The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the most highly anticipated of the many Android tablets announced in the wake of the Apple iPad and it’s not hard to see why. Its glossy black and white plastic appearance wouldn’t look out of place in an Apple Store. With a 7in screen and weighing just 384g, it’s significantly smaller and lighter than the 10in, 700g iPad. However, the Tab, like the iPad, has its own distinctive set of advantage and disadvantages.
The Tab’s 7in screen has a resolution of 1,024×600 pixels, just like the resolution of most netbooks. The Tab runs Android 2.2, and not Windows, so the minimalist interface makes the most of the comparatively limited screen resolution. It’s very bright, even when brightness is reduced to conserve battery life, and has wide viewing angles and vivid looking colours too. As expected for a screen that isn’t an eink ebook reader screen, it can be tricky to read in very bright sunlight.
The small and lightweight build generally makes it easy to hold, although we wish the bezel around the screen were a little bigger to make it easier to grip for long periods. The glossy white back sometimes feels a little slippery too. It’s still easier to hold for long periods than the iPad without having to rest it on your lap, although the Amazon Kindle ebook reader is lighter still at 240g. Oddly, the rear of the Tab occasionally became warm, especially after playing video or reading an ebook. The heat was by no means alarmingly hot, but it’s still surprising.