The quality of the screen is a vital factor when judging a tablet. Due to the almost complete lack of physical buttons, the screen is absolutely everything to the user.
You need to be able to see it in bright conditions, it needs to be responsive, it needs to be clear, it needs to be able to show bright and dark areas at the same time. And the touchscreen needs to respond quickly and accurately. So how does it perform?
The Galaxy Tab's screen is a fairly standard TFT LCD panel, with resolution of 1024 x 600.
As we mentioned earlier, it was hoped by many pre-launch that the Tab would come packing an AMOLED panel. That type of display is thinner, lighter and often better for viewing in direct sunlight. And so the absence of an AMOLED display is a bit of a let-down, particularly at this premium price.
Inside, the Galaxy Tab's screen looks quite majestic. With settings to change the brightness, colour saturation and contrast, you can customise it so it looks great according to your own preferences.
Watching videos with lots of bright colours is also a pleasure. Cartoons and Pixar-style 3D animations look best, while the screen does a less good job at handling darker colours.
Using the Galaxy Tab in bright conditions, however, is a massive pain. In direct sunlight it is literally impossible to see anything on it at all, and even in outdoor conditions without the sun shining directly on it, you end up seeing a grey, smeary, fingerprinty mess rather than what the device is attempting to display.
The pocket-friendly dimensions of the Tab make it perfect for carrying around with you wherever you go, but the screen makes life pretty difficult.
The iPad suffers in outdoor conditions too, but in our side-by-side test the iPad did a slightly better job of fending off the bright lights.
This is possibly the biggest disappointment of all. A kick-ass screen would have gone a long way towards making the Samsung Galaxy Tab a really fantastic device, but without this awe-factor, the device seems a lot less special.
The Tab was also a bit hit and miss when it comes to responsiveness. At some points the screen responded to touch almost immediately. At other times there were uncomfortable delays.
When sliding through your home screens, the iPad just is slicker, smoother and more responsive. The Galaxy Tab keeps you waiting a split second at a time, and it all adds up. As a result, it's not a fun device to use.