Home' LAPTOP Magazine : November 2010 Contents If you had asked me a couple of years ago
which part of Samsung would be bringing
the company's first tablet to market, I'd have
bet on the PC guys, not the ones who sell phones.
But times have changed. In the new media tablet
category, led by Apple, you need mobile DNA. And
that means instant-on, touch-friendly interfaces, and
long battery life delivered by ARM-based proces-
sors. The new Galaxy Tab brings all of the above
to the table(t) and more, and when it launches
this fall it will be the first bona fide contender to
the mighty iPad.
While such PC makers as Archos, ASUS, Dell,
MSI, and others have either launched Android
tablets or will be bringing theirs to market soon,
Samsung Mobile has put together the most compel-
ling package yet. This 7-inch device runs Android
2.2, which means it will support Flash, but so will
pretty much everything else that hits the market
this holiday. However, only the Galaxy Tab will be
sold by all four major wireless carriers.
What makes the Galaxy Tab truly unique is
that Samsung has custom-designed bundled
applications, such as the calendar and e-mail,
optimizing them for a larger screen. Plus, this
gadget will provide access to the Android Market for
downloading third-party apps. Samsung says that
some developers will be pouring more resources
into supersizing their apps for bigger displays, but
others will wait to see how the market develops.
smaller size. While
the display itself
doesn't use AMOLED
technology like the Galaxy
S Series phones, the 1024 x
600-pixel screen still looked plenty
bright and sharp when I got my hands on a unit
during the product's launch event.
All of these ingredients add up to a formidable
iPad foe, but there are also a lot of unanswered
questions about the Galaxy Tab. How much will it
cost, and will consumers be willing to pay extra for 3G
data? Also, can Samsung do as good ajob as Apple
demonstrating how its tablets and other products
work well together? For instance, Steve Jobs wowed
the crowd at an Apple event in September, when he
streamed a movie purchased on the iPad (running
the upcoming iPad 4.2 OS)directly to the new Apple
TV using a feature called AirPlay. Samsung has a
similar technology called AllShare, but it doesn't
support DRM-protected content.
To be honest, I was getting a little bored of the
parade of crappy tablets trying to steal the iPad's
thunder. The Galaxy Tab is different. And while the
app selection still needs some shoring up, it looks
pretty impressive overall. If other slate makers are
smart, they'll follow Samsung's lead.
waiting when it comes
to delivering entertainment. As
Best Buy's vice president of computing,
Jason Bonfig, told us during a recent interview,
the retailer simply won't sell a slate that lacks a
rich ecosystem of content behind it. And it seems
that the Galaxy Tab passes the litmus test because
it will tie into the Media Hub store for downloading
movies and TV shows. The company explained
that only by controlling both the hardware and
software was it able to offer progressive down-
loads, which means you can start watching flicks
almost as soon as your purchase is made. Other
content partners include Kobo (for eBooks) and
Zinio (for magazines).
As for the hardware, there's something uniquely
compelling about a 7-inch tablet. When held in
landscape mode, for example, it's easier to type
quickly on the Galaxy Tab than on the iPad. And
unlike Apple's hot-selling device, this one will have
two cameras---one 3.2-megapixel sensor on the
back for taking photos and another 1.3-MP up front
for video calls. Battery life is expected to be 7 hours,
which is 3 hours less than the iPad, but pretty strong
THE iPAD SWEAT
Galaxy Tab is the first real tablet competitor to hit the market.
LAPTOP | November 2010
NEWS & TRENDS
Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer directs LAPTOP's online and print editorial content. He has been covering mobile and wireless technology for more than a decade.
Read his weekly SpoonFed column at www.laptopmag.com/spoonfed, and follow @mspoonauer on Twitter.
by Mark Spoonauer
Links Archive December 2010 October 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page