Samsung Galaxy Tab - Oh, That Screen

Really, I have to commend Samsung here. There’s no AMOLED, no IPS, and no S-LCD, but they managed to put a very high quality LED-backlit LCD panel into the Galaxy Tab. The contrast ratio is a devilish 666:1, neatly splitting the difference between the EVO 4G and the Dell Streak, but well short of the iPad’s stellar 934:1 number. But the best thing about the screen is that even without any of the more advanced display technologies, viewing angles are still excellent. As we’ve mentioned before, viewing angles are significantly more important for tablets than netbooks or notebooks, so it’s reassuring to see that Samsung recognizes this.

Display Contrast

The 7” display packs the same WSVGA resolution as most 10” widescreen tablets, so the pixel density is relatively high at 170ppi (versus 138 for the iPad and 116 for most 10” WSVGA tablets). Current rumors put some of the upcoming 10” tablets at 1366x768 or 1280x800, so we’ll see pixel density rise for the industry as a whole, but overall the Galaxy Tab has a pleasantly crisp screen.

The end user experience of any tablet really begins with the screen, and it’s probably one of the most overlooked components in any given device. The display can really make or break any tablet, so it’s important to note that the Galaxy Tab has a very good one.

Samsung Galaxy Tab - The Hardware Samsung Galaxy Tab - Size Really Does Matter
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  • lordmetroid - Friday, December 24, 2010 - link

    You use your phone for convienence and hyper mobility. The netbook as a more mobile full internet platform, your laptop as a mobile workstation and the stationary PC as the powerful workstation, server or what have you that does not need to be mobile.

    So what does the slate provide?
  • OldPueblo - Friday, December 24, 2010 - link

    What you just described smartphones as works perfectly for tablets, with their small screens smartphones can actually take longer to quickly look up something or do some on the spot research. Netbooks and laptops are interchangeable in most cases, why you'd have both at the same time doesn't make a lot of sense. You either want to be very portable or you want a mobile desktop while "on the go." But neither can do what I used as an example in 60 seconds. And a smartphone can take longer than a tablet as well since you have to manipulate a smaller screen which adds time. A tablet is in a sense the sweet spot of "instant on, portability, and convenience." Unless you have the ipad, then you're carrying another bag. :)
  • plainsman11 - Friday, December 24, 2010 - link

    hi vivek,

    i'm not sure if i have seen many of your articles on anandtech thus far.

    from the review i would say overall, good effort!

    i can see areas of improvement. i know you're going to continue to learn and get better.. and as you have experienced thus far, anandtech readers can be pretty critical given that they're used to a high standard of reviewing initiated by anand himself.

    i think it would be very crucial that you have a chat with anand, seek his feedback and understand how you could have done this review better or from different perspectives/angles.

    i think by anand giving you the opportunity to do this key product review (an ipad competitor) it shows he might be trying to develop stronger role redundancies (not sure if its also because of xmas season haha)

    i think anand needs to develop more reviewers and mentor, influence them eventually to be able to write reviews with the anandtech standard and style.

    then he will not need kill himself by having to personally write every single review to ensure this level of quality.

    cheers and happy holidays!

    anandtech reader since 1998
  • VivekGowri - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    Hi Alfe,

    Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them. This is the 30th post I've made on AT, and I think the 17th or 18th review, so I've been around, mostly in notebooks/netbooks but moving into tablets. I'm hoping to continually improve with each review I write, and Anand is definitely helping me out with these.

    I'm not too worried about the comments on this review, a lot of them are stemming from the fact that the article got pushed live about 10 minutes before it should have been - I hadn't finished editing the table and things like that. This is the first of many tablet reviews to come, so I hope you keep reading and enjoying our articles and I hope that in future my articles can meet your expectations.


  • MadAd - Sunday, December 26, 2010 - link

    People seem to be struggling to find a good fit for the 7" factor, personally I cant wait to replace my 1Ghz Via C3 embedded pc setup in my car with something similar to a tab.

    Whatever brand I buy, 7" is the ideal size for automotive fitments.
  • Piplzchoice - Sunday, December 26, 2010 - link

    At this point iPad seem to fend off the most successful challenger, Samsung Galaxy Tab, when it comes to their respective customer satisfaction levels. Your readers may be interested in our ongoing analysis of Samsung Galaxy Tablet customer' reviews. We also compared their ratings to those of iPad
    We specialize in automated aggregation and analysis of customer reviews posted online, mining their opinions and quantifying qualitative information found there.
  • zero2espect - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    just finished reading the review and honestly don't know what to make of it. I've been using the galaxy tab for about a month now and I don't think the article does it justice. what would help would be to put tablets into context to begin with.

    I use my notebook at work and when out of office. gaming rig at home for gaming, ripping, editing etc. htpc for cinema. e-ink reader for my books (you will never convince me about backlit reading screens). smartphone for calling and keeping ontop of things.

    then the tab entered my life. now I would write happily trade down my phone to a small flip our candy phone and rely on the tab for the on-the-road emails and info snacking. the form factor is sooooooooo much better for almost everything internet or work related. pdfs can be read in one hit. you can make out all the words on the ppt or website without zooming on every page. it just works better.

    using as my link to exchange, I can quite happily go a day without needing to go back to my desk, and am not the worse off for it. the split screen email client really is nice, and using it you never have that feeling that sometimes you (i) get when relying on the smartphone: "i hope I haven't missed an important email in all of that information on that tiny screen..."

    there are a couple of things that I think also need to be addressed:

    # the preloaded browser is flash enabled. that's right folks, the internet sss it's supposed to be.
    # because it "is a phone" means it can sms and do calls - it had already saved my bacon on an important conference call when I was out of the office - and no I didn't hold it to my head like a taco, the bt pairing to my headset worked fine, first time
    # the self dimming (auto brightness) works really well, going from boosting in daylight to dimming indoors and aboard planes
    # with my usage profile i'm getting about 5days of usage between charges - but the lack of a simple "charge visa usb or mini/micro usb is a real pain
    # if samsung had of been able to include a usb port or mini/micro adapter to usb they would have brought a real category killer to market
    # I've just moved from android to ios on my smartphone. and after the move I must admit that (apart from the lack of swype) I think ios does a much better phone than android - but for me, android on the 7" device is much "better" than on the smartphone size - it seems more interactive and alive with more real estate. I was disappointed with 10" ios but find 7" android amazing.

    overall I'm very impressed, and continue to find a use for it. could I live without it? yes. but am I better off for having it? definitely.
  • nycmetroconsumer - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    you must be a non usa user the galaxy tabs are crippled by their importers. i have a Tmobile, non contract, it has a Sim card but i can not make calls, all the USA carriers did this. It should be illegal for them to cripple open source, Also i have been reading that Verizon version of the Tab, you cannot Bluetooth link a keyboard or a mouse type device. You can only use Bluetooth to connect a headphone, all other blue tooth functions are crippled. Verizon is notorious for doing this to all the good phones. i left them, after 15 years due to this crap.
    The T mobile version you cannot use a regular Bluetooth ear piece, it has to be a certain spec something like a2dp. i think it is a stereo , i am not sure if it has talk/speaker capability\
    The European white backed version will not work with t mobile since the freq' s are different.
  • zero2espect - Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - link

    yes. non usa. sorry to hear about u.s. crippling. :-(
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - link

    Interesting. I was an iPhone user for two years before switching to Android, and I've had an iPad in one form or another almost since the day of launch when I bought a 32GB (ended up returning it, but picked up a 16GB a month later).

    My experience is exactly opposite to yours - I prefer iOS at 10" and Android at smartphone-size, and true to form, those are the form factors the OS were designed for respectively....Especially since they've got the respective ecosystems built around them. That's the problem with the Galaxy Tab - unless you're reading or watching a movie, there's really nothing different than a normal Android smartphone. So why bother carrying it?

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