One tablet, many users–each with a personalized account
Families share laptops and home computers, so why not a tablet?
This is the proposition for Samsung’s justreleased Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, a sleek new addition to the Korean giant’s line of tablets, aimed at multiple users in a single gadget. It means each user can have his/her own personalized set of apps, music, games, photos and other files in just one compact device. Simply create different log-ins for multiple users.
Sounds promising: with the thinner bezel versus the Tab 3 and a 7” display, it’s a device designed to enhance personal entertainment. You can stream videos, play games, take photos to share on Facebook, and it even has a Kids Mode designed for tots’ ease of use and for parents to control what the little ones have access to.
Or, you can keep this Tab all to yourself, too, if you’re of the school that doesn’t like sharing gadgets.
That thought did come to mind as I held the Galaxy Tab 4 test unit for the first time. It felt solid in the hands, and its white faux leather backing had an expensive feel, a nice cosmetic upgrade from the previous iteration.
Let’s face it, the non-techies among us get sold on the looks first, if not above all. The technical aspects become only secondary. If it looks cheap and ugly, trust that we’ll plunk our money elsewhere.
Not an issue with the Tab 4: if you’re eyeing style, you needn’t look far. While thicker than my iPad Mini, the Tab 4’s smaller and narrower dimension is easier to hold. It’s also slightly
thinner than its predecessor.
This one runs on Android 4.4 and its CPU has been given an upgrade with the 1.2 GHz Quad-Core. It now has an HD screen that makes watching videos a joy. It comes only in 8 GB storage, but comes with a micro SD slot expandable to 32 GB.
Those familiar with previous Tab versions will note that some buttons have been moved around. The old menu key, for instance, is now the multitask button—meaning, you can have several apps running in the background, and these can be accessed easily with the key on the left of the home button.
You can also run multi-window display, or two apps on a split screen; say, browse Instagram and check your e-mail simultaneously. The Google icon, by the way, is strategically placed on the lower left corner of the screen for quick access.
The layout of the keyboard has also been improved, so you no longer need to hold down certain keys to find other symbols.
The Tab 4 has a 3-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front, which frankly take rather mediocre photos, such that Snapseed becomes imperative before you can post on Instagram. If, like me, you never really use your tablet to take (quality) photos anyway, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The speaker for this fourth-generation of the Tab has also been moved to the rear. It can be problematic if you have the habit of laying down your tablet on a flat surface to watch videos or listen to music. Of course, it’s a non-issue if you like to use earphones.
Amazing battery life
It does have an amazing battery life. Between semi-heavy Internet browsing and a few games of Candy Crush, I didn’t need to plug in to recharge until the next day, and even then the battery wasn’t completely flat yet. This was consistent throughout the weeklong testing.
The Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 is well priced at P13,990 (the 10.1 version retails at P21,990), which makes it even more appealing for consumers who intend to share one gadget with other family members.
However, they might have to wait until the third-quarter Android update before the multiuser function can work. When asked why the test unit couldn’t seem to create multiple accounts, the rep from Samsung said the current firmware does not yet support multi-user mode, but would be updated shortly.
When that happens, your family only needs to figure out who gets first dibs on the Tab—and that you don’t wind up fighting over it.
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