My Samsung Galaxy Tab, with an Android OS

I know, it seems disloyal, especially as I’m writing this on my MacBook Air (you have realized already I’m gaget nerd, I suppose) but I LOVE my new tablet.

Screenshot Galaxy TabYou can’t see the delightful ripple effect of the ‘live’ wallpaper I chose, but I like the metaphoric implication that I’m looking into a pond as I look at the home screen, and I like the colours.

First, why I, a Mac fan, bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab with an Android OS. It was my friend’s fault. She travels a lot and saw a fellow traveller find a wifi area and download more reading material on her Kindle. At the same time, my friend couldn’t find an English language bookstore to replenish her supply of books. She thought about all the things she has to carry when she travels on business: books, a voice recorder, batteries, her netbook, and a bunch of other things, and figured out that she didin’t want a simple digital reader, she wanted a multitasker.

She recruited me, on the assumption that I knew a bit more about tech stuff than she did, and we went into The Source (not nearly as classy as an Apple store!) to look at tablets. So far I had resisted buying an iPad because I wanted a physical keyboard for composing text, and because I thought the iPad was awkwardly big. I looked at the paperback-sized tablet my friend pointed out, and listened while a very knowable young woman answered my friend’s questions. It does email. It doesn’t have to have a contract and a large monthly fee; it can be just for wifi. It can be a digital reader. You can do text on it! You can record voice, take photos, shoot video . . . You can listen to books on tape with it!

I interrupted, “What about Facebook and Twitter?” There are apps for those. Hmm. I was intrigued. “How much is it?” The price wasn’t bad, about the same as an iPad and the right size, but … I didn’t know. After over a half-hour of the young salesperson’s time, my friend and I left to think. I spent the next 3 weeks looking at the iPad again, googling for tablets, asking my Mac-expert friend why he’d just got himself an Android phone, and yearning for something larger than an iPhone, less expensive, and yet fun.

When the Blackberry Playbook came out, I looked at it, but I’m not businesslike enough for it. So I went to The Source again with my friend again, and this time a very knowledgable young man showed us what the Galaxy Tab could do and answered questions for almost an hour. When there were no other customers around, the young saleswoman we’d spoken to previously joined the conversation. My friend again asked more questions than I would have, and I learned a lot. Then I asked the price, and it had dropped to $399. I was sold – I was buying it.

I’ve had my tablet for less than a week and I’m still playing. In future posts I’ll talk about the fun I’m having with it.


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