Earlier this year we took a look at the Wi-Fi only model of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced and soon after released to the masses to much fanfare when compared to the lackluster results other Android tablets have had in the market. Now we have the opportunity to take a look at what the 4G LTE version of this tablet is packing. To this day, Samsung continues to fair better on the Android tablet market compared to its competitors. Its thinner, lighter, and sexier than most Android tablets and it gives Apple a nice run for our contest of sexiest tablet of the year. Things are only getting better when you slap on 4G LTE from Verizon Wireless on the formidable tablet. This review is based on testing done with the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE version of the Samsung Tab 10.1 that was released later than the Wi-Fi only models.
The Tab 10.1 is running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) right out of the box. That means you have access to a selection of applications optimized specifically for tablet devices, unlike several tablets that are still running Android 2.3. (Gingerbread) which is a version of Android primarily meant for smartphones. This version of Honeycomb gives us the ability to resize widgets horizontally and vertically which can be a big help for users who like to maximize what they place on their homescreens. In addition to streaming movies from Netflix the Tab 10.1 brings us access to the new Google Movies section of the Android Market where we can rent and purchase from a selection of movies.
As we mentioned before we are testing the 4G LTE model of this tablet which also has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity as well. We have noticed some issues with the reliability of the Tab 10.1 holding a 4G connection for long periods of times and Samsung was aware of this issue and has recently released an updated firmware a little while ago which claims to address this issue as well as a few other minor bugs.
Did I mention how thin this device is? Ha, I believe I did, the dimensions of the device measure in at 10.10×6.90×0.34 and weighs 1.25 lbs. The display is really one of the best we have seen for an Android tablet with a 1280×800 WXGA resolution display. We have the perfect blend of bezel and screen size in the Tab 10.1. The exterior spins of the device features dual speakers, volume rockers, a 4G LTE sim tray, and a proprietary USB sync/charging port. This proprietary port is one of the few downsides with this tablet design. In a world made of primarily Micro-USB port devices; Samsung has decided to do their own thing. There was many a times during our reviewing of the product where we went to charge the device using a Micro-USB cord only to say “oh yeah, this doesn’t use Micro-USB.”
We didn’t need to charge this tablet as often as you would expect, the battery was sufficient. The carrier and manufacturer clock the usage time at 12 hours, with 400 hours of standby time being backed by a 7000 mAh battery. The tablet is available in 16GB and 32GB variants but lacks the ability to expand memory with Micro-SD cards. So that is 2 hardware faults already; the inability to add additional external memory and a proprietary charging port. Moving on to some more good things we have a NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core 1GHZ processor along with bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n support. There is 1GB of RAM on this tablet which is starting to become an average feature on tablets. While we are not to keen on the quality that has been present on tablet cameras, the Tab 10.1 shows some promise. There is a rear-facing 3-Megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash capable of 720p HD video along with a 2-Megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing and more. In addition to the dual-speakers on the exterior of the device there is also a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Verizon Wireless has this tablet available in Grey and White color options with both 4G/3G equipped units along with Wi-Fi only variants. The 16GB 4G models are available for $529.99 with 2-YR contract and the 32GB 4G model is priced at $629.99 and you can add $170 to either of those prices to get the total cost of the tablet sans contract. Apple still remains a dominant force in the realm of tablets, but Samsung has created a really good tablet here. The size, weight, features, and design all form into a powerhouse of an Android tablet. Check out our hands-on video with the tablet below!