Reasons to Buy/Not Buy the Tab

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-12-01 Print this article Print

Fantastic battery life, no matter what I surfed or what app I accessed. I got more bang out of the Tab than my Lenovo ThinkPad or Eee PC netbook.

One of the strong selling points of the Tab over the iPad, aside from Flash support, is the 1.3 megapixel front camera and 3 megapixel rear cameras.

Shooting pictures, editing them and uploading them to Facebook was fine, as long as you can get over how silly it looks to hold a tablet in front of your face to snap a photo.

Also, as to the video capabilities, people require something more powerful for shooting video or video chat than 1.3 and 3 megapixel cameras. The Motorola Droid X and HTC Evo 4G have 8 megapixel cameras that are great for video.

If you're going to put cameras on a tablet and single them out as differentiators, they need to be able to let people make great video calls. Video quality for chats via Skype was grainy and pixelated. Very roughshod. I preferred using Skype Mobile on my Droid X to using it on the Tab.

Now here's where the WiFi radio came in handy. I downloaded Logitech's Harmony for Android app from the Android Market and used it to control my Google TV, powered by the Logitech Revue.

Within seconds, the app located my Google TV-connected Revue box, my AT&T U-Verse set-top box and my Sony A/V receiver. I was then able to control my entire home entertainment system with the Tab through the Harmony app.  

Once I got used to the app's controls, which aped those on my Logitech Harmony keyboard, surfing Google TV was a breeze and didn't drop me much, always one of the fears of using a WiFi network to bridge the gap between an app and connected hardware. I had fun freaking out the wife by turning on the TV from upstairs, 30 feet away.

I liked the Tab enough that I wish it would come in a 10-inch size for me to test. A few months back, Fuze Box lent me an iPad with which to test out a live demonstration of its Fuze Box Web conferencing application for the iPad.

I spent a week playing with the iPad extensively and came away impressed. The iPad was like the iPhone 4, only far bigger, and much more screen real estate than the Tab when you consider at width and length. Of course, the iPad has no cameras so video conferencing is a no go.

So, yes, size does matter. As great as the Tab was for me and all of its Androidy nuances and application goodness, I still felt cheated.  

If Samsung makes a Tab that comes close to the iPad size--make it an even 10 inches--I might be persuaded to buy one for $600 from Verizon. But for now, I'd rather get a top-of-the-line netbook from Asus, or a WiFi iPad for $499 or $629 with WiFi+3G.

To wit, I'm sticking with surfing the Web via my work laptop, my personal Asus Eee PC netbook and my Google TV at home, and my Droid X on-the-go.

If you're a salesperson or some other corporate road warrior who wants a tablet for serious video conferencing, wait for the iPad 2 or a larger Galaxy Tab. The current Tab is not that solution.



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