Well here it is – the first blog post – and no better way to start things off then posting about the sweet gifts we received from Google I/O 2011 in San Francisco!
As a first time attendee, things were pretty spectacular. The huge open spaces quickly became jam packed with eager, wide-eyed developers waiting to hear what new technologies and services will be available (and of course what devices we’re going to get our hands on).
Long before the conference people were speculating Tablet, Nexus S and Chromebook. Rumors of a tablet were more less confirmed with some coy remarks from a Google employee during boot camp ;)
While Google was very much hyping NFC (Near Field Communication), this added to the speculation of a Nexus S phone, especially considering the shear number of people who didn’t have an NFC capable device. (I’m not sure about anyone else, but with 3 year cell phone contracts at a minimum, it’s hard to upgrade to a new device ever year! With a year and a half left on my contract, I purchased a Nexus One when it became available on the GSM 3G 850/1900/2100MHz frequency; which ended up costing close to $750 after the exchange rate, taxes, duty and brokerage). While it’s great to see Google pushing these types of technologies, I think they got a little ahead of themselves considering what we as developers have access to, as well as the general populous lacking capable devices.
That being said, Google does love it’s developers. Tablets are making a huge push forward and there’s obviously a lack of quality apps for Android tablets; many apps currently don’t translate well from phone to tablet. And that can be directly attributed to the lack of developers/consumers with Android based tablets. But on May 11th, 2011 that all changed – with thunderous applause and cheering from some 5,500 developers during the Day 1 Keynote; it was announced each Google I/O attendee would receive an unreleased, hand made, limited edition (white with androids) Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1!
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition: Hands-On
After the keynote we headed down to the Gear Pickup booth, only to stand in line behind roughly 300 or more people – which means we’re standing at the front entrance of the Moscone Center, backs up against the door, peering down the vast sea of geeks waiting to get their hands on this magnificent device. Luckily for us it’s all business and the masses move along like an assembly line. Fifteen minutes later we pull up some little colorful chair cylinders (really though I’d consider them foot stools) and start unboxing our tablets upstairs in the overwhelming glare of the sun!
Aside from the blinding glare of the screen, the first thing we noticed was how well balanced it felt. (As of this posting, I can confirm it’s balancing point is pretty much dead center). It feels good in the hands and it’s deliciously thin at 8.6mm. I love the Limited Editions silver bezel and white back plate speckled with little androids. (These limited edition tablets have been hand assembled from what I’ve been told).
Once you’re out of the intense glare of direct sunlight, you’ll notice how deep and rich the colors are. Again it’s magnificent. This full HD screen is beautiful and provides brilliant movie playback. Considering the 32GB available on the device, it’ll be loaded up with lots of my favorite TV shows and movies.
Now I’m not a huge fan of proprietary adapters, which the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has as it’s only interface port. (No mini HDMI, SD card or USB). With Android 3.1 to introduce USB host support, you’ll likely want to pick up an adapter – allowing you to plug your thumb drive or other accessories into your tablet.
Also something worth mentioning is the ear buds. They’re fantastic! Typical ear buds are always falling out of my ears and provide less than adequate sound due to the fact they’re just “hanging” loosely. The ear buds included with the Samsung Galaxy tab work similarly to, well, ear plugs. Depending on the shape of your ear canal, there’s three different inserts you should try for comfort. They drown out the external noise, so you get better quality sound (at a lower volume level) and you won’t be bothering those around you with what you’re listening to. Plus they won’t be falling out of your ears every time you turn your head.
I won’t get too much into the OS itself, we all know Android annihilates Apple on so many fronts (mostly the freedom to use your device in any way you wish). But one thing I do like about Android 3.0 on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the ability to do device level encryption. There aren’t a lot of privacy and security fanatics out there these days, but for those of us who are – this is a much welcome feature. It adds a little bit of time to the initial booting of the tablet (You’ll need to enter your encryption pass-phrase before it can boot), though overall performance is unaffected.
I honestly can’t say there’s anything wrong with this tablet. Sure the proprietary adapter thing; but it’s not a deal breaker by any means. It’s design is elegant and smooth, perfectly balanced, nice to look at and great to hold. The processor is plenty powerful with lots of ram and loads of storage. Battery life can easily get you through the day of constant use. I’m actually kind of glad it doesn’t come with a 3G/4G capability – I don’t need an extra mobile data bill every month when I can easily WiFi tether it to my android phone for free.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a direct competitor with the iPad2 – the Galaxy Tab clearly wins on all fronts (hardware/software). It could have a lower price point, but cutting edge isn’t cheap.
Be sure to check out the Samsung Chromebook which was also given out to each Google I/O attendee.
Galaxy Tab 10.1 LE Specs
16GB WiFi – $499 (Release date: June 8th, 2011)
32GB WiFi – $599 (Release date: June 8th, 2011)
|Pixels Per Inch||149 PPI|
|Bluetooth Core Spec||Bluetooth Core Spec v2.1+EDR
Protocol: BNEP, GAP, GOEP, RFCOMM
Profile: A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HID, HSP, OPP, PAN, PBAP, SPP
IOP (Interoperability Test Spec), Dual Profile
|Bluetooth profiles||A2DP, AVRCP, GADVP, GAP, GOEP, HID, HSP, OPP,PAN, SPP, EDR, DUAL PROFILE BT|
|SyncML||SyncML DM v1.2|
|Audio Codec||MP3, OGG, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-, NB, AMR-WB, WMA, WAV, MID, AC3, IMY, AAC(Mono), AMR_NB|
|Video Codec||Resolution 720p/1080p Mpeg4, H.264, H.263, H263Sorenson, Divx/XviD, VC-1, WMV7/8|
|Image Format||JPEG, PNG, GIF, WBMP, BMP|
|Ear Jack||3.5 mm (4 Pole) – Line – in MIC support|
|Battery||Li-polymer 7000 mAh|
|Connectivity||WiFi 801.11 a/b/g/n
USB 2.0 H/S, BT v 3.0
|IF Connector||30 Pin|
|Speaker||Size : 17 x 12 (3.5T)
SPK : SPK 2EA
|VPS||Package : TA(w/Data Cable), Manual
Option : Vehicle Dock, Keyboard Dock,
Desktop Dock (w/out HDMI out), etc
|Additional Chip||Dual Core T20|
|Dimention||175.3 x 256.7 x 8.6mm, 565g|
|Display||10.1” WXGA (1280×800) TFT(PLS)|
|Camera||3M AF + 2M FF|