Editors' note: Sprint announced that it will offer the Samsung Galaxy Tab starting November 14. Pricing for the Android-based tablet is $399.99 with a two-year contract, and customers will be able to choose from two 3G Tablet Mobile Broadband plans: a 2GB data plan with unlimited messaging for $29.99 per month or a 5GB data plan with unlimited messaging for $59.99 per month.
BERLIN--After more than an hour putting the Samsung Galaxy Tab through its paces, I have to say I'm impressed.
It's no iPad-slayer, but it's an elegant tablet with conveniently compact dimensions, good performance, and a bright, responsive multitouch screen.
Samsung debuted the Galaxy Tab Thursday at the IFA electronics show here with strong words showing it plans to compete directly with Apple's iPad. Just how well it'll succeed depends in large measure on how well developers embrace large-screen Android devices: the Tab's most awkward moments came with applications designed for a smaller screen, and there will have to be a lot more games before Android tablets can take on the iPad.
First, some Samsung Galaxy Tab details. Front and center is its 7-inch, 1,024x600 touch screen. For a tablet to be competitive, it's got to respond quickly to touch, and the Galaxy Tab does--most of the time. The screen is bright and text is easy to read. It's not as spacious the iPad's, but it's a big step up from mobile phones.
The brains of the operation are a 1.0GHz Cortex A8 ARM-based processor paired with a PowerVR SGX540 graphics processor. Game developers take note: The two made the Tab the fastest and most responsive of Android devices I've used. Applications loaded fast and responded to input moderately fast. Internal memory of 16GB or 32GB is supplemented by a microSD port that can accommodate flash cards with up to 32GB more.
Speaking of mobile phones, note that the Tab is available only through carriers that provide mobile phone service. There's no Wi-Fi-only option, though the Tab does support 802.11 a, b, g, and n. For cell networks, it can use 2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) and 3G (HSUPA at 5.76Mbps, and HSDPA 7.2Mbps). I found Wi-Fi and 3G both worked well at Samsung's booth. … Read more