Yesterday morning, Samsung lifted the lid on the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, and we really wish they hadn’t. On paper, it’s almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Worse still, the press release hailed it as some sort of market leader in the 10in tablet field. What the…?
I’m still reeling, so I figured I’d pit the supposed new benchmark for tablets against some of the better 10in devices; see how it holds up.
Before we get down to business, the only thing I can think that would in any way give credence to Samsung’s words (“Built to be the leading 10-inch tablet in the market”) is a price tag circa £200. Maybe they're talking sales, or maybe - more realistically - they're just talking nonsense.
At the time of writing, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 price remains unknown, but we’re expecting £400ish.
Right, let’s revisit these Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 specs. Should be a laugh.
Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 adopts a 10.1in display with a resolution of 800 x 1280. That yields a measly PPI of 149.
Samsung’s own Google Nexus 10 has a 10.1in display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. That’s 299PPI. The market leading Retina iPad has a 1536 x 2048 resolution over 9.7in, which is 264PPI.
Yet Samsung claims: "With the clarity of its display, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1 takes center stage for portable home entertainment." Amazing.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 weighs in with less RAM than the smaller Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8in, at 1GB and 1.5GB respectively.
The Samsung-built Google Nexus 10 has 2GB of RAM, as does the supposedly ditched Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Maybe that’s the lesson Samsung learned from the Galaxy Note 10.1; 2GB of RAM is too much. Ahem.
Technically, the fourth gen iPad has 1GB of RAM, though we’re expecting a fifth gen model in the next few months with nose-punching specs.
The spanking new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 actually has a slightly smaller battery capacity than the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, at 6,800mAh and 7,000mAh respectively.
Moving up the spec ladder, we have the Google Nexus 10 with a 9,000mAh battery and the iPad 4 with a meaty 11,560mAh juice unit (which explains why it takes nine days to charge).
I guess Samsung is more concerned with keeping things thin and light.
The jury’s still out on taking pictures with a 10in tablet. Why would anyone bother, when chances are there’s a better rear camera on your smartphone? Not to mention the weight of such devices.
In any case, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 sits firmly at the bottom end of the spec-trum with a 3MP rear snapper.
The Google Nexus 10 and iPad 4 – heck, even the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – have a 5MP rear camera.
One of your best bets is the Asus Transformer Prime, with 8MP on the rear.
Ah, the classic bugbear of Android tablets; the lack of apps specifically tailored for the larger screen.
Apple’s App Store, meanwhile, has something like 300,000 big-screen apps.
Weight is genuinely the only category where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 has a leg up on the competition, as it weighs a relatively light 510g.
The Google Nexus 10 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 weigh around 600g, while the iPad 4 tips the scales at 662g.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 manages to be lame in almost every conceivable way – including its ridiculous name. And knowing Samsung, it’ll be priced similarly to the iPad. Sigh.
The rumour mill suggests Samsung is beavering away on a higher-end tablet, perhaps some sort of Google Nexus 10 successor.
Having said all that, I still don’t know why anyone would buy a 10in tablet that’s not an iPad.