Thanks to the Apple iPad, tablets have now made a glorious return to the mainstream consciousness, while the big brands have been paying close attention. Where in their earlier incarnations, tablets were targeted at a niche market and came packing a full fledged Windows OS that wasn't suitable for finger-based touch-screen usage, Apple's iPad and the use of their iPhone's operating system (iOS) for the tablet changed the way tablets were viewed.
Taking a page from Apple's book, manufacturers have started using Google's Android OS to create similar 'lightweight' tablet devices, and Samsung's latest 7-inch creation, is a testament to that. The Samsung Galaxy Tab however isn't just a normal tablet loaded with Android OS, but one that comes with a familiar looking interface that we previously saw on the Samsung Galaxy S. This gives it a much more polished look then if the notebook were to just use the default stock Android build. Here's our video preview of the device and its handling for a quick visual overview:-
Having spent time with the unit, we're very much pleased with the device, from its snappy 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 16GB onboard storage (and another 32GB expandable via the microSD slot), to the Wi-Fi, 3G and voice capabilities. While the TFT-LCD screen doesn't use an IPS (In Plane Switching) type panel nor Samsung's AMOLED, it's still bright and clear enough with pretty decent viewing angles.
Factor in GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, light sensors and a digital compass, the Galaxy Tab is packed with features for both gaming and navigation. The size of the device, at 7-inch seems just right for the hands too, and with the Tab weighing just half of what the Apple iPad does, it makes the Tab a really portable device that's easier to carry around as we discovered in the course of our review. One more thing before you start looking at the pretty pictures though - don't rely on its 3.0-megapixel camera if you want to take pictures.