Samsung Galaxy Tab Impressions

by Jonathan | Sep 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm | technology

As an avid gadget lover when I heard about the Galaxy Tab and the whole series of Galaxy devices I was intrigued. If you don’t know Samsung is currently releasing a whole family of phones and now a tablet. I find this a very interesting way for a phone manufacture to release phones on different carriers but still market them as one family. Each cellular provider has a little different hardware but all the phones run Android with Samsung’s Touch Wiz overlay.

The Galaxy Tab has been surrounded in secrecy for some time now. Samsung has recently unveiled the product to the public and there are several interested decisions that were made. A quick run down of the hardware and software. The Tab is a 7 inch LCD tablet with a rectangular design. It has a front facing and rear facing camera, all the accelerometers you expect and cellular connectivity. The Tab comes in a 16 gig and 32 gig version and they all come with an SD card slot for expanded memory. The current version also runs Android 2.2

Lets break down the market for something like this. Large companies only put out devices that they think will sell. That means they think one of a few things, there is enough market demand to add another device, their device is better than the competition or there is no competition. There is a market for tablet devices but Samsung is not the only one in it. So who is Samsung competing with? I think most people would agree that this is in the same market as the Apple iPad. It is in the same form factor as the Kindle and the Nook as well. Although I believe the functionality is much different.

The first question I have is why did Samsung go with a 7 inch screen? Did they think that a wildly successful 9.7 inch tablet was to big? At least in the smart phone market it seems like larger screens are becoming more of the norm. I believe that holding a tablet that is more than 10 inches seems like it would be to large. But I wonder how much research Samsung did on the screen size. It is such an important part of a tablet, it is the first thing you notice. You are not going to put either the iPad or Tab in your pocket, they seem to have equal portability. I will say that the iPad seems like it could be more of a two handed device while the Tab appears to be more of a one handed device. Maybe Samsung was willing to risk those customers who want the larger screen for product separation. Give the Tab a 10 inch screen may have put off customers who thought they were coping Apple.

My second question is more of a concern. What makes the iPad so great is the App market. Because Apple makes the iPad and is in charge of the App market they could create a whole new section of tablet specific apps. The Tab runs Android which is not run by Samsung. The Android market place is full of great apps but how are those going to look on the 7 inch screen. iPhone apps on the iPad look very pixelated and do not scale well at all. From what I have heard Google’s app creating tools already support the higher resolution but will developers get on board with this. Will there need to be a special view in the Android app market to see higher resolution apps.

It seems like there are a bunch of questions still unanswered. I am sure that Google knew about this device well before we did so they must have an opinion. Most of us can agree that what really makes a mobile device are the apps. Samsung has provided several of it’s own apps and it’s own apps store but will that be enough. I am not sure if Samsung even lets third party developers in their own app market. I hope this is cleared up as we get closer to the American release. I believe the Tab looks like a very appealing device. Something that could compliment a laptop when traveling on the road.

Your thoughts? The Tab is being released over seas first and will later come to America, maybe with the announcement of Android 3?