Interface and Functionality:

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will ship with Android 2.2 Froyo. Our unit came with just that Android build and featured its important goodies such as Flash Player 10.1 support.

Our Galaxy Tab prototype also lacked any kind of homescreen personalization, but it appears the final version will benefit from Samsung's own TouchWiz 3.0 UI. So, let us get started - the home screen is divided into several pages, on which to deploy your widgetry (boy, do we need to patent this word!). While there's absolutely nothing new here for us smartphone lovers, it is still quite interesting to look at Android as a tablet-powering mobile operating system. So far we can say that Google's OS is a-okay for managing such a device – after all it is conceived as a touch-driven system, though we have some concerns about the additional software that's available for the platform. Sure, there are some 70,000 apps in Android Market now, but you know... most of these are unusable (and unneeded) on a smartphone, let alone a tablet, the functionality of which should be more or less higher than that of a smartphone. Well, you might be able to find a decent word processor, but what about some more advanced productivity apps to let you perform photo/video/audio editing for example? Of course, we do not expect the full-blown Windows experience just yet, but Photoshop Express? Come on, that's just lame! All in all, the same thing applies to the iPad's iOS, although Apple's platform has already positioned itself a lot better.

Tablets are more of a consumer/entertainment-oriented devices you would say, and we totally agree. Alright then. What about gaming on the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab? It's simply a no-go, you know, while iPad owners cannot complain in this respect.

That said, we've got to hand it to Google/Samsung for redesigning the core apps of the platform so that they utilize the larger real estate. Similarly to what Apple did with the Calendar on the iPad, on the Samsung Galaxy Tab you'll have a Calendar app that's more advanced and comfortable to use. In addition, the Contacts app has also been revamped to ease you in making those long phone calls... Um, yeah, the Samsung Galaxy Tab actually features phone functionality! More on that in the “Internet and Connectivity” section.

Email has also been redesigned and when in landscape mode, will present you with a list of your emails on the left, and the contents of the selected one on the right. However, we should tell you that writing on the Galaxy Tab's on-screen QWERTY is not the most comfortable task, no matter if it's in portrait or landscape mode. You will get the hang of it after some time spent with the device, but all in all you might feel more comfortable typing with some messaging phone than with the Tab. That said, we did almost no mistakes when typing, thanks to the decently-sized keys.

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