Tablets Guide

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1) LTE review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1-inch) with LTE Reviewed - Intel Inside

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Launch SRP S$748

Overall rating 7.5/10
Design:
7.5
Features:
8
User-Friendliness:
7.5
Performance:
7.5
Value:
7.5
THE GOOD
Good performance for a dual-core tablet
Supports 4G LTE
Decently priced
THE BAD
Possible incompatibility issues with old apps
Plastic feel
Sub-par camera


Performance & Conclusion

Performance

Considering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1-inch) with LTE is powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 CPU, 2GB RAM and a PowerVR SXG544MP2 GPU engine and is mid-tier in nature, we'll be comparing it against the Samsung Google Nexus 10, a 10-inch tablet running Samsung's Exynos 5250 dual-core 1.7GHz SoC, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8.0-inch) with LTE to see what other advantages the 10-inch tablet has over its 8-inch sibling. Besides Samsung's wide stable of tablets, we've also included Lenovo's Yoga 10 tablet for comparison.

  Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1) LTE Samsung Nexus 10 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8.0) LTE Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 (Wi-Fi)
Launch SRP
  • From S$748
  • From S$668
  • From S$668
  • From S$549
Network
  • LTE Band 1 (2,100MHz) / Band 3 (1,800MHz) / Band 5 (850MHz) / Band 7 (2,600MHz) / Band 8 (900MHz) / Band 20 (800MHz)
  • 3G (850/900 /1,900/2,100MHz)
  • EDGE / GPRS Class 33 / GSM Quad Band (850/900/1,800/1,900MHz)
  • LTE Band 3 (1800MHz) / Band 7 (2600MHz) / Band 8 (900MHz) / Band 20 (800MHz)
  • 3.5G (HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps)
  • 3G (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100MHz)
  • EDGE / GPRS Class 33, GSM Quad Band (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz)
Processor
  • 1.6GHz dual-core CPU
  • PowerVR SXG544MP2 GPU
  • Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core 1.7GHz
  • GPU core: Mali-T604
  • 1.5GHz Dual-core
  • MediaTek MT8389 quad-core 1.2GHz
Operating system
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Memory
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
Display
  • 10.1-inch / 1280 x 800 resolution / TFT LCD Screen
  • 10-inch / 2560 x 1600 resolution / WQXGA display
  • 8-inch / 1280 x 800 resolution / WXGA TFT, 189ppi
  • 10-inch / 1,280 x 800 pixels / IPS
Camera
  • Main: 3.2 Megapixels / Front-facing: 1.3 Megapixels
  • Rear: 5MP
  • Front: 1.9MP
  • 1080p recording @ 30fps
  • Main: 5 Megapixels / Front-facing: 1.3 Megapixels
  • 5-megapixel rear
  • 1.6-megapixel HD front
I/O Ports
  • USB 2.0
  • micro-USB, micro-HDMI
  • USB 2.0
Storage
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD card (up to 64GB)
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD card (up to 64GB)
  • 16GB
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, IrLED, MHL 1.2
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (MIMO+HT40), Bluetooth v3.0, Pogo pin, Dual Side NFC, GPS+GLONASS
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n (2.4/5GHz), Wi-Fi Channel Bonding, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Other Features
  • Story Album, Group Play, Paper Artist, Flipboard, Dropbox, Polaris Office, Pop Up Play, Peel Smart Remote, TV out via MHL
  • Samsung ChatON mobile communication service, Reading Mode, Story Album, Paper Artist, Group Play, S Translator, Trip Advisor, Flipboard, Dropbox, Polaris Office, Multi Window, Pop Up Play, Peel Smart Remote, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring, Samsung Kies, Samsung Kies Air, Readers Hub / Game Hub / Learning Hub
Battery
  • Li-ion 6,800mAh
  • Li-ion 9,000mAh
  • Li-ion 4,450mAh
  • 9000mAh
Dimensions
  • 243.1 x 176.1 x 7.95mm
  • 263.8 x 177.8 x 8.9mm
  • 209.8 x 123.8 x 7.4mm
  • 261 x 180 x 3.0 ~ 8.1mm
Weight
  • 512g
  • 603g
  • 318g
  • 605g (Wi-Fi)

 

SunSpider JavaScript

SunSpider Javascript measures the browsing performance of a device. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience.

The SunSpider result shows decent Javascript performance, which is on a par with the smaller Tab 3 8.0.

 

Quadrant

Quadrant is an Android OS benchmark that evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance.

In a nutshell, the Tab 3's overall system performance betters that of the Nexus 10 and the Tab 3 8.0. Of course, it's no match for more recent and higher-end tablets with a quad-core CPU, such as the Sony Xperia Tablet Z and ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T, but for a dual-core chip, it's one of the better ones.

 

3DMark 2013

Originally developed as a PC benchmarking tool, 3DMark is now expanded to support multiple platforms including Android OS. The Ice Storm benchmark is designed for smartphones and tablets.

For an in-depth understanding of 3DMark for Android, do head over to our article, "3DMark - Android Device GPU Performance Review." In a nutshell, 3DMark now consists of three test sections: Ice Storm, Ice Storm Extreme and Ice Storm Unlimited. For recent flagship devices, we usually focus on the Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, since most of them are able to max out the score on Ice Storm Extreme. But since the Tab 3 and its comparisons are midrange tablets, we instead turn our attention back to Ice Storm Extreme.

As you can see, despite the Tab 3 having far fewer pixels (1,280 x 800) to drive than the Nexus 10 (2,560 x 1,600), the Intel-based tablet lags behind it. Fortunately, it's still in decent standings when compared with true mid-range counterparts like its 8-inch variant and the Lenovo Yoga 10.

 

Battery

Next, we performed a battery life test with the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi turned on and connected
  • LTE/3G not used

 

The battery life of the Tab 3 (10.1-inch) came in at a good 428 minutes, that is, slightly over 7 hours. This is interesting as the Tab 3 is only equipped with only 6,800mAh battery, while Nexus 10 has a giant 9,000mAh battery. We posit that the Tab 3 consumes less power because of its relatively lower-res screen.

 

Not surprisingly, Tab 3 10.1 ranks higher than the Nexus 10 in our Portability Index as it weighs lighter and has a longer battery life. The Tab 3 (8.0-inch) is off the charts because it competes with smaller tablets and not the larger 10-inch variants.

 

Camera

As with many entry-level tablets, there's nothing fantastic about the basic 3-megapixel camera that the Tab 3 comes with. Here are a couple of sample shots:

 

Conclusion

For those into mobile games, just know that while most modern games, particularly games based on established game engines, should work, one may face risks of incompatibility with that odd game or two (especially much older titles). Otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1-inch) remains a worthwhile entry/mid-range tablet. It has a large, decent-looking screen, supports LTE/3G connectivity with telephony functions, a fairly speedy dual-core processor, and more importantly, a reasonable price point. While it was launched at S$748 last year, the current street price has fallen to around S$550 if you know where to hunt for them at smaller retailers. Of course, for those with an even tighter budget, the older Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-inch) (if you can still find one) represents even better value as it has largely the same specs as the current Tab 3 variant. On a somewhat related note, Samsung has just announced a 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 Lite to further extend its series.

If you're actually looking for something on the other spectrum (read: high-end), there's the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Also announced recently at CES 2014 are the 'pro' series of the Galaxy Note and Tab series: the Galaxy TabPro series which comes in 8.4, 10.1, and 12.2-inch screen sizes, and the 12.2-inch Galaxy NotePro series. All these premium Android tablets sport a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel display and newer processors.