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The folks at Verizon (s vz) are excited about the first tablet handled by the carrier, and sent over the Samsung Galaxy Tab for me to give a spin. It’s only been here a few hours, and while I will do a full review I can share my first impressions to hold you over.
The Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch tablet that’s thinner and much lighter than the iPad (s aapl). I’ve read on the web that the Tab is just a Galaxy S smartphone grown bigger. I’ve tested Samsung’s smartphones, and find the Tab is exactly as described, and that’s a good thing. The Tab doesn’t have voice call capability in the U.S., but I don’t miss it, as I find it to be a companion device to my smartphone. Think of all the cool web activities you can do on an Android (s goog) phone, and those are the functions that the Tab does better given the nice big screen.
The specifications of the Galaxy Tab tell the tale:
- CPU: Cortex A8, 1 GHz, Hummingbird
- Memory: 512MB ROM, 592MB RAM, 128MB One D-RAM, 2 GB User memory, 16GB microSD (included)
- Network: CDMA 800/1900
- OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo)
- Dimensions: 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.47 inches
- Weight: 13.58 ounces
- Display: 7-inch WSVGA (600×1024 portrait)
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
- USB: 2.0
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Luminance, Gyro
- Battery: 4000 mAh
- Cameras: Front- 1.3MP, Rear- 3MP auto focus
Samsung has done a good job adapting the productivity apps (contacts, calendar, email) to the Tab’s larger screen, and they work much like those on the iPad. In the narrower portrait orientation, there’s a single pane display, but when rotated into landscape the display changes into two panes. Unfortunately ,the email app doesn’t work with Google Apps accounts, requiring the use of the standard Gmail app, which is single pane only.
My impressions are still forming, but here’s what I like and dislike about the Galaxy Tab so far:
- The build quality is solid and feels very sturdy in the hand.
- The Tab is heavier than I expected, but I’m getting used to the weight with use.
- Screen is beautiful, and very responsive to touch.
- Makes a fantastic e-book reader with the 7-inch screen (Kindle (s amzn) app pre-installed).
- The Twidroyd Pro app in the Android Market is fantastic on the Tab with two panes.
- All my core Android smartphone apps work well on the bigger Tab screen.
- Harder to hold than I expected; bezel is small and hands can cover the screen inadvertently.
- Charging cable included is only 3 feet which limits where the device can be charged. Proprietary connection limits use of standard USB cables.
- Web browser can be a bit laggy at times. Dolphin Browser in the Android Market is great, though.
This is just a rushed account of my initial impressions. I already like using the Galaxy Tab, and haven’t encountered any deal-breakers yet. Think of the online activities you do on an Android phone that would be even better on a larger screen, and you have the primary usage scenario for the Galaxy Tab.
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