The tablet computer market pioneered by the Apple iPad is growing rapidly and tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, are quickly replacing laptops and PCs. Many companies are allowing employees to work on their own mobile devices. If you often have work to do outside the office, don’t want to carry a laptop around, and find a smart phone too small for the requirements of your work, a tablet may be the answer.
The Apple iPad and the new iPad Mini are still very popular choices, but there are a limited number of models. The Samsung Galaxy Tab family of tablets are Android devices that include various sizes, price points and capabilities. Samsung has a complete list in their products section. If you want a screen a little bigger or smaller, different connectivity options or an inexpensive tablet, you may be able to find a corresponding Samsung model. All the models have a mobile version that connects to networks at up to 4G LTE speeds.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Overview
The range of products sharing the Samsung Galaxy Tab name includes two smaller tablets having screens of 7 inches and 7.7 inches as well as a larger model with a 10.1-inch screen. Samsung launched the larger Tab 2 10.1 tablet at the end of 2012, but the 7-inch tablet is available in older Tab 7.0 versions, as well as newer Tab 2 7.0 models. The Tab 7.7 model dates from March 2012 and is currently available on Verizon and with Wi-Fi only. The other two sizes are available in Wi-Fi versions and on a wide variety of carriers.
The screens of the Galaxy Tab family are all high-resolution, but some competing products offer even more pixels on their larger tablets. The 7-inch tablets all have 1024×600 pixels while the 7.7-inch and 10.1-inch models both feature 1280×800 pixels. These values are excellent for the smaller tablets and exceptional for the 7.7-inch model, but both the Apple iPad and the Google Nexus 10 have about twice the resolution for their 10-inch screens.
The Galaxy Tab family of products all use the Android operating system but they don’t all have the latest versions. While Samsung may upgrade some of the models, only the Tab 2 7.0 and the Tab 2 10.1 models come with the Android 4 operating system. The smaller and older models use the Android 3.2 “Honeycomb” version, which is less powerful and has fewer features.
You can choose whether you want to use one of these tablets with your mobile service, go with a mobile hotspot or tethering to your phone, or with a Wi-Fi only model that you use on your home network or with public WiFi. The 10.1-inch and the older Tab 7.0 models have both Wi-Fi only versions and versions available from T-Mobile and Verizon. The Tab 7.0 is available from U.S. Cellular, as well, while the 10.1-inch model is also available from AT&T and Sprint. The Tab 2 7.0 and Tab 7.7 models are available only from Verizon, and the Tab 7.0 plus only comes from T-Mobile. The Tab 2 10.1, Tab 2 7.0, and Tab 7.7 models are capable of 4G LTE speeds where available , while the Tab 7.0 plus and Tab 7.0 models use older, slower technology.
The internal memory determines how much data and how many apps you can store on your tablet. If the tablet can handle additional external memory or has a memory card slot, it can store more. All the Samsung Galaxy Tab devices come with 8 GB or 16 GB internal memory and all have external memory capability or an SD or Micro-SD card slot.
All the tablets have a front-facing camera, which is of lower resolution, but good enough for Skype or video conferencing. The rear-facing cameras have 3.0 or 3.2 Mega pixels, which is on the low side. You’ll get pictures that look good on the screen or on the Internet, but they will show some pixellation if printed out on 8×10-inch photo paper.
Battery life is fairly typical for mobile devices with the longest usage times achieved by the Wi-Fi only devices. The older models with slower connection speeds get between eight and twelve hours of usage time on a charge. Samsung doesn’t give firm numbers for the newer 4G LTE models because the faster connection speeds use up a lot of power. For these devices it depends on now strong the signals are in a particular location.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 using Verizon’s 4G LTE technology is a fast device with a superior screen. The Tab 2 7.0 and Tab 2 10.1 models are good, solid tablets that don’t excel at anything in particular but deliver a comprehensive tablet package in the two most popular sizes. The Tab 7.0 and 7.0 plus have older technology that is functional but doesn’t deliver the latest features and speed. These older devices might be an option if you’re looking for a bargain or a good, low-priced plan with one of the mobile services that carry them.
If you’re looking for an Android tablet, the Google Nexus, Asus, Motorola and Amazon tablets are popular competitors to the Samsung Galaxy Tab family and are worth a look to compare the details of the most important characteristics.