The new 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is out with Verizon Wireless 4G LTE imbedded inside the sleek case.
This tablet has a robust NVIDIA Tegra-2 1 Ghz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and a gorgeous IPS display. Add in 16 GB of internal storage upgradeable to 32GB, a pair of nicely placed speaker grilles on the top of each side, a 3MP rear camera and a VGA front camera for voice chat, and you’ve got a great package. On the down side, much like an iPad, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has only a docking/charging port – there are no HDMI, SD or USB ports.
This Samsung tablet costs $100 or so less than the iPad equivalents, but you will pay more for the required two-year data plan — the Verizon 4G plan works out to about $5 more a month than the AT&T/iPad plan.
This Samsung device comes with "Honeycomb," Android 3.1 optimized for the tablet. The current release of Android is 3.2 and there’s no indication of when or if the tablet might be upgraded. On the other hand, Adobe Flash, lacking on the iPad, is included.
If you compare mobile broadband speeds across multiple devices, you will find they vary depending on a few factors, mainly your location and the provider you have. In our tests, the Verizon wireless 4G LTE performed consistently, averaging over 7000 kbps downloading and over 1000 kbps uploading.
When you lose your 4G connection, the tablet automatically switches to lower-speed 3G, but not without some sync and delay problems. There is a setting to keep the speed at 3G/CDMA so there’s no interruption when you’re watching a movie, but that means you’re stuck at the lower speed.
Battery life is fantastic. With a 7000 mAh battery, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 running WiFi can keep going for two days without a recharge. If you use mobile broadband to play games, browse the web, watch videos and stream music continually, you’ll find hours and hours of battery life. If you pick up the Galaxy Tab 10.1 up every so often to use and then put it down throughout the day, you’ll get three or four days of battery life.
The 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks great and is solid competition to the iPad — the experience of using the Galaxy is one of the best over the entire range of tablets. Quality and design work together here to create a device that is useful, fun and great to look at. It’s super-thin and super-light, making it very easy to hold; the screen is sheer joy.
In conclusion, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is simply the best tablet experience around and the speed of Verizon 4G LTE adds to the functionality. There are some trade-offs, the most obvious being the lack of dedicated ports, but Samsung carries a wide line of accessories that can be plugged into the 30-pin port on the bottom to add whatever feature you need — for example, you can get an adapter that will let you send the movie you’re streaming via 4G to your wide-screen TV via HDMI.
The 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a great product and well worth the price, especially when you consider the hardware is cheaper than the iPad and the required data plan is not that much more than AT&T’s plan for the iPad.
Blake Sanders is a tech writer at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert. Blake specializes in industry news and information and provides insights for those looking to compare mobile broadband providers.
Note: Photo courtesy of cmmorrison via FlickR Creative Commons.