Galaxy Tab Pros and Cons

After using a prototype Galaxy Tab I wanted one.  Now that I have owned one for two weeks (actually it is all I had while on vacation for a week), I thought it would be good to review what I like and don't like about the Galaxy Tab.  What I have been looking for is a replacement for my laptop which I still need to use because of a list of things the Iphone is not up to doing.

Pros - Tablet Wish List

Things that make me use a laptop, Iphone doesn't do these well

  • Need a Laptop replacement
  • Instant on - I hate waiting 4 minutes for windows to boot.
  • Instant Applications - I hate waiting 15 seconds for Outlook or Word to boot
  • Bigger Screen
  • Bigger keyboard, Swipe Keyboard, easy to type longer documents.
  • Small enough to hold in one hand while typing with the other
  • About half the weight of the Ipad
  • Open platform
  • Expansion slot for memory
  • Light enough to be used as a Kindle Reader to read full novels, I am on my second novel.
  • Can mount as a USB drive on my computer.
  • Remote Desktop to my Desktop computer
  • A way to enter rich text, things like bold, fonts, headings (Iphone does not allow this)
  • Both Read and Edit Word, Excel Documents (Thinkfree Office does this and was installed)
  • Android can display fonts 4 times larger than IOS from Apple, this is important for a friend of mine who is nearly blind, so she is replacing her IPad with a Galaxy Tab 10.1

Cons - What I wish for the Galaxy Tab (or Android)

  • Free text messages and voice calls.  I think Google is working on google voice
  • A Cisco VPN client, Cisco has promissed the new "AnyClient" by the end of 2010 will support Android
  • Better buttons, I find the on off button placement akward and the four touch buttons at the bottom of the screen get touched when I don't mean to some times.  I would prefer real buttons at the bottom of the screen.
  • Better combatibility mode management.  I would like a setting that is exposed, not hidden, to turn off combatibility mode.  Even better would be the option to list applications that need combatibilty mode like my old Palm TX would let me.
  • Complete User Manual for Android 2.2, and for Galaxy Tab

More Pros - Things I really like now that I have them

  • Widgets
  • Top Bar - drag down for settings and notifications
  • I can turn off compatibility mode and get most Apps to run in the full screen.

Back ground on my situation

I purchased Galaxy Tab from Verizon on the first day they went on sale in the USA.  I have been a mostly happy Iphone 3GS user for 18 months.  I plan to continue to use my Iphone as a cell phone and for reminding me what apponitments I have while I am on the go.  In addition to the Iphone, I also have to carry around a laptop computer.  I need the laptop because I don't like to type long emails on my Iphone, I have a hard time, with my old eyes, seeing the tiny Iphone screen, this makes browsing web pages or looking at documents on a phone impratical for me. 

So I have been looking for something that would let me do all the things I do on my laptop without lugging around my laptop.  I considered something like my son's netbook but that does not address the instant on and instant application access.  Also you must sit down to use a netbook or even to really use an IPad.  With a 7 inch Galaxy Tab I hold it in one hand while using it with the other.

In summary

Would I trade my Galaxy Tab in for something else?  No way!  My only problem is getting a chance to use it.  My wife and kids want to use it every chance they get.  My kids all have an Ipod touch, but they like the big screen and play games with multiple people watching or playing.  My wife prefers the Tab over her computer in the kitchen for looking up web sites or checking email.

The only thing I am not sure of is which provider (see cost comparison) is really the best fit for me and my needs.  I thought I would use lots of data, but since I have WiFi at my house, work and even the inlaws, I use much less than I thought I would.  I even traveled for week on vacation and downloaded a couple more apps and only have used 200 MB in two weeks.  (I have been careful to only use Youtube when on WiFi).  Verizon support knows almost nothing about the Galaxy Tab.  Maybe no one else does either.

Here are some of my tips and tricks for new Galaxy users.

Best of luck as you are considering your options.

 

Here is a good review on Android Tablets:

Review Four Android tablets vie for your attention

To see how the first Android slates stack up against each other, I looked at four tablets: three with 7-in. screens -- the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 -- and the 10-inch Archos 101 Internet Tablet. I also checked out HP's PhotoSmart eStation C510, an inkjet printer with a Zeen wireless Android tablet included.

...

Conclusions

Having lived with each of these tablets, I admire them all, but for different reasons. In my opinion, they each take a technological step over the iPad. The three with 7-in. screens are portable enough to fit into a back pocket but still very usable for Web browsing, e-book reading and media watching. Even the largest of the four reviewed here, the 10-in. Archos 101, is thinner and lighter than the iPad. In addition, each has at least one camera and can expand its storage options with a microSD card. And two -- the Galaxy Tab and ViewPad 7 -- have the streamlined Swype keyboard.

That being said, I was able to choose my favorite among the four.

The simple, functional and inexpensive design of the Archos 70 and 101 Internet Tablets are appealing, but they come up short on software and 3G abilities. The ViewPad 7's clever keyboard and its padded case make it tempting, but the system needs better performance and a 3G carrier.

The clear winner here is the Galaxy Tab. Not only does it come in versions for five national 3G networks, but its high-resolution screen, support for Swype keyboard gestures and great performance put it in a class by itself. If it only had a stand, it would be my perfect tablet.

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