Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G Review

Verizon Wireless released the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G back in the later part of 2011.  Since then a lot of tablets have came out and yet some how the Galaxy Tab has managed to hold its own and continues to be one of the best alternatives to an iPad around today. Verizon was kind enough to send me a Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G to play with and I have really enjoyed using it over the last few weeks. After getting a chance to use the device I think that the Galaxy Tab was either slightly ahead of its time or it has just simply aged well. Read on for our full review to find out why

Hardware:

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is very light for its size thanks to the use of seemingly nothing besides plastic in its construction, something that may turn off those that like the feel of the higher quality materials found on some of the other tablets out there. Although the device is almost entirely made of plastic, it still feels solidly constructed. The lightweight and thinness combine to make this a very comfortable tablet to hold and use on daily basis.

The 10.1″ IPS display on the Galaxy Tab has a resolution of 1280×800 and packs 149 pixels per inch. It is very bright and vivid, not the absolute best looking display found on a tablet, but it is a very nice screen.

The speaker grills are located on the top of both sides, which is a great location for them as they do not get covered or blocked while you are holding or using the device. The speakers themselves sound great and are loud and their placement on the sides really helps prevent blocked or muffled sound.

A volume rocker and the power button are located along the left side of the tablet.  I found this location to be kind of annoying as it is very easy to inadvertently press one of these buttons while using the device. I actually spent some time testing this to see if it was just me or not. I let a few people around the office use the Galaxy Tab just to see how long it would take before they accidentally pressed one of the buttons. Each time my unsuspecting test subjects pressed a button within the first 30 or so seconds of being handed the device so it wasn’t just me. There appears to be plenty of room along the top of the tablet,  seems like that would have made a better location for these super sensitive buttons.

Internally the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4g features a 1 Ghz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM, your choice of either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage and a 7000mAh battery. Pair all that with a rear 3MP camera and a front VGA for video chat and you have a pretty good overall package.

I would have loved for this device to include a HDMI port and MicroSD slot for additional storage, but both of those things would have made the device thicker. Not sure if the trade off was worth it or not, but Samsung has definitely accomplished their goal of keep this device very thin. Also, Samsung has made a wide array of accessories for the Galaxy Tab.  One of which allows the 30 – pin port on the bottom to be used with an adapter for HDMI-out.  So it is still possible to stream content to your TV, it just costs slightly more than your standard Micro HDMI cable would.

 

Software:

For software we get Android 2.3 Honeycomb, I wont spend a lot of space going over the features of Honeycomb as it has been out for a while and is somewhat old news now. Also, Samsung has said that this device will get an update to Ice Cream Sandwich soon. I was hoping get to use ICS on my demo unit before posting this review, unfortunately that didn’t work out.

The Galaxy Tab may currently run a slightly older version of Android, but it runs it very well. This device feels snappier than any of the other Honeycomb tablets I have used, the OS is very responsive to input, apps launch quickly without any noticeable lag and the whole experience just feels better on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 than say a Xoom.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Galaxy Tab comes with very little pre-installed apps. All the standard Android applications you would expect are here, but not much else is. Which is a very good thing in my opinion. It isn’t loaded down with a bunch of junk apps that you cannot delete like some of the other Android devices I have I used. The few apps that were included are useful.

 

Data & speed:

The Verizon 4G LTE network is amazingly fast and using The Galaxy Tab on VZW’s network resulted in a great web experience. According to the speedtest.net app I was getting roughly 27 Mb/s down and 19 MB/s up with only 2 bars of service . Those speeds are well above what I expected to see.

The one thing that I noticed while using 4G LTE is that with such fast speeds I could easily use up an entire monthly data allowance in a matter of minutes. Verizon charges an extra $10 per GB in overage fees if you go over so it is really important to keep an eye on your usage.

Verizon 4G LTE plans for Tablets:

  • $30 monthly access for 2GB monthly allowance
  • $50 monthly access for 5GB monthly allowance
  • $80 monthly access for 10GB monthly allowance

Battery Life:

A 7000 mAh battery keeps the Tab 10.1 running strong for a long time. I am really impressed with how well this battery has performed. I browsed the web, played games, streamed music and watched YouTube videos for hours on end and easily reached 10 of hours of constant use out of a single charge. When using it only occasionally through out the day the battery lasts around 3 days. No complaints at all when it comes to the battery in the Galaxy Tab.

 

Pros:

  • Great battery life
  • Beautiful display
  • Verizon’s 4G LTE
  • Very light and thin
  • Fast performer

 

Cons:

  • Location of buttons
  • Proprietary charging/data cable

 

Conclusion:

The Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the lightest, thinnest and longest lasting full size tablet I have used. It has a bright and colorful display, the power of a NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a great selection of apps and amazing battery life. Those who spend a lot of time on the go will certainly appreciate the sheer speed of Verizon’s 4G LTE network, it is honestly like having Wi-Fi wherever you go.

If you are in the market for a Android tablet with mobile broadband, the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is among the best options available.

 

For more information or to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 vist www.verizonwireless.com/samsung-phones