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Hands-on review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1New

Alex Fergusson Architects

First Intro | The Good | The Bad | The Very Very Ugly | The Specs | Summary Summary
Review update: Sun shines cruel light on Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy Tab: The Bad

Before getting deeply into what's not so good, let me remind you that further on down is the "Very, Very Ugly" section. If you think that I've missed something that's bad, don't be too sure just yet.


So - having said the platform is pretty good, there are some niggles. First, I suppose, is that there's been no update yet. During most of 2010, I was the proud owner of a trail-blazing Archos 5" Android tablet, and during that time there were a number of updates. And what needs updating on the Tab? Well first off, the email app crashes when it's been neglected for a few minutes, and it takes quite a while about doing it.
Second, there's often quite a pause when returning to an app that you've left in the background for a bit. I suppose this is some sort of memory issue, but there ought to be room for improvement.


Also not quite so good is the screen - I know I've said it's good enough and it is, but it's actually not as good as some others especially when you set them side by side.


Another niggle is that the buttons - a volume rocker and a screen on-off switch - are too close together. I sometimes find myself turning off the screen when I'm intending to change the volume.


I know that lots of fantastic things are said about megapixels but the ultimate proof of a camera is subjective. And plainly put, the Tab's camera is not quite as good as the one on my iPhone 3GS. The Tab's picture is a little fuzzy towards the edge. I've wiped the lens and all that baloney, but the problem is still there. The thing is usable and has an LED flash, which is nice, but it's not fantastic. It does, by the way, come with a handy built-in panorama feature to combine a number of shots into a single wide view. This is fun, but the results are again noticeably fuzzy.


It was a big hope of mine that I might be able to run a virtual desktop properly on this tablet so that we might finally bypass the desktop PC on the way to a virtual machine being able to start writing the obituary for the desktop. While some of the "Very Ugly" issues make using the Tab with a slave monitor very frustrating, there is another problem that stops virtualisation working properly - the resolution just isn't there yet. The Tab's 1024 x 600 if fine for most things, but for this application, it's just not enough. The virtual environment can be made to work using something like LogMeIn, but not well enough. It's OK in an emergency, but after a few minutes on the system you've had enough. Perhaps the LG Optimus Pad (LG G-Slate for US readers) will be the first working solution since its resolution of 1280 x 768 will add 60% more pixels? And then there's the Motorola Xoom, which at 1280 x 800 will be a bit larger again.


The Tab will keep running for two or three days before a weird sluggishness tells you that it's time to reboot, but when you do stop and restart, it takes ages. I've timed the complete process this morning at 6 minutes. Samsung in case - the edges of the case obscure the edges of the screen and the buttonsEnough said.

3rd Party Accessories

Mostly, these can only be obtained from Amazon. While the selection is quite good, the wallet that you can see in the photo here demonstrates the problem. It obscures part of the screen - something that's obviously not going to be emphasised in the publicity shots that are supplied online.

Last, but not Least

Many Tabs in the UK come with £200 worth of bonus downloads. Don't expect too much. These are hard to access, the selection is very limited, and the sites you're led to are very keen to suck you in to an ongoing rolling contract.

First Intro | The Good | The Bad | The Very Very Ugly | The Specs | Summary Summary
Review update: Sun shines cruel light on Galaxy

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