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Sat 9 Nov 2013 02:14 PM

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Review: 3rd generation Samsung Galaxy tablet

When it comes to specs, the Korean manufacturer didn't really try to wow anyone, says Mohamed Elaassar

Review: 3rd generation Samsung Galaxy tablet

Korean electronics giant Samsung’s latest flagship tablet certainly seems to part of its aim to cash in on the slow extinction of the PC. When looking at the 8inch version, one cannot avoid thinking it is being positioned somewhere between the iPad mini and the Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Although it would be unfair to accuse Samsung of being a copycat as the Korean manufacturer started tapping into the reductionist trend while Apple was still dragging its heels on the issue.

Beyond the design, a lot has also been invested in the features available on the Galaxy Tab 3. Voice controls were improved and allow commands to start a phone call, end it, snooze or dismiss alarms, operate the camera at a distance, or even control music tracks and volume while they're playing. This is all thanks to the superior quality of the voice recognition and noise elimination functions.

The device's interaction with its environment is also supported by functions like using the front-facing camera to recognise when the user has stopped looking at the screen and switch the device off, thereby saving some precious battery life. The solid and bright TFT screen also adapts the various functions by changing its setup to suit particular tasks like video chatting, ebook reading, or internet surfing.

When it comes to specifications, the Korean manufacturer hasn’t really try to wow anyone. Modest components include a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, a rear-facing 5 megapixel camera, and a front facing 1.3 megapixel one.

Welcomed additions include an easily accessible memory card slot to expand storage capacities and an IR blaster to remotely control appliances, which were introduced to keep up with its compatriot LG and fellow Asian companies like Sony. The 7 inch version is sold for $220, while the 8 inch version is priced at $380.

It seems obvious that Samsung only updated the version to improve and modernise the overall comfort on the Galaxy Tab at a reasonable price and a light weight of just above 200 grams. The increased coherence with the smartphone touch and feel will ensure the core fans are satisfied, especially with the TouchWiz interface providing one of the best Android Jellybean 4.2 customizations on the market.

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