WITH mobility being the way of life, we add more to our “necessity list” each year as technology advances and players of the telecommunication market try to upstage each other.
As we bring our communication tool each time we leave home, we also take with us our entertainment hub, personal organiser and social network. The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus fits all of that and more, without compromising on your enjoyment and to top it all, this tablet is among the smallest and slimmest in its class.
At first look, the device is only the size of a birthday card and at 10mm thick, it fits nicely in any medium size handbag, a small sling bag or even a pocket of a man’s pants.
In my short experience handling the device, I hardly feel any additional weight as I carry the tablet around in my big handbag, sometimes I almost forgot it was there.
With a metal frame separating the back panel and the screen, the design is very much minimalist with only volume and screen lock buttons slightly jutting out from an otherwise smooth surface. For parents who want to share the tablet with your children, you won’t have to worry about sharp edges because its back panel is round.
As far as mobile form factor is concerned, it feels comfortable holding the tablet with both hands. Despite the clean white exterior, the shiny body of the tablet is quite resistant to scratches and a wipe is all it takes should a smudge lands on it.
What I like about this tablet is that it boots up really fast and the battery can last quite long. That is, as long as you don’t spend a whole three hours playing games — although the niche screen size do make you want to!
However, the screen unlocks itself a bit too easily if you let it loose in your bag’s biggest compartment. I also encountered a little difficulty inserting my SIM card in the slot. It seems that you need to push the card further down the slot in order to lock it.
The touchscreen is very responsive and fluid. Swift gestures go immediately to the desired apps. Like a TV, there is also an automatic setting controlling the brightness of the screen based on your surroundings. Unfortunately, the auto setting did not perform quite well under bright sunlight as I still need to adjust the brightness level manually.
There are five homescreens available on the Galaxy Tab and each is organisable to host shortcuts to your favourite apps. There is also the Drawbar feature at the bottom of the screen to lead you to another set of useful functions such as phone, messaging and calculator.
Being an Android-based device, the phone offers you more. Downloaded apps from the Android Market automatically appear on the first page of the homescreen so you won’t have to look high and low to locate them.
Browsing website is also fast and easy, simply tilt the device to horizontal mode to view the webpages. Using gestures you can zoom in, zoom out and scroll through the pages smoothly.
As a social networking device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus can synchronise all your accounts in the Social Hub. Feeds from all your accounts will appear in a table on one of the homescreens. It also synchronises phone numbers and email addresses of your friends from the social network to the phone contact.
As noted earlier, its responsive touchscreen makes playing games such as Ninja Fruit and Cut The Rope, an enjoyable pastime. Visuals are bright and colourful, at the same time, games run smoothly. Another advantage is its size. Playing games that requires controlling the tablet movement with both hands feels natural and easy to manoeuvre.
At the back, the LED flash-based camera takes clear enough pictures and videos. You can enjoy your shots and videos or use apps to edit them if necessary.
Although this tablet is relatively small compared to others in the market, it still gives you enough visual space to enjoy a motion picture without straining for details.
Nevertheless, small it may be, but I think you will look better with a Bluetooth headset, to make calls with the device. Perhaps you can opt for the classic phone handset accessory that comes in bright colours.
The tablet is great for those who dislike bulky things and do not want to carry around a big bag just to accommodate the gizmo. Very handy for long-distance commuters too as you can fill your time with a wide range of activities on the tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus also performs well as a mobile entertainment device, and with the right apps working on it will not be a herculean task either.