Tablet Dock Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock Review Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Has an audio jack for external speakers, charging and syncing.
What's Not: No additional software or UI, can't get to Home screen directly.
Samsung released a few protective cases along with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as well as the Multi-media Dock and a keyboard. We look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock that provides a tablet stand, an audio out jack as well as a power/data port.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock comes in a shiny piano black exterior. The dock functions as a tablet stand that can prop up the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in landscape steadily in a cradle. You can?t stand the tablet in portrait mode while in the Multi-Media Dock. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock has a small form: the tablet cradle is very short with a built-in 30-pin connector. The dock is surprisingly steadily largely thanks to the heavy back block that not only adds weight to the stand but also provides a 3.5mm audio jack and a 30-pin charging/syncing port.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock looks sleek and modern, and weighs 6.8 ounces. It props up the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in a 60-degree angle that?s great for video chat, movie watching, photo viewing and even playing some games.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock is designed to be a stand for viewing multi-media content on your tablet. If you intend on playing music, the Multi-Media Dock has a stereo line-out for you to plug it into external speakers for bigger and better sound. If you are watching movies on the tablet, you can get display enhancement by plugging the dock to your TV via HDMI. Though neither the Galaxy Tab 10.1 nor the Multi-Media Dock comes with an HDMI adapter. It would have been a big bonus had the Multi-Media Dock come with an HDMI adapter.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock does have a data port so that you can sync the tablet while it?s in the dock. The charging/syncing port on the dock doesn?t add anything feature-wise than the Tab?s built-in 30-pin connector. So what you can do in terms of syncing data or connecting to your PC with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 directly, you can do it while it?s in the Multi-Media Dock.
Compared to the HP Touchstone Charging Dock for the HP TouchPad that has a dock UI, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock has a much simpler approach. When you put the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the dock, the tablet goes into the Dock default screen which includes a large and easy to read digital clock, date and week, as well as any alarm you?ve set and lets you set a new alarm from this screen. The default dock screen also displays the Android buttons on the bottom of the screen including Back, Home, Multi-task, battery icon and wireless status icon found on Android Honeycomb tablets. And that?s about it. Be aware, when the tablet is in the Multi-Media Dock, the Android Home button is disable, making it hard to navigate the tablet while it?s in the dock. However, the Android Back button works in the dock, so if you wish to go to any screen or application while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is in the dock, put it in that screen or application before docking it. This way, you can just hit the Back button to get back to it from the Dock default screen. Same thing goes for photo slide shows and video watching. Say you want the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to play photo slideshow or a video while it?s sitting in the dock; just start the show first, then dock the tablet, then hit the Back button to view your show. It?s unclear to us why Samsung disables the Home button; it certainly has created more steps to use the Galaxy Tab 10.1?s essential features while it?s sitting in this dock.
If you are looking for a tablet stand for your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for viewing movies, photos, video chatting and more, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Multi-Media Dock is a decent choice for now since we are not seeing a lot of other docks available for this new tablet just yet. We like the dock for its small form and the additional audio out and sync port, but we dislike the default docking screen that locks you out of the Home button for easy navigation on the tablet. You can sync and charge the tablet while in the dock, and if you have an HDMI adapter, the tablet can play movies to your TV while in the dock.