Thursday, December 26, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Series Review

Samsung released an updated line of the Galaxy Tab 3 series tablets earlier this year. This series sees a lot of similarities to the Galaxy S4. The similarities these devices share with the Galaxy S4 are nice, however if you’re looking for a more cutting edge tablet, you would be better served looking into a Galaxy Note or a Nexus 7.

This isn’t saying the Tab 3 series tablets aren’t great devices; just some users want a little bit more of a cutting edge experience with their brand new device. The Galaxy Tab 3 line offers any Galaxy fan a solid experience in three reasonably priced sizes. These tablets are not only slim, but they are some of the lighter tablets that I have gotten my hands on to date.

The Tab 3 series as mentioned earlier comes in three different sizes, a 7-inch, an 8-inch and a 10.1-inch tablet. For me, after reviewing all three, the 8-inch design is probably my favorite of the group. This tablet offers not only ample amount of screen real-estate, but it also fits nicely in my hand (mind you I have somewhat large hands). I will break down the specs for each of the devices so that you can get a feel for what each device offers.

7-inch Galaxy Tab

Android 4.1.2
1.2GHz Dual Core Processor
1GB of RAM
8GB or 16GB internal storage, expandable through microSD card
Screen Resolution of 1024×600 LCD
3MP rear camera and 1.3MP front facing camera

8-inch Galaxy Tab

Android 4.2.2
1.5GHz Dual Core Processor
1.5GB of RAM
16GB or 32GB internal storage, expandable with microSD card
Screen Resolution of 1280×800 LCD
5MP rear camera and 1.3MP front facing camera

10.1-inch Galaxy Tab

Android 4.2.2
1.6GHz Dual Core Processor
1GB or RAM
16GB or 32GB internal storage, expandable with microSD card
Screen Resolution of 1280×800 LCD
3MP rear camera and 1.3MP front facing camera

After seeing the specs for all three devices, the 8-inch tablet stands out as the best option. It is cheaper than the 10.1-inch version and you actually get better specifications as well. The screen resolution on all of these tablets allows for enjoyable reading indoors from any angle you should happen to be holding the tablet while reading. Reading outdoors is another story, but that goes for a lot of tablets, not just these in particular. This is where OverDrive audiobooks would come in handy; you get to experience your title outdoors, without straining your eyes to read the screen.

While reviewing these devices, they all handled everything I could throw at them really well. The applications opened without any hesitation and websites opened very smoothly. Using the OverDrive Media Console on all of these tablets was a very pleasant experience. The smaller tablet versions provided more enjoyable reading experiences though, as they fit in my hand more like a book would. The 10.1-inch tablet was nice if you wanted to take advantage of the column reading that OverDrive Media Console offers while holding the tablet in landscape mode.

The speakers on these devices seemed a little underwhelming to me, but then again I wasn’t expecting anything groundbreaking in regards to audio from tablet speakers. If you want fuller sound, I would recommend using headphones when listening to audiobooks, or anything else for that matter. Using the speakers or headphones, the devices performed respectably using OverDrive’s new streaming video service. The video was crisp with no noticeable lag besides the initial buffering of the video.

Overall, this series of tablets is a great option for someone who is looking for an entry into the Android tablet experience. They all perform admirably in all areas of multimedia and with the price tag of $200, $300 and $400 respectively, these tablets are a pretty good deal.

Andrew Bucher is a Support Services Specialist at OverDrive.

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