Monday, January 17, 2011

My impressions of the Samsung P1000 Galaxy Tab: Size and Swype

We have had our Samsung Galaxy Tab now for six days. In that period of time, it has been used for about 25 hours and traveled around 250 kilometers. I am not reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Tab. If you are looking for one,  GSMArena and Trusted Reviews have fair reviews on this device. This is just a mini, review, some of my initial impressions on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

7-inch v. 9.7-inch debate. There has been much debate about the correct size for a tablet. After using the Samsung Galaxy Tab for six days, I can say that there is definitely room for 7-inch tablets. It has to do with ease of carry. The Samsung Galaxy Tab measures in at 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.47 inches. Apple's iPad, is 9.6 x 7.4 x 0.5 inches. Basically the Samsung Galaxy Tab is half the size of the iPad.

For my own use, the smaller size of the Samsung Galaxy Tab does not make as much of a difference as I initially thought. When I will be doing field work, I carry a smartphone in a belt holster and and small 2.9 pound laptop in a briefcase with a shoulder strap or a back-pack. When I plan to be staying in the office the whole day or on weekends, I just carry the smartphone. Whether I would carry the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Apple iPad, or the Apple MacBook Air, I would still be carrying briefcase with a shoulder strap or a back-pack. Sure I could carry the Samsung Galaxy Tab or an Apple iPad in a leather book type cover, but that means not having one hand free the entire time I am carrying the device. If you are carrying a carrying briefcase or a back-pack anyway, I would prefer a ultraportable laptop to either of the two tablets. Basically, I do not have a shoulder bag making the size of the Samsung Galaxy Tab worthwhile, and a belt bag is not going to look too good with my suits.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is actually my wifes gadget, and not mine. In her case the 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.47 inch size is a definite plus. It easily slides in in 11 or her 12 hand and shoulders bags that she rotates. The Apple iPad would fit in only 2 out of 12. Actually, my Apple MacBook Air would fit into the same two bags that the Apple iPad would fit in. The Apple iPad still does weigh almost half as much less as  the Apple MacBook Air which makes it a lot easier to drag around.

Basically, decide how you plan to carry it around, and that should help you decide whether 7-inches or 10-inches is better for you.

Swype. Swype is cool. It can be learned in less than 5 minutes and is enough to convince me that I do not really need a physical QWERTY keyboard on my next device.

What is Swype? Watch this demo:

Using Swype on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, I love it in the portrait mode, but not so much in the landscape mode. Why? Swype is a single hand input method. Having the keys spaced further and further apart means more hand movement. In portrait mode with the device in hand, I use my thumb to Swype. Laying the tab on a table, whether in portrait or landscape mode. I use my forefinger to input with Swype which feels less comfortable. Swype is revolutionary. 

I am not sure how I will feel about Swype on smaller devices. I can imagine it will be nice to use in portrait mode on large 4-inch to 4.3-inch screen devices. On smaller devices, it would be okay to use it in landscape mode I would think.

Will check back in with more input after a few more days of use.

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