Mossberg, Pogue, Wired, Engadget and Gizmodo all reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Tab, all I wanted to know was one thing: what is it like to type on a 7″ screen. Only one of them mentioned this. Pathetic, this was the first thing people talked about with the iPad and now they ignore it for a device that is much smaller – what you don’t ever type things?
The closest Mossberg gets:
The Tab has a 7-inch screen versus the 9.7-inch display on the iPad. That may seem like a small difference, but the numbers are deceptive, because screen sizes are always described using diagonal measurements. In fact, the actual screen real estate on the Tab is less than half of the iPad’s.
The closest Wired gets:
Compounding matters is the problematic location of the power and volume buttons. Holding the device in your left hand often causes you to hit these by accident. They’re temperamental and touchy, until you eventually adapt to a grip further down the chassis.
You can dictate text instead of typing it, or search Google or Google Maps by voice. (On the Galaxy, you can also type using Swype, which I reviewed in July.)
Maybe everyone is just walking around talking to these things? I learned more about contracts and pricing then I did about the actual device – again pathetic.
But that’s OK I thought, surely gadget blogs will have covered that all important aspect.
Closest Engadget came:
Steve Jobs may not think the size is optimal, but we loved being able to wrap our smaller hand around the 0.83-pound / 0.47-inch thick Tab when reading a book or hold it like a phone and use our thumbs to type on the on-screen keyboard.
Closest Gizmodo got:
There is no way to not feel like a total dorkface while typing on this thing. In portrait, it’s like tapping on a massive, nerdy phone. In landscape, it’s just dumb. You still have to thumb type, only you’re stretching out further, and text entry swallows up the entire screen. Swype might be dandy on a phone, but on a seven-inch screen it doesn’t work so well—you have to travel a lot further to sketch out words. In other words, you get the worst of a phone’s input problems—amplified.
Holy crap, it took Gizmodo, to actually address a major usability issue with this device. No other publication addressed it that I could find. And guess what Gizmodo doesn’t like typing on that small screen, so then Pogue, and Mossberg who both say they love the device, must like typing on it otherwise they surely would have addressed the problem, right?
I addressed typing in my MacBook Air review – it has a normal keyboard. I can learn about data plans later, but I am utterly screwed if I get this thing home and find out it is terrible to type on.
One Last Note: I am not trying to bash these good people, I just want people to look at what they are doing and ask if it is really what the reader wants to see. I for one would like to know more about using the device then I would about contract pricing.