Tablets

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.

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...

12 comments
tbombon
tbombon

instead of this and other Android Tablets.

realvarezm
realvarezm

looks like an excelent product. But like the writer said, its a shame is not made in a metal case, that also would have helped with the thermal disipation.

alec.wood
alec.wood

What's the big deal with them using tri-wing screws? The use of special fasteners has been common in many industries for years to discourage users from opening them

dcolbert
dcolbert

You really need to crack open an ASUS TF101 and the keyboard dock, Bill. :)

Gr8Music
Gr8Music

Like the iPad and all the others in this generation, it's a consumer device that people will purchase for themselves. My experience is that most people are very careful with devices they own

Becky P.
Becky P.

Agreed- god forbid you're asleep and your 10yr old wants to take it apart like we took apart toasters or other devices around the houses to "see what makes it tick."

esalkin
esalkin

New Tech is a kid magnet. No matter how careful and protected you are they ***will*** find a way to play with it!

camcost
camcost

I agree up to a point. We are more careful with our own stuff. But... I would choose solid, strong metal over weak, flimsy plastic any old day... especially when the only difference is a few ounces of weight. Hey, we're not talking any real significant weight loss here. Some folks won't even tell the difference in weight but they will notice a difference in how solid it is.

k_indy
k_indy

If you've ever had both of them in your hands at the same time you wouldn't make a statement like "some folks wont even tell the difference"... all of last week we were doing comparisons between the ipad2 and 10.1 and the speed vs weight vs camera was always a factor... there is a huge difference in weight by feel... we all felt it... as for the choosing strong metal over "flimsy" plastic i only had to ask... "if you drop an ipad2 to the floor would it still work?" the answer is no... so what exactly does the "metal" buy you?

taxes28
taxes28

@camcost I have dropped my playbook twice to a hardware floor and once the cat jumped on my desk, slid across and knocked the playbook to the floor.  It has not stopped working and runs the same as when I bought it some 8 months ago. 

sethx0r
sethx0r

Are you kidding? The Playbook feels as solid as a rock and has virtually no-flex, did you actually hold one or are you just Playbook bashing because its popular?

camcost
camcost

Both Apple and Samsung had decisions to make regarding strength vs weight. Only time will tell which proves a bigger selling point. Some folks would rather have a 7" screen... hoping for every little bit of weight advantage possible. I've personally owned several 7" devices and it's not a bad size. My personal favorite is the 8" screen... the best possible compromise. But when it's all said and done, I still prefer a device which feels solid (I rejected the Blackberry Playbook somewhat for the cheap, flimsy feel it has).