Galaxy Tab hands-on

This hands-on marks the second time we have gotten the chance to play with the Samsung Galaxy Tab here at Android Central.  Dieter Bohn got to play with it first when it was announced at IFA. I had the chance to mess around with it last night at Samsung's media event in New York City at the Time Warner Center. Click on after the break to hear impressions and watch me put finger prints all over the prototype.

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The Galaxy Tab felt solid. It wasn't too weighty, and it wasn't too light. To put it in perspective, Omar Khan from Samsung stated "it weighs about the same as a 12-ounce soda can."

The next thing I noticed after the first few seconds of holding it was the texture of the device. The tablet sports a glossy finish, that sits comfortably in your hand. Though, the smoothness was a nice feature, the thickness was not. It seemed a bit thicker than what you would come expect from a seven inch display. Again, the weight wasn't perfect, but I could definitely see myself putting this in my coat pocket and not notice it weighing me down.

On to the screen and the UI. The screen is beautiful, there is no doubt about it. The 1024 x 600 display responded to every gesture I made on the device. Muti-touch when pinching to zoom was what we have all come to suspect at this point. I feel like anything smartphone or tablet device that doesn't have these capabilities at this point, is behind. Moving on to TouchWiz. It's there, folks, and it's really not that bad. It seemed a bit modified also, all the app icons seemed like they were scaled properly for a tablet device. Not to small nor not to big. The tablet I played with only had two panels filled with apps. I'm assuming with the 1GHz processor, you shouldn't be limited to just two panels. 

Luckily enough, Samsung had set up video chat. When Dieter first played with the Galaxy Tab a few weeks ago, the video chat option wasn't there. Just like the Evo 4G and the Epic 4G, the tablet had Qik installed on the device. With the 1.3 MP front-facing camera, the image quality was decent. The video seemed a bit blocky and clunky, though, there didn't seem to be any lag. Mind you, we were running on WiFi from the same access point; mileage will vary. Also during the briefing, Samsung announced that video chat could only be used over WiFi. This was a pretty disapointing announcement, as I was hoping they would take a stab at Apple's FaceTime. Additionally, 4G capabilities will not be available on any of the carriers tablets. Come on Samsung, the Epic 4G has it!

During the presentation, Samsung had an exec from Adobe magically "Flash" on stage. Well, no -- he just walked on stage. Anyway, he showed the wonders of Flash 10.1 running on the Galaxy Tab. To push the device and really show its ability to run Flash, the exec from Adobe loaded up J.K. Rowling's website. The author of the beloved Harry Potter series, sports a very heavy Flash based website. As you'll see in video, the site loads a quite rapidily. Unfortunately, when I demoed the site, the tablet's auto rotation was locked. I was only able to view it in portrait mode. Even though I was restricted to portrait mode, the flashy site responded to all my interactions. Take a look for yourself, even on desktop or laptop machine, the Flash heavy site is pretty intricate:

I wasn't wowed by the device -- and you might not be, either. Though it didn't help that Samsung showed off the international version of the Galaxy Tab, and none of the carrier-specific versions it had just announced. If Samsung really wants to hit hard with this device -- especially on all the carriers -- it will need to work with the carriers to provide a mass market price. And if it wants Media Hub to be a success, it will need to definitely make that entry price a good one.