My time with Samsung Galaxy Tab


This is the first ever guest post on bandla.wordpress.com, done by Bala (twitter.com/yo_bala).

I have been using the Galaxy Tab 10.1″ close to 2 months. For once, This Tab is touted as one of the best Android Tabs in the Market and for sure it is.

My time with the tab was from when it was on Android 3.1 to now when it was recently updated to Android 3.2. This will not be a review because we there are enough reviews floating around. Instead I will try to write down as the tab being no where close to laptop replacement.

When I picked this tab, I had 2 other choices, Acer Iconia 501 and Xoom 3G. All of them were similarly priced but I picked this one ahead of the others cause it was more responsive and was better in terms of performance than the Iconia which had USB ports to it. Few days of using the galaxy tab, it was highly addictive and time consuming as I was enjoying the show. The Tablet’s performance ultimately depends on lots of factors and in my case I closed widgets and live wallpapers after a month and its performance increased considerably but on using widgets and live wallpapers it tend to use high memory close to 600 MB of the total 734 MB that is available. The tab generally performs well if I keep the memory usage below 500 MB but sometimes, tab lags even when the usage is around 350 MB {that’s the lowest I have seen}. This is a I bit surprising for me.

Coming back to the point of the Tablet being the laptop replacement. It generally comes down to two issues.. It is not a productivity station and it is not exactly a multimedia hub.

I was really bugged off the fact that it is not a multimedia hub. We all know how good the iPad is when it comes to multimedia but the Galaxy Tab which is touted as the best of the lot has to perform well. But It doesn’t, you cannot play 1080p videos. From what I learned, the tablet doesn’t have the power to play 1080p videos. The default video player from Samsung which is one of the best in mobiles both in Galaxy series and the Wave series fails considerably, it simply gives an error stating that “This video cannot be played” when I try to play a 1080P video.The best it can play smoothly is 480p although 720p can be played but expect laggy playback. Mobo Player and MX player which are available in the market gives different results yet they are all the same. The Video lags heavily while audio is fine. So there won’t be any sync between the video and audio and sometimes the video player stops responding.

Productivity Hub?

Okay, Now I am expecting too much from the Tablet, Right? But hey, I paid 30 grand and I do expect it to function or live up to half my expectation.. :p

I got myself an official keyboard dock for 4K with strict warning that there will be no warranty on Samsung Accessories. Okay so there it was, with nice packaging and everything feels like a non Samsung product.. I say that due to its class in packaging and the product finish. I was all pumped up and was trying out randomly all the keys available on the keyboard. Here comes the first hurdle.. After trying out all the keys, I realized that the special keys are interchanged or I can say it was replaced. The first key was the @ which normally works on shift+2 and the symbol is also there just above the number 2 but when u press shift+2 you would get ” instead of @ on figuring out, I realized that @ symbol would be available on pressing shift+’ Yeah, These two special characters seem to have been interchanged. Next problem, I faced was the nonavailability of hash [#] which should work on Pressing shift+3 as the character is included just above the 3 number, but on pressing shift+3 you would get £ as the special character, Sounds crazy? The hash has been completely removed and yeah, Some suggested that the layout is of English keyboard but the input would work as per USA layout, but even on trying out shift+Return key, I still did not get the hash which is present in keyboard layout but currently not available to use. Diplomatically, I can say that.

Okay, So no warranty and no replacement currently available, And not sure if the problem persists with specific models of the samsung keyboard. I decided to move on. But gotttttttta say that, see, that was not my mistake, I just pressed the T word slightly and it just multiplies. I have not edited that to show the special abilities of the keyboard that it boasts out of the box. It happens for whatever the reason is.

Now coming back, I really want to push the Tab to the extreme, so I decided to do my project report on this. Yeah I know, this might be funny for some but wanted to test the limits. So as I was going through various reports and when I tried to copy some of the values from test document and other pages onto my report which I was doing in default office suite that comes with Galaxy Tab in India and Europe, The Polaris office { The American ones have Quick Office Pro} Tab refused to copy, the other pages were in word .docx format and I was doing my work on the same format but the tab just refused to copy { I can say the Tab was helping me with plagrism :p} and instead It would just hang, The office suite would go unresponsive followed by the Tab itself. {this happens on trying to copy heavy lines from other .docx files} That would be a scary scene as it would take 10 minutes for the tab to be responsive. Whats more if you have not saved your document, You would end losing all your work. Sounds great..huh?

At the end of the day, You will end up scratching thinking what went wrong, The Tab cannot play the multimedia files and it cannot be productive and yet there are talks of Tablet replacing netbook.. Are you kidding me..? Cause Even if you end up finishing a docx file, Sometimes it would not put up properly when viewed on PC, the alignment would be changed and would be different. And you would be taking tons of time in trying to set it right. So what does the Tab do other than play few games properly and the tablet specific apps {which itself is limited} works well. That’s the story that keeps ticking in your head, having spent close to 35 grand on a device which is neither a master of something or a jack of all trades. It is simply not your moneys worth

I have to say, I am not blaming Samsung Galaxy Tab here. Because the problem lies with Google as well. The honeycomb is half baked and the Android 3.2 update which I received recently, I failed to see any performance change other than addition of few apps here and there, Samsung adding the “My Readers hub” and “All Share” with the 3.2 Update. Thats the biggest change that I see. Also, I received the 3.2 update just recently while all other manufacturers pushed their update some 2-3 months back..?

At the end of the day, The hype is around what processor the Tablet is running instead of what apps or what work your tablet can do, {Half the people out there in the wild think Kal El will be a booster for Android Tabs, but when the problem is the OS and not the processor, let them launch the apps for Tegra 2 first and optimize it, We don’t need more power, We need optimization}

Update on keyboard dock:

After looking at various forums and various keyboard sold by samsung across major places. There is some shock {I should say stupidity} in what they are upto.
As from the above where I have commented on the improper input methods on the Galaxy Tab keyboard, the reason for all that is because of the keyboard that is being currently sold in India is perhaps designed and developed for the locals but the design layout is actually similar to keyboard sold in US for some carriers. Okay that’s fine with me but the input thats given on the keyboard is same as the UK ones. So does it sound stupid, Crazy or are you confused.

Look at these images

The Indian version of the keyboard

Now the UK version of the keyboard

How lame is that?

So If I press Shift+2 to get @ I would be getting ” which is same as the input of UK keyboard. So the problem must be related to some kind of software that has not been properly assigned. I did try and change the settings from UK version to US version. That did not help me either.

From a reputed company as Samsung, This is not what I expected after paying close to 4K for  the keyboard with no warranty and no replacement {People in UK do get warranty for 2 Years} May be they are going so easy on Indians 😦

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7 thoughts on “My time with Samsung Galaxy Tab

  1. I agree with your views 🙂 android tablets are half baked , being there for just sake of it.
    There is nothing better than iPad in tablets now. And I guess Windows Tablets will do even better.
    Google has missed big opportunity already.

  2. Pingback: Galaxy Tab 10.1 Accessories | Galaxy Tab Review Site

  3. Can anyone help please? My husband has a Galaxy and bought the Galaxy Tab 10.1 keyboard dock. When he presses the ‘enter’ key a symbol appears beside it (a ? in a square box) Does anyone know how to get rid of it – thanks Gaile

  4. Brand: Acer

    OS: Microsoft Windows 8

    Display Size: 1280 x 800 / 8.1 in

    Weight: 1.1 lbs

    WLAN: Yes

    USB: Yes

    Primary Camera: Yes

    Secondary Camera: Yes

    Processor: Intel Atom / 1.5 GHz

    Internal Memory: 64 GB

    Sensor: Yes

    Battery Standby: 4 Hours

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