Samsung tries again to take the iPad’s tablet crown
It was too expensive, with a small screen and not much software available. Almost a year later Samsung has tried again and, this time, the results are much better.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is bigger, as the name suggests, with a 10in screen. This makes it feel less like an overgrown phone and more like a real computer.
The screen is good, too, with a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels and responsive controls that support ‘multi-touch' so you can control it with several fingers at once.
This suits the area in which the Tab 10.1 really shines: surfing the web. The Android 3.1 web browser does a great job of showing websites as they were intended, and with the option to open several pages in tabs, it's quicker to use than the iPad's Safari browser.
Android also allows support for Flash videos and animations. This isn't quite as smooth as it is on a good PC, but we were able to watch Flash videos and see elements in web pages that are simply missing to iPad users.
Away from the web, the Android 3 operating system does a good job of key tasks such as email, and the Android Market allows users to add new Apps.
Android still isn't served as well as the iPad in this area, but we were able to quickly find good-quality tools for everyday tasks such as social networking. Switching between several apps that are open at the same time worked well.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is very slightly thinner and lighter than the iPad 2, although without the iPad's metal back it didn't feel quite as solid, either. It has two cameras: one on the front for video calling, and an eight megapixel one on the back.
This worked surprisingly well in our tests – far better than the iPad 2's camera. There's an accelerometer inside for motion sensing, and Android allows users to use this for tasks such as zooming in and out of pages; it felt a bit gimmicky, but it did work.
More importantly for most users, the battery is also good. It ran for several days of occasional use, or if used constantly it should outlast any short-haul flight.
All in all, there's little to complain about with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and it's easily the best Android tablet on sale now.
For range and quality of apps, the iPad 2 still has the edge, but if you're more interested in a lightweight but high-quality way to access the internet, then this is a better buy.
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This tablet gives the iPad 2 a run for its money, and if you're more interested in the web than apps it comes out top
Lightweight; good display; runs smoothly; great web browsing experience
The iPad 2 has a better choice of consistently high-quality apps
£399 (16GB, WiFi)
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