on June 24, 2011
Have had my GT10.1 for a couple of days, and so far it has met or exceeded my expectations in just about every area. I think I have finally found my laptop replacement.
Look and Feel: Very solid, no creaks or flex. Grey plastic back really does look like brushed metal, feels good and does not feel cheap at all. Dang, it's REALLY thin and light.
Performance: Fast. I have run pretty much all my apps on it and have run videos from YouTube without a hiccup. Very responsive, very smooth. The touch screen in not as sensitive as the one on my HTC Incredible 2 Droid phone , but it is still very sensitive (the one on my phone is almost too sensitive, if that's possible).
Apps: Here's the cool part. Because my phone was already an Android device and I had a Google account, when I set up the GT10.1 it immediately and automatically synced, downloaded and installed almost all of the apps that are on my phone. There were just a couple that did not download, probably because they are not compatible with Honeycomb (phone runs Froyo). THAT was slick and saved me a lot of time and energy hunting for apps. The ones that did not download, like the anti-virus and stock market apps, I easily found substitutes for in the Android Market. Most games downloaded and seem to work without a hitch.
Availability of Apps: I have found PLENTY of apps in the Market that work on the GT10.1 - free, too. I even have one (androidVNC) that syncs to my desktop computer, so I can control it remotely. I had a similar program on my laptop and found it to be a lifesaver at times, when on the road. Can edit MS Office docs - Word, Excel, PowerPoint - although all the features of the main programs are not there. Also am using Google Docs, which has its own pluses and minuses. Am debating whether or not to buy DocumentsToGo Full Version to gain more editability. So far, I can get by with just viewing and tweaking. In general I prefer not to do heavy document creation and editing on the road, even with a laptop, so we shall see. K-9 is an excellent email client and provides more functionality than the basic one that comes with the device.
Memory: I bought the 32gig version, just to have plenty of memory down the road. So far, I have only used a small fraction of it. Honeycomb has a nice, small footprint, unlike some other OSs. The entire inventory of office files I could ever need on the road will fit on a 32gig flash drive with over 10 gig to spare, so I am not worried about running out of memory. Connectivity, you ask? See below.
Connectivity: Much lamenting has been done about the lack of ports for the GT10.1. Well, so far, I have not missed them. It's very easy to move data via WiFi. BUT, I know I will need access for things, like the above-mentioned flash drive. And, while most anywhere I go to give presentations these days they ask for the file on a flash drive to put on their own computer/projector, it would be nice to be able to run a video cable out, if needed. At first I thought this would be a deal breaker for me. But, then I read that Samsung is coming out with adapters for their proprietary port. So, I WILL be able to connect a flash drive or video out, when needed. Would it be nice to have these ports on board? Sure. But, frankly, the device is pretty much self-contained and very accessible via WiFi/cloud, so, assuming the adapters come out, I think the lack of ports is a non-issue. And, I am used to buying accessories for my devices as needed. I also use my phone as a WiFi hotspot, to which the GT10.1 connects flawlessly, and the combination of Android phone and Android tablet is pretty killer.
Keyboard: On board virtual keyboard is fine, quite large, in fact, if you are used to using one on a phone, as I am. I also downloaded Swype, which works fine on Honeycomb. Finally, just for those times, when I might need to do some more significant typing, I bought a Menotek flexible Bluetooth keyboard (kind of like the one in 'Live Free or Die Hard' but wireless). It synced immediately, and it works great. And, the keyboard is almost ridiculously portable (it rolls up/folds up). So, I just leave it in my briefcase and have it, when I need it. Have a leather case on order that will allow the tablet to be propped up like a monitor, so the combination of portable keyboard and angled tablet should be a nice substitute for a laptop.
Battery life: Have unplugged the tablet at 0600, used it off and on all day, and it still had just under 20% juice, when I plugged it back in at 0100 - 19 hours later. That was not continuous use, but more real world use - emails (a lot), read docs, downloads, a few YouTube videos, a few games. Not bad. It only reported about 80% charged this morning after 5 hours plugged into an outlet, but from experience with other devices, I expect both the battery life and the charging time to improve over the next week or so, as it cycles several times. As you can imagine, using video-intensive programs, like some games or lots of videos, drains the battery fastest. Even so, I'd say the battery life is pretty good and more than sufficient for a day's work (and probably play).
So, in conclusion, I think I might have found my laptop replacement, a first for me. I thought I was going to get a Xoom, then an ASUS Transformer, and then this one came along. It is really a very powerful device, given its REALLY small footprint. Is it an IPad killer? Who cares? I have handled IPads owned by business associates. Nice device, but all they ever seem to use it for is to show photos and play songs, maybe blog. Large cool factor. I don't see it as a business tool. I DO see the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as a true business tool. The same goes for my Android phone. So, depending on your needs, one or the other probably will be better for you. As for me, I am really sold on the Android OS; it is fast, powerful and small. There are some differences between my phone and tablet versions, but they are minor. If the new version that is due out at the end of this year really merged them, but was not downloadable to my current devices, I would keep both of them, since the differences are so small. That should tell you something.
Hope someone, who is considering the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as a business tool, finds the above useful. My recommendation is to go for it; I do not think you will be disappointed. It is not perfect, but I think it executes beautifully on all of its advertised features and capabilities, and for that reason I give it 5 stars.