Home > Tech > Test Drive – Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7″ model

Test Drive – Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7″ model

samsung galaxy tab frontback-640pxAs some of you know, I’ve been testing out a number of different tablets for work. I have an iPad (1st Generation), a Motorola Xoom, and a Samsung Galaxy (7 inch) Tab. I want to give you my initial impressions as well as a description of the hardware. As always, The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The Hardware Specs:

Platform
Band: UMTS + GSM(850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
HSDPA 7.2Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps/3G/EDGE/GPRS Class 10 Data Speed

OS: Android 2.2(Froyo) OS
Battery: Up to 37 Hours(2G), Up to 18 Hours(3G)* standard Talk time
Up to 1,810 Hours(2G), Up to 1480 Hours(3G)* standard Standby time
4,000mAh standard battery capacity

Music & Sound: Music Player(MP3/AAC/AAC+/e-AAC+/WMA/AMR/MIDI/WAV/IMY)\

Internal Memory: User memory: 16GB

External memory: Support microSDHC™ memory card(up to 32GB)

Size: Handset weight: 380g
Handset size(H x W x D): 199.09 x 120.45 x 11.98mm

Camera: 3.0 Mega-pixel Camera

Messaging: SMS/MMS
Email available

Display: TFT(C-Type) Full Touch Internal Display
WSVGA(1,024 x 600) Internal display resolution
7.0″ Internal display size

Video: Video player(H.263/H.264/3GP/MPEG4/WMV/DivX/Xvid)
Video recorder(1280 x 720 pixel(30fps))

Connectivity: Bluetooth(V3.0, HS(A2DP/AVRCP))
USB 2.0
Internet HTML Browser(Android browser™)

Software Included
Swype ThinkFree Office (Office suite)
Kobo Book reader (Book reader)
Gmail (Email Client)
Google Latitude (Location based social network)
Google Maps (Map app)
Google Talk (Chat Client)
MobileTV (Streaming TV)
Mobile Jukebox (Cloud based music player)
Android Market (App Marketplace)
Daily Briefing (RSS/Newspaper reader)
Readers Hub (Combination book reader/Newspaper Reader/Magazine Reader
Navigon (GPS app)
YouTube (Videos)
Flash 10.1 (Rich multimedia content for the web)

Software recommended
DocumentsToGo (Office Suite)
Google Goggles (Visual search – really cool)
Dropbox (Cloud and desktop base storage solutions)
Evernote (Cloud based note taking)
Seek Droid (Device Tracking software)
Amazon App store (Another app distribution channel)

First impressions
Since the tablet is based on the Samsung Galaxy phone, everything about the tablet screams “PHONE ON STEROIDS.” The simple fact is that the only difference is a larger screen. The tablet acts like a phone, thinks it’s a phone, looks like phone. That being said, there is some benefit to the stable platform on a larger (but not too large) screen.

The apps are responsive and I like that there is more real estate on the screen. I also like the Froyo OS, it’s stable and familiar to use. There are handy widgets (akin to Windows desktop widgets – shows you a glimpse of the particular app the widget is associated with, weather, mail, news headlines, sports scores, etc.), and cross-platform (eg, available on both Android and iOS) apps so the learning curve isn’t so daunting.

One of my favorite Android features that is currently not available for iOS is Swype. It’s an input method that eliminates the need to hunt and peck and allows you to simply swipe your finger across the screen. I took about 1/2 a day to get used to it but it rocked after I got the hang of it. See video below.

I found that while I had larger tablets at my disposal, I found myself reaching for this “tweener” tablet more than I thought. It’s perfect for sending and reading emails, chatting, reading e-books, playing games, watching movies and following agendas for meetings. It isn’t ideal for taking notes, or working on spreadsheets. I also found it odd that there isn’t a built in screen capture system, like the iOS. That’s a useful tool that should be a part of the Android app repertoire.

As a result, I would shy away from this tablet if you’re looking to use this in the work environment. If you want an entry level tablet, want it for chatting, reading, surfing, playing, this could be a viable option. It would prove frustrating to use in meetings and would not be of any use for presentations (you need a dock, an HDMI cable and an DAC adapter to convert HDMI to VGA) due to the complexity of the setup.

*** for personal use
* 1/2* for business use

*note* I normally jailbreak my iOS devices. I plan on rooting this device in the near future to see what root access will allow me to do.

Here’s the video about Swype:

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