- Reliable and solid performance
- Great battery life
- Solid stereo speakers
- Low display resolution
- Barely acceptable cameras
- Slightly heavy
Quick TakeThe Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 is a solid choice for general family usage, internet browsing, watching a few movies, and replying to emails.
Samsung is offering the fourth-generation Galaxy Tab in three different sizes: 10.1, 8, and 7 inches. The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 has unimpressive specifications at first glance; however, they are sufficient for a relatively reasonable cost of $349.99.
This device offers what flagship tablets offered a year or two ago, but with up-to-date software. Apart from Android 4.4 KitKat enhanced with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface running on a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, this model offers a 1280 x 800-pixel display, 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a 6800 mAh battery. It has a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, while the tablet is available as WiFi-only or with 4G LTE.
Build and Design
Like all other Samsung mobile devices, no matter their price, much of the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1’s casing is made of plastic. The front is entirely covered in glass, though. This is not Gorilla Glass, but it offers a very smooth feel, without any trace of annoying friction.
The tablet’s upper part has a very slim chromed edge, while the remaining edges and the back are carved out of a single piece of plastic, which is supposed to mimic leather. This has proved to be a successful feature on many Samsung tablets and phones, as it offers premium feel to the user. The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 does not have fake stitches on back like other Samsung devices.
The tablet feels solid when held, and it does feel rather heavy, as it weighs 1.07 lb. (487 g). Still, it’s only 0.3 in. thick (8 millimeters) and offers pleasant dimensions for a 10.1-inch tablet: 9.6 x 6.9 inches (243 x 176 mm). The bezels around the display are slimmer on the left and right sides than at the top or the bottom, which looks natural.
One thing on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1’s spec sheet that’s out of line with the times is the 10.1-inch display resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels, resulting in a humble pixel density of 149 ppi. In practice, this low resolution is obvious, as it’s possible to identify individual pixels on the screen at a glance, even from arm’s length. This compromises imaging sharpness, and certain slimmer fonts and sloped line animation looks spikey, while tone transitions within the same color on certain objects (especially if they are small, like app icons) appear pixelated.
Poor imaging is the only serious objection here. Color imaging is natural and precise, and the colors are just as vivid and bright as can be expected from a mid-range tablet. The same goes for the contrast; although this display does not offer the purest whites and darkest blacks, its range is wide enough that it does not amount to an actual shortcoming for the user during everyday use. Contrast sustainability is the display’s most positive attribute, and the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1’s viewing angle is quite large. It’s also not necessary to manually crank up screen brightness when hit with glare from the sun.
Buttons and Ports
A Samsung logo rests on the front of the tablet, above the display, along with the 1.3-megapixel camera, while the Power button is situated below the screen. This also doubles as the “home” key. There are also “back” and “task” capacitive keys below the display. While this is an nontypical arrangement for Android devices (Google prefers that all control keys be on-screen as part of the user interface) Samsung deserves praise for this design. The buttons on the display border make this otherwise empty area useful, they can easily be reached, and do not waste valuable screen space.
The location of rather large stereo speakers on the left and right sides is also praiseworthy, as users won’t inadvertently cover them with their hands, and the tablet’s appearance does not suffer. At the same time, the speakers provide quite a good sound for a mid-range tablet.
The left side of the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 also includes the audio jack, while the right side only includes the aforementioned speaker.
The tablet’s bottom edge has a microUSB port and a microphone, while the upper one includes the additional power key, the volume rocker, and a microSD card slot. The LTE tablet version also has a microSIM card slot on the upper edge. The back of this tablet only includes the 3-megapixel camera.
We’re just getting started. Page 2 covers the performance of this Samsung tablet.