Samsung was the first major consumer electronics manufacturer to fire a shot at the Apple iPad. Samsung needs to be commended for this as other manufacturers still have not answered the Apple tablet question. I am specifically referring to BlackBerry, Motorola and HP whom have unveiled tablets amid great fanfare but have not yet made them available to the public.
Samsung was bold, very bold in fact with the Galaxy Tab. The tablet runs the Android operating system which makes Google integration super easy. I must admit, when having the Galaxy Tab in my hand my first thought was “this tablet is too small”. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is similar in size to the latest generation Kindles.
Having the smaller screen size in comparison to the iPad (as seen on the left in the image above) can be seen as either a strength or a weakness. However I think the reason for the smaller screen is because of the fact that the tablet, when armed with a sim card can act as a cell phone. I am in two minds over that. Using the Galaxy Tab as a phone just does not feel right. Having a device close to my ear like this calls for a much smaller size. However it can also be seen as Samsung trying to differentiate itself from Apple, as the iPad cannot be used to make phone calls without the use of apps. I also struggled to type emails and notes on the Galaxy Tab as my fingers seemed to be always hitting the wrong button on the virtual keyboard which was rather frustrating.
The Android app store is the closest competitor to the one that Apple has. It features a healthy amount of free and paid apps which can be anything from games to maps in functionality. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, the role that the app store plays in the purchase decision should not be underestimated.The one app that caught my attention was the E-book application. The interesting fact is that this is based on the Kobo reader which was one of the first ebook challengers to the Kindle.
Samsung are due to unveil two companions to the Galaxy Tab in the coming months. Both will feature bigger screens than the initial version which leads me to believe that Samsung are trying even harder to convince users to buy their tablets. Its crisp display, compact form factor, touch-friendly software and dual cameras undoubtedly have what it takes to win over the average tablet seeker.
The Samsung Galaxy Tablet has definitely been a pleasant surprise and has exceeded all of my expectations. I think users will want to buy it to experience the Android software which will become the dominant operating system for mobile devices.