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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  • Jamestownsend - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Actually, the iPad 1 beats it in a lot of areas. its not nearly as buggy or sluggish. Plus the iPad 1 is actually useful. It can do more than just browse the internet and play ad-sponsored angry birds... Reply
  • vision33r - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    You're in idiot. I mentioned the Tegra 2 with a dual core CPU is not even faster than many single core CPU by much.

    The iPad 2's A5 spanks the Tegra 2 so hard it's not even a contest.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    7 inch version sales are already above 1 million. Reply
  • Wizzdo - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    iPad2 still beats it with a great OS (which gets very significant perks with the soon-to-be-released iOS5) and significantly faster graphics.

    Samsung gets the nod slightly on the hardware side but a pitty they had to sacrifice a memory card slot to do it which would be the only real advantage (other than a slightly better display) over an iPad2 for me.

    Plus, who knows if it'll ever get a descent OS upgrade and it will be obsolete in 4 months due to Kal-El.

    I think I'll stick with the iPad2. A hot body without a good brain is pretty much only good for one thing ...uhh... looking at.

    *I find it troubling that Samsung would bite off the hand that feeds them and likely abuse Apple's trade secrets (Apple is suing them) to produce this. It takes quite a few points away from any rewards I would give them for their hardware improvements and makes me question the integrity of the company in general.
    Reply
  • abrar - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    so why i should go from my currently Tab P1000 (andr 2.1) to the new Tab 10.1??

    just to upgrade to honey comb ?

    at least samsung should have implemented HDMI....
    Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I could have sworn i saw the damn thing plugged into the TV using the HDMI cable into the MHL adapter. Also you can always use wireless DNLA Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Not planning on giving up my P1000, the main disappointment is the lack of onboard ports - no hdmi, no SD card slot and no USB port (for connecting storage devices). The fact the 10in model is double the size but has even less (no microSD slot) seems a bit of a joke to me. Having used an Ipad 2 I can't say I understand this need to be small particularly given the large sacrifices needed to achieve that.

    John
    Reply
  • g1011999 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I think all honeycomb devices on the market have 1GB RAM. Reply
  • g1011999 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    At least for my Asus Transformer. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    You're right, it has been fixed :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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