Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review: Droid at large

GSMArena team, 08 September 2011.
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Flawless audio output

We are used to seeing excellent audio output from tablets and yet the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 still managed to nicely surprise us. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 does better, or at least as well as, any competitor out there (and yes that includes the iPad).

In collaboration with an active external amplifier the Galaxy Tab produces perfectly clean output. As you can see from the scores below, there's not a single weak part of its performance. The only thing that's not really praiseworthy is its volume, but in this case quality is valued higher than quantity.

And the best bit is that the degradation, when headphones are plugged in, is the lest we have seen of any device we have tested. Stereo crosstalk rises a bit, but that's about it. No distortion, no frequency response deviation, nothing else. And the volume levels are pretty here, so it's definitely a solid performance overall.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1+0.03, -0.04-89.989.90.014 0.018-90.8
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (headphones attached)+0.05, -0.03-89.689.60.012 0.063-64.4
Motorola XOOM+0.03, -0.22-95.895.80.0022 0.017-88.1
Motorola XOOM (headphones attached)+1.04, -0.21-95.695.60.014 0.495-60.6
LG Optimus Pad+0.03, -0.04-93.991.90.016 0.019-94.4
LG Optimus Pad (headphones attached)+0.18,-0.09-85.486.70.017 0.153-65.9
HTC Flyer+0.07, -0.34-89.189.10.015 0.040-77.1
HTC Flyer (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.31-89.789.60.021 0.077-68.2
Apple iPad 2+0.02, -0.12-91.091.00.0130.015-93.0
Apple iPad 2 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.11-90.990.80.00310.042-59.1
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II+0.04, -0.09-91.491.90.0042 0.066-89.7
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II (headphones attached)+1.05, -0.22-90.090.20.013 0.647-49.4

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 frequency response
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

3.15 megapixel stills and 720p video

A 3.15 megapixel main camera capable of doing 720p videos and a 2 megapixel front-facing snapper is what you get with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Given that tablets aren’t the most useful devices for taking snaps it’s probably as much as you are going to need anyway.

Nonetheless, the two cameras are mostly there to provide the functionality needed for video-chatting and some augmented reality apps or games and the possibility to snap a label or two as a memory aid comes as a welcome bonus.

The camera interface is an oversized version of what you find on the Galaxy S II with the available settings on the left and the shutter key and the video/stills switch on the right.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G
The still camera interface

Here go a few samples to show you the image quality of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 camera. We found it to be pretty good for the 3 megapixel league – low noise, plenty of fine detail, accurate colors and good balance between contrast and dynamic range.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 camera samples

Photo quality comparison

As we already pointed out, the 3 megapixel camera on Galaxy Tab 10.1 does a splendid job, but that's understandable - you have much more room and processing power here.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in our Photo Compare Tool

Very good HD videos

The camcorder interface is not much different, really. There are fewer options available here, but the layout is basically the same.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G
The video camera interface

The 720p videos are top-notch, full of detail, low in noise and generally, nice and smooth. There’s plenty of information and the only drawback you might consider is the mono audio recording.

Check out the 720p sample that we captured with the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

And here goes a 720p video sample from the slate that we uploaded to YouTube.

Video quality comparison

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G is a match to most of the HD capable flagships and tablets and our video compare tools is here to prove it. Of course there are a few 1080p capable camcorders using the same hardware so there is room for improvement. We'd suspect that the more demanding Honeycomb was the reason why 1080p is absent here.

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in our Video Compare Tool

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is well equipped in terms of connectivity. There is proprietary 30-pin USB connector for computer connection, but there is no USB charging.

Naturally, you get GPS radios plus 3G speeds of up to 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA.

The Wi-Fi support includes a/b/g/n versions, with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz band compatibility. Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA support are also available.

There is no microSD card slot. The 16/32/64GB of internal storage is plentiful and Mass Storage is enabled.

Naturally, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 supports USB-on-the-go, but you will need to buy an adapter for that. That way you can connect card readers, USB flash drives and other compatible devices to your tablet and access their contents through the file manager.

You can also buy a separate HDMI adapter and connect the tablet to your HDTV with a regular cable.

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