Samsung Australia was handed a win this week, with the courts overturning an earlier ruling banning the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and allowing it to be sold locally. With that in mind, we’ve just been handed Samsung’s iPad competitor and can now tell you what you can look forward to.
Lighter than the iPad 2 and just a hair thinner, it’s one device that leaves you feeling impressed. While it lacks the aluminium that makes the iPad feel super sturdy, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is no slouch, adopting a brushed plastic back, giving it some sense of grip.
It’s very comfortable in the hands too, thanks to curved edges and a very good weighting that makes the tablet quite well balanced when held with one hand or two.
The 10.1 inch screen is kept in place with a black frame and covered by a layer of Corning’s scratch-proof Gorilla Glass, adding to the quality.
We should mention that our model lacked any modifications by Samsung to Google’s Android Honeycomb OS, making it a pretty stock-standard Android experience. This isn’t bad, but we weren’t able to experience Samsung’s Touchwiz interface that we’ve heard so much about, the same style of overlay that appears on the company’s Galaxy S2 smartphone.
Samsung hasn’t yet told us which model will hit Australia when it’s released in the next week – stock-Android or Samsung TouchWiz – but physically, we can say that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a nice tablet, designed and well weighted for comfortable use.
We can definitely see why Apple is concerned about the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as it’s easily one of the best iPad competitors we’ve seen.
UPDATE (December 2, 2011): It might be a week longer until we see the Tab makes its way to retail shelves. Samsung said today that “The High Court of Australia has granted a stay until December 9 to allow it to consider whether to accept Apple’s application for special leave to appeal. Samsung believes Apple has no basis for its application for leave to appeal and will vigorously oppose this to the High Court.”