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