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back to article Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet

The buzz surrounding Apple’s iPad has prompted a rush of me-too tablets hoping to combine its up-to-the-minute spec, with practicality and usability. Unlike the iPad, Samsung’s much-anticipated Galaxy Tab also has the advantage of being a phone, and a 3G Android smartphone at that, with huge potential for add-on functionality. …

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USB host / USB on-the-go? For plugging in USB devices?

E.g. Pen drives, external hard drives, external DVD/Blu-ray burners e.g. for backup of data?

In other words to make the device behave like a PC in terms of USB connectivity.

At that price I would like to think so.

Not sure if Android 2.2 can support it (yet) even if the hardware is present.

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IT Angle

Not quite right

The Galaxy Tab doesn't have 5 home screens. It has between 1 and 9. If you care to use the device for a bit before commenting on it you would realise that you can zoom out (Pinch to zoom style) and then add/delete home pages. This allows you more flexibility.

In case you hadn't come across it you can also zoom out on the actual app pages.

Incidentally I sold my iPad after getting one of these because I prefer the SGT. It's a more usable size and a rather brilliant piece of kit. Evidenced by the fact that 2 weeks later I'm still using it unlike the iPad. Now let the flames begin just because I sold an apple product...

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Badgers

Who copied who?

"The ePub-compatible e-book app looks strikingly similar to Apple’s iBooks in oh, so many ways, though there’s no on-line store attached directly."

If it's the same app as on the Galaxy S, then it's based on Aldiko, which apparently came out months before iBooks.

Was vaguely interested in one of these, but a combination of price plus Samsung showing off one with a Super AMOLED screen recently has muted that somewhat. So maybe rather than probably now...

P.S. there's a thumbs up and a thumbs down, but nothing which indicates ambivalence I can see. Another sign of the disgusting reduction of all choices into black or white infecting our society etc. etc. and so on. Do you guys write the scripts for Bioware?

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chicken, egg

The App that the iBooks look is based on was released on iOS before there was and Android... It was called Delicious Library. Apple fully admitted they used the look/feel and praised on stage the original designer. Did they license it? no, but they didn't have to, it was neither copy written nor trademarked, and getting one on such an idea probably is beyond patentable and the original author admitted that as a reason why he didn't bother to. So they, as in done in Linux communities, simply cited the origin and gave credit where credit was due. He was a little upset he didn't get a phone call first, but does Linus expect a call every time someone ports one of his ideas?

As for the others on Android, they did not do the same. They simply copied. At least one of them openly claimed to be the originator of the idea...

As for your choice: not clicking either = ambivalence. Leaving a comment goes further. B/W would require the clicking of one or the other with no other options or feedback possible. You can leave a comment here without clicking either, thus getting exactly what you want, no?

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Both copied Delicious Library

Or possibly a real bookshelf.

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WTF?

Lolita on Jobs' iThingy? Surely it's too hot for his flock?

I find the suggestion that narrow minded ghit who dominates Apple's garden would actually sully the pixels of his pristine toy unbelievable.

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Shelves can look different from these

Odd how eBooks usually sit on light-coloured pine shelves. Bookshelves can be made of many different materials. Apple and Samsung didn't add much value in this respect.

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Shrink time?

I find the suggestion implicit in your comment that 'Lolita' is somehow

a) pornographic

b) hot

much, much more interesting, and very Humberty at that. Perchance your obsession with the strictures imposed to maintain the virginal purity of Apple's products stems from something much more deep-seated and meatily Freudian than just being a simpleton?

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Wife's got an iPhone

but is looking at one of these as the idea bridge between an iPad and the iPhone (she's quite happy to keep it in her handbag and bluetooth it as a phone) - is this the best of both worlds?

As to why she's no going to get an iPad? Don't ask me ;)

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Not sure I see the gap...

I own a smartphone - which goes with me everywhere, and a tablet - which stays at home 90% of the time. Given that most people that are going to be interested in a £500 odd quid 'tablet' presumably have taken the smartphone plunge, I don't really see the point. I suppose if I contracted and was in a different hotel every week it might make sense, but all i see is a tablet that's smaller than mine, and a smartphone with camera et al that's too big to use as an every day phone. I'm not saying it's a bad device - it seems very good, just that I don't see the niche for it..

Time will tell, I suppose...

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Anonymous Coward

grease resistant ?

"iPad’s grease-resistant coating."

First I've heard of it. Our work machines end up looking like they've come straight out of a deep fryer after a little use.

The samsung sounds even worse then ! yuck

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Oleophobic

All iOS devices currently use an oleophobic coating. Especially when the screen is off, grease is noticeable, but from direct viewing angles, its evidence is greatly reduced. The Gen 1 iPhone did not have this coating, and fingerprints are evident screen on or off. on the 3GS and 4 I have, with the screen on I can't see fingerprints unless I'm looking for them. They're only evident when it;s off and from certain angles.

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The connector isn't proprietary

The main connector at the bottom is PDMI (Portable Digital Media Interface), which is an ANSI standard, although admittedly a very new one. So I would expect to see a bunch of third party cables and accessories hitting the market soon.

The 16GB version can be had for £469 currently, and I've found one place giving them away with a contract phone (Galaxy Apollo in this case) for £169.99 plus £35/month for 24 months. Given that the phone contract looks reasonable value with a decent data allowance, and that I'm already spending £15/month on a data only SIM which I can cancel, this looks like a reasonable enough deal.

Overall, I think Samsung have nailed it.

GJC

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Not PDMI

> The main connector at the bottom is PDMI (Portable Digital Media Interface)

Sadly I don't think it is. Peering inside my Tab's USB cable and looking at which pins are present and comparing them with the Wikipedia PDMI page, they are not the PDMI USB signals. Also, PDMI doesn't have analogue video outputs, and doesn't have any spare pins - yet the photos of the (not-yet-released) video out cable show something that doesn't have enough space for any sort of D-to-A conversion.

Although the Apple plugs don't fit into the Tab, some third-party Apple-compatible plugs do fit (upside down) and work at least for charging.

Apparently the Dell Streak is PDMI. Maybe someone can have a look at the two connectors alongside each other?

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Pirate

Ah, bugger.

Oh, well. I guess the third party market will cater for them well enough, anyway.

GJC

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FAIL

"It'll do"

Drop the price £200 and they might sell some. But reading about the flaws it looks as if the product management thought "that will do".

Finger prints showing? "oh well, never mind it will do".

Lock ups when browsing? "it will do".

This lack of quality control or standards is quite common in consumer electronics.

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US model DOESNT have phone feature

I dont understand how you can post an article about a device without doing your research and noting that all North American models have been locked by ALL US carriers blocking access to the phone feature that is on all other models across the the global market. Although you have the feature of sending text and picture messaging through your device with your 3g plan .

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: US model DOESNT have phone feature

We're not reviewing a North American model.

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Dead Vulture

Price wrong

It's now £470 not £550. Quite a difference.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Price wrong

£550 is the SRP - or as close to one as we can get out of Samsung. As the review states, you can get it a lot more cheaply than that if you shop around

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Still unfair

We're talking about major retailers now selling it for £470.

You're also basing part of your article on comparing to iPad RRPs, which are pretty much the actual price....

I just don't think it stands up.

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re: Still unfair

"We're talking about major retailers now selling it for £470.

You're also basing part of your article on comparing to iPad RRPs, which are pretty much the actual price...."

In the conculsion, it's stated:

"The Tab may not quite match the iPad for luxurious ease of use or build quality, but shop around and you'll soon find it for £40 less than Apple's cheapest 3G version."

I don't see what problem is.

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Maybe

While I do love the iPad, a smaller device (yet larger than the iPhone) would be better in some situations, it is with this in mind that I have been watching the development of these smaller tablets with some interest.

The Galaxy tab certainly ticks the size buttons, but to be honest, my previous experiences with Android puts me off. This is an expensive device, yet Android developments may make it obsolete within six months. I am aware that Samsung have said they intend to upgrade to both Gingerbread and Honeycomb, but if the device does not sell very well, I have no doubt they will renege on this.

I also will be looking very closely at the Playbook, from early previews it certainly appears to have a lot of potential, and is rumoured to have a cheaper price point that the Galaxy Tab.

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FAIL

too many weaknesses

1) Great, it has a phone... It's too big to carry atround as a full-time phone, and I'm not comitting to a contract (and another, separate line) just to have it active. I have a phone, and I can use VoIP on the pad anytime...

2) not-quite-720p video recording means not-quite-able to make it look good running it through a video editor, especially mixed with other 480 and 720p content that does stretch properly to full screen 16:9.

3) poor quality screen, all things considered.

4) Android is still not ready for larger screens. When it is, it will need one bigger than this to hold UI changes and additional features. Doing what Apple did with the iPad is not possible on a screen this small, and apps don;t look good "stretched" to this size. Everyone chided Apple for the iPad being a stretched iPhone, but the reality is this is a stretched Droid and the iPad actually provides additional function for all that space.

5) especially if you're NOT using it as a phone (and why would you, really), then it;s too expensive for what it has. In this size, it should be $150-250 less than the same capacity iPad with 3G.

6) it may be smaller, and theoretically more portable, but its thicker, and since it;s not nearly the size of a page, falls to the bottom of bags, making it even less convenient. If you're gonna need a bag or a case anyway, this is actually TOO small, yet too big to pocket, so it fails on BOTH counts.

7) the iPad can be used landscape with the virtual keyboard reasonably well. Its far from ideal, but it works. This is too small to use both hands to type. Its as useless as an iPhone foe extended text entry, and would require an external keyboard for NetBook replacement.

Everything they argues the iPad wasn't, this isn't as well, and falls short on many things the iPad got right. Its a giant phone, and nothing more. Its exactly what everyone bitched they did not want, and here they are promoting it?

Make it 10 inches. Get Android 3 on it, supporting a real tablet oriented OS and added GUI functions. Make apps specific for larger screen resolution. Make it TRUE 720p resolution, for camera and the screen). Improve the screen. Improve the battery. Make the Phone component optional (or better yet, just improve pairing so it doesn't need one and can simple operate as your phone when its close enough to your phone to do so), and make it truly price competitive to the iPad ($50 less or more, after all these changes).

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BDC

Shall we try that again...

1)So don't commit to another contract, I've got a PAYG SIM in mine which cost me 99p and I can get PAYG data at £2 per week if and when I need to.

2) You're correct that it isn't 720p video, it is 480p which is recorded at 16:9 so should mix fine with your "...other 480 and 720p content that does stretch properly to full screen 16:9"

3) Comparing side by side my SGT with my fathers iPad we both decided we preferred the screen of the SGT so I'd say that this is a personal thing more than anything.

4) Android may have some distance to go on larger screens but the same could have been said about iOS 9 months ago, the customisations that Samsung have made go a long way toward making this more than just a scaled up version and as more apps on the store become size independent this will matter less and less over time.

5) For a device with a higher spec and more miniaturization work done than the iPad why should it be so much cheaper?

6) Thicker? The very review you are commenting on quotes the SGT as 12mm and the iPad as 13mm... As for it's size meaning it gets lost in bags mine seems to be spending it's travel time either in the front pocket of my rucksack where it fits perfectly or in the back pocket of my jeans, neither of which I could comfortably do with an iPad.

7) Strange, I managed to type this comfortably two handed in landscape mode. Maybe I just don't have huge hands though.

All that said I dumped an iPhone 3G for a HTC Desire 6 months ago and couldn't be happier so what do I know

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Dead Vulture

Skype

Skype for Android doesn't support video. That is why it doesn't work on the Galaxy Tab, or any other Android device.

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10654/What-features-does-Skype-for-Android-support;jsessionid=1174283F810B188FCB9163A394969FFB

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Too little, too much

It's a nice enough tablet, but it's too expensive. £300 would be more sensible. As it is you can get a slightly less polished Chinese tablet with an inferior touchscreen and questionable battery life for £100. That puts a ceiling on the price of this size Android tablet regardless of build quality.

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History

They say history is written by the victors, and this is an example:

"Look familiar? Samsung's [crosseed-out]iBooks[/crossed-out] e-book reader"

Poor old Delicious Library. Ripped off by Apple and apparently forgotten.

Chris

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JDX
Gold badge

Price

It costs the same aa an iPad but is smaller. Strikes me as more expensive than an iPad for what you get really.

ps: Reg posted a PDF of current/upcoming pad devices a week or so ago but I can't find the page. Can anyone help?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Price

http://www.reghardware.com/Profile/reg_hardware_table_of_tablets/

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Unimpressed

I've tried a friend's Galaxy Tab; they were rather miffed I wasn't completely impressed.

It's *way* overpriced for 470 quid, never mind 550. The screen is gorgeous, but several buttons are hard to see black rubber on a black case - FAIL.

The Android sites may offer a wide variety of software, but my first attempts (Doom and Quake) didn't work correctly and it's not as easy to kill programs on Android. Angry Birds worked fine but pops up adverts as you play. I did try an impressive FPS, but frankly I'd prefer a mouse..

We did manage to get it to hang at least once, the OS is clearly a scaled up Phone OS rather than a cut down desktop OS, and whilst it's basically usable for reading e-books on, the Kindle is several orders of magnitude better.

Basically it doesn't seem to do anything spectacularly well.

For the same cost you could buy a Kindle (e-book), cheap tablet (web browsing) and a Nintendo DS (games). Multi device, yes, but each one better than the Galaxy Tab and you'd have change left over too.

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USB keyboards etc.

"supplied charging lead has a USB connector at the other end and can

be used as an adaptor to link up peripheral keyboards and the like."

Can you elaborate on that? It's a regular USB A connector. How can I connect a keyboard etc. to that?

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Well, if you don't fancy £470, wait 4 weeks

I'm pretty sure we'll see a more realistic price in January, if Samsung even last that long. I can see them panicking and slashing the price before Xebusmass as stock backs up.

I'm sure you could live with it, but being runner up in 3 categories - phone, tablet, reader - means that not going to be first choice for anything. I think even £300 is too much to pay for a Miss Congeniality device.

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Pint

These features are what Apple should have had .., next time for more loot

The Chinese pads that beat Apple to market had all of the interconnectivity - plug or radio.

Apple dumbed their version down, no doubt so they can come back next year with yet another fund-raising "magical, exciting" version.

Samsung has the street creds for support and service and, IMO, have set a hardware benchmark. As for pricing, they are too high as they headed into a laptop money zone and parents would likely go for the latter.

SD memory accommodation is essential for this type of device.

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The size is not all wrong

I mean, this thing is *just* small enough to squeeze it into a pocket for a short while. Like going to the loo in the pub or such. A 10" iPad is something you don't leave unattended and you can't put it in a pocket. Something the size of a paperback is just about stowable, at least if it isn't as thick as this Samsung thing.

OK, I just wanted to say something positive and I couldn't think of anything else!

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FAIL

What's the battery life like?

I've just returned my LG Optimus One (also Android 2.2) 'cos well it's crap! Oh and Android feels half finished, won't sync with Exchange fully, and is impossible to type on...

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16:9 screen

isn't a 1024x600 screen actually a 16:10 aspect ratio?

16:9 would be 1024x576.

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Boffin

Not all pixels are square.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_aspect_ratio

In other words, measure the height and width of the screen, not the number of pixels.

Or I'm sure you could be funky and measure the length and angle of a line drawn between opposite corners and do the derivations, but most aren't so masochistic.

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Gingerbread?

"With an eye on the forthcoming Gingerbread and Honeycomb upgrades..."

But have Samsung said that they WILL allow upgrades to these versions when available? Some people still remember the i7500 and its permanent relegation to v1.6.

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Too expensive

The Galaxy Tab looks nice but it's way, way, WAY too expensive. It doesn't have to cost that much. It shouldn't cost that much. If the Tab were in the £200-300 range it would be a great device.

I think Google / Android bear some responsibility for the price though. The compatible device document mandates what features a device needs to implement to get the marketplace app and google apps. Things like compass, camera etc. If a device doesn't implement those things it's not compatible by the standard and is ineligible for the apps.

So Samsungs hands were tied to some extent.

I seriously hope Google / Android change the cdd soon. Time really is running out on this. If they don't fix the cdd, more and more devices will jump ship and all platform cohesion will be lost.

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FAIL

DOA

An inferior, rushed to market product that's more expensive than the iPad it's trying to gain market share from. You'd really have to hate Apple to get one of these.

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