Samsung Galaxy Tab Hands-On Preview: What You Might Expect

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Samsung has also definitely announced that US editions of the Tab will come with both Media Hub and Social Hub, two software-based features first introduced with the Galaxy S.

In fact, Samsung has also announced that the Media Hub will actually go live soon for both the Galaxy S and the Tab, and also that partners for the iTunes-like service will include MTV Networks, NBC Universal, and Paramount    

The Tab also looks to include a few software tweaks aimed at taking fuller advantage of the larger screen size. Announced for both the EU and US versions is a new split-screen feature that lets you display your mailbox on one side of the screen and an individual e-mail on the other side of the screen, for instance.

The feature uses the Tab’s aforementioned accelerometer, which is designed to rotate e-mail, calendar and contacts from portrait to landscape orientation before opening them in split-screen mode.Samsung Galaxy Tab

The EU edition also includes a couple of other new features, which I tried out, too. To take part in what Samsung refers to as “multitasking multitouch,” for example, you can hold down the home key to keep already selected apps running while you start up new apps. I used this to toggle between a Nook app and Task Manager, and it worked handily.
You can also use a newly supported pinching gesture to customize the device. You select the apps you want to show on your desktop (or might that be tabtop?) by pinching their icons with your thumb and index finger.

Meanwhile, for the US versions, Samsung has officially announced features that include Daily Briefing, for access to weather, news, stocks and schedules, and Document Viewer and Editor, for opening and modifying Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents.  

But, of course, you can also download any of the other 80,000 apps currently available in the Android Market.

On the other hand, those 80,000 still pale in comparison to the hundreds of thousands in Apple’s App Store.

So in my experience, although the Galaxy Tab is a slick little device, at least four things are needed before it turns into a true competitor to the iPad: more Android apps, enough multimedia content to rival Apple’s iTunes, entirely glitch-free hardware, and 3G/4G wireless connectivity.

The last one on the list is the most important, because it’s what will let you not just take the Tab anywhere, but also get full use of the device from anywhere.


As well as unveiling the US version of the Tab this week, Samsung also unveiled some accessories for it

An external hard keyboard called Keyboard Dock is reminiscent of a similar gizmo for the Apple iPad. The function of the Car/GPS Dock is self-explanatory, while the Desktop Dock is for charging the Tab using a Micro-USB wall adapter and also for outputting HD content through HDMI to HDTVs.


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