Samsung Galaxy Tab - Oh, That Screen

Really, I have to commend Samsung here. There’s no AMOLED, no IPS, and no S-LCD, but they managed to put a very high quality LED-backlit LCD panel into the Galaxy Tab. The contrast ratio is a devilish 666:1, neatly splitting the difference between the EVO 4G and the Dell Streak, but well short of the iPad’s stellar 934:1 number. But the best thing about the screen is that even without any of the more advanced display technologies, viewing angles are still excellent. As we’ve mentioned before, viewing angles are significantly more important for tablets than netbooks or notebooks, so it’s reassuring to see that Samsung recognizes this.

Display Contrast

The 7” display packs the same WSVGA resolution as most 10” widescreen tablets, so the pixel density is relatively high at 170ppi (versus 138 for the iPad and 116 for most 10” WSVGA tablets). Current rumors put some of the upcoming 10” tablets at 1366x768 or 1280x800, so we’ll see pixel density rise for the industry as a whole, but overall the Galaxy Tab has a pleasantly crisp screen.

The end user experience of any tablet really begins with the screen, and it’s probably one of the most overlooked components in any given device. The display can really make or break any tablet, so it’s important to note that the Galaxy Tab has a very good one.

Samsung Galaxy Tab - The Hardware Samsung Galaxy Tab - Size Really Does Matter
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  • trip1ex - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    because tablet software is made for the tablet while the software that is run on netbooks is developed for machines that are much more powerful with bigger screens and keyboards.

    That's a big reason why netbooks are a crappy user experience and the experience on the iPad is a great user experience.
  • vld - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    How about the Archos 70 or 101 internet tablets? Direct comparison is definitely possible with the Froyo2.2 update from their web page.
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    Do they have those for testing? I'm defiantly interested in those, with Froyo and potentially Honeycomb plus jailbreaking those look like solid contenders for a much entry lower price.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    Got a 101 for my parents for's certainly not in the same league as the iPad and G-Tab, but at the price it doesn't have to be. And at least you get hdmi out and a usb host (with an extra adapter on the 70).

    If Archos could spare 5p for some marketing, they'd be a major player.... Sadly, their finances are a bit strained....And they're French :-O

    Also, I continuously fail to see why people pay laptop money for sub-netbook hardware, just because someone went and threw the keyboard away. It's pretty ridiculous....At their pricepoints the Archos tablets are sensible products - slightly more portable than a netbook, and direct interaction UIs (ie touchscreens), while priced in the same region. The expensive tabs don't do significantly more, but the extra cost is just astronomical. Even 50% more, so in the 450-500 euro/$ range would be expensive....
  • TareX - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    It was a nice attempt on Samsung's behalf, but I knew I would be waiting for the Honeycomb 8.9" Tegra 2 tablets instead, like the LG Optimus Pad...
  • rs2 - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    "So what then? It’s the software. Or, to be more specific, Froyo. It’s too similar to a smartphone right now, too much of the same experience repeated on a 200% scale."

    ...and the iPad is the same experience as the iPhone on a 400% scale. You can't place the Galaxy Tab second to the iPad just for having the same problem as the iPad.
  • robco - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    That would be true of the first version of the software. It was a bit of a kludge. Now we know that the iPad was actually conceived first, so you could say the iPhone is a scaled down iPad.

    But Apple did create a lot of new UI widgets specifically designed to take advantage of the larger screen real estate. Froyo doesn't have this. Apple released a new version of the SDK with an iPad emulator, Samsung had to put their own together without Google. I'm not holding out much hope for a good standard UI on Android either. Google is a great engineering company, but they miss out on the "soft" skills. Apple is good at both. I know Google has UI designers, but it doesn't appear that they listen to them very much. They seem to be more with Android over their other products, but that's not saying a whole lot. iOS looks clean and professional, Android does not.

    I think in the end, people want a clean, polished product where the underlying technology isn't in your face, but is useful and makes it easy to get things done. MS is learning this lesson. Google needs to.
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    @rs2 - if you read my software section, I said exactly that - having a scaled up OS never held the iPad back, so it's not something I can hold against the Galaxy Tab. What I can hold against the Galaxy Tab is that there are basically no apps, first party or otherwise, that take advantage of the larger screen size, other than the three or four apps that Samsung put in afterwards (Mail, Calendar, Contacts, etc). Apple basically changed every core app on the iPad to use that screen real estate, and they had more than a few high profile 3rd party apps out for the iPad - ABC player, NYT, BBC, etc etc. I don't doubt that Google will get there, probably with Honeycomb, but until then, it's a legitimate problem.
  • Rick83 - Friday, December 24, 2010 - link

    Actually, there are both screen size and resolution variables that apps can read and adopt to, which only recently have been expanded to cover up to 10" (in 2.3) and 7" (in 2.2).

    So the issue with the apps is just a matter of time.
    Also, tablets are much like TVs: consumption devices. You set the channel/insert your media and lean back. (Unless you belong to the group of idiots that mistake the devices for portable gaming systems...) In this scenarion UI scaling isn't as important as it may seem. Actually, even on my 5" 800x480 tablet, individual features are very small, and I prefer the easier reading on the big screen of the Samsung.
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, December 23, 2010 - link

    >I’m not much of a Swype guy

    Heretic!!!~ :P

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