The Hardware

The 10.1 is light enough to wield single handedly without fatigue, assuming you're holding it in portrait mode. In landscape there's some basic physics that comes into play, the long side of the 16:9 display pulls down and wears on your wrist after a while. In portrait mode the Galaxy Tab is remarkably comfortable. After prolonged usage I either orientation can be a problem, but I honestly believe Samsung's 8.9-inch variant may be the answer to all of our problems when it ships later this year. Unfortunately by that point you may as well wait for a Kal-El version rather than jump on what will most definitely be an aging Tegra 2.

Around the 10.1's perimeter are the usual suspects, just rearranged. The upper left edge is home to a subtle power/lock switch and a volume rocker. Neither are terribly pronounced nor are they impossible to find. With the Galaxy Tab's symmetrical industrial design it's very easy to lose your bearings and hold the tablet upside down. The subtle buttons do little to help avoid any confusion. Luckily Honeycomb, like iOS, can be oriented in any direction.

A curved 1/8" headphone jack also graces the top edge. Because of how thin the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is part of any stereo plug is going to be exposed when fully inserted into the jack, however I didn't notice any issues with the connection in my testing. Samsung ships the 10.1 with a pair of in-ear headphones with integrated mic. The mic has a single button that can be used to pause/skip songs (click once to pause, twice to skip). The headphones look expensive but the audio quality isn't anything to be impressed by.

The left and right edges are home to two individual speaker grills. The speakers are high enough on the sides that they typically aren't covered by your hands when holding the tablet.

Finally along the bottom edge of the 10.1 there's Samsung's proprietary dock connector, oddly reminiscent of Apple's iPad dock connector but just slightly narrower. If you wanted to, you could definitely get the iPad's dock cable stuck in your brand new Galaxy Tab (ahem, don't do this).


Three different, far too similar dock connectors

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 draws too much power to be charged while running off a standard USB port that doesn't implement the USB charging spec. To quickly charge the tablet you'll need to use Samsung's supplied USB to AC adapter which is a bit larger than what you get with the iPad:

Unlike the Eee Pad there are no microSD card, HDMI or USB ports available on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. This is a Honeycomb tablet in the strictest sense, it's a device for consumption not something that's going to transform into a netbook alternative. Samsung does advertise a "full size" keyboard dock, however it's only available from Samsung's website ($69.99) and it is currently out of stock.

The missing HDMI support is a bit unusual for a Tegra 2 based Honeycomb tablet, but presumably Samsung could coax a digital output out of its custom dock connector via an adapter if it wanted to.

Samsung offers the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in white and dark grey versions at the same price points. Also pretty standard are the Galaxy Tab 10.1's two cameras: a rear-facing 3.2MP (2048 x 1536) sensor and a 2MP (1600 x 1200) front facing sensor complete the package.

Introduction The Software
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  • emmib - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    Also, Mr Anand, you said that Asus owners would likely regret their purchase in around 4 months. Is that due to Kal-El's imminent release, or sub-par build quality due to its lower cost?

    PS, I'm not being critical in anyway, and I love these forecasts made by people in the know. I'm just curious as I'm planning to buy an Android tablet within the next month or so
    Reply
  • [insert name] - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    I just joined to say well done!

    This was a very well written article without all the bias and opinionation I've seen on other sites.

    I picked up a link from Whirlpool and I'm glad I did - I'll be back!
    Reply
  • winterhaven - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    Best review by far. I especially appreciated the information about the screens.

    For what it's worth, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 is my guilty pleasure. Usually, I am a big proponent of function over form. So I thought the Transformer would be the tablet for me, especially considering the lower price point. But when I picked up the new Tab, I was instantly seduced. I adore the vividness. And I love how easy it is to hold. Sleek is the perfect way to describe it. And the upcoming keyboard case will make it even better.
    Reply
  • dickeywang - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    It appears Xoom is still the only choice if one wants to get a 3G version at this point. Wierd, isn't it? Reply
  • paris89 - Saturday, July 2, 2011 - link

    personally i feel like it's everybody opinion on what tablet or phone to buy the main thing i hate is when ppl try make you like a product. my opinion i think that the samsung galaxy tab 10.1 is a nice looking tablet i like the ipad 2 but it is really nutting to be honest the only thing ipad 2 have on the galaxy tab is storage but that my opinion Reply
  • MtnXfreeride - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    How is it possible that the Galaxy Battery last even similar let alone worse than the Transformer? With nearly the same specs, except the galaxy has a 6700MAH battery vs. the Transformer with 3XXXmah battery? I owned a transformer and returned it because of defective GPS and the screen was poorly attached to the product creating creaking, there is no way they had similar batteries my galaxy lasts at least 30% longer. Its is night and day a noticeable difference - a difference I noticed before going on line to verify the battery is better. Reply
  • tenambit - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    There seems to be a point missing here and that is i will be using the galaxy for browsing the web so why would I buy an Apple if half the web sites I use are not available because of Apples lock out on Adobe flash ???
    Seems obvious to me.
    The other thing this is so familiar..wait wait and wait........look its like digital cameras .....if you wait you will never buy anything there will always be improvements down the line .
    What looks great now will look obsolete in 6 months,what looks great in 6 months will be obsolete in another 6 months and so on and so on .
    The thing that you have to look at is why you want this device in the first place.
    Is it to sit in front of the telly and browse the internet and check your email or do you want it to entertain you ,play games.watch movies,download music or do you want it to read e books or check the weather and the news because you cant be bothered booting up your PC, do you want something to carry around and use 3G or $G if your stupid enough to shell out the bucks for connectivity to the networks or are you just using it for wi fi and to move around the house,take it to bed with you and just as a convenience,.
    Work out what your use is,see if it will do it then buy it and forget about feeling sorry for what you have just done..
    Thats technology and thats the way it will always be...............I want an SSD for my PC but I need at least 500GIG so am I going to pay $1500.00 for an SSD or am I going to stick with my HDD.....................pretty obvious to me.
    Reply
  • netfortius - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Does anybody know what the WiFi chipset specs / vendor & model are? Reply

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