Samsung Galaxy Tab so good Apple wants it banned?

, posted: 13-Oct-2011 15:36

The global intellectual property war between Samsung and Apple is heating up. Apple managed to get the Galaxy Tab banned in Germany this September, and now the Federal Court of Australia awarded the Cupertino crowd an "interlocutory injunction" against the Korean maker and the Galaxy Tab 10.1


I've got the GT-P7500 as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is also known as. This is the model with the 3Mpixel rear-facing/2Mpixel front-facing cameras, and not the 8Mpixel one (10.1v) and. it's not bad, actually.

For a full review if the 10.1, read Zara Baxter's piece in PC World. I agree with what Zara says, apart from the bit about the mail app. Samsung's (?) mail app works fine with Gmail, but that well with my ISP's IMAP server. It doesn't seem to synchronise properly, and will either refuse to delete messages, or not show new ones when you refresh.

The mail app also has problems when I use the Tab without a (normal-sized) SIM, with Wi-Fi only. It complains about not being able to connect to the server, even though everything else requiring network access works fine. Speaking of SIMs, my Tab works best with Vodafone 3G, in the 900 and 2100MHz bands.

Other than that, Samsung's done pretty good job with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. It feels good, and the svelte design makes the iPad 2 seem a bit porky. As Zara notes, the side-mounted on/off and volume buttons should be somewhere else, as it's easy to accidentally press them when you hold the tablet by its edges.

Swype runs great on the Galaxy Tab, better so after I discovered that you can shrink the ginormous on-screen keyboard. Swiping your finger across the entire 10.1" screen for text input is a bit arduous otherwise, so it's nice to have the small keyboard.

Other things I like about the Sam Tab: the screen is great, with 1,280 by 800 pixel resolution. It works fine for watching films although I wish I had the 64GB version and not the 16GB one, as you can't squeeze much HD content into the latter. A memory card slot for expansion would've been great to have on the Tab - not just for adding memory, but for copying over photos from digital cameras and similar content.

Battery life is excellent: the Tab will go for two-three days without a charge, depending on how much I use it. On the flip-side, the 7,000mAh battery takes a fair while to charge via the proprietary USB cable.

Is it better than an iPad 2 though? Should Apple be concerned? I'd say if Android was better, and the Tab comes with the latest and greatest 3.1 version, then yes, the Tab would be better than an iPad 2. Right now, Android still feels rough around the edges, with some strange user interface decisions like the mail app switching the folder and message content panes from left to right as you work your way through your email. That's distracting and annoying.

I note that while I can play back HD movies without glitches, launching application windows is noticeable less smooth than on the iPad 2. At times, it reminds me of Windows without proper graphics cards drivers.

In the past, I haven't had many kind words about Samsung's client for PCs, Kies. It's still a bit odd and counterintuitive in places, but Kies has improved hugely and no longer locks up and crashes. This is excellent news, as you need Kies to synch the Tab over the fast 2.4/5.4GHz Wi-Fi with your PC.

I've started using the Tab on a daily basis now, for email, web browsing, occasional gaming and for digital content. It's pretty much perfect for that role, being lightweight and with great battery life.

Overall, yes, Apple probably should sit up and take notice. This is a very good tablet indeed. There are some serious caveats though: first, Galaxy Tab 10.1 isn't going to win over potential iPad 2 customers unless Samsung does something about the price - $800-$900 inc GST for the 16GB version. This is well above the $629 Apple wants for the iPad2 16GB/Wi-Fi/3G. You can even get a 64GB 3G iPad2 for $829 and while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a little better than the Apple offering in some areas, it's not a superior device commanding a premium.

Thanks Apple, for directing me to the US site from the NZ one. An iPad2 with Wi-Fi and 3G, plus 16GB of storage costs $998. Take it to 64GB, and it's $1,298. That's NZ dollars.

I still think the Tab should cost a bit less, but OK... with the revised Apple pricing, it's looking good. 

Other related posts:
Nokia upgrades: Symbian Belle for the N8 and MeeGo PR1.2 Harmattan for N9
Yes, this iPod still works
Symbian Anna on Nokia N8

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