DaniWeb recently reported how Apple had won a ban on the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Europe and even published the rather generic-looking design drawings at the heart of the case. Now a Düsseldorf regional court judge, Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann, has heard the Samsung appeal against the ban and concluded that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives a "clear impression of similarity" to the iPad: the result being that the ban has been upheld, but only in Germany rather than being across the EU. If reports are to be believed, Samsung could fight back with an attempt to delay or block the sale of the new iPhone 5 in Europe (on the grounds that it infringes some basic technology patents held by Samsung) before it has even arrived.
DaniWeb has got hold of a Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet device to see what all the fuss was actually about. Our immediate impression after taking it out of the box was a simple 'wow' at just how thin and light the Galaxy Tab 10.1 actually was. At just 256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6mm it is slimmer than the iPad 2 an at 565g it is lighter as well, and this is crucial when it comes to a large tablet device such as this. Let us explain, although some users with arms like Popeye will doubtless disagree, when holding the iPad 2 for any great length of time there is more than a small degree of discomfort that enters the equation due to the weight. Now the Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs in at 565g compared to the 613g of the iPad 2, which doesn't sound a lot but it certainly feels it. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is actually just light enough to be perfectly comfortable for extended one handed holding. That is something which we have not been able to say about any other compatible, in terms of screen size, tablet so far. The soft feel of the rubbery-plastic backing might put some off when compared to the slick metallicness of the iPad 2 but, in actual fact, it contributes to the comfort factor by aiding grip.
Don't let the use of the word 'plastic' put you off here either, there is plastic and then there is high quality plastic material that contributes to an high quality of overall construction, and a surprisingly large dose of attractive look and feel. The bit you look at, the screen area, has a glossy black bezel and the rear-facing camera is enclosed within a silver strip while everything feels sturdy and soft at the same time. If you are worried that holding a Galaxy Tab 10.1 would make you look somehow inferior when sitting next to an iPad user, don't; there is nothing inferior about this tablet in terms of construction or desirability. But size isn't everything, the screen is. Think about it, a tablet is pretty much just a screen with some sockets dotted around the edge. Luckily the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't disappoint in terms of the truly brilliant 10.1" 1,200 x 800 multi-touch LCD that provides more screen estate than the iPad 2 and is even sharper in terms of dot pitch as well. Seriously, this has to be the best screen we have had the pleasure of using on a tablet device so far bar none: brighter than the iPad at 494cd/m2 and the contrast ratio of 600:1 doesn't hurt either. Nor does the inclusion of the proprietary Samsung 'Plane Line Switching' (PLS) technology which delivers what it promises, and that's really great viewing from just about any angle you care to squint at it from.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is, without any shadow of a doubt, the best Android-powered tablet to date. In fact, it's even better than the iPad 2. There, we said it. Let's just hope that all the design and patent silliness gets sorted so that consumers everywhere can discover that there is life outside of Apple when it comes to truly stunning tablet devices.