Down sizing my tablet – fun with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
Posted Apr 22 2012 11:30pm
Size matters. I’ve been lugging around my HP Touchpad (dual booting Android ICS and webOS) both at work and at home. It’s a great tablet but a tad heavy if you are carrying it everyday. Rounding while wearing my eLabcoat helps somewhat but it’s still “heavy” at 740g plus the weight of the case.
Recently I saw the Galaxy Tab 7.7 at a local mall and I was attracted to the size and weight (only about 340g, less than half of the Touchpad) and brilliant screen (super Amoled at 1280 x 800 resolution). Despite the smaller screen, browsing is quite a good experience even when visiting full non-mobile sites. At the moment I have an EMR based on OpenEMR and it works quite well on the stock browser but has an Android client in the works. This was a major pull factor for me to shell out cash for the Tab 7.7 a couple of weeks ago, aside from the ability to run core medical apps like Epocrates and Medscape.
It still runs on Honeycomb and not ICS though an update should be available “in the coming months” from Samsung. I have it running on 3G data whenever Wifi is not available so the device is always “connected” which makes it more functional than a Wifi only device. I have “accessorized” it with a USB adaptor so I can read and write from my thumbdrive, as well a Bluetooth keyboard for more efficient note taking during conferences.
What’s to like about the Galaxy Tab 7.7? Apart from the form factor and great screen, the battery life is quite good. At a recent conference I attended, I used it from 8am to 6pm with 3G on all the time and it had still about 30% juice left so it will take you through a fairly busy work day. It works well as a phone but you are advised to use it with a bluetooth headset otherwise you’d look pretty geeky taking to a 7.7″ device next to your head! Being a phone at least I can now run Whatsapp in my tablet as well. Anything about it I don’t quite like? The Touchwiz interface is not quite as smooth as I would expect froma dual-core 1.4 GHz powered device. The transitions between the screens is slightly sluggish but otherwise opening apps and switching between apps is quite fast (not quite the slick multi-tasking of webOS but that’s Android for you). I also find niggling annoyances with Honeycomb but that’s just because I have had a taste of ICS so I hope Samsung will hurry up and provide the ICS update for the Tab 7.7. The camera is not great – not only a paltry 3 MP camera but the focusing and “shutter speed” is slow and prone to motion artifacts if your subject is moving.
It use to be a little pricey at over USD 700, but in my region, it has dropped to under USD600 (unlocked 3G version, 16Gb internal storage)
Here’s a nice video review I found on Youtube from Netbooknews.com:
The HP Touchpad is now left for use at home and running only webOS (as it was designed to be). While ICS on the Touchpad worked decently well for an alpha build, it still had some bugs which made it cumbersome, particularly an unstable Wifi connection.