Little details one should know about the Galaxy Tab 10.1 & Android in general

So I’ve been doing some rounds on Yahoo! Answers for the heck of things and find that there’s still quite a bit of interest in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (and its successor the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1). I’ve written up a summary of thoughts about the tablet when I purchased it back in October of last year. You can see those here: https://koukoupuffs.net/2011/10/14/impressions-of-android-honeycomb-3-1-the-galaxy-tab-10-1/

I’m going to expand on those now. It’s almost been a year of trying it out, after all. 😀 Most of these are negatives though. (I actually posted this in a reply on Y!A too.)

  • Not every Web page will work well with the the default Web browser (or even an alternative like Dolphin HD), especially ones that have no mobile Web browsing support. The site may lag and you may experience agony trying to input information into forms on it. (At least, such sites give me some grief when I’m viewing them from a tablet. :P) I believe this is important to point out especially if you need to look up things at school when you’re away from a computer lab or just not have access to a desktop or even a laptop computer. [Addendum: That’s not to say that getting another tablet or and iPad (any generation) would means things would magically be better either. The fact remains that some sites aren’t meant to be browsed with a mobile Web browser.]
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  • The Android operating system itself DOES NOT HAVE AN UNDO TEXT FUNCTION. If you happen to accidentally erase a line or even a paragraph of text, you won’t be able to get it back like on iOS where shaking a device will pop up the “Undo” option. Fear not though, as many note taking applications themselves have that ability.
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  •  The USB cable is a proprietary one and stupidly SHORT.
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  • TouchWhiz UX is Samsung’s custom tweak of the user interface for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. Many Android users will suggest that you ditch it as soon as you can by rooting the tablet and installing a version of the firmware that’s free of all their bloaty apps. I did this and don’t regret it at all. However, TouchWhiz UX had a handy screencap button. :/
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  • Samsung takes forever to update the firmware. I’m already on Jelly Bean while it’s JUST rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich.

I should note that, because firmware updates are reliant on manufacturers themselves, almost every company will always have some sort of “delay” in rolling out updates after a new version of Android comes out. This is due to their incessant needs to customize the UI and stuff for their devices. (Seriously guys, stock Android is great. Why the need to customize?) Apple idevices don’t have this issue because Apple is the sole provider for firmware updates and once a new version is out, EVERYONE can get it at the same time.

I’m not sure I’d recommend it as a notebook/laptop replacement since as noted above about the Web browsing, there are limitations that you’ll run into when using the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Also, typing on a tablet surface can be a factor since it may take a while to get used to. I do 10-finger (well, 8 fingers + 2 thumbs :P) touchtyping at about 70 – 80 words per minute on a regular keyboard. I’ve pretty much given up trying to do the same on my tablet since I’m NEVER holding it in a position that’ll allow me to use all my fingers on the keyboard. However, there are keyboards that can split in half allowing you to simply use your thumbs to type. Examples are SwiftKey and Tablet Keyboard Free. This is convenient when you’re holding it in your hands.

Finally, I suggest you try out the tablet yourself at any of the big box retailers that would most likely have it on display. (If you’re able to, of course.) Just spend some time (like more than just 5 minutes) to familiarize yourself with it, especially the keyboard if you’ve never used a touch-screen keyboard on a tablet-sized device.

Regarding the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) update for the Tab 10.1:

Many users don’t seem to realize or keep up with the news about their devices since this is a question that popped up multiple times on Y!A. The biggest question is how to get it. Samsung began rolling out the update for their Tab line earlier this summer but the reason you may not be seeing any update just yet is due to your country and the model of Galaxy Tab you own. For instance, depending on your carrier (if you’re using the 3G or LTE models), ICS may already be available. And depending on who the carrier is, you may or may not be able to get it via the regular Software Update option via wifi.

Here are some resources regarding the update:

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