Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Review
Once regarded as Sammy’s prized tablet series, the Galaxy Tab has now been reverted to being nothing more than an entry model option – especially now that the Note series has seemingly replaced the Tab series as the company’s premium tablet solution. With the latest entrant to the series, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch is most notable for being the company’s first Android tablet to receive the Intel inside treatment, as it sports a 1.6GHz Atom with the Clover Trail architecture. No doubt, it’s a departure from the usual ARM-based stuff we’re normally exposed to, so let’s hope that this new hardware is going to give this tablet some much needed staying power.
The package contains:
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- Quick User Guide
- Important Safety and Handling Information
Just like its predecessors, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch continues the same design language we’ve been exposed to already with the series. Sporting a dark glossy plastic body that’s accentuated by its silver colored trim, its design is pretty much expected and straightforward – though, its glossy nature makes it a magnet for smudges and fingerprints, which are notorious to remove. Still, it’s lightweight and features a skinny profile (0.31-inches) to make it comfortable to hold over a long period of time. Interestingly, Sammy reduced the size of the bezel on the tablet’s left and right edges, thus, making it a smidgen smaller than its predecessors at 9.57-inches wide.
Galaxy S4’s design cues – like how its oval looking home button is surrounded by capacitive menu and back keys. So yeah, it can be argued that this is essentially the S4, but in tablet form.
Around the trim, we find all the usual set of buttons and ports in familiar locations – such as the power button, volume control, 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, microUSB port, and microSD card slot. Indeed, it’s sporting two speakers that provide stereo support, but seeing that they’re placed on its sides, it doesn’t particularly do a better job at dispersing audio towards us as we’re holding it. Now a staple with Samsung’s tablets, this is packing along a very useful IR blaster too, allowing it to double as a universal remote.
Yes, it’s a tablet, and lucky for this one, it’s outfitted with two cameras. Specifically, it’s flaunting a 3.2-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel rear one – which respectively shoot video at 720p and VGA resolution.
Call us bored, but the 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 (WXGA) LCD panel of the Galaxy Tab 3 isn’t going to wow people all that much, especially with its 149 ppi pixel density. Sure, it’s lacking the pixel crunching resolution we crave, but nevertheless, it’s still effective enough for visualizing most things on screen without much squinting. Moreover, its color production is on the natural side, seeing that it’s LCD technology and all, but some distortion is evident at wider viewing angles. Outdoor visibility is good, but it’s still something that would benefit from being shielded. Overall, it might be bland compared to other things, but it’s still effective enough for the task at hand.
1. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)
Hmmmm I think fair....I mean the tab series has gone down hill with the release of the tab 3s, those physical home buttons are absolutely ridiculous.....
2. joey_sfb (Posts: 3219; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Agree a score of 6.5 is too high. More like a 4 out of 10. Nexus 10 offer much more value.
19. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1288; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
With the new Nexus 7 coming I'm surprised their even trying. None can match the features and price the Nexus tablets bring. Actually I don't see anyone matching the new Nexus 7 on features and price.
23. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
Those physical buttons save you screen real estate. Some people prefer them.
3. mi55u (unregistered)
phonearena is always biased and favor to apple, this thing is better than iPad in every aspect, yet lower than the iPad.
talk about blind follower...
4. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
Nah, this thing is an obvious garbage
there are better android tablets out there
5. mi55u (unregistered)
android tablet --- Samsung or nothing
7. ahmed_ali_yossef2010 (Posts: 159; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)
nexus 10 is way better
ipad is better
don't a fan boy
25. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2692; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
The Nexus 10 might be a Google tablet, but it is made by Samsung, guy.
11. PunyPoop (Posts: 741; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
Even china tablets is better than this! Don't be a blind fan
28. Commentator (Posts: 2494; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
"talk about blind follower... android tablet --- Samsung or nothing"
Talk about a blind follower...
15. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
No, not even close. I would much rather have an iPad knowing that iOS 7 is coming to it soon than have this. I mean, the Atom processor struggles to keep things going smoothly, and Touchwiz on it is just terrible. Have you seen Pocketnow's video review on it? The notification shade isn't split into 2 little windows on each side of the display (one for notifications, one for quick toggles) like it is on the Nexus 10, the entire notification shade just covers the whole display like it does on a phone, and it looks absolutely hideous.
It's a blown up version of the Galaxy S4 with even worse performance. Honestly;
Microsoft Surface Pro > iPad with iOS 7 > Nexus 10 > iPad with iOS 6 > Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
26. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2692; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I find your analysis here a little bit ridiculous, Bezerk. I'll agree that the Tab 3 sucks. Fine. But first, you threw a laptop/tablet hybrid into the mix. You can't compare the Surface Pro to these other devices. It's way more than a tablet. Also, I realize it's in beta, but you threw in an OS that hasn't even arrived yet. You can't make any final jusgments in iOS 7 until it is actually rolled out the door. That's just silly. A fair comparison would have seen the Note 10.1 & the Surface RT in place of those devices.
27. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I was originally going to put "any mid range Windows 8 tablet" there instead of the Surface Pro, because you can buy a decent Windows 8 tablet for about $600. The Surface Pro is over the top for a tablet comparison, being $1000 and having an i5 processor.
iOS 7 is only about 2 months until release, not much is going to change in 2 months, so if you were to make an opinion on iOS 7 like I have, it most likely wouldn't change between now and then. The only thing you can't determine now from the beta is performance, which will obviously be a lot better in the final release. And judging from the iOS 7 beta, I would much rather have an iPad with iOS 7 than any other tablet with a mobile OS until Android app developers gets their tablet optimizations all worked out.
17. androidfanboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)
So true and this site should be called iphonearena and just for saying that you get a warning which is pathetic
30. deacz (Posts: 157; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)
you know what kid, dont talk about things you havent read up on. tab3 has nothing spec wise vs the iPads
36. axllebeer (Posts: 266; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)
I would never choose this over the Note 10.1. You can find a refurbished Note 10.1 for almost the same price as this new and it's a beast in comparison. The Tab 3 10.1 simply doesn't need to exist. The Tab 3 8.0 is pretty decent though if you don't need the Note capability though. I've considered getting that one.
6. wando77 (Posts: 324; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
I prefer the physical home button....cant stand on screen buttons as they take up screen space
20. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1288; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
Never heard of PIE controls? And you can disable on screen buttons at will. I don't believe in complaining about lack of options with Android because there's always solutions.
8. mottykels (Posts: 372; Member since: 15 May 2013)
6.5 for samsung? Is this the phonearena review?
24. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
Everybody knows PhoneArena are Samsung fanboys.
6.5 is generous IMO. I would have given it a 5. Purely average, nothing more.
29. Commentator (Posts: 2494; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
It's John V, not Ray S. Ray would've given it a 9.5.
9. DONUT (Posts: 307; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
the home button ruins the design of the G. Tab 3 series imo.. the on screen buttons made the design look better...
12. chandancherry (Posts: 30; Member since: 25 Jun 2013)
Looks like 3 galaxy phones fused together.
R.I.P. hardware design.
From back it looks like an s4 with broad shoulder line.
13. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)
Eurgh, never liked the tab series - had the very first one and it was such a poor experience..
16. darkvadervip (Posts: 343; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)
Wow I'm glad I bought a dell windows tablet with full windows. Lol
21. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1288; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I like the idea of full blown windows 8 on tablets but not with the current Atom processor and screen resolutions. We are getting there but Microsoft must kill off RT.
22. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
$399 - same price as the Nexus 10. Why would anyone buy this over the Nexus 10?
Clovertrail processor instead of Samsung's own Exynos... again, why?
Sadly this will sell, because the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the most popular Android tablet on the market. Most consumers really don't know better. The Nexus 10 had extremely poor advertising - only nerds know about the Nexus 10. I haven't met anybody else who owns a Nexus 10. I am a nerd.
31. SouljaBOY (Posts: 9; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
PhoneARENA.. Please make a review comparison of the best mid-range smartphone out there.. S4 Mini, HTC ONE mini, lumia 720, Xperia SP or Xperia ZR, LG F7.. and also if you can inlcude Motorola Droid newest mid range.. that review is going to benefit alot of mid range consumers like me.. PLS.. Looking Forward..
32. skyguy7567 (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)
THE FIRST SAMSUNG DEVICE AT 6.5 CONGRATS
33. lestorthebadd (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Jul 2013)
considering that flash is not supported on anything over android 4.0 as I found out and which is not in the sales pitch nor that installing it will ruin the device samsung are ripping people off , I am stuck now with expensive photo frame essentially as not having ability to view most major websites is not considered important when selling the item profit comes first
35. cmvrgr (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)
I think that you are anti intel. I just have the tab 3 10.1 3g and the speed if far better and in all apps from note 8.
37. mika6617 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Dec 2013)
Anyway back in the real world........ This is the second galaxy tab I have owned and after loving the first one ( which at the time was probably the best tablet out there) yes including the stale limited ipad, I find this one perfectly fine. Regarding the reviewers"lag" I would put that down to that individual one he had as mine runs smooth as silk with virtually no delay. Of course some people want the dam thing to react even before they touch but as I say back in the real world. Just because you might not think it as good as other tablets it doesn't mean that is rubbish. Maybe sites like this should have age restrictions so only adults can comment on this sort of thing. ((Watch the fall out))