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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 teardown: Daintiest of the Android tablets

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is sleek, sexy, and light, but also delicate and best kept out of harm's way.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is Samsung's follow-up to the Galaxy Tab 7.0--released in early 2011. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs just under 20 ounces and measures 10.1" (W) x 6.9" (H) x 0.34" (D). It's the same thickness as the Apple iPad 2, but lighter. Unfortunately, the device's low weight comes at a cost. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 feels flimsy.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes in both gray and white versions. It has a 1GHz dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 application processor, 1GB of RAM, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display (1280x800), a 2.0 MP front camera and 3.0 MP rear camera. The tablet comes with Android 3.1 Honeycomb installed.

As of this writing, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is available for $499.99 (US). The current versions only support Wi-Fi connectivity, but a 3G version through AT&T (in the US) is rumored to be launching later this year.

I cracked open the earlier 7-inch Android tablet and couldn't resist giving its larger sibling the same treatment.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Cracking Open observations

  1. Has tri-wing external screws.
  2. The back cover bends easily and feels flimsy.
  3. The back cover is held in place with very strong adhesive tape. I worried about breaking the cover when removing it.
  4. The battery is replaceable.
  5. It has a clean, efficient internal layout.
  6. Samsung used chips found in other tablets, such as the following:
    • 1GB Samsung LPDDR2 chip (same as HP TouchPad)
    • 16GB SanDisk NAND flash chip (same as Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0)
    • Atmel touchscreen controller (same type as Motorola XOOM)
    • Invensense three-axis gyroscope (same as BlackBerry PlayBook)
    • Wolfson CODEC (same as BlackBerry PlayBook)
    • Samsung LCD driver (same as Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0)

Internal hardware

Our Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 test unit had the following hardware components:

Daintiest of the Android tablets

Samsung made the most of the limited space inside the Galaxy Tab 10.1's 0.34" thick case. The internal components are packed together and there's only one large PCB.

My only complaints about the tablet's construction are the use of tri-wing external screws, the adhesive tape used to secure the back cover, and the device's flimsy feel. I appreciate Samsung's efforts to reduce the Galaxy Tab 10.1's weight, but I would have preferred a more rigid, metal cover.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is sleek, sexy, and light, but also delicate and best kept out of harm's way.

Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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