Samsung Galaxy Tab Review

I bought a Galaxy Tab about 3 weeks ago. I've had the chance to use it "in the wild" for a while. The main question I get asked about it is "why buy this device and not an ipad"? The 1st answer is that I travel a lot. Having a device that's small enough to fit into my pocket is optimal. I carry this thing with me everywhere. I'm writing this blog post on it thanks to the Blogger app for Android. The device is more like a big phone than a "small ipad". The main attribute I've noticed is that I get a lot of stares using this thing. I take it with me when I go to the store with my wife or to meetings at work. People are definitely curious about it. I'm writing this from a hospital waiting room; people are kinda craning their necks to get a look at the thing I'm pecking away on.

It ships with Android 2.2 and did a quick sys update when I powered it on. This is my first Android device and I have to say its a bit of a weird change from my blackberry or my ipod touch. The overall software architecture is different. Its more open and the interface is way more customizable. In minutes I had my apps loaded and interface tweaked to fit my taste. Although Android does a few things much better than iOs, I did install a "mac osx" skin called ADW Launcher that mimics the look and feel of a mac.

It's great having the ability to go online and use web pages as they were intended: including adobe flash (more on this later). Many of the apps that I use on my bb or ipod are available for Android with only a few exceptions (like Air Video or Eyetv). I assume they are on the way. Also; since this is still launch time, there are a few Android apps that are still "phone apps" so they do not fit properly on the tablet. Also, Android apps do not scale up phone apps to fit the tablet like iOs does .

The camera is pretty sweet. Here's a pic I took with it:
I haven't tried video chatting with it yet. I've also found another great and handy use for this thing. Yesterday I was at my drawing table. I needed some photo reference so I just jumped on google and found a photo and drew my picture with my tab sitting next to me right at my table; no need to go to my mac and print the image out! Doesn't sound like much, but it's a great way to save paper and toner!

As for Flash; in short it SUCKS! Even on this device. Pages with just some flash banner ads and such load fine and do not cause much of a problem. Pages with heavy flash animations or use flash as the basis of the layout are unbearably slow! I tried using Comixology's website to buy some online comics, the web-based flash page literally won't load without VERY long delays. I took to screen capturing the pages on my mac and then making them into a pdf so I can read them on my device.

An interesting side note; I went to a page that could not load Flash player and I got this message:

What's weird is that this message is what appears whether you're on an Apple product or not.

There are a few things that annoy me with my new purchase; I can't find a "case-folio" for it that does not look like a woman's purse or just doesn't suck altogether. I'm really jealous of my wife's Apple-branded ipad case. It looks great and stands the device on its own. Apple did a great job making great accessories for their devices at launch; so I'm waiting for somebody to design a case that doesn't suck. I also hate that Samsung went the way of a proprietary usb cable, which required me to buy another one to keep at work. I've had to come back to work a few times because I left it in the office. I also hate the fact that it does not charge via usb on your computer; it has to be plugged into an outlet to charge.

Overall I do love this thing. I did play around with my wife's ipad for a while and I like it, but I like the better portability of a 7 inch device alot more. I can fit it into a pocket at home or on the go. The next time I fly, this will be easier to handle on a plane than a laptop or even an ipad would be. I give it a 9/10 stars rating (whatever the hell that means!)

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