Combining decent build quality, impressive performance, a sharp display, and great battery life for under $200, Samsung seems to have struck gold with their brand new Galaxy Tab A T580. Aluminum cases are reserved for higher-end devices, so it’s not surprising that plastic dominates the Tab A’s layout. Nonetheless, it benefits from the Korean company’s usual good finishes and remarkable ergonomics. In addition, the two speakers at the bottom border of this device provide more than adequate audio for music, video, and games.
The good vibes spill into the software, which includes a comparatively up-to-date Android version, v6.0 Marshmallow. Thankfully, Samsung has not flooded the interface with dozens of apps but has chosen for a fairly light version of TouchWiz that keeps things tidy and positively impacts performance. And speaking of performance, the Galaxy Interface A T580 packs an extremely capable 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 Octa and 2GB of RAM, which both result in a generally fast and fluid tablet computer.
Even demanding games have been handled pretty, and while 16GB storage is typical, a microSD card slot is on-board to ensure you have all the space you require for your favorite games. The Tab A excels in the camera department, with an admirable 8MP main sensor at the rear along with also a fitting 2MP front camera. Even more inspiring is the battery, which justifies the pill’s relatively heavy nature using a good 18 hours of continuous video playback.
Two-in-one tablets are great, but good ones such as the Surface Guru 4 are really costly. Shoppers on a tighter budget need to examine the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1, a full-size Android device that’s available for under $200.
Samsung recently introduced a new version which comes with an S Pen along with the pressure-sensitive display to use it, has 3GB of RAM, and has a list price of $299.99.
The Galaxy Tab A has only moderately-sized bezels, so the casing isn’t much bigger than the 10.1-inch”letterbox” screen. The precise size depends upon the model, though. The first is 10 x 6.1 inches, along with the S Pen version is a bit smaller at 9.7 x 6.5 inches. Both are 0.32 in. Thick and weigh 1.2 pounds.
Samsung Galaxy Interface A 10.1 in White
This tablet is heavier than rival devices with comparable screen dimensions, and it is also thicker than is really ideal, but part of this can be chalked up to the battery life. More on that later.
Mid-range models do not win design awards. That said, it is white or black plastic casing with silver accents will blend in any office or classroom, and won’t draw any admiring glances.
On the flip side, Samsung builds quality products, and this is no exception. While the exterior is mostly plastic, the device ardently resisted our attempts to bend or flex it.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Display
The Tab A 10.1 has a 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 touchscreen, giving it a quite decent density of 224 pixels per inch. The much more expensive Apple iPad Guru 9.7 has a reasonably high 264 ppi.
It’s a 16:10 aspect ratio, so it is thinner and longer than the 4:3 ratio that is more prevalent nowadays. This makes it ideal for watching a movie, looking at webpages, or word processing, but its aspect ratio is a bit less suited for those that prefer to use their tablets in portrait style.
We found this screen to be very useful from doorways, and through direct sunlight can wash out the screen. Those that intend to often use their tablet in the sun should think about a model with an AMOLED screen, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7.
Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Right Edge
The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 includes a microSD slot, and the original version may be bundled with a 32GB card. Higher-capacity cards can be found, of course, allowing this pill to be readily upgraded by people who wish to carry around considerable amounts of video or music. The slot is shielded behind a little door so the card isn’t likely to be inadvertently ejected.
A micro-USB v2.0 port is located on the top edge of the computer, allowing it to be billed using the cable extending up to the peak of the desk or tablet — a very helpful arrangement. The same port may be used to attach accessories like an external keyboard, though an adapter to convert into a full-size USB Type-A port will be needed for most of these. We tested our Samsung Galaxy Tab A 101.1 review device using a USB mouse, keyboard, and flash drive along with every performed as expected. We then connected all these into a USB hub and plugged that to Samsung’s tablet, and they continued to operate concurrently, meaning that this tablet computer could be utilized like a desktop PC — albeit a simple one.
Unlike most Android-powered devices, this Galaxy Tab includes a physical Home button, and the Back and Overview buttons have been printed on the front. This means they’re constantly available, rather than take up precious screen space, but the Back button is positioned where it is quite easy to inadvertently touch, particularly when stored in landscape mode.
There is an 8MP rear camera using a flash; the latter a characteristic one rarely sees tablets. This does a respectable job of capturing images, but it’s rather slow, so it’s best if subjects are static. The flash is bright, but it’s so white it washes out mild colors. A 2MP front camera is readily up to video conferencing.
The stereo speakers on this model are located on one of those short edges, and put more than enough sound to enable watching a TV show or film from 3 to 4 feet off, even in a moderately noisy environment.
Samsung Galaxy Interface A 10.1 S Pen Stylus
Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S Pen
However, people who don’t care can save yourself a little bit of cash by getting the original one. Just be awarethe gap goes beyond which version is bundled with an S Pen, since the less costly version doesn’t come with the sort of display that supports this touch-sensitive stylus. (Additionally, it has less RAM.) Therefore don’t expect it to work with a classic Galaxy Note tablet or smartphone Pen.
The S Pen version has a slot to store this busy stylus inside the tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow onto a 1.6 GHz octa-core Exynos 7870 processor. This really is a chip designed for light to moderate need, and its benchmarks bear this out.
On the Geekbench 4 CPU evaluation, our Samsung Galaxy Interface A 10.1 review unit (the original version) scored 3241. Compare it to the HTC Nexus 9, a 9-inch version which came out a few years ago and scored 2620 about the exact same test. On the other hand, flagship telephones do considerably better; the Samsung Galaxy S7 scored a 5213, for instance.
This doesn’t mean the Tab A 10.1 is slow in normal day-to-day usage. It boots Android after being completely turned off in only about 20 seconds. But this computer isn’t up to running a lot of exceptionally demanding applications concurrently.
The first version has 2GB of RAM, while the more expensive one which is accompanied by an S Pen has 3GB. No matter the version, there’s also 16GB of built-in storage, and also the microSD card slot supports up to 256GB of additional capacity.
Samsung Galaxy Interface A 10.1 Specs
Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Rear View
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Processor: Exynos 7870 1.6GHz Octa-Core
Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM
microSD around 256GB
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz +5.0GHz, VHT80
8.0MP AF w/ flash and F1.9
2.0MP and F2.2
Video recording: 1080P@30fps
10.0 x 6.11 x 0.32 inches
Battery: Li-Ion 7,300mAh
Samsung Galaxy Interface A 10.1 Battery
In other words to our torture test, where the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 review unit is stored streaming video over Wi-Fi with the screen brightness set to maximum, and it lasted seven hours and 28 minutes. This can be an indication of how long the device could be expected to survive at a worst-case scenario, and it’ll go longer on average, daily usage. Over 7 hours at our torture test is a good outcome, indicating that this item should last a day of moderate-to-heavy use, or a couple of days of light usage.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Left Edge
Samsung’s Exynos 7870 processor was designed to extend battery life by providing four CPU cores to use in rough situations, and four other cores to use when requirement is lighter. The lower amount of RAM also helps extend battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Review Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy Interface A 10.1 is a decent tablet at a time when good choices in the $200-$400 range are hard to find. Many businesses are setting their focus on powerful high-end or cheap entry-level offerings, but Samsung has a device that fits neatly in the center. It sports a easily-viewable screen, decent performance, a long battery life, and a design that is practical if prosaic.
Having a price generally under $200, the initial version of the item is quite a good thing. Those searching for a mid-sized Android tablet to take notes should also consider the S Pen-enabled edition, which recently debuted for $299.