I’ve been entwined into the apple eco-system since the introduction of the very first iPhone.
Lost without my iPad
In fact I not only have an iPhone but also an iMac and of course an iPad, so the Samsung Tab A was an unintended addition to my gadget collection.
I’d been visiting a friend in Stratford upon Avon and had taken my iPad with me. In a moment of forgetfulness I left it in her car, realising my oversight only once I was already well into my journey back home. She kindly offered to post it to me however I said I’d pick it up next time I visited. I still haven’t collected it.
I used my tablet extensively so looked at alternatives in the interim and the Samsung Tab A was offering much better value in comparison to the cost of an Apple iPad with similar features.
Model – Galaxy Tab A T580 2016
Network – wi-fi only
Launch Announced 2016, May
Body Dimensions 254.2 x 155.3 x 8.2 mm (10.01 x 6.11 x 0.32 in)
Weight 525 g (1.16 lb)
Build Plastic body
Display Type PLS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 10.1 inches, 295.8 cm2 (~74.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1200 x 1920 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~224 ppi density)
Platform Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Chipset Exynos 7870 Octa (14 nm)
CPU Octa-core (4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Mali-T830 MP2
Memory Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM
Main Camera Single 8 MP, AF, f/1.9
Features LED flash, panorama
Selfie Camera Single 2 MP, f/2.2
Sound Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou (market dependent)
USB microUSB 2.0
Features Sensors Accelerometer
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 7300 mAh battery
Colours Pearl White, Metallic Black
Build and Style
It’s natural to compare this tablet with my Apple iPad 2 as this is what it replaced. It’s also what this tablet was designed by Samsung to do, go head to head with Apples popular tablet. The tablet feels comfortable to hold with a slight matt finish feel to the back, although I have mine in a case to provide some protection form the rough and tumble of everyday life. I use this tablet every day and the build quality feels good. The 16:10 aspect ratio lends itself to viewing web pages, video and word processing whilst the display is bright and vibrant.
Buttons, Ports, Camera
This tablet has a physical home button located on the centre bottom bezel of the tablet. Either side of this are the overview and back buttons which are printed and touch responsive as opposed to physical. On the upper right side of the tablet you will find the power button, and directly below that the volume buttons. Also on the right side is a micro SD card slot located behind a small cover. This is an excellent addition for increasing storage capacity up to a whopping 256GB. As an example I use the ACSI camping app and all the map data is stored on this external memory card.
A micro USB v2.0 is located on the top side of the tablet along with a 3.5mm jack for external audio output.
Although I don’t tend to use the camera functions on this tablet it does have an 8MP rear camera with flash and a 2MP front facing selfie camera for video conferencing.
The stereo speakers located on the base edge put out a decent level of sound enabling you to watch youtube videos or TV shows.
Performance and Battery
I’ve found the Samsung Galaxy Tab A to be a responsive tablet and certainly not sluggish in my every day use. I’ve even done some very simple video editing on it, although clearly this is beyond what it is intended for.
The battery is where I have found a vast improvement over my iPad. I can charge this and have an hour or so viewing each night and it seems to last for days in between charges without ever switching it off. Samsung say it’s good for upto 13 hours of video playback or internet use.
What I use it for
I use the tablet daily for my news feed, facebook, road trip planning, site location and ferry booking. When I’m away in the motorhome this tablet is my main network device keeping me in touch with home and for planning where I’m going next.
The Galaxy Samsung Tab A 10.1 is a great mid range tablet that can be bought for a great price at the time of writing. I’m really pleased I made the change to this tablet albeit an unintended one. Its good value, responsive and has great storage and battery life. For a tablet within your motorhome this is certainly one to consider.