I have been using the Tab 7.7 now for about 3 weeks and thought it may be time to do a follow on from my initial observations. As those of you who read the previous article are aware I have had my reservations about a few of the features on the Tab especially as I am coming from being an iPad user. So I am going to try to cover these reservations and how I have now come to live with them and even like them in some cases.
My first bug bear was Touchwiz. I admit I have never been a fan of Touchwiz or any custom UI on any Android device. This was down to an ill-perceived notion that the custom layer use’s up CPU resources (which although technically true is not noticeable). I have found that during actual use of the device this is actually a feature that actively enhances the tablet experience. An example is that just the other day I needed to transfer a file from my phone to my tab. Now although I could have done this using Dropbox I decided to use the Wifi Direct option, and I have to say I was suitably impressed by it. This is just one of the many features of Touchwiz that you take for granted in your day to day use of this style of device. I do now honestly feel that the addition of Touchwiz on the device is an enhancement after getting used to it. It does beg the question though, why with Samsung and Google working so closely can they not come up with a way of integrating these features from the off in Android’s core UI?
I have been a wee bit concerned about the battery life as it is meant to have been the best of the current crop according to a review by Engadget but I am not so sure. It is not that I am getting bad battery life, but it does concern me when I compare to my iPad 2. I tend to get through about 3 days from a charge with light use and less if am using it more intensely. Is this good? I think so, but I have not really got anything to compare against. Feel free to enlighten me as to your own battery times below in the comments.
I have fallen in love with feel of this device. It is just great to use and it is so light. It is also proving to be quite resilient as well and I am looking forward to getting the case for it when my order is fulfilled. My one gripe is that the error correction on the keyboard is sometimes a bit off and this means I have to go back and edit on a sentence by sentence basis, but suppose that is something that’ll improve with ICS when it lands soon.
Am I am happy?
On the whole yes, I am apart from a few things that I think need some work but I feel these are things that all Android tablets are missing from Honeycomb, and not anything Samsung could fix. I have become more accustomed to the benefits of Touchwiz and what it has to offer especially the enhanced Calendar and Hubs and the additions make for a better overall experience and they do make things easier. I am a particular fan of Samsung Dive which is similar to Apple’s iCloud in that you can track and wipe your Tab if it were to go walkies. It is easy to use and reassuring to know that it is there. I am pleased with the life of the battery in that I can get 3 day before a charge, although as mentioned above, I don’t know if this good or bad! I love the design and I feel that Apple should be worried about it for good reason if we don’t see a competitor at this size then they are missing a trick.
Generally Samsung have outdone themselves here and created a high performing and worthy piece of mobile tech which any aspiring tablet owner would be proud to own. I know I am.
Well done guys……Apple the ball is in your court. What have you got?!