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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  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Based on the fact that transformer has sold over 300k units, consumer interest is definitely there Reply
  • headbox - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    those numbers can be misleading- that could be the number ordered by retail stores, and they could all be sitting on the shelf. Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    How is that misleading? It seems to fit with the fact that most store had it backordered for quite some time Reply
  • vision33r - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    I think the Transformer sales has just peaked. The device is now available everywhere for retail and no mark up.

    They had to run a discount package for the Asus EEE pad yesterday on Ebay just to push the thing.

    Since March, you can't even consistently find an IPad 2 in store.
    Reply
  • JoeTF - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    Uhm, well, Transformer, after 3 months is still in constant state of out of stock and well on track to hit 1m units this summer. In total, they're aiming to sell 3.5m units before new model is unveiled in in December.

    It's just that in comparison - Samsung tablet is worst of all:
    -plastic finish
    -no USB
    -no HDMI
    -no sd card slot
    -no user replaceable battery
    -lack of single distinguishing feature (battery dock, or phone hybrid mode)
    Reply
  • AlterEcho - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I do not agree that a 8.9" form factor is optimal. Most of my customers are shooting for the 10.1". So far, LTE and the smaller form factor is a non-starter. My clients are screaming for the Asus and 3G. They are more concerned with network coverage and reliability than a bump in speed. And I have to agree with them.
    Here are some reasons I am hearing in the field:

    1) LTE only means that I will hit my cap faster and if they are complaining about a few users affecting bandwidth now, how are they going to handle faster speeds.
    2) They should be worrying about coverage, not trying to increase speed. Speed does me little good if I do not have a reliable connection.
    3) Why would I pay $500 for a giant "iPod"? $400 and a keyboard option allows me to type or disconnect and head to a meeting with pad-in-hand.
    4) The smaller pad makes web pages feel 'scrunched' and busy. The larger one allows me to type easier as well as handle websites, better.

    So for my customers, the larger form factor, 3g and $400 is the big seller. I think manufacturers (and us tech guys) forget about what is important to non-technical users. Price and size, IMHO, will be a significant driving factor. And I bet dollars to donuts that the Asus will outsell the Samsung...and even affect the iPads numbers. The price difference is to hard to ignore, in this economy.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Play nice! :) Reply
  • vision33r - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    With those specs, yes they will only sell hundreds with the iPad 2s number it will sell millions.

    It's such a joke for these companies to use a Tegra 2 dual core that some single core beats it. The game performance is a joke consider the iPad 2's GL performance spanks it silly.

    Even though the Tab has higher res but once you play an iPad 2 game on TV at 1080p with the HDMI cable it just makes these Android tablet look completely like a joke.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    "It's such a joke for these companies to use a Tegra 2 dual core that some single core beats it."

    Gotta love fanboys who don't have a clue about the product they're shilling. The iPad2 has a dual core processor.
    Reply
  • headbox - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Maybe he's saying iPad 1 still beats it in key areas like battery life. Reply

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