on September 5, 2013
I operated a computer company for about 25 years and have grown with the computer industry. This tablet is simply amazing because it is simple, yet complicated, and very reliable. I purchased this unit for three features, it's a Samsung, the microUSB interface and the IR capability. I have a 3 year old Samsung Droid phone and I love it. I am a photographer and wanted the ability to preview images in the field. The microUSB port gives me that capability. If you want to use the microUSB capability, an accessory is required, the Samsung micro USB/USB Connector. I bought mine at Fry's Electronics for $20. One end is micro USB for the tablet and the other is standard USB for things like card readers and flash drives. Caution: I attempted uploading images through the connector using a USB card reader but it failed. Then I tried a USB connection directly with the camera and it worked. I also purchased a more expensive card reader, the Vivitar 50-1, and was able to upload images with that reader. In other words, you may have to try a couple readers to find one compatible with the tablet. I also tried interfacing a notebook hard drive through the USB port but there wasn't enough juice to get the drive spinning. The tablet also has a 64GB storage limit on the removable microSD card.
I am embarrassed to say that I moved to this unit from a Nook. I won't make a comparison because there is no comparison. They are two different worlds. If you buy this Samsung, download the free, companion Kies software from the Samsung Web site. It will enable you to move files back and forth from your desktop or laptop. You can do the same thing using the file browser on your computer. I was really concerned about my contacts in Microsoft Outlook. I have been through the "moving contacts" nightmare countless times with different devices. The Kies software found my Outlook .pst file on my desktop hard drive and imported it flawlessly. The format for contacts on the tablet is very nice.
Using the My Files app built into the tablet, you can view all the folders on the tablet internal drive and external memory card in a tree format. You can move files, copy files, rename files, delete files and make and delete folders. If you are a power user, these features will appeal to you.
It comes with Polaris, an Android version of Microsoft Office that is compatible, file wise, with Office. I have only used it to view Word attachments that I have received in emails. The printer in my office is set up for sharing on the office network. When I wanted to print an email, the Samsung tablet immediately found the printer and printed the email pronto. Slick.
Audio: Until now, my earbud purchases were for cheapies at any discount store. However I was unhappy with the audio volume on the tablet when playing music videos. I did some earbud research and found some good reviews on a set of Marley buds that have a rocker switch for up and down volume and a mic button in the middle. When you press the mic button, the display changes to a voice input screen, perfect for asking a question. Apparently the buds are designed for the iPad as the volume switch does nothing. No big deal, I adjust volume on the display. The big deal is that I get so MUCH volume from these buds that I can't keep the volume at the highest level without breaking my ear drums. Also the audio quality itself is incredible. Get yourself a set of quality buds. I found these $60 buds on sale at Radio Shack for $25. The tablet has another cool feature, Adapt Sound which is found in the settings menu. When you start Adapt Sound a series of beeps will be transmitted to your buds or earphones so the tablet can perfectly adjust the audio to your hearing. This feature makes a huge difference in the sound.
It comes with a free 2 year, 50GB subscription to Dropbox, a cloud utility. I am going on vacation next week to the middle of nowhere. I will be able to take images, and upload them to Dropbox using the Hotspot feature on the Samsung phone in conjunction with the tablet.
I watched a youtube.com review of this unit and the guy was unboxing the tablet complaining about the display resolution, although he had not yet looked at the display. This unit has a VERY impressive display. My pictures look AWESOME and I have uploaded some videos for the plane portion of my trip. They look AWESOME too. The unit has a new dual core Intel processor enabling the videos to play flawlessly. I watched another youtube.com video comparing this unit with the iPad 4. The reviewer was talking about how much better the specs are on the iPad, and they are. However there is something called the real world. I am sure the iPad display is somewhat better. However, as a photographer I can tell you that the Samsung display is awesome. This same reviewer also mentioned that the Samsung slowed down. When? When he was playing games and watching movies at the same time. What? Some of the conclusions in online reviews are simply idiotic.
I purchased the white version and the unit itself is pleasing to the eye. I use the voice feature for creating and responding to emails and it works very well. I mentioned the IR, infa red feature. You can control your tv's, Directv set top box, stereo and a whole bunch of other IR home entertainment stuff. The Directv app is awesome as it has a much more comprehensive guide format than that found on your TV.
I have experienced 2 glitches with the unit when starting it up after it had charged all night. The first time it hung up and then corrected itself. The second time I had to reboot. That does not concern me as the unit operates 99.9% of the time perfectly.
If you're a computer savvy business person or a computer newbie, I think that you will find this unit to be very user friendly and functionally appealing.
I wanted to post more of a hands on review and I hope that you find it helpful. Would I purchase this unit again? Absolutely. I now have my day to day life in this thing and take it everywhere with me. It's a great personal assistant.
Update on 9/17/2013: Just got back from a week trip with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. Before I left for the trip, I rented 2 movies from my neighborhood movie store and converted them to MP4's using DVD Catalyst. Then I copied them to the 32GB chip I had in the tablet using the USB Connector that I mentioned earlier. I also did the same thing with 2 music DVD's. I had great entertainment on the 2 1/2 hour plane ride coming and going to my destination. I also ordered a 64GB chip but it didn't arrive before I left. A 32GB chip will give you plenty of room. I did discover a problem. Using the built in browser or Chrome, it is impossible to load Flash. I did find a simple solution and that is to purchase the app browser Puffin for $2.99 from the app store that is built into the tablet. It's a full-featured, super great browser and you'll have no issues with Flash. I'm thinking that a future firmware update will correct that issue but it is minor. I used the tablet for downloading images in my camera and it worked great. It downloads them into a folder, Imported Pictures, located in the internal memory of the tablet. I simply moved them to folders I had created in the microSD chip I had inserted into the tablet. While I was on my trip, a friend's wife became so excited about the tablet that we drove 100 miles to purchase one for her.
There are too many tablets these days, right?! Samsung's third generation of Galaxy Tab series is highly anticipated and for this price point phenomenal. I have been using Galaxy Tab 2 and I will compare and contrast here. I played around with review units of all sizes and I have since returned them. My reviews are unbiased and neutral! 7 and 8" are ideal for plane trips, long journeys. I had used a 7" Tablet on a long journey to listen to songs and read epub books (Aldiko) and it was a very pleasant experience. 7" form factor is lightweight, compact and great. If you are a bit experienced and can afford it, I recommend the 8". Samsung has made 8 and 7" almost same weight. In my opinion 8" is the maximum value for the money and features and hence I gave 8" a 5 star. I gave 7" a 4 star (but no means undermining it). I gave the 10" also a 4 star because of some strange feature `limitations'. In my opinion, 8" is ideal for consumer use and 10" is marketed for specific segments in business who use for spreadsheets, presentations, remote desktop like Citrix GoToMeeting.
Samsung has introduced 7", 8" and 10.1" of the Tab 3 series. They are entering all form factors. As I know they have something in 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10" lines. Woo.. All of the 7, 8, 10" Galaxy Tabs come in white and golden brown color. My preference is white color. Looks pretty!
Let's start off with salient points of all of the Galaxy Tab 3 series. I will later compare this specific 10.1in model to the previous Tab 2 version.
7-inch tablet: 1024 x 600, Marvell dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB storage or ROM, a microSD card slot (upto 64 GB), Camera: 3MP rear-facing, 1.3MP front-facing and weighs 10.58 ounces (300 grams). Android 4.1.2
8-inch model: 1280 x 800, Exynos 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB ram, 16GB of built-in storage (ROM), a microSD slot (upto 64 GB, 5MP rear-facing, 1.3MP front-facing and 10.9 ounce (309 grams) Android 4.2
10.1-inch model: 1280 x 800, Intel Atom 1.6GHz Z2560 dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a 16GB built-in storage (ROM), a microSD slot, 3.2MP rear-facing, 1.3MP front-facing and weighs 17.99 oz (510 grams). Android 4.2
I am not going into other details like accelerometer etc as they are all standard these days, Audio support - AAC, AMR, MP3, OGG, WMA/ASF, 3GA/M4A, FLAC, WAV; MP3/MP4/Music Tones; Music Player; Ringtones, Polyphonic. Video support: AVI/DIVX, WMV/ASF, FLV, MKV, MP4/3GP, WEBM; Video Player; Video Streaming. Software is current of release date, and it is expected could be upgraded as next version Android 5 Key Lime Pie. (Currently targeted for Oct 2013). Key Lime Pie's one of the main touting points is compatibility to avoid fragmentation, so I can foresee, all of these models being able to upgrade if Google keeps their promise.
The 10.1" has a physical home button so are others in the series. Also has capacitive Back and Menu buttons. 64 GB SD card is awesome! With prices plummeting for 64 GB cards, it is a great boon. Put all your music, books, photos on the SD card and you have a powerful computer in hand always! I personally use the 64 GB microSD card on my mobile devices. Get this mobileUltra (SanDisk 64GB Mobile Ultra MicroSDXC Class 6 Memory Card with SD Adapter - Retail Packaging.
I will compare the 10.1 Tab 3 with Tab 2. Big improvement in weight, I would like the 10in series to break lower 400 grams ground. This probably has to wait another 2-3 years. Another difference gtom previous gen is the processor. Intel Atom Z2560. Tablets are nowadays coming with Intel for their excellent power saving capabilities. Asus Fonepad was one of the first to come out with a Intel based chipset. I really am waiting for the day the 10" are even lightweight and holdable. The Tab 3 is 510 grams compared to 589 grams of Tab 2. Resolutions are same 1280 x 800 pixels, 10.1 inches (~149 ppi pixel density). The resolution is a same as in Tab 3 8" which means 8" will be sharper. I am disappointed with lower resolution on the 10". One big puzzling factor for me with the premium price the 10" has only 1 GB RAM. What the ?! Why can't they put a 2 GB RAM on this monster of a device. I really wonder what the design team had in mind. The Tab has - Dolby Surround sound enhancement, it does sound good! Both have Bluetooth 4.0" and have USB Host. USB Host is one of the most under noticed features of Androids and is in my opinion one of the best features compared to iPad lines. What this means you get a USB Host cable also otherwise called OTG (On the Go) cables and plug in your USB thumb drive or other USB devices and the device recognizes it. I have used it with Alfa AWUS036H for a wireless project with Android PCAP Capture from reputable Kismet wireless. Both have same camera 3.15 MP, 2048x1536 pixels and 720p@30fps. Front facing is for skype. Again camera on 8" is better, obviously Samsung thinks no one will hold a giant 10" and take pictures. True and Point taken. Another much ignored feature is the TV-out (via MHL A/V link). 8 and 10.1in supports it, whereas 7in does not. You can connect Galaxy devices to a TV to make it truly a fantastic computer. Throw in a Bluetooth keyboard and it is awesome. Leo Laporte's TwIT TV which is Internet based show has one full episode in Know How on covering this topic. Battery is humongous Non-removable Li-Po 6800 mAh battery in Galaxy Tab 3. The one in previous model was 7000 mAh, this probably explains a slight drop in weight in Tab 3 10.1". GPS was spot on and I tried multiple GPS apps. It was bright outdoors (had to crank the brightness all the way up). I personally use Navigon from Garmin and have downloaded several apps.
For me the big downer has been screen resolution and RAM Size. Intel chipset has some weirdness as not all apps works properly. Firefox does not work on Inten based Android tablets as of June 2013. All apps are written for ARM processors. So for Intel, a layering has to be added to convert apps to work. This causes some apps to crash and has some weirdness. This is definitely not to alarm, but you should be aware of this. If an app works in 8" and not on 10" it is most likely due to the chipset difference. I would have waited for Intel to come out with their own chip based tablets, markets to stabilize on Intel chipsets and them Samsung to introduce it. I am sure Intel and Samsung struck a sweet deal.
Believe me, but don't get mired in the spec game. Samsung is creating markets for all form factors and I would consider this as an exploratory stage. Just like Ford or Toyota has cars in different shapes. Sizes and price range, so are the tablet vendors now. Remember the laptop wars, 10", 12" 13", 15, 17 and even some 19" if I remember right few years ago. We used to debate endlessly which laptop sizes are better, which has better speakers and so on. The time has come to fight it out for tablets! I would say go from budget and size. If budget is not a concern, I would say go for Samsung Tab 8". 8" is a sweet spot. If budget is a concern, Tab 3 7" is awesome, otherwise get the Tab 8. If you are business user, most likely the company will give the 10" tablet.
I tried following apps and they just worked awesome. A tablet is only as good as the apps you have how productive it makes you. It's almost like the camera/lens analogy in the DSLR space. What good it is to have a great DSLR body if you have no good lens? Same with Tablet body and apps you have.
WolframAlpha (I can go on for hours praising this. This is a truly genius app powered by hundreds of supercomputers in the background. Wofram is a computational genius). Well worth the $3 price.
Withings HealthMate. (Another remarkable app great UI/UX). I am getting the Pulse device as soon as it hit stores. I have been using Fitbit and just itching to get the Pulse as I like the integrated weight/track runs in one app)
Aldiko Book Reader Premium (absolutely love it)
Android Central app (great and must have for Android users)
Angry Birds (Space/Seasons)
Amazon App Store
Battery Monitor Widget Pro (a great app)
BeyondPod (excellent for podcasts, I haven't used Pocketcast, some friends say it is very good too)
Car Maintenance Reminder Pro
Despicable Me Game! And weather widget (cute for kids)
Dictionary M-W Premium
NAVIGON (from Garmin - offline maps)
Google Navigation/Earth/Maps using a portable MiFi box
Google Currents (nice way to read News)
Google Music (Awesome, I have now upto 10,000 songs halfway through Google's 20K Limit)
Tapatalk HD (awesome forum browsing app)
OverDrive Media Console: Library eBooks & Audiobooks
Microsoft One Note (legacy docs, skydrive of 25 GB is good)
Subsonic Music Streamer
Terminal Emulator (still need to use vi, yes this is it)
TweetCaster Pro for Android
Sphero (Awesome bluetooth ball game)
RealCalc Plus (Awesome calculator app)
Tweetcaster Pro (again awesomeness)
Plenty of Widgets
Ask questions, the reviews cannot do full justice. I will be glad to answer any questions and usually answer within 24 hours to any query.
What a wonderful WiFi tablet! I love my Tab 3 10.1, as it is just what I wanted in every way, so I just had to share my positive experiences with the Tab 3 10.1 with you. You see I own the Tab 3 10.1 3G version (with the phone part and the ability to get data). These are the same tablet with one exception: The P5200 one has a SIM slot and therefore you can make phone calls and get onto the Internet with your data plan should you have a data plan.
This one is a WiFi only one with no Sim card slot. Both work just great and are the same tablet, but this is WiFi.
+ Screen Resolution/Weight/Size etc - The first thing I noticed is that side by side (comparing the Tab 2 10.1 and Tab 3 10.1 in weight and size is that the Tab 3 has same screen size, but overall size is a bit smaller and it is so much LIGHTER and easy to carry around than my old Tab 2 10.1! This model has a very colorful and vivid screen. In fact, I can now comfortably hold it in one hand to read a book in portrait, so I appreciate this Tab 3 of being less in weight! And I love the HOME BUTTON.
Note: To take a quick Screen Shot, press the Home Button (and hold it down) and press the Power Button. You will hear the click of the camera. Your screen shot is in MyFiles under Pictures, Screenshots.
This is so handy if you want to take a picture of say a quick map or something like that...
+ WiFi Connection and Range - This tablet is AMAZING at how quickly it connects to my home router or other hot spots - just seconds! And there is a very strong signal on the WiFi on this tablet. So I went outside in the backyard and had 3.5 stars.
+ OS - Jelly Bean 4.2.2 comes with this unit, I find very easy to use and this tablet is very fast in opening apps, going to Websites etc.
+ Ability to turn off the apps I did not want (helped my battery life). Did an actual test today to see if this made a difference and it did. After I safely turned off the apps that are safe to turn off, I now have more free memory and my battery life per hour has increased. So I documented this. If you have any questions about this, please ask in the comment section. Just a little tweak like this can really make a difference in battery lasting longer and better control over the memory etc.
+ Internet & Webpage & Video Viewing - The stock browser does a great job, however, I use Maxthon Browser and installed archived flash so I have great internet flash video viewing results and it renders webpages quite fast for me. And I suggest the free app called Pocket from the Playstore so you can read internet articles later offline.
+ Watching Flash Videos - This device does not come with installed flash, however, I found a workaround to solve this. So if you request it in the comments, I will send you instructions on how to installed Archived Flash so you can watch flash videos and what proper browsers I recommend for this tablet...The only browsers that I could get the Archived Flash to play on and well was Maxthon Browser or Puffin Browser for 2.99 in the Playstore.
Other Browsers I use when not watching flash: When I want to NOT watch flash, I like Boat Mini or Opera Mini because they use LESS BATTERY and LESS MEMORY, but they are just quick and basic browsers.
+ EXTERNAL SLOT FOR MICRO SD CARD up to 64GB - Note that this was one of the deciding factors that sold me on this tablet. *Keep in mind where External SD cards are concerned: They are JUST for your personal files: music, videos, photos, and other files. When you install apps from the Playstore or other sources, they store either in INTERNAL SD Card area or the main internal area.
+ On-Screen Keyboard / Bluetooth Keyboard Stand I suggest - The on-screen one is so so, however, I use the OXA Bluetooth Keyboard and it basically turns my Tab 3 into a mini laptop as I can get some serious work done on this tablet (using Kingsoft Office for creating Word, Excel etc docs) with it and it types much like my regular laptop keyboard does so I love it! And it has an built in stand for my Tab 3 and it fits my other tablets. This lets me fold my tablet down in it and I keep them both in a 10 inch sleeve.
If you want the link for this keyboard (it came from Amazon) and also I have another Bluetooth one I like with this tablet that uses AA batteries, but the OXA is by far the one I use DAILY!!!
+ Bluetooth Accessories - The speaker on this tablet is pretty good. However, I use a very good mid sized Bluetooth Speaker with it to play my music and to watch my movies etc that also came from Amazon. The sound is superb with this Bluetooth Speaker. For best enjoyment of music, a Bluetooth speaker is recommended for this tablet. Let me know if you need my list of accessories for this tablet including Bluetooth items. Every Bluetooth item such as keyboards, speakers or headsets, and other Bluetooth devices, paired and connected to this device right away with no problems.
+ Camera / Video Camera - Although I do not use this as a regular camera (no flash and low resolution), I went outside and took some very clear pictures, I was pleased with the results! Then I took some videos inside and outside to test this and they are much clearer than I thought they would be. So in a pinch, I will use this as as camera.
+ Home Videos - The stock video player is OK and plays MOST home videos, however, may I suggest QQ Player (Free App from Playstore and the ONLY one I recommend as it plays every home video I tried).
+ Reading/Creating/Editing Word, Excel, Text Files and much more on this tablet: This comes with a So So Office app (viewer) for reading Office documents, however, I STILL prefer Kingsoft Office which is a free app from Playstore. It is the best I have ever tried and I am very picky about so called Office programs. It is very compatible with MS Office as it reads, edits and creates Office files and reads PDF files, and it has more features of any other Android Office program that I tried. This app is a MUST have for tablet owners in my opinion.
+ Music Player/Sound Quality - Stock player has clear sound through the outside "speakers" and very clear using headphones. To sync easily with Windows Media Player may I suggest the Playstore app free) WinAmp for the tablet as it is very highly rated and the sound is good, but I use a very high quality Bluetooth speaker for great sound! Suggestions: The best way to really enjoy music is through a high quality Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headset as the sound quality is superb this way and you can walk about your home listening to your music!
+ Battery Life- Since I have done a few tweaks on this tablet, now I have found that my battery life is better than the first and even the second day. In fact, the battery life now I find that when I use WiFi just when I need it, I now get about 6 to 8 hours with it(this reflects 100 percent brightness however). Still this is better than I received on my older Tab 2, so I am happy.
***Where battery life is concerned: To make your battery last as long as possible is to be sure to turn off BLUETOOTH AND WIFI when you do not need these. Both are these are memory hogs! Also, I turn off my GPS and even SYNC sometimes to conserve battery and then turn them on later.
+ OTG USB Compatible - You can add an optional OTG (On the Go adapter cable to the Micro port for copying files to your flash drive and from your flash drive to the Tab Pro). You can also plug in a mouse, I tried it and it worked. *Note that portable external hard drives and portable DVD/CD drives will not work using OTG in the TabPro because these both require a lot of power to be compatible with the Tab Pro and most tablets that have the OTG. However, it is still good to know that you can easily plug in your flash drive and copy files to the Tab Pro and from Tab Pro to PC--what a time-saver.
+ Bluetooth Speed and Performance - The Bluetooth keyboard I own paired quickly with several devices and copied files at a great rate of speed. Speaking of Bluetooth: Also there will be Bluetooth keyboards out for the Tab Pro coming soon. (Just make sure you purchase one for JUST THE TAB Pro 10.1 size).
CONS: (Just one con I found, however, this con is NOT the fault of Samsung)
- New Adobe Flash is not supported; however, I found that archived flash gets the online videos to play. So I downloaded the older archived flash which gives me the ability to view many internet videos.
Bottom line: Would I buy this combo phone and tablet model over again? Yes in a heartbeat as it has a VIVID and CLEAR display, this tablet is also very responsive and has even exceeded my expectations of it. This is a wonderful tablet and I like the fact that the OS looks like other Android OS like the S3 and S4 etc. Should you consider purchasing this tablet? In my opinion YES if you have Android tablet experience and want to have these nice pros!
Well, I hope that this review has been of help to you and thank you for reading it. Also, since I am somewhat of a techie person, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have through the comment section.
on July 14, 2013
I had been a iphone user for a few generations and moved to android when iphone 5 underwhelmed me. After about 6 months on an andoid phone I decided to give this andriod tablet a try to replace my ipad. Glad I did. Very fast and responsive. Videos play without delay and it makes a great business companion device. The Tab 3 10.1 super light and a very elegant design. Highly recommended in form and function.
on September 13, 2013
While researching tablets I decided one thing for sure: People complain a LOT. I wanted a tablet that i could use for the usual media consumption, and I wanted to be able to use it to display PDF sheet music on stage. This tablet does that and more.
SPEED: Some people have complained that the tablet is slow. While my laptop is faster, this is not a laptop, but by no means would I call it slow. The speed is adequate for everything I've done with it. I watched the America's Cup races on youtube with it last night.
BATTERY: I've also read that the battery life sucks. This has not been my experience. The battery life is far better than what I see with my laptop.
SCREEN RESOLUTION: The resolution is fine. If you want to lug around an HDMI TV this is not the tablet, but the resolution is very much in the acceptable range.
CAMERA: The camera takes ok pictures, and is more geared towards video chat. Have you seen that one guy taking pictures with a tablet? Yeah, you don't want to be that guy. Go buy a cheap camera. That's not what the tablet is for.
SUMMATION: It's very much worth the money. Good value. Good quality. Good purchase. It is a tablet, not a laptop, and fills an entirely different role than the laptop. I would definitely recommend this as a safe purchase.
Update - Apr. 13, 2014: 10 stars! I've discovered "Stephanie" - well, that's what I call Galaxy's answer to Siri. I may never have to type again. Absolutely love this Galaxy. Compared to the Win 8.1 tablet, this just shines especially with ease of use. BUT, my wife loves the fact that she can use MS Office on the other Windows tablet. That's what makes the world go round.
Background: I've never had a smart phone, so the basics of a tablet are/were foreign to me. I've never had a tablet, and when my 12 year old XP laptop finally was just too slow (three days to boot up, and two seconds to die), I knew my time had come. The closest thing to a tablet was my first generation Kindle Fire(s), and that is no tablet.
I'm as close to being retired as one can get. I spend most of my time hiking in the hills near our home or traveling to western national parks. I always have my camera with me, and on a "good" day will take over 500 photos. I come home, plug the SDHC card into my Win 7 PC, and cull and edit (mostly crop) what's left.
What my wife and I wanted was a tablet that we could take on vacation, and view our day's shoot, delete the obvious, and leave the rest on the card for editing when we get home.
You'd think that would be an easy function to accomplish, but as with the "paradox of choice," It wasn't. I would liked to have gone to the Kindle Fire HDX 8" with 32 GB, but there's no way to view photos. Without a micro SD slot and not being able to use the micro slot (used for charging and hooking up to a PC) for a card reader, the Kindle becomes once again an e-book reader. (All this confirmed by Amazon.)
As I was trying to find the best tablet, i.e., one with a micro-USB slot, I also started thinking that I wanted access to all my Kindle books and apps. Long story short: the Galaxy Tab 3 fit the bill almost to a "T." The only problem was that I didn't know how to use a tablet.
I got the Galaxy Tab 3 at BBY where Samsung has a "station" and a very knowledgeable staff. The price was the same as Amazon, and the convenience of having them set it up in 45 minutes while I watched was too much to pass up. I did get a very nice case from Amazon to protect my investment. The cass is important
Once I played around with it, and of course, plugged in a micro-mini SDHC card with all my music, I got the hang of things very quickly. All my books are accessible, and I also downloaded the 12 apps I use most often, using the AmazonApp app, the Kindle app and the other Amazon app (or was that one a widget?).
Being retired, I don't need much. (All software such as ACDC, Word, Excel, and Eudora Pro are on my PC.) I wanted speed, a larger screen, and wi-fi access. When we're on vacation, I will use wi-fi access at a motel or lodge for checking the news periodically, but mostly it's photography, app word games, and reading. And I have an emergency email account, and an old cell phone in the car.
PROS: There are many pros to the Galaxy Tab 3, the first one being the micro SD slot. My wife and I have the same cameras, and can also used a 64 GB micro-mini SDHC Class 10 card in them (enough for two week vacations usually), and read directly with the micro SD slot OR plug in a card reader using a micro USB plug to USB 2.0 reader. It's fast enough though the slot is much faster. We can delete the obvious failures, and put the cards back in the cameras for the next day's shooting.
Battery life is about 10 hours! In my experience with all things rechargeable, that's incredible!
I haven't found all the capabilities yet. This is a simple, yet complex tablet, and there's much to learn. But I know which apps I'll use and which can be hidden (some can't be deleted), and which widgets are useful. While I won't take pictures with the Galaxy, I will use the tablet for Skyping friends and family all over the world. As a retiree, I also use the planner for doctor's appointments, play music all the time (I have wondered why have a PC, and then I remember I still have a few clients, and a corporate email program), and even watch a little TV ... or have it handy while watching real TV when I need information from Wiki or Google etc. The Galaxy Tab 3 is 5 times faster than my Kindle Fire.
CONS: Any cons? Yes, four at least.
First, the screen is a bit bright for reading, although I can manually darken it. The auto-bright feature doesn't work all that well. On the other hand, I do love ready my Kindle books on a 10 inch screen.
Second, the 10 inch tablet, though light enough, is a bit unwieldy. The Kindle 7 or 8 is more comfortable. On the other hand, I bought a MoKo Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Case for $20, and it has a "handle" on the back which makes holding the tablet comfortable and easy.
Third, there are three navigation buttons on the bottom or, if held in portrait mode, on the left. My thumb is - so far - constantly touching either the "Back," "Home," or "Menu" button. That is annoying especially when the tablet goes to a different page when you're online, or reading a book, etc.
Last, there is no Mute button or volume control that is easily accessible. Yes, there is a volume control on the top left (if in landscape mode) between the SD slot and the Off button. I would like a shortcut on the screen to control volume (also complain I have about the old Kindle). It seems that Samsung thinks that the tablet should work like a smart phone and that automatically muting when a call comes in will solve everyone's problem. If anyone knows of an app that will mute or control the volume easily, please let me know. I've tried 11 Volume Apps - all evidently made for muting when a call is being received - and none of them work.
Mini-Issue: Why is the brown (mine's black) more expensive than white??? I know that white makes reading more difficult because of contrast, and it gets dirty faster, but 90% of both will be in a leather case anyway.
Originally, I was going to give this 5 stars, but that was because having a real tablet was a unique and (almost) enjoyable experience. I focused on what was so great, and not the issues that would and do bug me. So, it's 4 stars from me though if I were to do it over again, I'd still get the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1.
Footnote: In a couple of weeks, I'll have more than a Kindle to compare it to. The day after I bought the Galaxy, I was given an 8 inch tablet with 32GB. Stay tuned.
on July 18, 2013
I've owned 7 different tablets over the past 3 years, including 2 ipads. This new Samsung is an excellent tablet that is very light , with an extremely bright screen. The intel processor is lightning quick with excellent benchmark test results. It even has an "ir" tv remote control sensor built in that incorporates a very detailed tv guide and allows you to change channels. Also the Samsung Smart Screen gives you voice control, as well as monitors your eye contact and will not turn the display off while you're looking at it.
on July 30, 2013
I just received GT 3 10.1 today. I have been using GT 10.1 for two years (I bought it on June 2011), and I liked the rounded edge and hair-lined back (feels good) and the bright and colourful screen. That is why I bought GT 3 10.1 again. Meanwhile I had bought Nexus 10 and Xperia Tablet Z but sold them all soon, because Nexus 10 had washed-out colour and Z had yellowish screen (of course, they are not the only reasons).
Now, I knew GT 3 10.1 had the same resolution of screen. All I wanted was just the same screen as that of my 2-year old GT 10.1. But alas, who would have guessed it. The screen totally sucks. First of all, it is yellowish. I guess it is not as yellowish as that of Z, but still. Why the hell a new model's screen is worse than two-year old model? Not only the screen is yellowish, but somehow the text looks blurry. I think it is not because of the resolution, because my GT 10.1 had the same resolution. On GT 3 10.1 text look like text on a CRT monitor. I cannot explain it with words...
And haptic (vibration) motor is gone. Vibration was one of the few reasons I chose Samsung tablets because Nexus 7 and Z did not have it. GT 10.1 had haptic motor and why is it gone in GT 3 10.1. I know it is $100 cheap, but COME ON... I did not intentionally buy $100 cheaper model, but because Samsung DID NOT sell high-end 10.1 tablet model. (Galaxy Note 10.1 is too heavy and already 1-year old).
As I saw on YouTube the two capacitive buttons are way too large. I mean, if the x in the next figure is the actual button location, touching anywhere on the underlined area registers as touch. ____x_____ It may be OK if you use it laying down, but if you hold it one had (and the other is for touching the screen), the middle is where you hold the tablet, and there are overly sensitive touch buttons. This is ridiculous. I think only the actual button position should work not the extra area around the button.
I thought I was going to use it as a remote controller for my fan. But the bundled app only supported TVs and media players. It did not have any custom device mode that allows me to register a button by recording from a remote controller (Z's bundles software allowed it). I searched Play Store but surprisingly, there was any such app. All I found were TV controllers and some stupid apps that did not even support horizontal orientation. I also saw some ridiculously overpriced apps (like $50?) for IR control, but I did not buy it. I think I am going to write my own software for that and upload it to Google Play (I had registered as a developer).
The edge is not rounded as much as GT 10.1. It is still better than the stupid edged Z, but still, worse than GT 10.1. GT 10.1 feels much better when holding it in hands.
Camera sucks, it does not even have autofocus which GT 10.1 had. That is, it is even down-spec'ed from a two-year old predecessor. Of course flash is also gone. All these for $100? Damn it, Samsung. I would have happily paid $100 more if you made GT 3 10.1 a premium device, not a cheap model like it is.
Now, let's see the bright sides...
1) Speakers are a bit louder than that of GT 10.1. Louder but not noticeably better.
2) Physical home button makes it easy to turn on the tablet when it is laying down.
3) MicroSD card works fine. GT 10.1 did not have MicroSD.
4) It is not as super fast, but definitely faster than GT 10.1. GT 10.1 is too slow now... This new model also plays 1080p fine. I tried many files and all files played fine. GT 10.1 could only play 720p files (except some 1080p WMV files). I knew that it did not have fast CPU, but I think the performance is OK for general use. So far, so good.
5) No special charger is needed. Just using the charger for Galaxy Nexus worked.
I will update for more information after using it for a few more days.
====Update : 24th November, 2013=====
Initially I was trying to sell it but failed, so I have used it for about 5 months so far. Maybe it is something like a Stockholm syndrome, but I do not hate it now as much as I hated it first.
My GT 10.1 started show weird strains on the screen, so for the last few months, I did not use it but used GT 3 10.1. I use it almost everyday to watch videos and YouTube. I do have an iPad 3, but it is too heavy and difficult to transfer files to. Maybe my eyes have been adjusted to the screen of GT 3 10.1. Now it does not look as yellowish as it seemed before. It is generally OK, and wow now the price is dropped by $100. At that point, I cannot complain much.
The points I appreciate about GT 3. 10.1 after using it for 5 months:
0. It is light. Not lighter than the new iPad Air, but it is still one of the lightest 10.1-inch tablet. I carry it when I go out, and it does not hurt my shoulder noticeably.
1. OK performance. Not super fast and there are some delays when switching between apps, but it performs quite fast and fluid. Maybe not good for demanding 3D games, though.
2. MicroSD card with NTFS support.
3. Build quality. Well I cannot say GT 3 10.1 is perfect, but there are not many alternatives at this price point.
- All unbranded Chinese 10-inch tablets : I avoid it, because it gets no software supports from anywhere. They usually have really bad displays, lousy build qualities.
- Nexus 10 : Too heavy, with no expansion slot.
- iPad : Um, I need an Android tablet.
- Kindle fire : Too small. I want 10+.
- Tablet Z, Transformer something : pricier than GT 3 10.1, have yellowish screens, etc.
- Note 10.1 2014 edition : I tested it and it was sluggish. My GT 3 10.1's screen was brighter than that of Note 10.1 2014 edition (I compared it with my own eyes).
But here are my complaints about GT 3 10.1 after using it for 5 months:
0. The back/menu buttons' sensitivity still bothers me. I really wish all three buttons were mechanical buttons OR they were on the right margin of the device with some extra margin to grip on, like B&N's Nook HD+.
1. Notification menu seems stupid. It does not utilise the large screen. GT 3 10.1 has wide width, but narrow height, so if I were the engineers, I would have made the items into two columns. The items appear too wide, and since it has narrow height, I often have to scroll down to see other items.
2. Lack of a notification LED. I really wonder why they did not put this? My GS 3 has it, and it is very helpful to see if it is charging, any new messages. How much does it cost anyway to put a small LED lamp?
3. The back is too slippery. GT 10.1 has hairlines and not slippery at all. How much does it cost to put hairlines on the back, seriously?
4. Google Now. Since its home button is a physical button I cannot use swipe it up to start Google Now. I wish I could map home button double click to Google Now, but I cannot. Frankly speaking, Samsung S-voice sucks.
on July 7, 2013
I am former ipad2 owner. I will never own another apple product unless they come out with something as amazing as this. Yes the resolution could have been better for a 10.1 inch screen. I love my Samsung, tablet. I would have went with the 8 but I use mine mostly to look at movies and youtube. I see people complaining about the megapixals on the camera. Seriously, who pulls their tablet out to take pictures?
on February 4, 2014
I got this as an early Christmas present back in December 2013. Since then I have had to turn it in twice to the warranty repair. The power meter doesn't stay connected to the device. One day I just pressed the power button and nothing happened after charging it for over 12 hours and this was just about four weeks after the purchase date. It was repaired by Samsung, they did a hard drive re image and shipped it back to me within the required 14 day period. When I got it back it was slow and laggy until I downloaded the required updates. Then about five days after receiving it back I went to turn it on and nothing happened again. Also, again, this was after a full 12 hour charging period. We called Samsung to ask for our money back or a brand new device and they told us we would have to ship it in two more times in order to get a brand new device, so much for their, "We fix it right the first time" moto. I am confused because all the reviews on this device are very positive when you are shopping for it and do not mention this being a common issue. However, when I went on a few forums this seems to be a common problem. If I were you I would keep your receipts and make sure you try it out for a few days before throwing them away. This device is not very stable at all...