Many people have been waiting with bated breath for the launch of a tablet device to rival the much vaunted Apple iPad and the prime candidate has been the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Today it finally officially launched and we got our hands on one to give it our first impressions.
The first thing that strikes you about the Tab is that it's much smaller than the Apple iPad, which is of course a given considering it's a 7in device and the iPad is 9in. Nonetheless, while the iPad feels large and heavy - almost like a laptop replacement - the Tab is much closer to pocketable and generally a device we'd feel comfortable with on the move.
Helping out in this regard is its plastic construction, as opposed to the iPad's aluminium body. The flip side is that it doesn't feel quite as premium quality as the Apple device. Not that it feels cheap in anyway - its screen is glass and it feels solid enough - but it certainly lacks that certain something. The silver version, which looks at first glance like aluminium is in fact just silver painted plastic - black and white are also available.
The screen uses LCD technology (not OLED as I mistakenty say in the video) but despite this suffers no discernible issues with contrast drop off or colour shift when viewed from an angle. It's also incredibly sharp thanks to its 1,024 x 600 pixels (again, I got this wrong in the video - sorry) being packed into such a small space.
This makes the inbuilt ebook reader app, which borrows heavily from iBooks in terms of style, a surprisingly nice experience. Video and pictures also really pop out the screen making them a real pleasure to view.
As for screen size, as we've been predicting, the 7in form factor feels much more natural than the rather oversized iPad. The screen is detailed enough to view full webpages yet still be able to read the text and it's the perfect size for a page of text in a book. It's also plenty large enough that we'd be happy to watch a full movie when on the go.