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Samsung Galaxy Tab – Initial thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy Tab comes off the back of the recent trend of the tablet style of computers that are solely around due to the popularity of touch screen mobile phones, seen everywhere today. Without the likes of the iPhone, HTC Desire or BlackBerry Storm handsets we wouldn’t really be at the stage of the Apple iPad or Galaxy Tab – but is a larger screen device really warranted, will they be around for the long-haul or it is just a fad.

One Mobile Ring found the overall functionality of the Samsung Galaxy tab quite underwhelming, where the ability to make and receive voice and video calls is largely redundant . It’s a similar story with the camera too, as it can no longer be easily and simply accessed in much the same way as it can on other pocket-sized devices with cameras.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab does have an impressive design that is visually striking, with the pearly-white rear to the case that’s in distinct contrast to the reflective black front-end. The softkeys are entirely unobtrusive and very responsive, which Samsung is well-known for implementing.

The 7-inch TFT LCD screen is comfortable to type upon and feels uninhibited when displaying most websites, with a screen that takes advantage of the WSVGA resolution that’s usually seen on larger devices. The 7.5x4.8-inch dimensions of the Galaxy Tab also provides an adequate housing for the screen, which in itself is small enough to be gripped in the palm of one hand with great ease.

Samsung’s own user interface known as ‘TouchWiz’ runs on top of Google’s mobile Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 OS and offers a different look and feel to a vanilla deployment, whilst providing different functionality to other android tablets. Driving the Tab is a new Hummingbird processor that highlights exactly why it’s expected to account for up to half the market for mobile device processors over the next few years – with the way it easily and effectively powers the Galaxy Tab.

Samsung has managed to blur the boundaries between the phone and a tablet computer, by reducing the screen size in comparison to its competitors' offerings. One Mobile Ring can now see an interesting change of strategy, as Samsung strives to provide something that differs from the ‘ipad’ experience as the company straddles an ambiguous line between selling a piece of hardware and a complete user experience.

The Galaxy tab is geared up for media consumption, social networking and internet browsing. Make no mistake – this is an entertainment device and if your needs include word processing in a business or academic capacity, then your best bet is still to invest in a laptop or netbook.

In summary, the Galaxy tab is a powerful device that's fun to use and is guaranteed to turn heads. Unfortunately the experience doesn’t quite blow you away, nor is it sufficiently compelling enough to replace your existing phone, home computer or laptop. This really confirms its status as a luxury gadget and it may suffer sales due to the nature of its exclusivity.

- M

Originally published at