At first glance the Samsung Galaxy Tab appears to be a half-hearted attempt at competing with the iPad. The 7” screen does not look nearly as impressive as the iPad’s 10” whopper but the smaller screen has the benefit of reducing battery drain. The Galaxy Tab uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU which is DX9 capable. This hardware makes the Galaxy Tab capable of playing 1080P HD content without any problems at all. The Android 2.2 “Froyo” OS feels smooth and responsive but Samsung would be wise to upgrade to the tablet-focused Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”.
The size and weight of the Tab makes using it as an e-Reader an appealing, albeit expensive, notion. The Galaxy Tab comes with both 3G and WiFi as standard but also supports voice and video calls using either the bundled headset or a Bluetooth headset. It is because of its specs that the Tab manages to fulfil three roles: tablet, e-Reader and smart phone.
However, this jack-of-all-trades is master of none. The Tab is too big to use as a phone unless you enjoy strange looks in public places. It’s also more than 5x the price of the Amazon Kindle e-Reader and with the iPad 16GB 3G WiFi costing R5,600 it makes little sense to choose the Galaxy Tab over the de facto winner of the tablet wars. Until the price drops, the Galaxy Tab remains a little alien.
LCD 7” capacitive multi-touch TFT screen
CPU ARM Cortex A8 1GHz
Graphics PowerVR SGX450
OS Android 2.2