Samsung Tab 10.1 Great for Watching Movies

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-05-21 Print this article Print

Next up, text input. When I tested the Xoom, I tried to see if it would be possible for me to do work on it. I found the keyboard solid but not as comfortable as a laptop keyboard with physical chiclet keys, of course.

However, the virtual keyboard on the Tab 10.1 was superior and better spaced. It lent itself well enough for typing that I was able to compose a blog post on it no problem.

The Honeycomb Gmail application is a real treat; it's easy to use with easy one-touch copy-and-paste functionality. I wouldn't want to type a long report on the Tab 10.1. Tablet keyboards aren't there yet.

Ultimately, I approached the Tab 10.1 as it's intended: as a pure media consumption device, which is where it shines.  

Reading digital books through the Web Reader in Google's eBookstore was great and clean. It's tough to tackle the Amazon Kindle here, and it's true the brightness of the Honeycomb tablets can wear on the eyes, but darned if I didn't think I was reading the actual book until I remembered I was holding a tablet.

Taking pictures worked okay, though I found the Tab 10.1's latency between shots annoying, making it tough to photograph an infant boy running around. The video camera worked well enough for this, allowing me to upload to YouTube easily. Leveraging the front camera with Google Talk proved solid.

YouTube sparkles on this gadget, with only minimal delays and latency. The only mobile devices that have streamed YouTube streams better for me have been 4G Android handsets such as the HTC Thunderbolt 4G and Samsung Droid Charge.

People love to make a big deal about Flash on Android devices so I made sure to test on the Tab 10.1. Knowing I wouldn't be able to access my Netflix on the Tab 10.1 I logged into my Amazon Instant Video account to try watching a movie there. I found "Leaves of Grass," starring Edward Norton.

When I tried to watch it, Amazon Instant Video informed me I needed Adobe Flash 10.2, which I was surprised wasn't already on this tablet. Anyway, I downloaded it in about 5 seconds, returned to Amazon and the movie began playing.

I was worried at first, as the first 3 minutes were pixelated in a way that I've seen on Netflix at times. However, this went away, and the movie played brilliantly. A caveat: Amazon Instant Video isn't tailored for tablets; it's tailored for larger TV screens. That's why the pause, fast forward and rewind buttons were scrunched together and hard to access.

Google and Amazon need to work on this, especially if Amazon is indeed preparing its own Android tablets. As an aside, I'm super-psyched about Honeycomb 3.1, which has better widgets, but more importantly for me, a movie application. That will be fun to test.

The Tab 10.1 has its faults. After I unboxed it and used it in my hotel in San Francisco, it froze several times, especially starting it up from being asleep overnight. That could have been the hotel's WiFi network providing a spotty connection. The speed and rendering have been better, but not perfect, on my home network.

There is also no SD card slot or ports of any kind. That is a problem for people who want to transfer media. This sort of come-as-you-are, this-is-all-you'll-need approach is arrogant and limiting, but perhaps Samsung sacrificed ports to keep the thin and light feel.

I certainly appreciated the 10-hour battery of the Tab 10.1. My recommendation is that if you are in the market for an Android tablet-heck any good, solid tablet-the Tab 10.1 will not fail you, particularly for the $499 to $599 price range. It's competitive with the iPad. And it's not the iPad.



Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel