Well it looks like I ordered a unicorn, but that’s ok. The nice people at OZ Digital Online offered me a $50 upgrade to the latest version of the 8.4 tablet called the Galaxy Tab S. The main purpose I have for this tablet is to help me be more productive at work. I chose the TabPro as much for the physical size as the applications. It turns out that the Tab S has almost the same apps on it as the Pro so I’m not really sacrificing anything, in fact I believe that I’m going to appreciate the additional 1G RAM and the battery savings that the S will have over the Pro.
For the review of the device I’ve decided to structure it one day at a time. This first post will be of course the opening and initial impressions. I expect to do another review in about a week to let you all know what it’s really like.
So, the tablet has arrived and I must say, I’m suitably impressed. I opened the box this morning after it arrived to go through the initial setup and charge the batteries. The first thing that went through my mind is that it was thin, very thin. I’m used to big and bulky things that weigh a tonne. This thing appears to be all screen, I don’t know how in the world technology has become so small. OK, I’m showing my age now so I’ll stop there. There wasn’t much included just a USB charger, cable and OZ Digital Online included a universal power adapter since the tablet came from Hong Kong. The adapter is the wrong sort so I’ll have to find another way to charge the tablet, at the moment it’s from the computer.
I returned from work and got to play a little with the tablet without cords and my first impressions with the setup is that it’s good the screen is snappy, the response is nice and the included apps are minimal. There’s only a few apps that I don’t see myself using and some others I might use once in a while, like Webex and RemotePC, but these are good to have just in case you need them. There are the typical Gallery, and standard Google apps, but along side those Samsung have put onto the tablet their takes on a few apps like the camera app. This tablet is really targeted at the professional person with the apps that they have selected to come as stock. This is fine with me, because I’m a professional.
As advertised there are only a few apps and subscriptions that Samsung have included and the Magazine UX is ever present. I’m not one for magazine subscriptions that run out after a few months so the Magazine UX isn’t really going to be used for that, but I do have a calendar and use Google+, Twitter from time to time and emails, so it can stay for now. After updating all the installed apps I looked through the freebies. I downloaded the Hancom office app, and had a brief look, more on that one later I think. Other apps I downloaded from the freebies included Fruit Ninja and the Kindle App. I have some ebooks so I’m hoping that the Kindle app might help out there though I’m not really looking forward to having to sign up for an amazon account.
The very first app from the play store that I downloaded was WordPress so that I could write this review on the tablet. Don’t worry about me, I’m using a Bluetooth keyboard. On the keyboard, I do actually like the keyboard that comes on the tablet it has good prediction and it’s clear, however there is the issue of customisation… there isn’t much. The onboard keyboard has swiping, but there’s something I’ve noticed which irks me a little. If you set the keyboard to floating or split in landscape it’s the same in portrait mode. You might think that this is a trivial thing, and I guess it is, but when you are use to TouchpalX or SwiftKey sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference.
First impressions? This tablet is nice, really nice, and it should be. This tablet is at the top of the tree at the moment, there’s not many others that could rival it. I’ve seen reviews that compare it against the iPad mini and though I don’t have a mini, I can at least agree with one thing… there’s not many tablet optimized apps out there for Android.
P.S. I had a look at what this baby is retailing for, I got it for $60 off retail price.