Continuing on from my previous article I have been reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. I've had the tab a month now and I thought I'd document my findings.
You can read the previous article here: http://www.mccran.co.uk/index.cfm/2011/10/4/My-Samsung-Galaxy-Tablet-101-review--Part-1
Part 2 deals with the software layer and my summary.
SoftwareThe Samsung Tablet ships with Samsungs' own TouchWiz interface. This is very easy to use and provides clear direction over what each of the buttons does and how to access the different functions of the Tablet. The TouchWiz gives you five home screens that can be individually customised with widgets and shortcut icons for applications or system functions such as Wireless settings.
The Android market seems to be filtering out non tablet certified applications but you can transfer and install them through third parties easily enough. One example of this is a Google Task sync tool I use, 'TaskOs'. It wasn't available in the marketplace but once I transferred it through a dropbox account it installed and worked perfectly well.
There are a few applications that you download only to discover that they simply don't re-size to fit the screen, I'm waiting to see if this is a symptom of the Android platform in general or just a one off thing as I've only found one or two apps that do this. Hopefully the Tablet specific area of the Android market will grow now that they aren't such a rarity anymore.
Plug the tablet into a pc or laptop and it will be discovered as a usb device allowing you to drag and drop files easy between it and your pc. You can sync it with iTunes if you really want, but unlike the iPad this is an optional way of getting content onto the tablet.
The Tab is DNLA compatible so it will auto detect compatible media shares on the same network, such as Windows 7 media players and the Sony PS3. I used ES file explorer to browse around my home network. It found my network shares and allowed me to login with my domain credentials and I was streaming music and video within ten minutes.
To sum up
Part of the reason I wanted to put this article together is that there are currently major legal wranglings going on between Apple and Samsung. Apple have successfully put out an injunction to stop the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in several different countries, Germany and Australia being the most high profile.
I'm already not much of an Apple fan, and I think its pretty poor trying to hamstring rival products in legal issues. Saying that Samsung are reportedly trying the same tactics against the new iPhone 4s, so is anyone really better than their rival?
Companies like Samsung and Apple must realise that if they try and control the market through legal process everyone looses out. They likely incur huge brand and financial damages and consumers will be unable to actually buy their products. How does that help anyone?
Competition is a key element to democratic commercialism and Apple simply cannot avoid the fact that the market will catch up to them one way or another. Rather than trying to sue your way out of a situation why not raise your game? Marketplace rivalry has always driven companies to new highs trying to out do each other, just look at Intel and AMD, or Nvidia and ATI.
Every time work colleagues pick it up off my desk and try it out the feedback is that they are pleasantly surprised at how quickly they got to grips with it.
I've really tried to think of something negative to add into the mix here, but I can't. Apart from perhaps the lack of accessories shipped with it, and the cost of buying those accessories individually afterwards. This is a great device. It is well built and intuitive to use. It does everything I've tried to do on it, either intrinsically or through a marketplace application.
I've never really tried the iPad, and now I'm not going to.