There’s not much to state about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, unfortunately. It’s pretty much unchanged from last year’s 10-inch model, however now with a far more conventional ARM SoC versus the Intel chip that was hit or miss this past year. $349.99 (16GB) gets you a well-built, but unexceptional tablet that offers a steady and reliable Android experience. Sound pretty mundane? That’s since it is. Stepping right down to the $300 Asus Transformer Pad TF103C ( at Amazon) gets you comparable performance with a bonus keyboard dock that productivity-minded folks will appreciate. Well known large screen tablet remains the Ipad Air ($389.99 at eBay), as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 may be the most impressive large-screen Android tablet we’ve tested, but it’ll cost you $500.
The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 is actually simply a larger version of the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 ( at Amazon), so have a look at that review for a complete rundown on performance and features. With the same processor and display resolution, both tablets perform practically identically, but we did test each model separately.
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Design and Features
At 9.58 by 6.94 by 0.31 inches (HWD) and 1.08 pounds, the Tab 4 is really slightly bigger than its predecessor, but more manageable compared to the Asus TF103C (10.1 by 7 by 0.4 inches and 1.22 pounds). There’s a chintzy-looking faux-chrome band surrounding the tablet’s face, with the now familiar faux-leather plastic finish around back. The appearance and feel are inoffensive and functional-two words that accurately describe almost every facet of Samsung’s mainstream Galaxy Tab line. Power and Volume buttons are at the top edge, but they’re too flush with the casing and difficult to acquire by touch. Side-facing stereo speakers are on the left and right edges; they get pretty loud, but sound harsh at maximum volume.
Inside our battery rundown test, which loops a video with screen brightness set to max and Wi-Fi on, the Tab 4 10.1 was best for 6 hours, 33 minutes. That’s much better than the 5 hours, 20 minutes of the Asus TF103C, but nothing spectacular. The higer-end Galaxy Tab S ( at Amazon) lasted for 10 hours, 57 minutes in the same test.
Samsung only makes a 16GB model, and our test unit was included with 11.95GB available out of your box. A 64GB microSD card worked fine for expanding media storage. You get your typical helping of Samsung software and services, like the redundant Samsung App store. The preloaded Hancom Office suite is probably the better Android productivity suites I’ve used.
Competition and Conclusions
Like its 7- and 8-inch siblings, the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 exudes mediocrity. Your competition isn’t quite as fierce in the 10-inch space, & most almost every other manufacturer is defaulting towards the low-end because of their large screen tablets. As such, the Tab 4 compares favorably with tablets just like the Asus Transformer Pad TF103C and Lenovo A10 ( at Amazon). The Tab 4 easily eclipses the A10, but at $299 with an included keyboard dock, the Transformer Pad is more useful and an improved value. In case you have a far more flexible budget, though, we still choose the iPad Air and the Galaxy Tab S 10.1, both which are simply just in another league.
The Bottom Line
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 gives a steady and reliable Android big-screen tablet experience, but unless you’re a Samsung loyalist, there are better values to be enjoyed.