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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review

Andrew Williams



Our Score


User Score


  • Fab screen
  • Ultra slim, light design
  • Good video compatibility


  • Poor connectivity
  • Non-expandable memory
  • Let down by Android app scene

Review Price £372.49

Key Features: 1GHz Tegra 2 CPU; 1GB RAM; Android 3.1 OS; 10.1in PLS display; 16GB(/32GB) internal memory

Manufacturer: Samsung

It's hard enough to look at any 10in Android tablet without instantly comparing it to Apple's iPad 2, but it's virtually impossible not to do so with Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. Aside from the widescreen form factor, every part of this sleek Android Honeycomb 3.1 tablet's look is geared to go head-to-head with Apple's iOS big boy. It ensures one thing though - this is the best-looking Android tablet yet.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 proves that it's not only Apple that can produce truly lovely hardware. Miraculously, this tablet is lighter and thinner than the iPad 2, at 8.6mm thick and 565g. These trimmed-down figures, 15g lighter, 0.2mm thinner, are too slight to notice in real life usage, but competing with an iPad 2 on these fronts is something no Android tablet has managed previously.

It's very thin and light but, like every large tablet, it's not hugely comfortable to use one-handed for extended periods. The screen surround is plastic too, rather than the metal seen in some other top-end Android tabs, but this doesn't lead to a remotely cheap feel. It only extends a few millimetres around the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's sides. The back uses a soft-touch finish, which is more comfortable in-hand than a hard metal back. This tab is an absolute joy to hold.

There's a definite seam along the border between the black back and the silvery sides, but aesthetically the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a triumph.

Galaxy Tab 10.1 8

Samsung's adoption of something approaching Apple's design philosophy has also resulted in some serious connectivity compromises. It comes with 16GB of internal memory, and there's currently no way to increase this. There's no memory card slot, and no USB socket. The only connectors on-board are the proprietary dock socket, used for charging the tab and connecting to a PC, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. Compare this to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with its miniHDMI and microSD card slots and you start to understand the cost of a design as pure as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's.

Galaxy Tab 10.1 6Galaxy Tab 10.1 7

Samsung lets you combat this lack of connectivity with accessories. Other than the USB cable and power adaptor, none are included in the box, but an HDMI adaptor is on sale for £30. A multimedia dock and keyboard dock are also available - the latter won't turn your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into a netbook though, it's much more like the keyboard dock for the original iPad. Surveying the total of what's available to the Tab, bundled or otherwise, it's actually less flexible than an iPad 2 in some respects, as there's currently no way to up a memory card (the Apple Camera Connection Kit allows this).

In real-world usage the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 still wins the flexibility fight - plug it into a computer using the USB cable and you can drag and drop files freely into the 16GB of internal memory. After the OS and pre-installed apps have had its way with this storage, there's a reasonable 13GB left to play with.

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simon jackson

August 3, 2011, 3:43 pm

Part of me is really tempted by this tab, but another, stingier part of me wants to wait for kal el. I already have a tegra 2 phone, so spending money on another tegra 2 device (albeit a slightly faster one) feels a bit like buying the same thing twice...


August 3, 2011, 4:52 pm

Thanks for the review!

It seems really good for the most part, but the connectivity issues (no HDMI output???) and non-expandable memory put me off... 13gb free space sounds a lot, but I would fill that in no time.

I think I will wait another year before jumping into the tablet market, by which time it might start maturing; as I am waiting for a suitable one that I can use for business and personal use e.g. having a stylus like the HTC Flyer (but built into the chasis) with more programs using it - for business meetings. As well as tons more memory to hold my [business & personal] dropbox contents which are around 70gb plus putting on some movies, tv shows, music, etc.

As my camera will need replacing before long I would also like to see one with a better quality camera.


August 3, 2011, 5:07 pm

There would be a lot more memory left in the 32GB edition of course, but that's a healthy wedge extra.


August 3, 2011, 5:52 pm

Perfect timing for the review, as I'm currently 1/2 way through my move to a tablet at home.
I'm currently using a 2009 macbook but am switching certain duties (email storage, music & photo & video storage, iPod syncing) to a eBay sourced Dell Zino HD run headless in the spare room.
Based on this review, I'll still be picking up a Transformer with keyboard this weekend for day to day use and putting the macbook up on eBay. Say what you like about Apple, but the resale value is excellent :-)


August 5, 2011, 9:02 pm

i definately prefer the aspect ratio on this,something i hope ipad 3 gets.

shame you couldn't put ios on this or i'de get one.


August 7, 2011, 2:45 pm

I'd have to say I was disappointed, having played with a Galaxy Tab 10.1 yesterday.

The principal disappointment was the responsiveness of the screen. Try tilting the screen from horizontal to vertical and you'll see what I mean.

The uncertainty of response (which you mention when describing the halting scrolling action) rather tends to keep it out of the iPad league, I fear.


August 9, 2011, 5:23 am

Got this the other day after falling for all the hype and reviews.

The touchscreen has a major bug which hasn't been mentioned here at all. After a couple of hours playing and getting to grips with the tab, I started to notice a very irritating problem – at times the touch screen will become completely unresponsive, usually for 5-10 seconds.

Google Maps foe example will freeze completely for 5-10 seconds and then force close.

Infuriating to use and a complete waste of money IMO. Shoddy hardware/software disguised as a high end device. Save your money.


August 9, 2011, 8:10 pm

I cant believe this product is getting so many positive reviews! I have had mine fro about a week now and I have had many problems with it. Screenfreeze, touchbug, problems with charging, etc etc, the list is endless and I dont think it's an isolated problem as I have seen quite a lot of people saying the same sort of thing....
anyone else??


August 19, 2011, 1:47 pm

I didn't read the reviews as my Galaxy was a unexpected gift. However now that I have it I am disappointed and wish my friends had read the reviews. I thought maybe the screen sticking/freezing was just my unit, however seems to be a factory/design problem. Is there a chance of a Samsung recall?


August 19, 2011, 10:42 pm

touchbug issue is still continuing for me. uploaded video here:


absoultely sick of this now. samsung should get off their backsides and fix the bugs. people like me have paid £400-500 for this piece of kit which doesnt work. complete nigthmare atm.


August 24, 2011, 5:02 pm

I've also got the infamous 'oil slick' issue on my GT 10.1


Have seen many many people complaining of this on youtube and forums.

Anyone from TR care to respond?


August 24, 2011, 5:36 pm

Have you brought it up with Samsung/the retailer? We didn't see this effect on our review model, but it's not something we'd expect in a £400 product.

danny pontin

August 30, 2011, 9:09 pm

ive been getting an 'oil slick' underneath my screen and am getting very dissapointed with my purchase. this seems to be a common problem with this particular tab and i dont understand how its been allowed to go on sale with the issues mentioned above!

Kitty Price

September 2, 2011, 10:30 pm

Did anyone return their Galaxy Tab 10.1 due to a design fault…the "oil slick" / "Newton Rings"?
As mine was a gift and have since travelled leaving the friends with the receipt.
Can I take it to any dealer and they will recognize the universal problem?
The email I received last week as not been followed up by Samsung:

Thank you for contacting Samsung Electronics.
We understand that there is a oil slick underneath the tab and the tab is not exposed to any extreme weather.
We are sorry, to hear that the tab is having the issue
Please check if the issue is persisting on all applications. If you are able to view the oil slick even if the tab is
turned off the tab requires a service.
If you are not able to view the oil slick when the tab is turned off, please perform a hard ware reset.

Posted on forums:
Samsung Philippines have admitted that there is an issue due to media pressure

What do we do now?


September 4, 2011, 4:00 am


Samsung have finally admitted there is a fault with the 10.1 with the oil slick aka 'newton rings'


but dont get too excited, they just tell you to'call customer service'.


Kitty Price

September 13, 2011, 10:46 pm

I guess Samsung must be inadated with this problem hence my email answered, but never followed up. So I rang and finally moved a step closer to solving this "Oilslick" problem
All I have to do is simply take the unit into a retailer near me and they will send it off for inspection. Customer servce did reconize the problem as "Newton Rings" (after a few line transfers)
Great...I thought however, I wish I could feel a sense of relief but it seems all I have to look forward to is waiting for weeks of repairs and replacements and no closer to using a gift that I was so happy about receiving.
I just wish Samsung could have prevented this.


January 6, 2012, 5:18 am

If these faults are as bad as people say then trusted review should remove or at least revise their praise for this device. It is websites like this that many use to get an idea of a products quality and reliablility. If the tablet is so flawed, why are they not doing something about it?

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