Available at last from Optus on pre-paid and post-paid plans in Australia, the Galaxy Tab is the first 'serious' high-end Android smartphone/tablet competitor.
Using the Android 2.2 Froyo OS, which is smartphone optimised and not yet properly 'tablet' optimised, at least according to Google, the Galaxy Tab is like an anti-iPad - similar in many ways, yet different in many others at the very same time.
It does everything it promises to do, but without the absolute flair, panache and polish that Apple has put into the iOS experience, making for an actually viable alternative tablet experience in 2010, while still promising so much more yet to come in future versions of tablet-optimised Android OSes.
Although Steve Jobs made seemingly ridiculous comments about the finger size needed to use 7-inch optimised software smoothly and easily, the number of 7-inch apps that become available will help to quickly determine the Galaxy Tab's popularity, especially in the face of the iPad selling millions more models while the Galaxy Tab is still yet to sell its first million units, something that isn't expected until the end of the year.
The latest is 'personal radio station' Slacker, available only in the US and Canada, letting fans create their own stations and listen to them in the foreground or background over Wi-Fi, 3G or, if a paid pro-version is used, through 'station caching' for offline listening.
The service is reported to offer excellent detail on the song you're listening to, the album its from, the artist or artists performing and a review of the song or album in question, with high quality photo art to keep the visual attention of listeners, especially if they are using the Slacker app in the foreground.
PC Magazine quotes a Slacker spokesperson saying that: "Slacker Radio for the Galaxy Tab offers high-res album art to take advantage of the device's high-res display and provides the functionality that our listeners have come to love including, over 130 genre stations, an unlimited amount of listener-created stations, the hottest hits and breaking songs and station caching for listening to Slacker even without a WiFi or cell signal".
Sounds good - shame it's not available in Australia though.
Continued on page two, please read on!