The Samsung Galaxy Tab – A tale of likes and dislikes

The Samsung Galaxy Tab evokes mixed feelings in me. For the most part, I love the device. But then, the things I dislike are so major that it is already obvious that my relationship with the Tab will be a short one. The thought of this really saddens me, but then, this is 2011 and certain design choices are just unpardonable.

For a device made in 2010, it is just unimaginable that USB charging would be omitted. Why would Samsung not implement USB charging? Even China phones do USB charging. Yes, I said it!

Number two, Samsung implemented a proprietary port that serves multiple purposes. It is used for charging, PC connectivity via USB and HDMI out. Again, I know I sound like a broken record right now, but for a device made in 2010, this is annoying. What it means is that, if for instance I forget my charger at home, I’ll not be able to charge the Tab until I get back home, except by some stroke of luck I run into someone who also uses that kind of port and they have their charger with them.

What I don’t understand is why Samsung couldn’t use more than one port on this device. It is big enough to accomodate them. Besides the microphone pinhole, the left side of this Tablet is bare. Is it not strange that in this day and age, you are not able to charge and connect your high end device to a PC at the same time?

Okay, enough of what I dislike and unto the things that I really love about this Tablet.

First up, the 7-inch touchscreen with 1024 by 600 pixel resolution is very bright, sharp and crisp. Plus it is capacitive which makes it very responsive to touch. The more I use this device, the more I’m loving the screen size. Yomi has asked me to come back to phones with smaller screens, but I’m seriously not looking forward to it.

Video playback on this screen is the best experience I’ve had on any mobile device I’ve used. Also, the onscreen QWERTY keyboard in both portrait and landscape modes are large and well spaced to give a first class typing experience, all thanks to the screen size.

If there’s anything I hated about touchscreen phones, it is the fact that typing on their virtual keyboard was always a big issue for me. You see, I have very big thumbs. On the Galaxy Tab, my big thumbs are well taken care of.

Speed kills is the warning the Federal Road Safety of Nigeria gives every Nigerian road user, but the Tab preaches the opposite message. It does not know slow and doesn’t do slow. The 1GHZ snapdragon processor, plus 512MB of RAM is the reason for the sanppiness of this device. Switching between applications is a breeze. The only times I experienced slowness was no fault of the phone, but rather that of the crawling internet service that MTN advertises on TV as super fast.

Before getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab, I had read a number of reviews about it online and the majority of the reviewers complained about poor battery life. My experience is exactly the opposite, and battery life on the Tab perfomed way beyond my expectation.

To keep this review from being too long and boring, it has been divided into two parts. So watch out for the second leg, which like the first will be a mixture of what I like and dislike about a device that I would otherwise have loved to keep forever.

0 Replies to “The Samsung Galaxy Tab – A tale of likes and dislikes”

  1. Samsung clearly made a mistake by omitting usb charging. But that didn’t slow down sales of the galaxy tab. They won’t make that mistake with the Tab 2, however.

    2011 will see so many tablets entering the market. The Galaxy Tab is already old school to me.

    1. If the galaxy tab 2moro still has that proprietary port, then it’s a no go. Ridiculous. I should be able to charge my device while transferring data to it and/or connecting it to another device.
      I believe the blackberry playbook and Apple ipad 2 are the tablets to watch out for.

  2. Tablets have come to stay.

    The Tab is a great Device.

    The only problem I have is that there are so many popping up from everywhere and i just feel like holding on for a while before getting one.

    With the rate Android devices are going a 6month Device looks Obsolete.

    I look forward to owning one.

  3. Nothing is perfect, Dayo. the trick to mobile devices is that some people will always find a device useful. No matter how small the group is, there is always a niche for everyone. I believe tablet computing has absolutely come to stay.

    The Galaxy tab is a little dated. Splendid other tablets have been announced in the MWC. Dual core CPUs, Honeycomb Android OS and other mouth watering features! Many of them will be released into the market on or before April. Even the Galaxy tab now has a worthy upgrade (according to Engadget) in the Galaxy tab II. Individuals who wish to buy a Galaxy tab, should put this into consideration.

  4. @brym, yes my galaxy tab does not charge when it is connected to pc via usb and it is not just my device, it officially does not have this feature built in. I am assuming that what you think is charging isn’t actually charging, what samsung has done is to let the tab use the laptop as its power source and instead of using its battery while connected to the pc, it uses power from the pc instead. That way the battery does not run out, but it actually does not charge over usb

  5. @Tobias R, I doubt the Tab is going to get Honeycomb, the best it will get will be Gingerbread and that is highly unlikely like Spacyzuma already mentioned.

    @fewgoodmen, I understand that there are no perfect devices out there, and I am not asking the tab to be perfect, but there are certain compromises I can’t live with and lack of usb charging is one of them.

    1. I was under the impression that it was hardware specifications that limited what variant of Android OS a device could have. You will recall that, besides the custom skinning of the X10i with Timescape and Mediascape, SE had stated that the X10 couldn’t support multi-touch due to hardware limitations. (Though, I have read online that it does do so now in some form.)

      I would think with all the tech brimming underneath the Tab, updating to a new OS variant wouldn’t be a hassle.

      Perhaps, Tab II (and indeed a host of other devices)is just another way of seeing how deep consumer wallets are!

  6. unforgivable sin!at a time when chinese tech is talking about universal charging convergence-as seen in the tecno smart touch,i am using, the koreans blundered.And are not forgiven.I pad2& any dual core Tab will do.

  7. @SturdySlinky, @Bosun99uk
    I believe what Dayo was talking about when he said USB CHARGING was if the device could be charging while connected to a USB PORT of a computer and not the device having and using it’s own USB port itself. One has to make a proper distinction between the two.

    The Nokia N8 and several Samsung phones have USB charging. Why Samsung refused to implement it on the Galaxy tab beats me. One reason why USB charging via a PC wasn’t implemented in the galaxy tab could be because a Tablet is bigger than a smartphone and comes with a bigger battery capacity. As a result of this, it requires more current to charge it. The current is much higher than that Available from a computer USB port. It thus needs to be charged directly from the mains with it’s own adapter.

    The iPad for instance can be charged via a computer USB port for same reason only when it is off. Or alternately it charges so very slowly when on if you are using a computer USB PORT. Using the adapter from the mains directly, it is a breeze.

  8. @afewgood men, my real gripe is that even if USB charging via PC connectivity is not possible, a different port should have been available to charge the device while it is connected to a PC.

  9. @bosun99uk, here at Mobility Nigeria, the Apple Ipad would have received the same treatment as the Galaxy Tab for not having USB charging and for not providing an alternative charging port while it is connected to a PC.

  10. Guess what…my Galaxy tab has been out of use for about a month now simply because the cable got broken (I wish I know how) and I could not find a replacement for it. Now I had to order one from UK and its yet to arrive. In the meantime the device still remains…dead!

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