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, AMR, MID, IMY, WMA, Vorbis, RTTTL/RTX, OTA
- Apps: Samsung Social Hub, My Reader, My Movies, Full HTML Web Browser, Books, Browser, Email, Gallery, Gmail™, Google Maps™, Android Market, Google Search™, Google Talk™, Voice Search, Latitude, Music Hub, Navigation, Places, Pulse, QuickOffice, Samsung Apps, YouTube, Music Player
Among the major improvements in Samsung’s second generation tab falls its maneuverability. It is black, glossy and thin. In addition to featuring a larger display that runs on 1280x800, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is extremely portable at .34’’ thin and an outstanding featherweight of 1.25 lbs. Samsung has its looks from iPad 2, but its light weight and thinness is really appreciated which is making it more portable and hence it could be easily slid into a sleek protective cover. Samsung is now a proud producer of world’s thinnest tablet.The only buttons which can be seen on its sleek body are the power button and the volume control. A charging port, a SIM card slot, a headphone jack are very neatly mounted on the device and the tiny grills for the surround sound seems a perfect match.
The 1280x800 display is vibrant and all the icons and widgets appear to be popping out of the screen. The screen looks crisp and sharp even from the incomprehensible angles.
Galaxy 10.1 supports some of the accomplished video and audio formats. One can play full HD video at 1080 at 30 frames per second, with brilliant fluency, no lag and flawless aspect ratio. VP8, MPEG4, Xvid, DivX, WMV9/7/8, H.263 and H.264 are the video codec supported. Its bright and crisp screen can be seen from more intricate point of views. We can play MP3, RA, WMA, eAAC+ and AAC audio files with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
I would suggest you to unplug your ear plugs (after enjoying them) and experience Samsung Galaxy Tab’s “surround sound”. I could bet on Samsung’s embedded speakers, that the quality would be outstanding giving good bass and treble quality for movies, music, and video chat.
The tab is launched with Adobe Flash 10.1 thus giving it an edge over iPad2. Now the Flash supported websites, the videos and games could be easily enjoyed on a tablet. It could be one of the major reasons to buy Galaxy tab 10.1 instead of iPad.
Galaxy 10.1 provides a 9 hour battery life, promising not to pull much power on standby. So it can be kept for a week without charging but one has to make sure no background processes are running which could be using the power.
Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity
Samsung Pad has filled the holes by making itself compatible with Bluetooth 3.0 enabled peripherals and backward compatible with older Bluetooth enabled devices like printers, headsets, etc. you can easily stream your music with Bluetooth speaker dock or stereo headphones. It further includes profiles for communication headset, hands-free car kits, and the A2DP.
The superior multitasking and awesome user interaction can be made visual by the home screen which uses a live panel, which is a magazine like widget updated in real time and no refresh is required. It is easily customizable and has five screens each of which can be easily navigated and customized with the wallpapers and apps upon user’s choice. The large number of widgets makes it more consumers friendly and fulfills individuals’ needs.
Among the most appreciable things lies the applications could be uninstalled by just dragging them from the main menu to recycle bin.
The Galaxy Tab comes with integrated Google technology, including the famous apps Google Search by voice, Google Maps with Street View, Gtalk, YouTube, Picasa, and contacts/calendar synchronization.
Android market would never let you feel short of App. You have access to numerous application, widgets and games to make your Tab more productive.
The Gmail application offers the same paned view as Gmail adding multi-touch zooming which is an important feature while working with a large, high-resolution display.
Movie Studio app
Movie studio app is an amazing application when you want to play with your movies. It can be easily navigated, and could prove a nice editor for posting videos to Facebook or YouTube.
If you want to view your contacts in an orderly manner, this app is perfect for it. We have a person on left and his information and communication logs on right plus extensive use of tabs allows quick access to functionality like Logs, Groups and Favorites.
E-Books are fun to read, with the eBook app, it has shelves. All new books are available at Readers Hub app, perfectly integrated with Press Display for news, Kobo for books, and Zinio for magazines.
Samsung Social Hub
Tired of checking notification of all your social networking websites? Galaxy pad gives you a one stop for all your updates. It basically collects all information of your social networking websites.
The Text messaging has become easier as the group message functionality is added for a maximum of 10 contacts. A threaded conversation format is also added with a consolidated inbox
If you are a workaholic, or a college student you should not worry about your documents as the ThinkFree Office suite is compatible with Microsoft office documents. Its own file manager helps you organize your docs neatly. In addition to it you can create an online account and store your docs there and can share whenever you like.
The pre-installed YouTube client is the best when it comes to streaming of high quality videos seamlessly, further you can rate comment or share the videos of your choice.
Notification system is as easier as of your favorite social networking website. You just have to tap the digital clock and list of all notifications and quick access functions is presented for you.
Swype input system
The exemplary Swype technology had made Samsung Tab a jewel of its own kind. We can intuitively type our text with continuous finger motion on the onscreen keyboard provided. What we have to do is just activate Swype by pressing and holding a text field and then selecting Swype as the input method in the pop up that appear.
The multitasking functionality is among my favorites, you can open multiple apps at your wish. I am very bad at numbers so I can use my calculator with my documents or to enter a birthday in my list I can easily check the calendar.
The multitasking functionality is backed by split view support and mini apps. Mini apps helps you set applications over screen for easy access to commonly used apps, anytime.
PC Synchronizing has always been the best, easiest and important things. These can be easily done in Galaxy 10.1 with ‘Kies Air’, a Wi-Fi sync Application. This application is not new to android as we have encountered it in Samsung’s Galaxy S II. We just have to follow two simple steps:
- Search for a Wi-Fi network.
- Connect !
As we have already read, Samsung Tab has also brought for us Social Hub, which collects all information from our social networking websites and emails. Though we do not have dedicated Facebook and Twitter app, this gap is filled by Social Hub, and moreover we can open full version of Facebook and Twitter in the browser supporting chat unlike iPad2.
Nobody needs halts; larger time for page uploads while surfing. If you want a hassle free browsing you can easily rely on Galaxy 10.1’s high internet speed as it uses HSPA + 3G. As we already know that the Tab is supported with adobe flash player so accessing web sites with richer multimedia content will be fun.
Other connectivity options which the wonderful device is loaded with are Bluetooth latest 3.0 version, USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi direct making your Galaxy Tab 10.1 acting as a hotspot.
The Browser is easy and nice to use and have tabbed browsing similar to what we find in Google Chrome and it can easily synchronize with chrome’s bookmarks. To my surprise Honeycomb browser supports Chrome’s Incognito mode, now we can surf privately without leaving cookies or history of our browsing sessions.
The Galaxy Tab is a perfect combination of stuffs you want to have it in your PC, not only it is exceptional in browsing, looks, portability but also in gaming. It comes with features like compass, ambient light, gyroscope, and accelerometer sensor. They enhance user experience to a much larger extent.
Going into bit of the features, the accelerometer is used for automatically engaging the device when it is rotated or tilted plus it improves the navigation experience in gaming with its 6 axis. The applications such as gallery, music player, videos, web browser take advantage of this feature.
Video calling was never better in a tablet before. The 3 megapixel camera with LED flash support at the back is best for video recording and provides 720p HD video recording. The front camera of 2 megapixel made video calling a better experience. This is among the reasons why one should not prefer iPad2
Integrated GPS for navigation and location-based services
There is simply no need to memorize the routes because yet another awesome built in feature of tab 10.1 is the GPS support. Google Maps is the default navigation system we get. As we are blessed with android we can get all of the Google services embedded in OS.
Who would not like to accessorize his favorite gadget? Tab 10.1 has its various accessories in the market with extremely affordable prices. Samsung Galaxy Tab screen protector and a standard case should be in your Must-Have list. Further a keyboard can be docked with your tablet making it look like a sleek laptop. Apart from these, notebook stand, leather case, portable speaker’s memory cards, etc. are other available accessories.
Experience Galaxy Tab Virtually with Online Simulator
Are you not eager to experience all the new features that Galaxy tab 10.1’ has? Well, Samsung has provided an online test drive for its new tab. It has around 30 tutorials to check out and there you can perform the tasks yourself. Although there are limitations with the tasks but still you can experience what Android honeycomb has new in store.
If you want to try it before you buy it, check online simulator here.
Galaxy Tab can Revolutionize Education System
Back in the early times we had slates and now that would be replaced by a strong, useful, knowledgeable Samsung tablet. It is equally useful for teachers and students. While teachers can have instructional support with an ease of a finger tap, students can have individualized instructions and content on their fingertips.
3G Connectivity by Vodafone
I was very thrilled to know that Samsung has tied up with Vodafone to give 3G connectivity exclusively for Galaxy Tab 750 and 730 owners at discounted price of Rs. 3000 for six months for 2GB per month data transfer.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 is priced at Rs. 36,200 which will be available in retail stores in India by end of August 2011 while Tab 730 is priced at Rs. 33,990 which will be available in September 2011.
Launch of Samsung Galaxy 10.1 had surely made its place in history by being Androids first successful Tablet and by being the thinnest tablet till date. Everything just defines the perfect tablet whether it is Android honeycomb OS, the 10.1’’ widescreen display the amazing 1280x800 resolution , or the live streaming of the launch in India.
Its light weight, sleekness makes it more portable. The 3megapixel and 2 megapixel cameras, Adobe Flash support crisp and clear screen contributes to the reasons among “Why not to buy an iPad2”.
The various connectivity options made Samsung’s very first tablet one of its own kinds. The world class emailing experience, social networking, video calling, documents management has equally contributed to its superb performance.
Getting such a power packed gadget at a price of 36,200 is worth giving a shot!
In the end, Apple did well, but Samsung did it better.
Disclaimer : The Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 has just been launched in the Indian market and this review is based on the currently available information.