I’m not anti-Apple — but I’m not drinking the new Apple-flavored Kool-Aid either. Maybe the commercials picking on Microsoft put me off. The first ones were funny, but then they became mean, like Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. As much as I see the value and use of an iPad, I’m stuck in the “can’t do Apple” crowd for now, though there are no viable Windows tablets today, just laptops in a tablet design.
In my search for a non-Apple tablet that shines, it’s the Galaxy Tab that wins the honor. I have to admit, when I read the review “Samsung’s Galaxy Tab makes a strong case for buying an iPad” by my InfoWorld colleague Galen Gruman, I was immediately turned off from the idea of ever purchasing one.
Let me note that I’m not a mobile device expert. I’m just a network admin geek who loves gadgets but doesn’t usually buy one unless I can see real value in its use. That’s my angle for reviews: Will it work for me in my personal life? Will it perform well in the enterprise? At the same time I needed to get an insiders view on why the Galaxy Tab was designed a certain way and I had the chance to speak with Chris Martinez, who is a strategy manager for Samsung.
With the conflicting comments on the Galaxy Tab, I had to see for myself. First impressions? It fits in the palm of my hand. I wear suits most of the time, and it slid easily into my suit pocket. The screen resolution was excellent. The speed of this thing was incredible when compared to my Android smartphone — and the fact that I have an Android smartphone made it that much simpler to use and figure out because I was already comfortable with the OS. With its 1GHz processor, full Flash support, and dual cameras, I was pleased immediately with both the Galaxy Tab’s performance and its functionality.
Enterprises will find a variety of apps and uses for the Galaxy Tab, including the Epocates Rx drug-reference app for health care professionals. You can download the ThinkFree Office Mobile app to work with Office documents. Box.net, Dropbox, and GoAruna all have apps for syncing files via the cloud. EverNote is an awesome tool for taking notes in meetings; it even embeds voice recordings, pictures, and Web pages. Obviously, depending on your business needs, you can search for and there is an app for that (or there will be soon).
For me, the 7-inch form factor is a great fit. I realize that when it comes to tablet size, there are two camps: those of people who sit and those of people who stand. If you can sit down with your tablet, the 10-inch size may work better for you because the on-screen keyboard acts more like a real keyboard.