Somewhere in Between = Just Right.

This blurry photo was taken by my Mama a few moments after my Papa handed me this rectangular thing I’m holding. It looks like a time-space portal (?) But it’s actually the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. I’ve been wanting to save up for a tablet since the year started, and was mulling over an Ipad, too of course. But my Papa straight up gave me this instead. So who am I to refuse such a generous gift? I was actually so excited, and in hindsight there have been countless instances when I’ve been glad that I have a tab instead of an iPad. So thank you Papa! *tears*
I’ve had it for two months now (got it last May 18!), so I think it’s time to share how it’s fared in my hands so far 🙂


So I labelled this post “Somewhere in Between” because that’s what the tab is all about. Remember Goldilocks and how she would always choose Baby Bear’s stuff because it was always “Not to big/hard/hot, Not too small/soft/sweet, but always just right?” At 7.7 inches, it’s smaller than an iPad and way too big to be a phone. But I find that when I’m using it, say, when reading on the bus or a long government queue, 7.7 inches is just right to hold with one hand or to place across my lap. And, it always fits into my bag. That makes it win!

Here’s size comparison 1: vs. a tiny xmini.
Size comparison 2 and a photo of the back. Unlike Samsung’s other tabs, the 7.7 has a brushed metal back.

It’s thinnnn! 7.9 mm to be exact. I always like taking it out of its case because I enjoy holding it in its slim goodness…but of course I have to promptly put it back in because sans case it will never last scratch-free with me 😦 #geekery.
And yes, it has a microSD slot so you could expand your storage! I bought an extra memory card so I could load it up.

The SIM card slot! Any ordinary sim card goes into this. And the tablet can transform into a phone! (Although that is too awkward to demonstrate. Imagining holding a 7.7 tablet across your ear. It actually can do that, along with of course the in-ear plugs / speakerphone options).
THIS SITE has a complete rundown of the 7.7’s internal specs. Basically, it’s a very brilliant screen, and it’s pretty fast. Boot-up takes seconds and there has been only one time when it crashed on me (and this was just a few days into owning it and I was pressing too many buttons on the surface).
Here are my ratings (wow may ratings na ako!)!
  • Internet surfing and HTML loading: 4/5
  • Online video buffering: 4.5/5 – (I don’t know if it’s my imagination but Youtube loads faster using our home connection and even my SIM’s 3G)
  • Speaker / Audio quality: 4/5
  • Video playback: 5/5 (thank you AMOLED screen – colors are so brilliant)

Now I’ll show you what I actually do with it!
Here’s my home screen. You can actually arrange widgets but I like having my homescreen bare. So just the basic app links and current “memos” (old school habits die hard).

Sample of the phone dialer screen. As I said, I don’t recommend using the tab as a phone. It’s too big even with earphones! But for video calls it’s another matter, as I’ll show later on 🙂

Shot of the text messaging screen! Would sometimes put in my SIM card here when my blackberry’s battery dies or its signal goes whack (Blackberry has been failing me a lot lately 😦 ).

Screen shot of my second and third home pages, where some of the apps I use a lot are shown. As you can see, I have only the basic ones like Instagram, a word processor, a dictionary, the SNS apps, and then A LOT of photo editing apps. I downloaded a bunch and have been successively trying them out one by one. I’ve yet to decide which to keep and toss. If you’ll look closely I even have a couple written out entirely in CHINESE. It’s a mark of how serious my vain pursuits are that I’d explore the apps by guessing which button to push and so on. xp
Like so!
As you can see, the tab’s front camera makes “camwhoring” very easy.
But for mirror shots, not so. Look at the finger stretch I have to do. It also covers up my entire face. Haha!
But for food shots and other “Instagrammy” moments that don’t involve my stupid face, camera does a good job. Has autofocus, macro, and all that stuff. Then add the apps and you have one very happy girl who now often leaves her G12 at home on ordinary work days :).
Sadly, the caveat of an Android device is that the Android Market has a dearth of actual, really cool apps (aside from the basic, work-related ones). I’ve been downloading games and then deleting them after a while because they’re not that engrossing. So as an entertainment device, I haven’t fully stretched the capabilities of  the tab!
But as a work and school device, it rocks.

Love how I can edit and create word, ppt and excel documents on the tab. I don’t have to bring the laptop along anymore for meetings / brainstorming sessions *back sighs in relief*. You can imagine that typing on a tiny touchscreen is a bother, but there’s a thumb keyboard app which you can download. Basically it splits the keyboard into the left and right corners to that you can hold the device and type with your thumbs. And because the 7.7 is light, it’s not a strain on the hands at all 🙂

Loaded up some sounds and movies that I need to watch. For my screenshot I’ve selected the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey where they’re shown watching the news on tablet-like devices. Stanley Kubrick is a genius of foresight. 🙂
For one of my classes, we have to read a TON of books for this sem. My prof has a eBooks of the things he wants us to read so he has sent it out to us. And I’m happy that I have my tab so I can read it (and lots of other books) anytime! It did come in handy when I was stuck in rainy EDSA last Friday (remember that?). Again, the size makes it less awkward to read an eBook on a bus. I even do highlights and stuff, and I love how when I reopen a file, it picks up right where I left off. E-reading can never replace the romantic experience of thumbing through a novel (and we’re all addicted to old book smells I know), and I still want that entire room dedicated to books when we build our dream house someday. But for now, having “1001 books to read before you die” on epub format makes me feel, somehow, infinite. 🙂

Skype got fun-ner! I can now Skype Ranie even when I’m in already in bed (like literally ready to sleep) 🙂 Here are more shots of him which I’m sure he’ll hate me for again.
So that’s it! 🙂 I know I’m putting this up at the risk of looking piggy and memasabilang about my device, but I think I need to do justice to it since I’ve been finding it very useful. My verdict: This 7.7 tab trumps the Ipad in terms of size and portability (so you could keep using it more), and then it trumps the other tablets in terms of performance and specs. But is the best tablet? Not really! For me it’s the best because my priorities are portability and basic work stuff usability. But if you’re into other things, of course, like games or a good tablet for sketching and whatnot, I’d say explore and explore!
 Hope this post was enjoyed!

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