A Stroke of Touch Wizardry
With more Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablets flooding the market as of late, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 attempts to stand out from the crowd with Samsung's customized user interface (UI), Dubbed as Samsung TouchWiz, the UI shares a few similarities (and differences) to its earlier counterparts, which were used in smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S II.
To give you a quick overview of the TouchWiz's main features, here's an earlier video walk through to shed some light, followed by a quick summary of the seven main features.
Generally, the Samsung TouchWiz does its job fairly well on improving on the usability of the Honeycomb user interface. It addresses some of the shortfalls of the Honeycomb interface and adds in several handy features such as app trays, screen capture and enhanced notification panel.
Besides the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the second Android tablet to have the task killer function available out of the box. One of the biggest gripes we have with Honeycomb OS is its inability to close apps from the multitasking menu. Needless to say, we are glad that Samsung addressed this issue in the Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, we feel there is a duplication of functions on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 where the Program Monitor widget and Task Manager app basically do the same thing. Furthermore, they render the multitasking menu useless since users can also switch between apps through the Program Monitor or Task Manager.
The Samsung TouchWiz falls short in terms of performance when compared to its main competitor, the HTC Sense 3.0 UI that is found in the HTC Flyer and newer smartphones such as the HTC Sensation. Overall, HTC Sense is more polished in terms of the user interface and features. When reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, we noticed slight lags when navigating the user interface. Animations and transitions were not as snappy as we expect from a tablet that has similar hardware specification as the rest of the Honeycomb tablets. Nevertheless, it isn't a very detracting point and the Samsung TouchWiz is a crucial element of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which sets it apart from the crowd.