There's not much to say about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, unfortunately. It's more or less unchanged from last year's 10-inch model, but now with a more conventional ARM SoC versus the Intel chip that was hit or miss last year. $349.99 (16GB) gets you a well-built, but unexceptional tablet that delivers a consistent and reliable Android experience. Sound pretty mundane? That's because it is. Stepping down to the $300 Asus Transformer Pad TF103C gets you comparable performance with a bonus keyboard dock that productivity-minded folks will appreciate. Our favorite large screen tablet remains the Apple iPad Air, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is the most impressive large-screen Android tablet we've tested, but it'll cost you $500.
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The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 is essentially just a larger version of the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0, so check out that review for a full rundown on performance and features. With the same processor and display resolution, the two tablets perform nearly identically, but we did test each model separately.
Design and Features
At 9.58 by 6.94 by 0.31 inches (HWD) and 1.08 pounds, the Tab 4 is actually slightly larger than its predecessor, but more manageable than 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 look and feel are inoffensive and functional—two words that accurately describe just about every aspect of Samsung's mainstream Galaxy Tab line. Power and Volume buttons are on the top edge, but they're too flush with the casing and difficult to find by touch. Side-facing stereo speakers are on the left and right edges; they get pretty loud, but sound harsh at maximum volume.
In our battery rundown test, which loops a video with screen brightness set to max and Wi-Fi on, the Tab 4 10.1 was good for 6 hours, 33 minutes. That's better than the 5 hours, 20 minutes of the Asus TF103C, but nothing spectacular. The higer-end Galaxy Tab S lasted for 10 hours, 57 minutes in the same test.
Samsung only makes a 16GB model, and our test unit came with 11.95GB available out of the box. A 64GB microSD card worked fine for expanding media storage. You get your typical helping of Samsung apps and services, including the redundant Samsung App store. The preloaded Hancom Office suite is one of 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. The competition isn't quite as fierce in the 10-inch space, and most every other manufacturer is defaulting towards the low-end for their large screen tablets. As such, the Tab 4 compares favorably with tablets like the Asus Transformer Pad TF103C and Lenovo A10. The Tab 4 easily eclipses the A10, but at $299 with an included keyboard dock, the Transformer Pad is more useful and a better value. If you have a more flexible budget, though, we still prefer the iPad Air and the Galaxy Tab S 10.1, both of which are simply in another league.