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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review

As a little palate cleanser, I thought I would do a quick blog today about my new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, in case any of you are thinking of buying a tablet.

The Apple Newton

Executive Summary:  I'm pretty sure you should get an iPad.  

But there are some things I learned while trying to get used to my tablet that could help you make your own decision.  If you read "the literature" online, you will see lots of people comparing screen brightness, processor speed, and number of applications available in the respective Android and Apple application stores.  Yadda yadda.  Here's what you should really think about first.
  1. Battery management:  it turns out you will want to use the device on battery power.  It's meant to be a "portable" sort of thing.  So find out before you buy:  how many hours do you need to charge your tablet compared to the number of hours it runs without being plugged in?  How long is the battery life of your device?  What applications are available to help you conserve the battery WITHOUT rooting the device and voiding the warranty?  Hint:
    1. Kindle charges fast and lasts forever.
    2. iPad charges pretty fast and lasts pretty long.
    3. SGT10.1 requires 10 hours of charging for 10 hours of useful life.  Sort of a 1:1 mapping.  Easy to remember, I suppose!
  2. File transfer:  can you connect your tablet with a cable to your PC and transfer files back and forth?  Like your music files, for example?  Hint:
    1. If you have an Apple PC, like a MacBook Pro, you will be able to transfer files to your iPad and vice-versa.
    2. If you have a PC running Windows, like a Dell, or an Acer, or a Gateway, you will be able to transfer files to your iPad or your SGT10.1.
    3. If you have a MacBook Pro you will not be able to transfer files via cable to your SGT10.1.  There are many unhandy workarounds, however.
  3. Itunes:  if you are unable to move your music files to your tablet, can you simply rev up your iTunes app?  Whoops, no, sorry, that doesn't work on SGT10.1 
  4. Headphones/microphone:  what if you want some kind of high-tech noise blocking headphones for your new tablet?  You will probably be fine if you get third party headphones, if they don't have a microphone built in, but you need to be very careful about buying third party headsets that include a microphone, because Samsung/Nokia map the connector for headphones/microphone backwards compared to the way Apple/Blackberry do.  In general, headsets marked "iPod compatible" won't work with your device and vice-versa.  Bose has a whole set of different connectors to deal with this, but most headset vendors just do it one way--the Apple way.
  5. Operating system upgrades:  if the manufacturer of your operating system issues a new update, what do you need to do to get it on your device?
    1. Kindle:  no idea, actually.
    2. iPad:  Apple has supported all devices with all upgrades it has ever done.
    3. SGT10.1:  you need to wait for Samsung to decide if it feels like upgrading your version of Android.  But that's okay, because the upgrade will break a bunch of your applications anyway.
  6. Forgotten A/C adapter cord:  what happens if you leave your power adapter at home when you go on vacation?  If you have an iPad, you can walk into any Radio Shack, Target, or Walgreens and pick up a replacement.  If you have the Galaxy Tab 10.1 you just go ahead and run out of battery because nobody stocks these, and the connector is so proprietary nobody is even allowed to think about building a third-party replacement.  Of course if you never forget things like power adapters, this doesn't matter to you.
  7. Animated wallpaper:  Does your chosen tablet allow you to equip it with animated wallpaper that looks like a bunch of swaying, decorated Christmas trees in a snowy landscape, and every once in a while Santa flies by?  I'm psyched to say that I have equipped my SGT10.1 with just such a wallpaper, and it makes me happy every single time I pick it up.  It also shows the sky with day-of-time-appropriate lighting. 
I'm not sure if iPad supports this marvelous functionality, but it's a good thing SGT10.1 does, because otherwise I might feel a little bad about what I got!


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