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  • headbox - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    With specs like those, I bet Samsung sells hundreds of these! Reply
  • Omid.M - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    If they sold hundreds, they'd probably shoot themselves. I think you mean hundreds of THOUSANDS :)

    Good review, Anand, but I think this tablet is unfortunately another stop-gap: I think the true Android tablet will be 8.9" form factor and based off Kal-El, and hopefully in LTE form.

    Hardware wise, I don't see much advantage of an iPad 2 over the Tab 10.1, so it boils down to ecosystem and UI philosophy (Honeycomb vs iOS). Well, and SDK; Brian and I have had a brief chat about this :)

    -Omid

    @moids
    Reply
  • bplewis24 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I believe the OP was making a point about the lack of consumer interest in android tablets right now, no matter how good they are. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I think its a lack of awareness. iPad. Is just all people know, and its well marketed compared to Android tablets. I have impressed many people with the capabilities of my Nook running CM7. Either people aren't convinced of the value of android tabs, or they are too heavily associating them with cell carriers. They might not think they can be purchased outside of a contract. That, or its hard to beat apple marketing. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I agree on both counts. The mainstream tech media has played a part in this as well as Apple's own marketing. The bottom line is that Anandtech is one of the few tech sites to give Honeycomb tablets positive reviews. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    This is really the first one that has deserved positive reviews. The Xoom in particular was garbage. Honeycomb hardware is finally getting there in terms of displays and physical form factor. Once the Tegra 3 gets into Android tablets later this year the hardware will finally give legit competition to the iPad 2. Reply
  • B3an - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    What are you talking about?

    Tegra 3 Android tablets wont be competitive with iPad 2 hardware wise, they will be considerably superior.
    These Android tablets right now, like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 are already more than competitive on hardware. The Tab 10.1 has twice as much RAM, a better screen, and also higher resolution. The only real area where iPad 2 is unquestionably better is it's GPU. But thats about it. Overall the Tab 10.1 wins on hardware.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Legitimate competition means being superior to the iPad hardware, not as good as or worse than. Otherwise there isn't much point give the app selection and excellent hardware you get with the current iPad. Right now it is a wash or considerably slower, especially when it comes to the GPU as you pointed out.

    Not hating btw, this is objective reality. I think that the conclusion of the article is correct: if you are on the fence then one should wait. The Xoom was terrible, and while the Transformer and Galaxy 10.1 are huge improvements, the real Honeycomb tablets worth getting excited about will be out later this year once Tegra 3 is in them. That and more developers on board is when we'll see real competition in the tablet space.
    Reply
  • PeteH - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I think it's also worth pointing out that GPU is probably more important to most people's tablet experience than anything else in the silicon.

    So long as Apple's GPU performance continues to exceed what is available to other tablet manufacturers they will have a significant advantage. And since Apple effectively has more silicon available to it at a given price point compared to their competitors (they only have to pay to fab their chips, they don't have to pay a further markup to someone like NVIDIA) it could be very difficult for anyone to catch them in the near term.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    Sometimes I feel as though Android is the brother to Linux :) If it weren't for phones I think pads wouldn't have a chance. Android needs better and more marketing/PR so consumers are aware of them. My nephews own phones with Android but they'll go huh if you as they what OS. Ask an iPhone user and they immediately know because well, it's iphone :D Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Based on the fact that transformer has sold over 300k units, consumer interest is definitely there Reply
  • headbox - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    those numbers can be misleading- that could be the number ordered by retail stores, and they could all be sitting on the shelf. Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    How is that misleading? It seems to fit with the fact that most store had it backordered for quite some time Reply
  • vision33r - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    I think the Transformer sales has just peaked. The device is now available everywhere for retail and no mark up.

    They had to run a discount package for the Asus EEE pad yesterday on Ebay just to push the thing.

    Since March, you can't even consistently find an IPad 2 in store.
    Reply
  • JoeTF - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    Uhm, well, Transformer, after 3 months is still in constant state of out of stock and well on track to hit 1m units this summer. In total, they're aiming to sell 3.5m units before new model is unveiled in in December.

    It's just that in comparison - Samsung tablet is worst of all:
    -plastic finish
    -no USB
    -no HDMI
    -no sd card slot
    -no user replaceable battery
    -lack of single distinguishing feature (battery dock, or phone hybrid mode)
    Reply
  • AlterEcho - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I do not agree that a 8.9" form factor is optimal. Most of my customers are shooting for the 10.1". So far, LTE and the smaller form factor is a non-starter. My clients are screaming for the Asus and 3G. They are more concerned with network coverage and reliability than a bump in speed. And I have to agree with them.
    Here are some reasons I am hearing in the field:

    1) LTE only means that I will hit my cap faster and if they are complaining about a few users affecting bandwidth now, how are they going to handle faster speeds.
    2) They should be worrying about coverage, not trying to increase speed. Speed does me little good if I do not have a reliable connection.
    3) Why would I pay $500 for a giant "iPod"? $400 and a keyboard option allows me to type or disconnect and head to a meeting with pad-in-hand.
    4) The smaller pad makes web pages feel 'scrunched' and busy. The larger one allows me to type easier as well as handle websites, better.

    So for my customers, the larger form factor, 3g and $400 is the big seller. I think manufacturers (and us tech guys) forget about what is important to non-technical users. Price and size, IMHO, will be a significant driving factor. And I bet dollars to donuts that the Asus will outsell the Samsung...and even affect the iPads numbers. The price difference is to hard to ignore, in this economy.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Play nice! :) Reply
  • vision33r - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    With those specs, yes they will only sell hundreds with the iPad 2s number it will sell millions.

    It's such a joke for these companies to use a Tegra 2 dual core that some single core beats it. The game performance is a joke consider the iPad 2's GL performance spanks it silly.

    Even though the Tab has higher res but once you play an iPad 2 game on TV at 1080p with the HDMI cable it just makes these Android tablet look completely like a joke.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    "It's such a joke for these companies to use a Tegra 2 dual core that some single core beats it."

    Gotta love fanboys who don't have a clue about the product they're shilling. The iPad2 has a dual core processor.
    Reply
  • headbox - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Maybe he's saying iPad 1 still beats it in key areas like battery life. Reply
  • Jamestownsend - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Actually, the iPad 1 beats it in a lot of areas. its not nearly as buggy or sluggish. Plus the iPad 1 is actually useful. It can do more than just browse the internet and play ad-sponsored angry birds... Reply
  • vision33r - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    You're in idiot. I mentioned the Tegra 2 with a dual core CPU is not even faster than many single core CPU by much.

    The iPad 2's A5 spanks the Tegra 2 so hard it's not even a contest.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    7 inch version sales are already above 1 million. Reply
  • Wizzdo - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    iPad2 still beats it with a great OS (which gets very significant perks with the soon-to-be-released iOS5) and significantly faster graphics.

    Samsung gets the nod slightly on the hardware side but a pitty they had to sacrifice a memory card slot to do it which would be the only real advantage (other than a slightly better display) over an iPad2 for me.

    Plus, who knows if it'll ever get a descent OS upgrade and it will be obsolete in 4 months due to Kal-El.

    I think I'll stick with the iPad2. A hot body without a good brain is pretty much only good for one thing ...uhh... looking at.

    *I find it troubling that Samsung would bite off the hand that feeds them and likely abuse Apple's trade secrets (Apple is suing them) to produce this. It takes quite a few points away from any rewards I would give them for their hardware improvements and makes me question the integrity of the company in general.
    Reply
  • abrar - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    so why i should go from my currently Tab P1000 (andr 2.1) to the new Tab 10.1??

    just to upgrade to honey comb ?

    at least samsung should have implemented HDMI....
    Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I could have sworn i saw the damn thing plugged into the TV using the HDMI cable into the MHL adapter. Also you can always use wireless DNLA Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Not planning on giving up my P1000, the main disappointment is the lack of onboard ports - no hdmi, no SD card slot and no USB port (for connecting storage devices). The fact the 10in model is double the size but has even less (no microSD slot) seems a bit of a joke to me. Having used an Ipad 2 I can't say I understand this need to be small particularly given the large sacrifices needed to achieve that.

    John
    Reply
  • g1011999 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I think all honeycomb devices on the market have 1GB RAM. Reply
  • g1011999 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    At least for my Asus Transformer. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    You're right, it has been fixed :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    At least slowly those prices are coming down. I was ridiculous when these things where introduced at laptop-prices instead of netbook-prices.
    With IPS screens, they're slowly coming into a reasonable price point.
    I'm waiting for the next Archos announcement though, especially because I am looking to replace a pocketable/portable tablet and not one of these living room ornaments.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    "The Galaxy Tab 10.1 measures just 8.6mm thick, [0.2mm] thinner than the iPad 2." Reply
  • robco - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I still can't really find a use for a tablet at this point, but this one looks nice. My primary concern would be if the app gap has narrowed since the Xoom was released. Also it doesn't appear that any other manufacturer's have had Apple's success in decoupling the 3G/4G versions from service contracts (without paying a lot more). It also appears that there's lots of optimization to be done. My other concern would be regarding Samsung's history when it comes to OS updates. I would hope owners won't be waiting too long to receive them.

    Still it's good to see competition for the iPad shaping up. I think Honeycomb makes better use of available screen real estate than iOS does. The different hardware options are nice. But I'm more old school I guess. I would still rather have a netbook or MBA. I like having a real keyboard and touchpad.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    By all accounts, frustratingly, while the number of Honeycomb apps is climbing, there's a quality gap that's more important than the quantity gap. Android staples (TweetDeck, notably) is not Honeycomb optimized and to great detriment. Watching I/O this year they made it clear that the tools are their to create great apps for the platform but developers have a challenge though in developing for two Android platforms (Gingerbread and Honeycomb), maintaining and updating those releases, and still preparing to bring their Honeycomb app to the Ice Cream Sandwich framework when it's released. I would love to hear from developers why there wasn't this sort of growing pains when Apple extended iOS to the tablet form factor. What made it so easy to turn the phone app to the tablet app? What isn't there in the Android platform?

    @tnofuentes
    Reply
  • Conner_36 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I would guess it has to do with the SDK Apple has. While I have not actually coded an iOS app yet, playing around in Xcode made it seem like a simple check box was pretty much the difference between an iphone or ipad app.
    All you need to do is mess around Interface Builder for a few minutes and everything you had for the iphone can be retooled for the ipad (provided that you used Apple APIs and don't have too many custom views).
    Apple has been building and rebuilding their tools and APIs for 30 years where as Google just started.
    Does that make sense to anyone?
    Reply
  • vision33r - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Your comparing a company(Apple) with decades of software experience to an advertising search company. Guess who makes better software?

    Android wasn't even grown in house and had to be bought by Google and then for Honeycomb, Google had to introduce their own C oriented language to get away from the nasty Java apps.

    Whoever thought that Java apps on a phone was a good idea back then definitely was not forward thinking and this is the reason why Android apps suck so much vs iOS apps.

    Google has a lot to copy from Apple. They copied the same touch interface and general multitouch UI, they got to copy Apple's music player, and even borrowed Apple's Webkit to make Chrome.

    When you look at all this then you realize that Android is a copy and hack job while other OSes like WebOS, iOS, and even WP7 performs better.
    Reply
  • Penti - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    You do realize that it's Nokia that made the first Webkit browser for mobile platforms right? Before Apple announced and open sourced the Webkit engine they worked porting KHTML/WebCore and KJS/JavaScriptCore to S60. So just weeks after Apple open sourced it they had a Webkit-build out. WebCore and JavaScriptCore was never closed, as they where based on GPL projects, and Google uses their own Javascript-engine in Android. Not Nitro or JavaScriptCore. Webkit truly is a collaborative effort, not some magic gift from Apple developers. For that matter the underpinnings in OS X and iOS is Mach/BSD from Carnegie Mellon University and Berkeley, much of the environment and stuff that made it successful also comes from it's NeXT days such as the heritage of the Cocoa environment, Obj-C and fat binaries which NeXT ran on four platforms in 1993. GCC was the compiler back in 1989 too.

    Go and troll somewhere else.
    Reply
  • Jamestownsend - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Actually, Android's javascript engine is based on apple's work on webkit. No one cares about what Nokia did...and indeed, android is the vista of mobile platforms without the large app support. Video wallpapers, widgets, etc...and a huge resource hog...it isn't trolling to state the facts... Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Actually V8 was JIT before Nitro/JSC JIT branch and JIT from the start and developed the same time based on their own design and architecture. Based on Smalltalk and PCRE. So I don't know what your smoking. Not only that, it's simply not built entirely on JavaScriptCore or Apples sources since it's BSD. They do indeed have their own assembler, compiler, garbage collector and therefor their own Javascript JIT engine.

    Apple does contribute but not from some black hole and they do build on Open Source and other peoples work, just as they should, but you can't credit one company for it all.

    You might not care, but it's thanks to Nokia, others and them cooperating in the project you can have a decent Safaribrowser to begin with. It wouldn't been optimized for embedded/mobile platforms otherwise. Ensuring it to Apple that it can be done well. Mozilla (Gecko) on the other hand has done a lot worse on the ARM-platform. Android has had native apps for a long while, since 1.5 publically and it's not because of Dalvik or the Android/Apache Harmoney class libs they had many of their performance problems. There is nothing magical on the C side that has happened with 3.0+. It is trolling when you troll about your incorrect or made up facts.
    Reply
  • koss - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Hey Anand, why are all the dimensions of the three devices (Samsung, Moto and Asus) in mm and the Ipad is in inches? I mean it's not very difficult to convert, but its a pain - open another tab, etc, etc. Would you be kind enough to convert everything in the graph in the same units, regardless inches or cm? Thanks.

    PS: Keep it up - one of my fav. sites ;)
    Reply
  • darkhawk1980 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    One thing that might be of note to those buying, might be the fact that the secure software key (SSK) for the Asus Transformer has in fact been found. This means that it is now possible to completely unlock the device to do whatever you'd like with it (ie possibly install Ubuntu Linux?). This is something that I'd be surprised if it happened with the Samsung Tab 10.1. While for most people it probably doesn't make a huge difference, but in another month the ability to have both Honeycomb and Ubuntu on the device could be a very compelling argument.

    Personally, given how much Samsung locks down their devices, I would never buy into their tablets. I still believe the Asus provides a much better overall experience. While it isn't the lightest, nor is it the most thin, it provides the best experience and flexibility. And to be perfectly honest, the price is pretty damn good as well. Having a rooted Asus and being able to overclock it a bit (1.6 GHz and really stable) makes a pretty decent difference in performance.

    BTW, I've always wondered, how much of a difference does the resolution difference between the IPad 2 and all other Honeycomb tablets make a difference in the graphical benchmarking tools? I would imagine it does make a decent difference, all things given.

    My experience with tablets thus far (have spent a few hours looking at the Acer Iconia and Samsung/Xoom at Best Buy, and bought a Transformer) is that I really do enjoy having it. I like being able to pick it up and browse the web while watching TV during commercials or boring parts of a show. I love reading books and comic books on it. And to be perfectly honest, since I got Plants vs. Zombies the other day for free from Amazon, I use it way too much. More than my wife I think.....
    Reply
  • adt6247 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Samsung locking down devices? You on crack? All of the Galaxy S devices shipped with unlocked boot loaders. Samsung also just sent a few Galaxy S II phones to the CyanogenMod team that brought CM7 to the various GSM Galaxy S variants. I rooted my Captivate within an hour of purchase, and I got it on launch day. How much less locked down do you want?

    My biggest complaint with Samsung was TouchWiz, and that simply isn't an issue here.
    Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    That's what i was about to say. Only company active leaving the bootloader unlocked Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Reports have said that Samsung will deliver its TouchWiz UI enhancements in a later update.

    You can see a very recent video of how it looks on the 8.9 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj7M1WTiwGo
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    to see the insta-obsolescence of those things. Each month brings a new tablet that's da schinitz... for a month. And now Tegra 3 will arrive within a couple of months, and the OEMs that kind messed up first time around (Motorola, a lot; Asus, a bit) will have a second shot at leading the field... Any tablet will be upstaged within 6 tot 12 months anyway, which really is a pain because the new ones will be significantly better (and the current ones are barely "good enough", and those things are a lot more expensive than subsidized phones.

    I started out waiting for any Android tablet. The first ones, especially the Xoom, where pretty awful, so that morphed into waiting for the eeePad... which is OK, but not as good as the Galaxy. Now I'm thinking 10" is too big. It won't fit into my man-purse and is a bit unwieldy... but the 7-8" alternatives are pretty niche and/or lackluster.

    So, in the end, I'm thinking I'll get a cheap Chinese knock-off, test out the format (for web surfing, ebooks, comics, and some videos), and wait 12-24 months for the dust to settle. I've found 8 inchers around 100 USD with 1280x800 and 1024x600 screens (Ainol Novo 8, Zenithink E98)
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    That's not a terrible plan but try not to be too disheartened. This is simply the expected process of performance increasing with technology advancements played forward really fast. Ten years ago when deciding what computer to buy you would have asked yourself a few questions that had to do with features; at the time they would have involved playing the latest games, fast internet access, expandability and sufficient storage. So, a Radeon 9700, an ethernet NIC, a decent case, a 40 GB drive and a Pentium IV and you were all set. A few years ago you would have added HD video playback, WiFI and turned all the other dials up a few notches. And that's basically where we are today. Ten years ago to meet the demands of most users you needed a pretty high end system, anything less and the compromises were pretty high. Today, a decent video card (nothing integrated, yet), a cheap mobo with all the bells and whistles integrated, a cheap 2TB drive, and Intels cheapest Pentium will probably hit all your feature requests and still fit in a case smaller than the box my 9700 came in.

    In tablet talk, we are, thankfully, a bit beyond the Pentium IV era, but we're not quite at Penryn, and still a few years off from Nehalem. You can play games, you can watch HD video and you can do all the other things you want to do, you just can't do it as smoothly as you might want, and certainly not so smoothly as you could on your netbook. But we're in the post-PC era, so the days will come.

    If I were you, still expecting to wait as much as two years before really committing to the cause, I'd hold off on that Chinese grey market special, pick-up a used Nook Color and throw CM7 on it. It's not Honeycomb but it's not bad either. And when you decide the market is ready for you to throw some real money on a tablet it'll be like booting up a Sandy Bridge powered MacBook Pro after years of using a Powerbook G4. Let us know how it goes!
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I'd go for the nook color in a blink if I could get it. I'm in France though, and don't know anyone in the US. Even my brother in Canada can't et it, as far as I can tell. Reply
  • jrs77 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    First of all, nice review there Anand.

    The Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks really good actually and with the bigger resolution then the iPad2 it's more to my liking. However, Android still doesn't feel as good as iOS and that's the real downside of the iPad-competition currently. With a pricetag of the iPad2 I'd take the better OS and go with Apple still, as I don't mind about the iTunes-thingy actually for a device that's primarily ment to browse the web or watch movies while travelling from/to work every day.

    I'd like to see a tablet with a fully suported USB-port, that let's me use a internet-stick or external storage, with a pricetag of a netbook ($400). That would really be a step forward actually.
    Reply
  • tayb - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Still sucks. I'm sorry, but it does. It's half baked and crashes more than a Microsoft Windows beta. It's not a finished product and I'm starting to understand how Google seems to make such rapid improvements to their OS. It's because they release the beta as the full version and then fix all of the massive holes and bugs with new OS releases.

    I still don't see a tablet offering from any company that I would actually be interested in. $499 for this is not a great deal unless you compare it to the iPad. Hey, the iPad is overpriced. I can walk into any electronics store and get a powerful notebook for $499.
    Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Have you tried 3.1 honeycomb tablets over 3.0? It looks like they're progressing very nicely Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    The tablet market is still behind about 3 years behind the notebook market, but it's catching up faster than the notebook caught up to PC. Five years ago many would ask, why would I pay $1500 for a laptop when I can get a desktop that runs circles around any laptop for just $500. Power advancements and easy access to wireless internet made us a mobile computing culture. Those same advancements will make the cost (in dollars and compromises) of a tablet negligible relative the notebook. Thanks for the comment, keep'em coming. Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Anand,

    Have you tried the settings within the keyboard? It's surprising that you can't turn the predictive text on when every other device with samsung keyboard allows the user to turn it off
    Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    "I also encounter far too many crashes on a regular basis. "

    Please repost this review when the crashes are "few and far in between." With a kid in College and another on the way, I do not have the money to waste on a products such as this.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Finally if cost is a concern (keeping in mind that you'll likely regret your purchase in another ~4 months), get the Eee Pad.


    Seriously? If you're 'likely regret' a purchase in 4 months the answer is not to just buy the cheaper option, it's to buy nothing.
    Reply
  • Pino - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    No HDMI?!

    It's not for me, thank you!
    Reply
  • vision33r - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    "Hey the iPad 2 doesn't have HDMI, why don't you love me!" - Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    LOL... good one.

    My Samsung Galaxy phone has the HDMI option on the menu... no HDMI port. But I can turn it ON and OFF.

    iPads can transmit video wireless to TV, with an adapter.
    Reply
  • mo.hasan - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    You can buy a HDMI adapter for the Samsung 10.1. Personally I prefer slim and weight savings versus built in port. This is not a PC after all. This is 2011, time to put wireless DLNA to good use. Reply
  • Pjotr - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Page 2:

    "After prolonged usage I either orientation can be a problem, but..."

    Say what?
    Reply
  • jjj - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    No microSD card, HDMI or USB should be dealbreakers for many (Samsung can go Apple themself).
    Ít's a shame that a nice tablet is limited to the onboard storage when even the dumbest dumbphone has a microSD slot nowdays.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Very true. They had a chance to differentiate and blew it. MicroSD, Mini-HDMI and USBhost ports are really mandatory for any device because they additional modes for media consumption. Only Apple can get away with it, no one else. Reply
  • [insert name] - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    Hmmm.. the lack of both kinda killed the GT10 for me so I went looking at Xoom (too early, too flakey) the iconia (usual woeful levels of post-sales support) and the Transformer (ugly-looking, heavy and I read they too are having their problems, although I like the external HDD support on the dock!).

    So I went back to looking at the GT10; I can live without the HDMI port (my GT7 doesn't have it), but it's still the lack of uSD that's killing me - I have a 32GB uSD card chock-a-block full of music & videos and a 16GB one I use for business documentation, pressos etc.

    Yes, I can just pay the ridiculous excess for the 32GB version, but it's a lot easier/faster to swap out a uSD card than plug 'n drag many, many GB of data...
    Reply
  • Zandros - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    "The Samsung supplied photo below shows a comparison of the tradeoff you make with S-IPS and I-IPS, as well as both of those compared to Super PLS"

    I'd say it's a near useless comparison, since there's no way you'll be looking at the three displays with the same horizontal angle at the same time.
    Reply
  • RHurst - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    Exactly! Reply
  • MrSewerPickle - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Yet another excellent technical review. I read a lot of reviews online but typically wait for your opinion before making a decision. You make some excellent points as always about the impending Tegra 3 factor.

    Anyway I've been enjoying this site sense before Tom left Toms and it always continues to impress me. Keep up the unbiased technical reviews.
    Reply
  • spambonk - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Does it have light bleed, like the Asus transformer and you didn't tell us. Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Page 6:

    <quote>On top of all of that, the LE suffered light bleed from one of its corners - a problem I haven't seen on the retail 10.1.</quote>

    Sounds like the answer is "not on this unit".
    Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Ratza fratza no edit button ratza fratza...

    Page 6:

    On top of all of that, the LE suffered light bleed from one of its corners - a problem I haven't seen on the retail 10.1.


    Sounds like the answer is "not on this unit".
    Reply
  • sammsiam - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    The XOOM has 32GB of NAND Reply
  • AsteriskCGY - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Bought a Xoom on sale like 3 weeks ago 100 off retail. still had tax so ended up being 558 in the end. Glad its numbers are comparable but that weight really does factor in a lot. And if Kal El means I can start playing my 720 mkv's with subs instead of hunting for SD or 480 avi files for the stuff I watch might've been worth the wait.

    Or see who'd want to buy a xoom at that time.
    Reply
  • mikehunt80 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Although it's true that the integer performance of Kal-El will be the same clock for clock as Tegra 2. The floating performance with quadruple thanks to the addition of Neon. This makes a big difference when working with complex surfaces, as well as decoding videos that aren't part of the hardware codec. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I'm really sick of EVERYTHING being compared to the apple version of a similar product. Apple, IS NOT the golden standard. WAY WAY WAY back when the iphone first came out, ok sure. But ever since Android 2.0 was released Apple has been behind on every front.

    Start comparing the HTC's products or Motorola, like the Droid X. Asus E anything is a step above at least. Or better yet hold Apple to the standards of Archos. Superior build quality, superior functionality, more options and choices as well as being priced less than half as much. Yeah... can't even compete can you Apple. Fucking stupid people...
    Reply
  • michael2k - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    When the iPad can sell 3m in a month and #2 Acer sells 300k, Apple is still the golden standard. Reply
  • Conner_36 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    While Apple is selling the most tablets they are the golden standard, just like Google is the golden standard for search (find your own example of company with the significant market share is considered the 'golden' standard). Reply
  • vision33r - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    When Apple is the one innovating, being 1st and selling millions. That's how gold standard is created.

    Show me which product Google released 1st other than search that was innovative and successful?

    Android OS was conceived to battle iOS so Google can plant more ads without Apple's lock down.
    Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    show me a single piece of hardware that apple has innovated that wasn't supplied by samsung, lg, etc Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    UH... what does that have to do with anything? First LG is really more of a brand than a manufacture. Samsung makes most of the LCD panels sold in the world... sound under dozens of names.

    Hate them or not... Apple did bring out the GUI computer, Smart phone and tablets to the consumer mass.
    Reply
  • Jamestownsend - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Apple isn't a hardware company. Im more likely to call them a software/UI development company. Open any of their devices and you'll see stamps from other companies. they are what i call cherry pickers. they pick the best from everyone, combine it into a pretty case that they made themselves and sell it as an experience. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Apple's magic is in their OS software. Their hardware components has been mediocre at best but their integration of the components into the design is their skill. Wrap this in easy-to-use UI/OS, they have a compelling product, hence, they can set the "Gold Standard" because they can cater for 80% of the people out there even with a higher price point. Reply
  • robco - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Apple was making the iPhone when there was no Android. They forced everyone else to step up their game. They've been pretty good about releasing new versions that adds new features. They didn't have everything out of the starting gate, but what they put in worked very well.

    This is where Apple and Google diverge into two opposite directions. Google has made web apps in the past. You can quickly add new features and tweak things. Their products are almost in a state of perpetual beta. GMail was labelled a beta for years. They have no problem adapting new technologies, even if they aren't polished. Apple OTOH tends to pick and choose what it will implement more carefully and won't put a feature into a product until it meets their standards. If you want to be bleeding edge and buzzword-compliant, then Apple products are not for you.

    For Apple, it's not just about what the product does, it's about what it does well. I've seen some really nice Android devices, but some of the third-party UIs seem a bit clunky and some of the features are still half-baked. They're differing philosophies. Some people want something that just works, others don't mind getting new features early even if they aren't quite neat and tidy. Neither are wrong, just different.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    As others have stated... Apple *IS* the gold standard for which Smart phones and tablets have to compete.

    I own an iPad-1, there was nothing on the market that was as good as an iPad. iPad2 was sold out (in a day). I have a Samsung Galaxy S Phone.

    I am NOT impressed how Google / Samsung / At&t handle the Froyo updates. I am even LESS impressed that Team-Google made Android more difficult to use in some ways... like did they hire some from MS to make Android STUPID?

    Archos? Really? Its not HALF. Its $320 vs $500. It has a single camera... the $400 ASUS Transformer kill it. Archos is rated so-so, a bit of a failure rate, very slow, not-great screen sensor, low-res screen.

    Uh, many charts do compare various Tablets. The HTC Tablet is a 7" model and it sells for $500 (gee, just like the iPad2). And not just that, it is shipping with Android 2.4?! Even Creative tablets (7 & 10") have Android 2.2!!

    Hrel: Correct me if I am wrong... everyone in the USA has a right to buy an Apple product? Is there a GUN being held to anyone's head to buy an Apple iPhone, iPad or i-anything?

    It is UP to Samsung and other Android makers to create the market for people to BUY an Android tablet.

    So, why be pissed off that people are buying iPads? Enjoy your Archos... nobody will take it away from you. (really!)

    I don't like iTunes. I finally had a need for an MP3 player (I workout in a gym) and I looked at the $45 iPod. I have no issues about the quality, etc... but I hate iTunes. I don't want to deal with all the conversion crap and I have lots of OGG files.

    I checked out 4 major stores (Frys, Walmart, CompUSA, Microcenter) ... theres a HUGE iPod selection, then off on another isle or side, all the rest. I saw:
    Mostly cheap $15~40 no-name cheap junk. (reviews were horrible)
    SONY = $60~120, nothing small enough for my needs.
    Philips and RCA = $25~60, bulky - custom software... Philips = junk.
    Hey, for $20 - I could have bought a iPod Nano-4th gen clone... :P

    Finally found a SanDisk Clip... it has a clip, size of an iPod Shufflt with a tiny screen for $30... with FM-Radio, Audio recorder...

    Point is, nobody really tries to compete against iPod... and MS has finally gave up on Zune. But there are some options there.
    Reply
  • Jamestownsend - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Are you that ignorant as to say that apple hs been behind on evey front? Use honeycomb tablet for two weeks and then use an ipad and see how behind the ipad is. Watch the all things digital interview with the CEO of adobe. The only tablet that does flash well is the playbook...and we all know how crappy that is...android is really good...but compared to iOS, its obvious that the operating system is a huge resource hog.. Then they decided to put flash on there, which is fine since its optional, but why put a feature that buggy on a product that people would be paying for. You can tell just how much they love their customers from a move like that. The ipad is running lower spec'd hardware (except for the GPU) and offers a much smoother experience than what you can get on any android tablet. Very behind. The reason why all of these android devices are soo "ahead" of apple's in terms of hardware is because they have to in order to compete. Of course, apple haters exist, that's why devices like the XOOM is still selling, but comparing build quality of an ipad to anything made by ASUS...wtf? or arc hose? archos was a good device before the introduction of the ipod touch. now its nothing more than a cheaper alternative. The same goes for the ASUS. HTC, motorola and the rest are doing a good job. But the problem isn't the hardware, its the software...that's where the ipad wins. Its obvious though...look at sales records... Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Considering all its weaknesses the iPad's user experience is very good no doubt. But Apple is a closed system and people has to live with it. Yes, there is jailbreak and Cydia but nothing like HoneyComb's openess (with all its issues).
    A lot depends on what one expects from a tablet. I agree that iPad has better overall appeal while HoneyComb appeals to the technologically sophisticated user.
    This gives room for people to grow in either going from iPad to HoneyComb or vice-versa. This is the choice offered by Google. It is a good thing. What is good for one might be bad for another and vice-versa, so the choices enable us to switch or migrate to what we really wanted. Because tablets are a new concept, users tend to only understand what they wanted with it only when they have used one for some time.
    In the Android space, there is space yet for the ultimate tablet which will come by the end of this year. Apple will no doubt try very hard to match and exceed some of its abilities and it has the luxury of dropping the price which will lessen the appeal of newer Honeycomb tablets.

    Heck, we might see some premium tablets coming with Sapphire crystal class and even 18carat gold plating but they will be niche market items.
    Reply
  • jllcmu04@hotmail.com - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Thanks for a great article. I am developing an application for a non-profit and have decided to choose an android based tablet for managers to view real time information. The problem is... which one to choose? I have a water proof covering that will fit most any tablet so that's not the problem, but price and longevity are critical components. Any ideas about which of these would be recommended?

    Thanks in advanced!
    Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    its nice to see we're getting some worthy hardwares for our bucks in the next 6months, and i'm holding out for that one tablet, maybe i'll hold out till window 8 tab comes out.
    Android is sleazy. Google is evil. the apps i've seen on these annoying "DROIDS" are all plug into some kind of marketing statistics, or ad wares that users are turning a blind eye.. I do not trust Android, after reading this article i dislike it 10 times more. Frankly Apple IOS is more trusting than what google has to offer these days. heck even Microsoft.
    Reply
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  • stm1185 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    Is that there is very little reason to even own a tablet. Reply
  • kenour - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    16:9 ehh... Surely you mean 16:10. Reply
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  • xype - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    "given how quickly Samsung introduced it after Apple unveiled the iPad 2, the company really deserves credit for responding to competitive pressure in record time"

    Uhm, it's not hard to "respond quickly" if you're one of the main suppliers. Samsung likely knew a lot more and a lot sooner about the iPad 2 than anyone else.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I doubt if Samsung knew very much detail about the physical shape (although they could guess and many have done), panel size and dot-pitch yes, processor no, camera no (its Sony's part), but that hardly constitute "blatant copying" as Apple has accused. One cannot deviate much from a rectangular shape. But the thing that cannot understand is no manufacturer has built rocker switches (like in PocketPC days) that does vertical/horizontal scrolling. This allows the single holding hand to scroll pages which EVERYBODY wanted!!. Samsung are you listening ?. One for landscape use and one for portrait use. There is plenty of space for it. Touch is not everything. Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    "Remember Kal-El won't really change single threaded performance"

    I think I know what you meant - that it would still be Cortex A9. But that doesn't mean performance won't improve. Every core will be clocked at 1.5 Ghz.

    And you're right, ARM chips seem to improve 2.5x every 12 months, or about 4x every 18-24 months. That's 2x as fast as Moore's Law. Can't wait until Nvidia unveils their Tegra 4 next year - 2.5 Ghz quad core Cortex A15 ;)
    Reply
  • mo.hasan - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Anand. Very thorough review as always. Great job.

    Here is a list of accessories available for Samsung 10.1. Currently they are showing up on european websites. Landing in USA soon I suppose.

    HDMI cable adapter
    SD Adapter
    Charging Dock with sound bar
    USB Connector Kit
    Keyboard
    More...

    Yes you can have all these ports built in like an Acer Iconia or some in Asus Transformer. Personally I will take the weight savings and slimness versus all those ports built in. In a tablet that is. Notebook however is a whole different story. Plus Samsung's superior display is a slam dunk for me versus any other android tablet at the moment. Kal-El is not worth waiting for unless you are buying a tablet to play games only. Damn you Bestbuy, here is my pre-order.
    Reply
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Anand, why does Apple keep having a sizable advantage in battery life? It's the same in tablets and smart phones...

    The hardware seems to similar to blame, so does Google just do a comparatively bad job at managing power in Android?
    Reply
  • Paladin1650 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I don't understand the fixation on 10 inch tablets. That is too big to be easily portable without carrying a bag everywhere, and if I'm toting a bag, I might as well bring a laptop with a bigger screen, real keyboard, 300gig+ hard drive, real operating system, real processor, etc. Not to mention the built in stand. My 15 inch laptop is not much thicker or heavier than an iPad.

    Its too big, bright, and heavy to use like a portable game console or an e-reader (Note: Nintendo never came anywhere close to a 10 inch screen on any of its 50 million plus selling portable consoles). Sure you can goof around on it and have unique experiences...but those experiences aren't going to be lasting dozens of hours like a novel or a serious video game.

    Are people actually trying to replace their laptop with a tablet? That is the only usage scenario that makes sense to me for a 10 inch tablet. If you are somehow able to actually type and be productive on a tablet, more power to you.

    Now, what DOES make sense to me is a giant smartphone. Smartphones are incredibly useful, more useful for everyday tasks than a laptop, since it has GPS, camera, camcorder, barcode scanner, phone, email, MP3 player etc all rolled into one. However, a 3-4 inch screen is really too small for video content consumption, and doesn't allow much room for touch. Solution? A 5-6 inch jumbo smartphone that behaves exactly like a smartphone, but with a bigger screen. That is what I want (the original galaxy tab comes close, but a bit too large to be pocket sized). So why are we only seeing those from Dell and Samsung, and why does Samsung seem to be switching to larger form-factors? Why is "its just a giant phone" a bad thing? I think in 10 years we will see this size range emerge as the standard for the all-in-one pocket device, and the 10 inch tablet will remain a very niche product.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    @Paladin1650: When you look at the kindle, it gives a strong clue. Besides to consume 720p video, 10 inch is about the ,minimum needed to appreciate the quality of the video. Anything smaller, 720p is not going to matter much. For eBook reading and that goes for webpage reading as well, that physical size is really optimum for most people young and old. My only beef is the screen resolution should be 1366X768 and make that IPS at least.

    Laptop usage is different from tablet significantly from the holding distance from your face to the screen. On a tablet, you hold it much nearer to your face. This means 10inches could instantly equal to 15inch laptop distance. Plus the weight advantage and not frying your lap scenarios, it could be compelling for some.

    As to phones going to 5inches, thats already too big for many. iPhone size is about right, and going to 4 inches might be pushing it. I like to see 1680X1050 resolution in 4 inches.
    One size fits all does not exist unless thats a body implant using our body fluids as its electrical source. Get that from your friendly grey alien Paul.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    but no point in buying until the second gen comes out later this year, especially since ipad3 will hopefully share some info by then.

    i'm heavily vested in the itunes app store (i use my ipad1 95% of the time for just gaming), so whatever other neato features the android tablets have are meaningless to me. especially since if i read those last 2 benchmarks the gaming on the android doesn't compare to the gaming on the ipad2.

    i still think they're stupid to price it at the same level as the ipads though. you're going against an entrenched/established and in many cases fanatical base of apple users (i have no love for apple, but do love the ipad), you deliver something similar, and you charge it the same, why the hell would i bother to switch? offer me something BETTER.

    not to mention 16/32gb of storage is just measly. this IS the digital age after all, we like to dump movies/etc onto these devices. my ipad/64gb is full all the time, and i'm sick of that fact. no way in hell would i downgrade storage.
    Reply
  • ps2 - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    So, having read this review, it sounds like I would best wait another 6 months to own a tablet. I am getting a galaxy S2 phone in about 6 weeks when it is released, so i probably should wait, but my partner has an IPad 2 and I could have a tablet by tomorrow (I think that's when the 10.1 is being released). Is it worth 5 or $600 to have a tablet for the next six months? I know it's my decision, but I welcome some brilliant geeks advice. Reply
  • ps2 - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    So, having read this review, it sounds like I would best wait another 6 months to own a tablet. I am getting a galaxy S2 phone in about 6 weeks when it is released, so i probably should wait, but my partner has an IPad 2 and I could have a tablet by tomorrow (I think that's when the 10.1 is being released). Is it worth 5 or $600 to have a tablet for the next six months? I know it's my decision, but I welcome some brilliant geek's advice. And if I am likely to upgrade in the future (if I buy a tablet now, I won't feel an urge to buy a Kel-al device the second it comes out), should my purchase be an IPad 2 or Galaxy 10.1 (or should I wait two months for an 8.9)? Reply
  • emmib - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    Would Kal-El seriously make it to market, in an Android tablet, within the next 4-5 months? The best scenario I can see is an announcement in 4 months time, in the fall, then release either by the holiday season, or within a couple of months after that.

    What's truly best? Wait, or get a tablet now? I don't really care for graphics performance as not many games and such are available in my region anyway.
    Reply
  • emmib - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    Also, Mr Anand, you said that Asus owners would likely regret their purchase in around 4 months. Is that due to Kal-El's imminent release, or sub-par build quality due to its lower cost?

    PS, I'm not being critical in anyway, and I love these forecasts made by people in the know. I'm just curious as I'm planning to buy an Android tablet within the next month or so
    Reply
  • [insert name] - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    I just joined to say well done!

    This was a very well written article without all the bias and opinionation I've seen on other sites.

    I picked up a link from Whirlpool and I'm glad I did - I'll be back!
    Reply
  • winterhaven - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    Best review by far. I especially appreciated the information about the screens.

    For what it's worth, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 is my guilty pleasure. Usually, I am a big proponent of function over form. So I thought the Transformer would be the tablet for me, especially considering the lower price point. But when I picked up the new Tab, I was instantly seduced. I adore the vividness. And I love how easy it is to hold. Sleek is the perfect way to describe it. And the upcoming keyboard case will make it even better.
    Reply
  • dickeywang - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    It appears Xoom is still the only choice if one wants to get a 3G version at this point. Wierd, isn't it? Reply
  • paris89 - Saturday, July 02, 2011 - link

    personally i feel like it's everybody opinion on what tablet or phone to buy the main thing i hate is when ppl try make you like a product. my opinion i think that the samsung galaxy tab 10.1 is a nice looking tablet i like the ipad 2 but it is really nutting to be honest the only thing ipad 2 have on the galaxy tab is storage but that my opinion Reply
  • MtnXfreeride - Friday, September 02, 2011 - link

    How is it possible that the Galaxy Battery last even similar let alone worse than the Transformer? With nearly the same specs, except the galaxy has a 6700MAH battery vs. the Transformer with 3XXXmah battery? I owned a transformer and returned it because of defective GPS and the screen was poorly attached to the product creating creaking, there is no way they had similar batteries my galaxy lasts at least 30% longer. Its is night and day a noticeable difference - a difference I noticed before going on line to verify the battery is better. Reply
  • tenambit - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    There seems to be a point missing here and that is i will be using the galaxy for browsing the web so why would I buy an Apple if half the web sites I use are not available because of Apples lock out on Adobe flash ???
    Seems obvious to me.
    The other thing this is so familiar..wait wait and wait........look its like digital cameras .....if you wait you will never buy anything there will always be improvements down the line .
    What looks great now will look obsolete in 6 months,what looks great in 6 months will be obsolete in another 6 months and so on and so on .
    The thing that you have to look at is why you want this device in the first place.
    Is it to sit in front of the telly and browse the internet and check your email or do you want it to entertain you ,play games.watch movies,download music or do you want it to read e books or check the weather and the news because you cant be bothered booting up your PC, do you want something to carry around and use 3G or $G if your stupid enough to shell out the bucks for connectivity to the networks or are you just using it for wi fi and to move around the house,take it to bed with you and just as a convenience,.
    Work out what your use is,see if it will do it then buy it and forget about feeling sorry for what you have just done..
    Thats technology and thats the way it will always be...............I want an SSD for my PC but I need at least 500GIG so am I going to pay $1500.00 for an SSD or am I going to stick with my HDD.....................pretty obvious to me.
    Reply
  • netfortius - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Does anybody know what the WiFi chipset specs / vendor & model are? Reply

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