Monday, January 2, 2012

TECH REVIEW: Verizon 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a Lightweight Heavyweight

It's a shame that I have to give it back...

For the past two months, my son and I have been reviewing the Verizon 4G Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet - and it has been overall a pleasure.

Given the new $200 Android tablets now on the market (like the Kindle Fire and the PanDigital SuperNova) with their limited access to Android apps, limited functionally and lack of onboard memory, it was a pleasure to review a fully functional Android Honeycomb tablet like the Verizon Samsung  Galaxy Tab with its stunningly beautiful 10.1" color screen, light weight, fast processor and full access to the Android Market place of apps.

It's a "Skinny Mini"
I first saw the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the BlogHer Conference in San Diego during a blogger luncheon held by Verizon Wireless.  I picked up the tablet and could not believe how thin and lightweight it is.  In comparison to similar priced tablets like the Motorla Xoom or the iPad2, the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a "skinny mini" with a weight of 1.2 lbs and a depth of only 8.6mm which is half of the depth of other similar size tablets.

Great for watching movies...
One of the things that I love to do with a tablet is watch movies and viewing movies is a pleasure on the Samsung Galaxy Tab's 10.1" 1280x800 resolution screen.  All my Netflix movies looked great on this tablet.  I also watched lots of flash videos on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The stunning display is one of the major strengths of this tablet.

Nice and Fast...
A fast processor makes for a more enjoyable overall experience and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has  a 1.2Ghz processor.  Processor intense games like Angry Birds Rio play great on this tablet.

Samsung Galaxy 10.1 has a 16GB hard drive which is very standard for tablets in the $500 retail price range.  16GB is enough space for lots of apps and eBooks.  I use tons of apps on a daily basis and I never came even close to filling up the Samsung Galaxy Tab's 16GB hard drive.

Verizon 4G LTE Tablet...
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that I reviewed was on the Verizon 4G LTE network.  My son liked using the tablet to watch tons of Netflix movies and TV shows like "The Mighty B" in the car while driving home from school.  He never had a hiccup in the data connection while playing videos over the Verizon 4G network while on the road.  I also liked using the tablet's Verizon 4G data connection to do price comparison shopping on Black Friday and watch "Gossip Girl" on Netflix while waiting for him to finish Karate class.

Super Light Weight for a 10" Tablet...
I like to carry my tablet with me in my purse so weight is very important. When I reviewed the Verizon Motorola Xoom earlier last year, I remember how heavy that tablet is to carry around. At 1.6 lbs, Motorola Xoom is a real heavy weight. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 only weighs 1.2 lbs and feels like a feather is comparison to the Xoom. This tablet is a pleasure to carry around and I can pick up the tablet with one hand, which I have never been able to do with similar size tablets.

A few hiccups...
I did have a few issues with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. One was with the placement of the one/off button.  The one/off button is located adjacent to the volume buttons and I was constantly turning the tablet off when I meant to turn the sound up or down.

The other issue that I had was with the Android Browser app that is pre-installed.  When I had multiple browser tabs open, the tabs would at times freeze and then close.  But I stopped having the problem when I switched to using the Dolphin and Opera Android browser apps which I downloaded for FREE from the Android Market.

Overall I loved using the Verizon 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.  The stunning screen and the light weight make it a tablet that anyone would love to use on a daily basis.

The Verizon 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 retails for $529.99 with a 2 year Verizon service contract.

The Future...
The Galaxy Tab runs the Android Honeycomb operating system and now that the new Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Android OS is out, I hope that Samsung will be pushing out the upgraded OS to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Over the Christmas holiday, I finally started seeing some discounting on the price of this tablet.  But discounts or not, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is definitely a tablet that can hold it's own in the tablet wars during 2012.


Disclosure: I was loaned the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Verizon for the purpose of writing this review and stating my unbiased opinion. I was not compensated for this review.

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