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Android Handhelds Hardware

A Deep-Dive Look At Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 264

Posted by timothy
from the pleasant-news-from-the-ongoing-future dept.
MojoKid writes "Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced way back in February this year just prior to Apple's iPad 2 launch. Shortly after, a Samsung VP noted the company was re-evaluating their Galaxy Tab line in the wake of Apple's strong iPad 2 showing in early March. Since then, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has begun shipping and early reports show the Android 3.1 driven device to be slightly thinner than the iPad 2, lighter and with NVIDIA's 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor under the hood, every bit as capable. With recent Honeycomb entrants in the 10-inch Android tablet market, like the Asus Transformer, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the iPad 2 finally has solid competition in terms of both hardware and OS performance."
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A Deep-Dive Look At Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1

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  • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @02:48PM (#36412556) Homepage

    Does it really mean that? This is Apple after all. People are going to buy the iPad2 over the other devices for any number of reasons--mainly the OS and the applications available for it.

    Personally I would much prefer an iOS device if I were to get a tablet simply because I already own an iPhone and I prefer the UI. While I don't enjoy using my Mac Mini (1st gen which really needs to be retired) simply because I prefer the application support available for Windows, nothing beats the iPhone IMO.

    Now, if the Tab had come $100 cheaper and offered me something MORE than what the iPad2 does, I would be all over it. But for the same price it's just not worth it to lose the ease of use, interoperability, and application support.

    YMMV.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @02:57PM (#36412598)

    If the samsung came with something like Meego or one of the touchscreen linux distros I'd be more interested. I'm underwhelmed by Android. The more I see it the less I like it. It's okay for phones but on larger devices it's not so good.

  • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blahbooboo (839709) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @03:02PM (#36412620)

    Now, if the Tab had come $100 cheaper and offered me something MORE than what the iPad2 does, I would be all over it. But for the same price it's just not worth it to lose the ease of use, interoperability, and application support.

    Exactly. It's not enough to match the ipad, it has to be CHEAPER than the ipad to be worthwhile for normal people.

    Not meant as flamebait, but I believe Android would never have gotten as popular as now if the iphone hadn't been limited to one carrier and priced higher than the android phones in the USA.

  • by FyRE666 (263011) * on Saturday June 11, 2011 @03:05PM (#36412638) Homepage

    I've yet to see anything on Android that gives a user-experience anywhere close to the iPad. I bought the original Galaxy Pad at about the same time I bought the iPad ; I've had it around 4 months, and can count on 1 hand the number of times I've used it. The interface just doesn't seem as though it can quite keep up with the user, slow to launch apps, just didn't take to it. The iPad (and now the iPad2) I use every day.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of things I don't like about Apple - I hate iTunes with a passion, and the fact I'm forced to use it with the iPad, but there's little that's challenging the iPad at the moment...

  • Re:Well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @03:36PM (#36412792)

    That's not completely reasonable -- Android is free to be used on any carrier network and by any handset manufacturer, so I'm told this spurs competition and improves consumer choice.*

    If there are six people writing mortgage interest calculator apps instead of two, it's pretty clear which market has better competition and consumer choice. The fact that 3rd party developer revenues on the Android store are significantly less than on Apple's store, leading to less developer interest, less choice and competition, and more ads and undesirable misfeatures (like customer data gathering) despite having a more open market, is a perverse but real outcome and directly attributable to the business model.

    (* Set aside for a moment the fact that any Android phone without "Nexus" in its name is more locked-down than an iPhone.)

  • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by camperslo (704715) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @03:39PM (#36412806)

    Why can't they be much cheaper? These vendors got the OS for free. Most won't do huge ad campaigns. The CPUs cost far less than x86 Intel chips. It's not like the displays are made of anything extraordinary. With competition and SOCs, these could likely be in the price range of netbooks. Of course the margins would be fairly thin, but when they're Windows-netbook-like commodities without the price of Windows, that's how anything that isn't the hottest stuff should be priced.

    Hopefully seeing that the losers don't make any money will motivate companies to put out better products. Maybe someone will actually be smart enough to leverage the power of the user community, and release the full source so others can help polish/innovate to the next level.

    The lack of support for old Android products is shameful. Even if there is too little RAM to use the latest version of Android, all vendors should still have provided updates for things like security issues. Some units are being treated like they're disposable. They should be priced to match.

    And with some vendors putting out models that are a bit quirky or are otherwise duds, the previous generation models being cleared out ought to be dumped at really low ($100 - $200) prices.

    If Google is making ad money off of the OS, perhaps some hardware vendors should consider asking Google to pay them to use it? Maybe Microsoft shouldn't be the only one to pay to see its OS and search product installed?

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @03:47PM (#36412854)

    Okay I pulled those numbers out of my ass. On the App Store we got 174 "mortgage interest" , and on the Android Market we have 234. OTOH, on the Android Market about 50 or so of these apps are just branded "$reatlor Mortgage Calculator" apps like this one [android.com] and another 50 that are just RSS feed readers of some guy's blog on the financial crisis [android.com]. All of the Apple store apps were legit, destinguishable calculators from a variety of vendors.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Saturday June 11, 2011 @04:06PM (#36412982) Homepage

    Perhaps his point is you don't have to use special software like Handbrake or buy special cables to use HDMI. All this stuff works out of the box on any Android tablet, including playing any format under the sun. I like Moboplayer for this.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Saturday June 11, 2011 @04:09PM (#36412998) Homepage

    The original Galaxy Tab runs Gingerbread. The Xoom, Transformer, and Galaxy 10.1 run Honeycomb. It is night and day different.

    Not to mention these tablets all have high performance Tegra 2 chips while the original Tab was running only a Hummingbird.

    You are basically saying you tried Windows 98 and hated it therefore Windows 7 has to be just as bad.

    I have an Asus Transformer and LOVE IT. It's an amazing machine, and I don't have the handcuffs on that my iPad-owning friends have.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @04:10PM (#36413006)

    Why can't they be much cheaper?

    While some here on /. will refuse to admit, it actually is costly to make a tablet and get a decent margin on them. Most here would like a tablet to cost $150 and be able to run Crysis II while mixing 5.1 audio at the same time; there are limits to what tablets can do for a price. Some components like 10" screens are not plentiful as they have not been mass produced by many suppliers and are still limited to a few companies.

    The CPUs cost far less than x86 Intel chips. It's not like the displays are made of anything extraordinary. With competition and SOCs, these could likely be in the price range of netbooks. Of course the margins would be fairly thin, but when they're Windows-netbook-like commodities without the price of Windows, that's how anything that isn't the hottest stuff should be priced.

    Just because the CPUs may cost less does not mean the whole device is going to cost less. The touchscreen probably makes up for the difference in prices. Also form factor has a cost. Generally the smaller form factor costs more to manufacture. A manufacture could probably make a cheaper 1" thick tablet but no one is going to buy it next to thinner one.

    And with some vendors putting out models that are a bit quirky or are otherwise duds, the previous generation models being cleared out ought to be dumped at really low ($100 - $200) prices.

    One advantage that Apple has over their competitors is the vertical integration. They can sell the iPad at lower prices and still get a decent margin since they sell enough of them at retail to keep those margins.

  • Re:Well (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Divebus (860563) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @05:37PM (#36413538)

    The people I know with Android devices are (1) "anything but Apple" geeks, (2) buy only on initial price, (3) can't tell the difference between iOS, Android or anything else they're looking at or (4) don't really care (a rarity). I've helped these people set up their Androids for various things (mail accounts, ringtones, Wi-Fi access) and I get the "what were they thinking" feeling about how Android behaves. It's relatively clunky, vague, inconsistent, rigid and confusing compared to iOS across all the devices.

    Funny thing is Android users typically don't even want to touch an iPhone or iPad. They apparently don't want to know the differences for fear of feeling foolish, or fooled maybe. I don't think they have anything to worry about - to each, his own. They won't hesitate to challenge me to some sort of page loading duel or app demonstration which usually ends badly for them or at least at a draw - their brand new Android against my two year old 3GS. When they do touch an iOS device, however, they're astonished at how fluidly their fingers seem to connect to what's on the screen and can't put it down.

    Android has replicated a lot of the whoosh and swoosh from the original iPhone and that's good enough for most people - the "sizzle off the steak". The real geeks love Android because they can "do whatever they want" - but few of them actually do it, they just talk about it. The real key is the entire Apple ecosystem of products that can't be replicated by all these disconnected devices. Solve that equation and Android could achieve functional parity with iOS in a large desirable ecosystem. Unfortunately, Android is starting to look a lot like the "Plays For Sure" products with hundreds of junkyard class competitors which will surely overcome the iPod.

  • Re:Well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by greentshirt (1308037) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @06:15PM (#36413768)

    I'm a university student working in cellular sales part time and I can tell you that the trend I see is actually the opposite. People come into the store due to Apple marketing, wanting an iPhone. They are sometimes shocked that a touch screen demo phone they are playing with isn't actually an iPhone, but is a Windows Mobile 7 or Android device. Many people have no idea what a phone OS is or that there are touch screen phones that are not iPhones.

    That being said, however, even the most basic users quickly see the advantage of Android over iOS. When people try Swype for the first time, it blows their mind. When people see live wall papers for the first time, it blows their mind. When people see home screen widgets for the first time, it blows their mind. When I show people my own Android device which is running a custom launcher called ADW EX, and how quickly and easily I can change my theme to look (and behave) like an iPhone, or like a Nexus S, or any other presets I've configured, it blows their mind.

    For customers who don't care about any of that, and just want something easy, Windows Mobile 7 seems to offer a very strong alternative to iOS. It is extremely simple to use, well laid out, and the devices I've used have been blazing fast.

    At this point in the game, both Apple and Microsoft are extremely concerned about Android. Google had a master stroke in creating and developing Android and providing it for free. They have gained unprecedented hardware support and once Google voice spreads to the rest of North America, and the world, it will only shake things up even more. I'm certain Google's hardware coup played a part in the Microsoft / Nokia merger, and the potential of Google voice must have played a role in the Microsoft purchase of Skype.

    Betting against Apple is usually a suckers bet because they sell an image, not a product. That being said, my prediction for the mobile world five years from today is a landscape where Apple is marginalized to cult followers and the rest of the market is split fairly evenly between Google and Microsoft. I think Microsoft will fight for mobile as if their survival depended on it, and Windows Mobile 7 is probably the most iPhonesque non-Apple OS I've seen thus far. Will be fun to watch.

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