Skip to main content

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Google I/O Limited Edition) hands-on

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Google I/O Limited Edition) hands-on

Share this story

Google's handing out Samsung's brand new Honeycomb-powered Galaxy Tab 10.1 like candy here at I/O 2011 today, a tablet that's slated for general availability early next month. So why's it important that Google noted that today's handout is a "Limited Edition," exactly? Well, as far as I can tell, this particular unit is running a near-stock implementation of Android 3.0, not the TouchWiz-massaged version that Samsung showed off back at CTIA in March.

None of the custom widgets -- weather, music, email, and the like -- are here, nor is the customized power settings pop-up that would be toggled by tapping the time in the lower right of the screen. A quick glance at the app drawer reveals a fairly stock load, too, though there's an early build of Samsung Apps (currently loaded with nothing but garbage test content), Samsung's Music Hub app (which we couldn't get to open without throwing an error), Amazon Kindle and MP3, Pulse for your news reading needs, Quickoffice, and WeatherBug.

Diving into the About screen, this bad boy's running Android 3.0.1 build HRI83.313 -- no mention of Android 3.1, which we'd kind of figured Google would want to pimp on these giveaways. Then again, the day is young; who knows? Maybe they'll push it over-the-air before we're leaving San Francisco.

Physically, we've played with the 10.1 before, and my opinion lines up with the one Joanna issued in March: it's a beautiful tablet that hits the sweet spot for design, weight, size, and thickness. I originally didn't think much of the glossy screen in these bright Moscone surrounds, but disabling automatic brightness and cranking it all the way to max really makes it pop -- and it's delivering near-180 degree viewing angles. Frankly, I might say this is the first large tablet I've seen that goes head-to-head with the iPad 2 for industrial design and profile... so if Android 3.1 delivers the goods and developers respond with a torrent of awesome apps, Samsung could definitely have a winner here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Google I/O Limited Edition) hands-on pictures