The "1-Minute" Review
By now, Samsung’s tablet strategy is clear, give the consumers as many choices as possible. Their Galaxy Tab line offers three different sizes with this one, the 10.1 inch, being the largest. A mid-range tablet in terms of specs and price, the Tab 3 10.1-inch is a good tablet for budget-minded consumers looking for a tablet that has a large screen.
Like other recent tablets, it runs Android 4.2.2 and features the Samsung TouchWiz UI, providing users with many of the same amenities on the Galaxy S4 such as a choice of five lock-screen shortcuts. Users also can customize these options with various widgets and easily flip through them on the lock screen -- a feature that comes in handy for glancing at info. The UX is smooth and completely customizable. The main home screen on the Tab 3 10.1 displays a weather widget, a briefing widget, Facebook updates and a google search bar, all of which can be removed or swapped out.
One of the biggest draw of the Tab 3 10.1 is not the customization or specs, it is the Remote Control feature. An IR blaster on the front of the tablet works in tandem with the Peel Smart Remote app. Users need only enter their cable provider, manufacturers of the cable box and TVand the remote is ready to use. Aside from channel surfing, users can use the remote to record shows, access their DVRs and even control the volume on the TV.
From a hardware perspective, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 inch lags behind other competitors in its price range like the Nexus 10. It is, however, the first Android-based tablet that is equipped with a 1.6-GHz dual-core Intel Atom Clover Trail Z2560, which gives this tablet a better CPU, graphics and I/O performance than its competitors. The rest of the hardware is relatively standard with 1GB of ram and the option of either 16 or 32GB of internal storage. The device also comes with an expandable microSD slot and two cameras: a 3.15MP wide angle lens camera and a secondary 1.3MP video call camera.
Unfortunately there are a few drawbacks to the Tab 3 10.1, the biggest one being its most unique feature, the Atom Clover Trail processor. While the processor grants better graphics and I/O performance, it unfortunately suffers from poor performance in every other section. The tablet suffers from severe lag, even with simple apps, sometimes as long as seven seconds to simply open the gallery app to view images. More resource intensive apps such as games could take over twenty seconds to load and can lag in-game.
The screen of the Tab 3 10.1 is also below par with other tablets in its price range offering only a 1280 x 800 resolution. This leads to some pixelation and somewhat blurred text when compared to the Nexus 10 or older Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. Finally, the last major drawback of the Tab 3 10.1 is the lack of the Multi View multi-tasking feature and Air Gestures found on the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 offers quite a bit of features for its price tag, however the laggy performance and poor screen resolution do not likely justify the $399 starting price tag.
The Good: Built-in remote control feature, large screen, customizable UI.
The Bad: Laggy performance, lower screen resolution when compared to competitors, lack of multi-tasking feature.