With the GALAXY Note product line taking over as Samsung’s cream of the crop, it seems that the GALAXY Tab series is positioned as more affordable options for users looking for a Samsung slate. Now at its third iteration, the 10.1in model bears a remarkable resemblance to its predecessor and the one before it – from the glossy plastic back, dual-core processor and the 1280 x 800 pixel display. However, look a little closer, and you’ll find that things are a bit different this time around.
Let’s just get this out of the way: at first glance, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1 looks almost exactly like the GALAXY Tab 2 10.1. The design is the same ‘curved pebble’ concept the GALAXY S3 and S4 smartphones use while the back uses a piece of glossy plastic. Personally, I would have preferred a matte backing or something fashioned out of metal, but considering its price point, I can’t really complain. The screen is 1280 x 800 pixels, which is exactly the same as the previous model. At an age where 1080p displays are commonplace in mid-range tablets, this particular move is baffling.
For the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1, Samsung has swapped the dual-core processor of the GALAXY Tab 2 10.1 for…a newer dual-core processor. This time, however, it is the Intel Atom Z2560 System-on-Chip. Paired with 1GB of RAM, the combination will get tasks like web surfing and video watching done but you might want to skip this if you want to play the latest and greatest games. The tablet runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s own TouchWiz interface.
Looking at the top, the tablet rocks a SIM and microSD slot. Now supporting LTE, you can take advantage of faster connectivity speeds on the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1. The microSD slot provides the opportunity to bolster the existing 16GB of storage as it is able to accommodate 64GB microSDXC cards. The bottom houses a microUSB port for charging and data transfer functions – a welcome change from the proprietary connector used in the GALAXY Tab 2 10.1.
In terms of speed, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1 is not exactly the fastest of the bunch. There is some noticeable choppiness when navigating through TouchWiz and there was some slowdown in Plants vs Zombies 2, especially when a massive wave of zombies engage your botanical artillery. Basic tasks like going through my music collection and making short notes were fine. If you’re looking for an affordable 10-incher for the older, less tech-inclined family members, or if you can do without the bells and whistles in your tablet, then this is a great choice.
Price: RM 1,599
Dimensions: 243.1 x 176.1 x 8mm
Display: 10.1in, 1280 x 800 pixels
Processor: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560
Storage: 16GB, expandable via microSD
Operating System: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
AnTuTu Benchmark: 18124
3DMark (Ice Storm Unlimited): 5794
Verdict: 2011’s flagship is now this year’s mid-range offering. How time flies.
Total Score: 8.2/10