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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  • surt - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Won't be buying a tablet until I can watch movies in native resolution. The artifacting on all of these tablets is absolutely horrible.
  • Mugur - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    You'll have to wait about one year more, in theory... Isn't iPad 3 supposed to have 2048 x 1536?
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

  • pim69 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I find it ridiculous to patent something's appearance. We all know that the majority of Computer monitors look the same with black bezels and only the company logo/name on the bezel to make them look different. You could argue all projectors look the same because they all have lenses and a body with buttons. How about toilets? Sinks? Basketball nets? Bags of Milk? They all look the same! Why is it ok for a tech company to get away with patenting something's general appearance?? Next Apple will try to patent the colour White!!
  • dcollins - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    The Data caps make no sense for 4G.

    If you average 15Mbps, you could theoretically blow through a 5GB limit in 45 minutes. That's the middle tier and a low estimate for average speed.

    WTF is the point of 4G speeds with these asinine data limits? Saving a few seconds in page loading speeds is nice, but streaming HD and large file downloads are the only real applications that <i>need</i> the speed. 5GB gives you what, 4-5 HD Netflix movies?
  • tmensonides - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    I don't get the rectangular design "patent" thing either. Doesn't HP now have some leftover Palm patent to lord over the iPhone's App presentation/home screen and rectangle shape...I seem to remember my old m505, T/X, and Treo having "app screens" that look exactly like the iPhone and a "rectangle shape"...i don't get it it...the whole apple lawsuit about products "looking" the same is one of two reasons (the other being the loss of in-app kindle purchases) that I bought a TAB 10.1 instead of an iPad. Doesn't one of the Apple complaints even complain about the photo gallery icon used on the Galaxy S's? For goodness sake, when MS tried to push the tablet form factor in circa 2002-2004...there were at least 5 tablets that were simple rectangles...maybe a hair thicker but the same idea...

    Holy crap, I should go to legal zoom and start patenting rectangles in .5 mm increments....
  • Mugur - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    It seems that Apple "retouched" the Galaxy Tab 10.1 photos to hide the 16/10 aspect ratio and also showed the App Drawer instead of the home screen...

    Well, so you can still buy 10.1 in Europe, including Germany (in Germany "while supplies last" only).
  • Mugur - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    A friend come with a black 3G model to help him set it up with a data only SIM taken out of an USB modem. With the help of a friendly female operator, I made it work: lucky him the SIM was on an older unlimited data plan and judging by the H+ icon it was connecting at 21.6 Mbps...

    I own a Nook and I've played with iPad /2, Asus Transformer, Moto Xoom and 10.1v... But this tablet is really the best I got my hands on. Trust me, it's worth every penny if you can afford it.... It was already on 3.1 and TouchWiz and it feels just fine with it, although I would probably close most of the widgets.

    A 720p youtube clip was making every monitor I have at home a piece of junk. I tried 1080p and it was buffering a lot, unfortunately, so I couldn't see if the tablet can hold it... The screen at maximum brightness and with eco mode (a sort of second auto mode, but the menu was not in English so I don't know how to translate it) off was jaw dropping, even compared to an iPad 2...

  • piiman - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    actually that is the TouchWiz interface not the app drawer. The reason I got rid of it and use a different HOME is that it looked and acted like the iOS. So unlike the iPhone you can use it or not use it.(but it does look like the iPhone when you first buy one) As for the Tablet I say sorry but to patent a rectangle as your IP is crazy. All these silly patents just adds cost to us. Except now Apple wants to use them to kill the competition. All they are is a way for another company to stop competition and make money off someones else s product. (MS makes more off Android then their own phone) Hell most (like 90+%) are throw out during lawsuits. this alone should tell you something isn't right.
  • piiman - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Just to be clear I was referring to the GS phone picture not the tablet but for some reason my post got stuck at the end and not to the post I was replying so it looks like I am talking about the tablet. So don't start flaming me :-) .

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