Saturday, September 17, 2011

First week with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Why yes that is a Sony UX50 I'm using as an alarm clock
I had been looking around at all the new tablets that have come out this year and comparing them to my Galaxy Tab 7 that I got late last year; I liked the idea of a bigger screen but none of the new tabs really called to me. Not much thinner or lighter and I didn't see what all the fuss was about with Honeycomb. ( I really hate updating my stuff once I have it running the way I want it so an improvement has to be substantial.) Then my Tab got the long awaited Gingerbread update. Wow - fast, smooth ... no blue tooth. Wait, what? My BT speaker and BT keyboard no longer work. Apparently Bell figured only people who want to crack the device and use it as a phone would want blue tooth. Uh no but if you're going to be like that I can cancel my tab plan. So I did.

With no data plan I decided to look for a WiFi tablet. I've been putting away some money from participating in market research so I figured with selling the GTab7 I could afford any of the tablets out on the market. The only ones I hadn't really looked at was the iPad2 and the GTab 10.1 I have no other Apple stuff and that glaring white bezel and almost square form factor on the iPad2 didn't do anything for me. How about the GTab. Light, rectangle, black front with white back. No SD slot. Checked out my use on my GTab 7 and I don't actually use that much memory so that's not an issue. Went to FutureShop, brought it home. I had 7 days to return.

The first thing I did, after getting it out of the box is pair my BT keyboard and little Monster speaker. Yay they work! I downloaded stuff from Market and checked that it worked. The screen is amazing. The device itself is light weight and easy to hold.  I like to use devices in portrait mode and the bit narrower form factor of the GTab really works for me;  when I use thumb keyboard I don't have to super stretch my thumbs. Books work really well on it, as does Zinio, and I love how web pages load the same way they do on a computer (and work the same way). Streaming is very nice, Google Music works great and if I need to I can just throw a movie and a few albums in the memory.

Down side - none of the Sammy stuff is on there. No AllShare and iMediaShare doesn't work - honeycomb? Most of my stuff is optimized for small screen so I may have to re-rip my movies. My sling player software is also optimized for the smaller screen but I can live with that.  An annoyance - what's with the stupid 5 screens? I've spread stuff over 3 but really could have used just one. I'll probably buy AWD launcher if Samsung doesn't send out the update they pushed to the I/O Tab. I find the no bezel button thing disorienting. This tablet really is designed to be used in landscape mode. If you use it in portrait the volume rocker is either backwards or it's too easy to bump the power button and turn off of the screen.

When I first got the device I wasn't sure I was going to keep it but I think that's because I spent the first day trying to make it like my existing Tab. Day 2 I enjoyed it for what it is (stuck with 5 pages) and I bought a cover case in purple from ebay - or at least I hope I did, it may be light blue:P