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Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look

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IFA 2011. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 – The First Look

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is coming to replace the original tablet of this Korean manufacturer. It's been a year since the first Galaxy Tab was announced so the time is right for the new platform with a dual-core processor, excellent screen (same as in the flagship phone SGS II), lots of memory, SIM support (including phone functionality). Galaxy Tab 7.7 inherited all the features of the original and brings a pack of new ones.

Design and Size

The tablet looks just as any other tablet: large screen, thin body. And it does not resemble Apple iPad 2, no associations at all. The back panel is metal with a vertical pattern except for the upper and lower parts that cover the antennae.

To my taste Galaxy Tab 7.7 looks too simplistic and unassuming – a working class tablet. I cannot call it stylish or elegant but it is far from ugly too. This model incorporates a lot of design elements we have seen somewhere else and that spoils my impression of Galaxy Tab 7.7. I think the proper word to describe its looks would be derivative, not bad.

In terms of size the tablet is a bit bigger than the original Galaxy Tab (P1000) and it's much thinner (7.9mm vs. 12mm). It is comfortable to hold, it weighs only 335g/11.8oz so you'll have no problem using it for a long time without getting tired. However, it will still be inconvenient to make phone calls by putting it against your ear, which you can, it is too big and heavy for that.


Galaxy Tab 7.7 uses a 7.7" SuperAMOLED Plus screen with the resolution of 1280x800. The screen is really good, view angles are excellent and the brightness levels are quite sufficient. You can change the contrast settings by selecting a screen mode. I must note that the screen size to resolution ratio in Galaxy Tab 7.7 is one of the best on the market. The same resolution is used in 10.1" tablets so Tab 7.7" has a much sharper picture. It hard to see the difference with the naked eye and there is now Samsung Galaxy Note that offers even more pixels per inch: Galaxy Tab 7.7" has 196ppi while Galaxy Note 282ppi.

The screen is very responsive and supports multitouch. The surface of the screen is protected by glass so it is very scratch resistant but still fingerprints prone.

Performance and Hardware

The tablet uses a Samsung platform with a 1.4GHz dual core processor, same as in Galaxy Note. It has 1GB of system memory and it comes with 16/32/64GB of storage space. There is also a microSD slot.

I suppose that since it uses the company's own platform and not NVidia Tegra2 the performance must be as good as in SGS II. Besides, Samsung Exynos never had problems with FyllHD playback including .mkv files.

The SIM onboard can be used to access the Internet or for phone calls. There will also be Wi-Fi version available – without a SIM slot.

As well as Galaxy Tab 10.1, its big brother, Tab 7.7" uses a proprietary interface for charging and PC syncing instead of microUSB slot. Among the accessories available for Galaxy Tab 7.7 there will be a USB adapter. The interface supports the USB host feature. Interestingly, there is an IR (infrared) interface on the tablet. There will software available for remote controlling domestic electronic devices like TV, stereo and DVD/BD players.

OS and Interface

The tablet runs on Android 3.2 and there was no serious changes to the standard interface of Android 3.x in the sample I was testing. As usual for Samsung products there are a lot of extra preinstalled apps from games to office apps. I will discuss the software in detail in the coming full review of the tablet.

Bottom Line

I am not a big fan of tablets as such so my first impressions of Galaxy Tab 7.7" are not those of an admirer. However, I understand perfectly that the tablet presented at IFA is not an alsorunner. The manufacturer gave Galaxy Tab 7.7 its latest platform, excellent screen, memory card and SIM card slots for a reason. This device is expected to occupy the so far empty niche of relatively compact tablets.

As of today there is only HTC Flyer in this segment and a few minor manufacturers like Viewsonic, Huawei, Creative, Archos, Dell, Blackberry. The latter two launched their not bad 7" tablets but at that time there was no market for them and potential buyers could only buy such tablets spontaneously. Today the situation is different and 7" tablets might become popular and exactly at this critical point Samsung launches its very boring, in my opinion, but brilliant in terms of specs Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Now we have to wait till the manufacturer reveals the price for it and the release date to announce a verdict.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion be known to the author and everybody else.

Artem Lutfullin (artem@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Robert Mugattarov (mugattarov@gmail.com)

Published — 02 September 2011

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