In the mood for a tablet? Got a few hundred dollars and $30 to $50 bucks a month to spend on a Verizon 4G LTE connection? This may be the tablet for you. Samsung’s Android tablets are definitely not cheap, but they have consistently been the best.
Always experimenting with new screen sizes, Samsung is releasing a 7.7-inch tablet in the US. Yesterday, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE was announced at Samsung’s pre-CES press conference and earlier today I managed to push my way through the booth until I found one to try out myself. My first impressions are below.
The AMOLED screen
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has a screen worthy of oggling. I’ve been a fan of Samsung’s displays all year, but this one blows them all away. As the first tablet (that I know of) to be released with a bright Super AMOLED screen, the Tab 7.7 LTE was vivid and gorgeous even under the harsh trade show lights at CES. The 7.7-inch screen has a standard resolution of 1280×800 pixels.
The Tab 7.7 LTE will come with Google’s Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) operating system, which is technically outdated since Google released Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) about a month ago, but Ice Cream Sandwich is more of an upgrade to Android phone users than it is for tablet owners. Since Samsung modifies the look of Android Honeycomb, it’s unlikely that users will even notice a visual difference when the Android 4.0 update rolls in, and Samsung promises it will arrive at some point. Either way, Samsung’s modified UI, called TouchWiz, really improves the look of Android and is among our favorite modifications. It’s designed to take full advantage of the bright colors possible with an AMOLED screen.
Specs and Impressions
Samsung claims that the Tab 7.7 is the thinnest and lightest tablet on the market. There are three or four major companies claiming they hold world records for thinness and weight at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but the Galaxy Tab is certainly quite thin and quite lightweight. Its design is almost identical to the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
On the inside are pretty typical specs. The Tab 7.7 LTE can connect up to Verizon’s fast 4G LTE network, has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, a 3MP rear camera, a 2MP front camera, Wi-Fi, and all the other common features like an accelerometer, Bluetooth, and GPS. Most Android Honeycomb tablets run on similar hardware.
The price is high, but if you have the money…
Verizon’s data prices are steep and to get the Tab 7.7 LTE, you have to sign up for a data plan. For a lot of you (and me) this sounds awesome, but it’s difficult to justify paying another $30-$50 a month to connect another device, especially if you have a $90-$120 monthly Verizon bill for your smartphone. Still, with the compact size of the 7.7 LTE, it’s great to have a constant connection and not have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you go.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE feels great, has an amazingly vivid screen, and even comes with a few bonus features like infrared (for using the tablet as a TV remote) and a Micro SD card slot. Samsung’s tablets are some of the most pleasant to use. Unfortunately, though we know it’s coming “soon,” Samsung and Verizon aren’t willing to tell us how much the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE will cost or exactly when it will hit shelves. Until then, we wait…