Lightweight, compact and speedy, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is an Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet with few minuses. Unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the Amazon Kindle Fire.
One of the
toughest challenges I thought I'd have in reviewing the Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus Android tablet
availability relative to Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet.
started playing with the Plus last Friday and have left the Kindle Fire, which
arrived yesterday morning, relatively untouched. I do want to compare them but
not without giving the Plus proper lip service.
device deserves it. The Plus
, with its 7-inch, WSVGA (1024 x 600) Plane-to-Line
Switching (PLS) LCD weighs only 12.2 ounces and has a metallic gray
enclosure. It is the Android tablet Samsung should have launched in 2010 to
challenge Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad instead of the awkward, chunky Galaxy Tab
While the original 7-inch Tab only weighed 13.5 ounces
it was a full 0.5 inch thick. But that wasn't the bad part; the original 7 made
application access awkward because it ran Android 2.2 Froyo, which is decidedly
not fit for consuming applications on the larger tablet form factor, with a
1GHz, single-core processor.
In my tests of
the WiFi-only model, applications run beautifully on the Android 3.2 Honeycomb-powered
Plus, which has a great, speedy little 1.2 GHz processor. The tablet UI also
benefits from Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, which is super-friendly to
consumers who enjoy customizable widgets.
The Social Hub
application widget, for example, elegantly lets users link their email,
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts with the tablet, which renders messages
and updates in one consolidated view with headshots associated with contacts'
YouTube played well on the Plus, as did the magazine-reading application Next Issue
and Samsung's Media Hub for movies and TV shows.
The Plus has
some of the more useful applications I've ever seen preloaded on a Honeycomb
tablet, including Google Maps with Navigation turn-by-turn GPS directions,
which lets users type or speak their intended destinations into the Plus.