Commercial feature - Within the last year, tablets have gone from the relatively unknown and unwanted to soaring popularity, but until now there has been very little in the way of competition and consumer choice.
However, with the success that Samsung has had utilising Android operating system in the smartphone market; the hardware manufacturer has made the decision to enter the tablet fray.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a visually striking device and one with which regular users of Android will be instantly familiar and thus comfortable. Better yet, it has access to the Android marketplace where you can download tens of thousands of applications and games, thereby making it a really exciting new piece of kit. Whether you want the latest Facebook app, a platform to write documents or just Angry Birds, all are available.
Surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy also boasts 2G and 3G connectivity, meaning you can use it to make and receive phone calls. It is, of course, too big to be used as your main mobile phone. However, for those instances when you leave your phone at home, want to use Skype on the go or simply receive or make calls while using the tablet, it’s great to know that the feature is there.
The tablet also features a three megapixel rear camera with LED flash, so you can snap the world around you, upload your pictures to the social networking site of your choice and share them with friends. The 1.3 megapixel front camera means that it is also possible to make video calls. Being a true multimedia device, the tablet works with Bluetooth headsets and has a 3.5mm headphone socket for listening to music or watching YouTube on the train.
At a mere 12mm thick, the Samsung Galaxy Tab offers a very generous 16GB internal storage, as well as a MicroSD slot that lets you install a 32GB, thereby creating 48GB of overall storage. So, for those of you who can’t resist taking hundreds of photos a day, countless videos and downloading the latest films and music from the Internet, you should have no trouble keeping it in one place without running out of space.
No tech junkie can be satisfied without knowing all the specifications, and all potential buyers will be extremely pleased with what Samsung’s device has to offer. Running Android 2.2, otherwise known as FroYo (meaning ‘frozen yoghurt’, for those of you wondering), on a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, the tab will let you do what you want without even breaking a sweat. Having multiple applications open at once is a flawless operation, as such as a large processor can take pretty much whatever you throw at it. Adobe Flash is supported, so you can use the seven-inch screen to watch that video your friend uploaded on Facebook or even news content if desired. The 4000mAH Lithium Polymer battery offers up to 150 hours of standby, although there’s not much chance that this device will be in standby very often, and with a weight of only 380g you won’t get tired holding it all day.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab merges smartphones and tablets, in essence becoming a larger smartphone. Not only does it allow voice and video calling, 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi, but it also has an integrated phonebook so you can contact people whenever you need. It also boasts support of Google Maps, meaning you can use the navigation to get wherever you need to go at no cost.
The wonderful thing about the tab is that it simply doesn’t care who you are. If you want to make video calls on the train on a large screen, you can. If you want to document everything as it unfolds to upload to the Internet, you can; or, if you’d rather just settle down with a book without the hassle of turning pages or worrying about paper cuts, well you can do that too. Featuring an eReader, you can download or transfer your favourite books to the tablet and read them whenever the mood takes you. Web browsing on the large screen is a dream too, especially with the multitouch pinch-to-zoom feature allowing you to zoom in and out with a simple two-finger ‘pinch’.
Beyond the hardware, Android is an exciting platform because not only does it have reams of applications and games to keep you occupied, it is also customisable. You can easily set out the layout to reflect your personality, hobbies and interests, or set up icons to quickly enact your most common tasks, like launching the browser, the eReader, your favourite game or the address book. Being so quick and easy to use will not only leave you entertained, it also means your device will be completely yours with no one else on the planet having the same interface. How’s that for enticing?
The bottom Galaxy Tab screen features the standard four Android buttons, found on all Samsung smartphones, namely: ‘options’, ‘home’, ‘back’ and ‘search’. The great thing about this is that not only are they unobtrusive, but you have extra room on the screen itself, which means all the more space for icons and widgets.
Speaking of extra space, the Samsung Galaxy Tab features five home screens, unlike your home PC with its standard one screen display. Each of these is a blank canvas begging for shortcut icons, widgets for stocks, calendars, clocks and Twitter; or, simply your favourite photo displayed proudly on the Tab’s impressive display.
So, whether you keep up with the latest gadgets or are still wondering what happened to Betamax, the technology world is storming by relentlessly. That’s not a problem though, because most of us are anxiously awaiting each new device the moment it leaks out of a press conference. While smartphones remain hot property, it is tablets that are the new darlings of the technology world. Boasting incredible hardware with large screens, cameras, video calls, Internet capabilities and a familiar operating system, it won’t be long before the Samsung Galaxy Tab is in almost everyone’s hands.