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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: A slim and sexy Android tablet

JR Raphael | June 9, 2011
Samsung's new tablet is the thinnest currently available -- but is it actually worth buying?

In the realm of Android tablets, standing out from the pack is becoming an increasingly challenging task for manufacturers. With its new Galaxy Tab 10.1 device, Samsung has managed to set itself apart with a quality few have achieved: sexiness.

That's right: The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is sexy. At a mere 8.6 mm in thickness, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is even thinner (by a hair) than Apple's celebrated iPad 2, which is listed at 8.8 mm.

It weighs about 1.25 lb., making it 6% lighter than the iPad 2 and a whopping 20% lighter than the Motorola Xoom, the current flagship device for Google's Android Honeycomb tablet platform. When blindly holding the Tab and the Xoom flat in your palms, like plates, it's tough to gauge the difference in weight. But holding the tablets individually in front of you, as you would when actually using them, the new Tab's light form is impossible not to notice.

 

Galaxy Tab
At a mere 8.6 mm in thickness, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (top) is noticeably slimmer than the 12.9 mm Motorola Xoom (bottom).

And the Tab 10.1 practically begs to be held. This thing is all smooth curves: Its silver metallic trim forms a gently rounded border around its 10.1-inch screen. The trim extends about half an inch down the Tab's back, covering the rear camera area. The back plate itself is shiny white plastic; a dark gray model is also available.

So the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a rockin' body; that much is clear. But will it also wow you with its brains? Let's take a look.

 

Under the hood

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor, the same processor used in the Xoom and numerous other high-end Android devices. Like the Xoom, the Galaxy Tab has 1GB of RAM.

As you'd expect, given those specs, the Tab's performance is impressive: I found that swiping through home screen panels was fast and fluid, and apps loaded almost instantly. Resource-intensive games such as the Tegra-optimized Riptide GP and Pinball HD played smoothly, showing off what Nvidia's GeForce GPU can do.

Web browsing on the Tab 10.1 was speedy and hassle-free (aside from some Web sites loading as mobile versions -- a Web development problem that's solvable with a simple fix). With the separately downloaded Adobe Flash Player in place, Flash-based videos played effortlessly in the Honeycomb browser; I watched several clips without so much as a single blip in the playback.

 

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