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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  • kepler - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    The problem with your picture is that *you* are misleading people. That is a picture of the apps menu, not an actual home screen that would contain widgets and the sort.

    So maybe Samsung has an apps menu that looks like iOS. What about iOS 5's notifications? Why do Apple users sweep it under the rug? That is a * blatant* copy of Android's notification bar.

    I think iOS users are just mad that Samsung has a menu that can replicate their entire child's OS (not to mention the ability to customize it).
  • Mugur - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Yes, the biggest word here is "customization". Having 3 Android devices (HTC ChaCha, Dell Streak 5 and a Nook Color) I can tell you that they look like running something completely different for a non Android-versed person... :-)

    Also, I don't agree that Galaxy S2 looks like iPhone 4. At all. But the iPhone 4 looks 99% like Garmin nuvi 3790T... Come on, they all are rectangular in shape with round corners. I'm surrounded by people with iPhone 4 / iPad/iPad2 on one side and Samsung Galay S / S2 / Tab on the other: it's obviously that Apple went for the bigger competitor here.

    Even Galaxy Tab 10.1v does not look entirely like 10.1. :-) just joking.

    Anyway, I agree that the price for this "4G LTE" is a rip off: here, a 10.1 (v on Vodafone without v on Orange) 16GB 3G (HSDPA+/HSUPA) is 349 EUR including all taxes with a 2y contract (around 20-30 EUR/month for 2-8 GB).

    And they come in 3 colors (white, black and silver - silver is for 32 GB only, I think).
  • jmcb - Sunday, August 21, 2011 - link

    Thank You!!

    Close the app drawer and tell us if it looks like an iOS ripoff...

    I cant believe when all this started no body really paid attention to that.
  • Ammaross - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - link

    I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 in hand, and while there is no way I can call this an iPad2 in any respect (even dimensions are different, as I hold this thing widescreen-mode), in the "screen off" mode sitting flat on the table, the front of the Galaxy Tab is quite the blatant rip-off of the iPad2, right down to the trim. Granted, it's hard not to design a tablet with a screen and bevel behind glass that ISN'T black frame with accent (not black) trim and make it look half-decent. If they had only left the microUSB connector/charger and the mini HDMI port, I might have overlooked such. I can overlook the lack of an SD card, but using an iP*d-style connector is just below the belt....
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    If the honest consumer is an illiterate then it might fool him. Although he should still be able to tell an apple as a logo from whatever Samsung has (should be just their name). I have a SGS2 and my best friend has a iPhone4. I might mistake them after the 20th beer of the evening. But before that it's pretty hard to confuse them. Only 2 people ever asked me "oohhh, is that an iPhone?" and both were females and not into tech at all.
    Also, my phone has a homescreen with widgets and more than one button on the front. Not that similar to an iPhone.
    Though I do grant you that they both look smartphone-ish, i.e. screen in a square-ish package. ;-)
  • sooper_anandtech12 - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    Samsung is firing it across the bow of the Motorola Xoom, mentioned in the same lawsuit.
  • sooper_anandtech12 - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    Oops, I mean Apple. I must have confused the two ;)
  • idkman96 - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    did you not hear about how apple faked images to even start this law suit? and samsung makes part of the ipad and iphone, they get 170$ per ipad. and while im in no way saying that it doesnt look like a ipad in the front, have u seen the motorola zoom? it has a black bezzle around it also, JUSt like the ipads. only difference is the bezzle is not as wide . oh and did you hear? samsung is suing apple for patent infringement, yknow that new and improved antennae on the iphone 4s? samsung designed it and apple used it without paying fo rit or whatever. theres a side to both stories my friend. btw i love android and apple so im not being some dumb fanboi lol.
  • ckryan - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I have an old 3g modem from Verizon -- I've not used it in years, but I've basically been holding on to the plan since it's true unlimited, acquired in the time when you could get an unlimited 3g data plan. I should be able to upgrade the modem to LTE and still be unlimited -- or so they tell me (I called a Rep to ask). If this is the case, then LTE is a no-brainer here in Charlotte, NC. I'm glad to see someone in the state getting some decent numbers off of it. Unfortunately, not only is Verizon's 4G expensive, but it's hard to even take advantage of at the moment. I have unlimited data on my phone as well, grandfather style, but Verizon's LTE capable phone selection is a little wanting. Hopefully, Big Red has something more palatable coming down the pike.

    As for the Tab -- It's clearly the most badass mobile hotspot money can buy.
  • BuddyRich - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    "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."

    Until they drop the arbitrary restrictions on these cellular-enabled devices you still need a phone. Granted you could IM, email and even Skype/Google Voice from apps over data, but plain talking and texting is out of the question. Until then you are better off getting a wifi only tablet and just carry a phone as well (not to mention not having to have 2 data plans). I know up here in Canada the carries don't allow you to share data plans between devices...

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