Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch Preview

Introduction and Design

Samsung's newly-announced Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch tablet reached our grubby mitts, and we are pretty curious to examine the first Intel Atom-based Android slate from Sammy. It is thinner and lighter than its Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 predecessor, and runs the newest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. What we have is a prototype still, not a retail unit, so read on for our initial impressions...


You can't really tell from the chassis build that the tablet is non-final. It feels quite sturdy yet very light at 510g, plus it is thin, at sub-8mm, and compact. A 10-incher should be meant to be held in landscape mode, yet here the side bezel is thinner than the top, where the Samsung logo is, and the bottom, which houses a physical home key, as well as capacitive navigational buttons.

These touch keys can be inadvertently pressed very easily when the tablet is held in portrait orientation, though the tablet includes a sensor to turn them off in that situation if you wish. There is an infrared sensor at the top, meaning you will be able to control your TV, home stereo and the like with your tablet from the couch – always a plus. The two stereo speakers on the sides are thoughtfully placed high, so you don't cover them with your palms while holding the tablet.


The screen, at 1280x800 pixels and 145ppi, is pretty basic for today's tablet standards, indicating that Samsung didn't want to throw the kitchen sink in its first experiment with Intel and Android. It displays decent colors and good viewing angles, though, so the only gripe is about the comparatively low resolution, which makes things look pixelated to our spoiled eyes, even from a normal viewing distance. Well, depending on the price, as if this thing lands at rock bottom, all our complaining is off.

Interface and functionality

TouchWiz Nature UX is what is gracing the tablet, with a number of familiar widgets and an eight-icon dock at your disposal.. The Mini Apps suite for Samsung's tablets, that allows you hovering the browser or calculator in a window on top of everything else, for example, is nowhere to be seen, though it might still be included with the finalized software.

Processor and memory

Of course, the big story about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch is that Android here is powered by an Intel x86 processor, not the usual ARM clone. It is a 1.6 GHz dual-core Atom with the CloverTrail architecture and PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU, aided by 1 GB of RAM.

Since the odd thing with the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is the Intel processor, we ran Quadrant on the tablet, despite its non-final nature, and the results were pretty middle-of-the-road.

The tablet comes with either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, and features a microSD for expansion.

Internet and connectivity

The typical TouchWiz browser is what you find as stock on the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, and it renders pages fast, without hiccups. It also allows for Adobe Flash content to be loaded when needed.

There is a microSIM slot for some versions of the tablet with cellular connectivity, like our prototype, which support LTE/HSPA+ download speeds. Of course, we get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS as well as the infrared beamer, and that's about it, as far as connectivity goes, with an MHL port taking care of the wires.


We get a 3 MP camera on the back, plus a 1.3 MP front-facing shooter for video chat. The newest Nature UX camera interface is present, with an abundance of shooting modes like Drama, Sound&Shot, Best Face and so on, conveniently placed in a jog dial on the right. We are posting some sample pictures and video below, but will pass a verdict when the Tab 3 10.1 comes as retail intended.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Sample Video:

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Indoor Sample Video:

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Nothing out of the ordinary can be found on Samsung's Intel-powered tablet in terms of music and video player, or the gallery. They offer the same somewhat blocky interface we are accustomed to, but are loaded with features like photo editing, plenty of sound modes and the video playback can go up to 1080p with every major format you throw at it, including DivX/Xvid and MKV files.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 seems to land as a pretty minor upgrade to its predecessor, especially in this day and age of ultra high-res $400 tablets like the Nexus 10. Still, it is shaping up as a decent thin and light Android tablet, that doesn't feel underpowered in the interface, or while running apps with its Intel processor. 

Add an IR blaster and a range of connectivity options, and it becomes an interesting slate that will be made or broken by its price range and battery life possible with the 6800 mAh juicer.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Video Preview:

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