Using a tablet outside of the home in areas where WiFi isn't prevalent is unbelievably frustrating. Sure it's nicer to use the larger screen of a tablet compared to a smartphone, but only if you can actually browse the web and check email on it. I suspect a large number of WiFi tablets are used in locations where free WiFi is prevalent. At homes, in cafes, on campus, in hotels, etc... But what about those who aren't so lucky?

You can always tether to your smartphone or get a MiFi, but if you want to carry only a single device there's always the option of a cellular connected tablet. While Motorola's Xoom shipped with the promise of a future upgrade to support LTE, Samsung and Verizon were actually first to deliver an LTE enabled tablet: the Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE.

Based on the same design as the WiFi only Galaxy Tab 10.1, the 4G version is identical in dimensions and only 2 grams heavier. You get the same 1280 x 800 Super PLS display, the same dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, 1GB of memory and either 16GB or 32GB of NAND. The only change is the inclusion of VIA Telecom CBP 7.1 EVDO and CMC220 LTE baseband processors. You'll note that this is the same baseband configuration as the LTE enabled Samsung Droid Charge.

There's still no SD card slot on the Galaxy Tab, but the 4G LTE version gains a spring loaded microSIM slot:

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G is available through Verizon Wireless for an off-contract price of $699 for the 16GB version or $799 for the 32GB version. Agreeing to a two year contract drops the prices to $529 and $629, respectively. Even with the two year agreement, the 4G Tab is expensive. In a world where we're looking to see tablets hit $399 it's really tough to justify spending 50% more. If you want LTE on a tablet however, this is your only option.

2011 Tablet Comparison
  Apple iPad 2 ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Motorola Xoom WiFi Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G
SoC Apple A5 (Dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 2 (Dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 2 (Dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 2 (Dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 2 (Dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz)
Display 1024 x 768 IPS 1280 x 800 IPS 1280 x 800 1280 x 800 PLS 1280 x 800 PLS
NAND 16GB 16GB 16GB 16GB 16GB
Connectivity Options WiFi, AT&T 3G, Verizon 3G WiFi WiFi, Verizon 3G, Verizon LTE (soon) WiFi WiFi, Verizon 3G, Verizon LTE
Dimensions 241.2mm x 185.7mm x 8.8mm 271mm x 175mm x 12.95mm 249.1mm x 167.8mm x 12.9mm 256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6mm 256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6mm
Weight 601g 695g 730g 565g 567g
Price $499 $399 $599 $499 $699 ($529 with 2-year contract)

Verizon offers three LTE plans for use with the 4G enabled Galaxy Tab:

Verizon LTE Dataplans for Tablets
Monthly Download Cap 2GB 5GB 10GB
Monthly Price $30 $50 $80
Monthly Overage per GB $10

Unfortunately there are no pay-as-you-go LTE plans yet and none of these options are particularly reasonable, especially considering how fast LTE is. Even with the $80 10GB plan, if you're downloading at 25Mbps you can blow through your entire month's allowance in 53 minutes. While I don't expect many users to be downloading full Blu-rays onto a Galaxy Tab 10.1, it won't be too long before that's feasible for playback on a tablet. LTE is great, but these plans need serious work.

The LTE Experience: Ridiculously Fast
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  • claytontullos - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the review. Data plans in general are the current cash cow for service providers.

    Any word on when the winner of the giveaway Tab will be announced?
  • webmastir - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    wondering same thing =/
  • dendysutrisna - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Yes thanks for tablet comparison table.
    And i agreed, How expensive Verizon's data plan , though someone took a 10GB quota, with a speed 10X 3G, it does not mean anything if its use is not wise. Anyway remains its an internet connection will run only no more than half a day.
  • Mugur - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    The 16GB 3G European version (21.6 Mbps) is 400 euros plus taxes, less than iPad 2 3G...

    Too bad it is removed from the shelves by that Apple patent dispute. Anand, did you really feel that it is an iPad clone by "looks and feel"? :-)
  • TypeS - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    While I don't agree with the patents granted to Apple or the legitimacy of its numerous suits against Samsung/Motorola/HTC, you can clearly tell by looking at the front fascia that Samsung can't claim innocence and ignorance as to just how much it looks like the iPad.

    And before someone replies saying "Well there's only so many ways to design a tablet!", take a look ASUS EEE Transformer. Do you see Apple firing snide remarks or starting suits with ASUS?

    The Samsung Galaxy S II's aesthetics also mimic the iPhone's look to an extent (did they really need to exaggerate the home button against the other two beside it; which are almost non visible). Motorola won acclaim with its' Droid and it's successors and you don't see Apple suing them over how similar the phone looks at least.

    While I have high respect for Samsung and the innovations they've brought to the LCD market, they're a Korean company and Korean companies often like to mimic (rip off) highly successive models. Look no further than Hyundai's cars and their outward styling, they look like premium Japanese or German luxury cars.

    Where Toyota and Mercedes may not care that their car styles are mimiced, Samsung caught the eye of Silicon Valley's "magic making" CEO, and they did quite brazen and stupidly.
  • Mugur - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Well, I had both of them in my hands and the only thing common to both and uncommon for the others is the great quality of the materials. I also checked on the net the European patent Apple is hanging on and it'a 2 page sketch of "handheld computer" from 2004 that looks like every tablet from Star Trek to ... any tablet. Just a rectangular surface with round edges. In my opinion, Apple just wanted to bury its best competitor...
  • robinthakur - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    No, it looks like a White iPad 2 unless you look very closely. Having seen a Galxy S 2 over the weekend up close, it does bear a very close similarity to an iPhone 4, and the Galaxy S 1 looked like a 3GS. These occurences are not accidental, they are designed to fool the honest consumer! Samsung should not be able to get away with this, however you slice it.
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    And when you say "very closely", do you mean reading the labels or using the OS? Those are pretty big differences, IMO. There's no giant Apple on the back, there's no home button on the front, one runs iOS, the other Android. Logos aside, the back even has different details, and the charge port, while similar, is not the same, and isn't even found on the same side as iPad. Will the Tab even work with Apple's extras, like cases and adapters?

    To me, the Tab 10.1 just might be more magical than iPad2, and THAT is why Apple is firing back at it. Good thing Apple doesn't make cars, or we'd all be screwed.
  • kmmatney - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I checked out my co-workers Samsung phone, and I have to say even the general software layout looks like an iPhone clone. You can see for yourself in this image:

    pretty much a complete iOS ripoff...
  • medi01 - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Claiming that Android is a iOS ripoff, wow...

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