Wow, what a day! Music, movies, APIs, alliances - the list of exciting announcements from Google I/O 2011 goes on and on today. While the rest of the Android Police crew is blasting through the bulk of the new stuff, I decided to unpack and play with the "Oprah moment" Limited Edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 that everyone here at I/O received as a gift. And let me tell you, this baby is fast, sleek, slim, and gorgeous. Let's see what we've got here, shall we?
This 32GB Galaxy Tab 10.1 is running a 1GHz dual-core processor - from the looks of it, it's the Tegra 2 rather than the Exynos, at least according to the Quadrant benchmark, which reports an NVIDIA GPU (see towards the bottom).
Obviously, as you can tell by the name, it sports a 10.1" screen, which I found to be just as reflective as the one in the XOOM. It won't win any kind of awards for its brightness or crispness - unfortunately, it's just LCD, rather than AMOLED. The screen resolution of 1280x800 matches the XOOM exactly.
A whopping 7,000 mAh battery powers this slim device, which should provide plenty of power for hours of usage.
The Tab version we got seems to be LTE-enabled on the Verizon network - we'll be given sim cards tomorrow, so I'll be able to verify and test it out then. If it indeed has working LTE, that would mean Samsung beat Motorola to the LTE punch, and the XOOM had 2+ months to get it done! Kind of embarrassing for Motorola, isn't it? Correction: It looks like the LTE sim cards were not related to the Tab, although they were promised by Samsung and Verizon at the exact same time we were all picking up our tablets. Motorola, you can breathe easy for now.
In fact, there aren't many differences outside of external looks and some hardware between the XOOM and the Tab 10.1. We've got the same screen, same resolution, same OS - yes, the Tab is currently running an unskinned Android 3.0.1 without any sign of TouchWiz anywhere. When I asked Samsung about this yesterday, they promised TouchWiz would be arriving via an over-the-air update (OTA) sometime in the future. Before you start bashing TouchWiz, however, I'd urge you to hold off, as its tablet iteration is actually supposed to be pretty sweet. You can bet we'll post our full impressions once it is released.
Before I move on to the software, let's take a look at the externals once again. We have a charging port on the bottom, 2 speakers on the sides (1 on each side), and the volume rocker, the power button, and the 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. On the front, we have the 2MP front-facing camera, while on the back we have the 3MP (only) camera with flash as well as the glossy backing full of little Androids, which, compared to the pure white surface of the regular non-Limited Edition Tabs that I saw yesterday, is a very nice touch. I'm not sure whether Samsung is planning to release more of these limited editions outside of I/O, because the box it came with actually has an I/O logo imprinted. It's also nice to see no Samsung logos whatsoever on the front, although this may change in final production units.
Shockingly, there are no HDMI, USB, MicroUSB, or any other ports of any kind at all. I'm guessing we'll have to deal with proprietary connectors and cables yet again - what a step back, Samsung.
Moving on to the box the 10.1 Tab came in - we have a set of earbuds with some extra gel tips and and a button mic, a charging cable, and the plug.
I need to pay my respects to the thickness and weight of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It is much lighter than the XOOM, and no wonder - the XOOM weighs 730g (1.6lb), while the 10.1 weighs only 565g (1.3lb). The thickness difference is even more impressive - the XOOM is about 13mm while the 10.1 is a stunning 8.6mm or so. This thing is THIN.
A couple of words on the software. As I already mentioned, the Tab runs pure Honeycomb 3.01, without any sign of TouchWiz. As soon as I logged in with my Google account, the tablet started downloading 41 of my apps it knows are installed on the XOOM, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. The tablet didn't croak, but was noticeable slow. Can we get some limit on the simultaneous number of downloads put in place, Google?
There are a few Samsung apps, such as the Music Hub and Samsung Apps, but none seem to be working right at all yet. For example, when I went into the Apps (oh no, is that yet another Market?), it showed a bunch of test apps (see below). The Music Hub refused to work and instead showed me an "Unable to find location" warning, even though my GPS was turned on. Checking for updates prompted me with a list of 5 countries, none of which was the United States. Should I move to the UK to update it then? Alright.
Lastly, before I disappear back into the deep abyss of Android here at I/O, I ran the Quadrant benchmark a few times to show you where the Tab stands compared to other devices. Don't take these benchmarks too seriously, but for comparison it's worth noting that the Galaxy S2 scores well over 3,000 points. My results were 1,894 and 2,157 (in the former case, it may have been installing some apps in the background).
I hope this first look was helpful to those of you interested in the new Tab. If you have any questions about the device, don't hesitate to ask them below.
Additional reading: Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Samsung