Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Gaming Performance Review

Posted by B. Johnson
August 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Gaming Performance ReviewHi guys, welcome back to this site!

Earlier, there were 2 Samsung tablets that i just showed you here a while ago on this website.

They were the 7.7-inch and the 8.9-inch models of the first-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab series.

The thing that got me interested mostly from these 2 oldest-gen tablets from Samsung is actually their processors and of course, their graphics chipset.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 benchmarks and gaming performance

The 8.9-inch model – which is the predecessor – is interestingly powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor along with its GeForce ULP GPU – which used to be the world’s first dual-core processor around the tablet market.

Meanwhile, the other one – the 7.7-inch model is packing Samsung’s homemade Exynos 4210 dual-core processor, accompanied with Mali-400 GPU – which used to be, actually is now still, a powerful graphics chipset.

With these graphics chipsets, then it’s just not that hard for me to assume that these tablets will be good for gaming, either the 7.7 or the 8.9-inch variant, if not the best.

However, in real world performance – for playing games especially -, i’ll definitely go with the 7.7-inch model given that its Mali-400 GPU is slightly powerful than the GeForce ULP GPU on Tegra 2 processor – as seen on many Mali-400-powered tablets which mostly have great gaming performance, like Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 or Archos GamePad 2.

Okay, enough talking about my previous reviews.

Anyway, after showing you guys with some of the oldest-gen GALAXY Tab tablets from Samsung - Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Tab 8.9 -, today i want to pick up some random tablets from this company which never got a chance to be reviewed on this site.

I’m talking about Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 model.

I actually already made the review of the 7-inch and 8-inch models of this tablet series a couple of months ago, with the bigger one being the great gaming tablet.

Not to mention with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 Lite, which i just reviewed a few months back but i just don’t want to talk about its gaming performance right now.

Well, if you’re really interested to know more about the largest model of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, including its gaming performance and how it performs when playing some graphics intense games, then here you go, my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1.

Introduction

There is one interesting fact about all the 4 models of this Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 series.

And that is, each of them is powered by some different processors.

From the ‘light’ version - Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 Lite – that is powered by a dual-core Marvel PXA986 chipset with Vivante GC1000 GPU, and then the 7-inch model also powered by the same exact chipset but interestingly a different GPU (PowerVR SGX540 GPU).

After that, the 8-inch variant that is packing the Samsung Exynos 4212 processor and Mali-400 GPU (which has the best gaming performance among these 3).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 4G (front)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
And last but not least, the one i’m about to show today, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 that features a Dual-core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 chipset, accompanied with PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU.

This is actually pretty surprising for me because it’s pretty rare to see Samsung use some different processors for its GALAXY Tab tablets that are released in the same generation.

For your tiny bit of info, the latest-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 series – from the 8-inch and 10-inch, these both tablets are packing the same Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 225 GPU.

Meanwhile, the smallest 7-inch model receives the treatment of Marvel quad-core PXA1088 processor along with the Vivante GPU (i don’t know exactly which version it is).

So in terms of performance, the 10.1-inch model of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 will likely perform differently (more powerful or less powerful) than any other models of this tablet series.

But this is just on paper of course.

In real world performance, there’s probably not much difference between this biggest 10.1-inch model with the 8-inch variant, in terms of gaming performance.

Both models are still great for gaming and definitely more powerful than the smaller 7-inch, not to mention the 7-inch ‘Lite’ version of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 series.

Anyway, from the hardware standpoint, there are some great things to be liked on this 10.1-inch tablet.

There are the Intel Atom dual-core processor and PowerVR SGX544 GPU (the same GPU found inside the iPhone 5), the 720p (1280x800 pixels) resolution on its 10.1-inch display, 3.15MP camera on the rear-side that’s able to do 720p video recording, 1.3MP camera on the front to do selfies, microSD card slot for up to 64GB to accompany the 16/32GB internal storage, a huge 6800mAh battery and a couple of other standard features.

Not to mention, there are also the WiFi-only, the 4G LTE or 3G supports, depends on which model that you want to pick up.

But the real questions are, with all of these specs, not to mention the great processor and GPU, does Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 have what it takes to be a good gaming tablet?

Is this tablet still relevant to be positioned on today’s tablet market, alongside iPad Air, Sony Xperia Tablet Z/Z2 or even the latest-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro/Tab S series?

Is it worth it to upgrade your Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to this next-gen model?

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  • 4G LTE
  • Micro-SIM
  • Released 2013, Q3
  • Weight 510 g (1.12 lb)
  • 10.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1280 x 800 pixels, (~149 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
  • TouchWiz UX UI
  • Dolby Surround sound enhancement
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 64 GB
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • Android OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 Chipset
  • F: PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Infrared port
  • microUSB v2.0
  • 3.15 MP rear-facing camera, 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Video 720p
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • Accelerometer, compass Sensors
  • No Radio
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • White, Gold Brown, Garnet Red, Midnight Black Colors options
  • Non-removable Li-Po 6800 mAh battery
  • Up to 9 hours (2G)/40 h (3G) for Talk time (multimedia)
  • Up to 140 hours for Music play
In terms of specifications, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is definitely better than the predecessor.

It has more powerful processor and newer-generation GPU (PowerVR SGX 544 vs PowerVR SGX 540 on predecessor), much better cameras, much better design, newer features and skins and many other things that make this next-gen tablet worth upgrading from your 2nd-gen model.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 features a 10.1-inch display sporting the resolution of 720p or 1280x800 pixels (just like on the predecessor), a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor, PowerVR SGX 544 GPU (the same GPU found inside the iPhone 5), 6800mAh power battery, 3.15MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box and some other standard features that mostly are similar with the ones on the predecessor.

Screen

Similar just like the predecessor, this tablet still inherits the same 720p resolution on its 10.1-inch display, which actually is still used on the latest-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 tablet.

This really contradicts with Samsung’s latest tablets under the Tab Pro or Tab S series that impressively are packing a staggering 2.5K (2560x1600 pixels) display on all of them – which undoubtedly looks insanely sharp on each of them.

However, it’s still good to have this 720p resolution on this tablet.

Everything that you throw on the screen still looks pretty sharp and is readable with your eyes.

But you’ll likely use the pinch-to-zoom gesture on this tablet pretty a lot especially when browsing the web or reading books.

User Interface

On the software side, this 10.1-inch tablet comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, which is nothing new for today’s standards.

But the thing that separates this tablet with any other competing tablets around the market is its TouchWiz UI, which packs some great and useful features – like multitasking window mode, easy left navigation for multitasking apps, etc -, which can’t be found on other tablet brands on the market.

However, for the most part, this tablet still looks and works just the same with other stock Android tablets out there – with the same standard homescreen, widgets, app shortcuts, drop-down navigation window, app drawer, etc -, although this tablet has different icons and wallpapers than its rivals.

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Compared to the 8-inch model, this Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is powered by the different processor – a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 chipset, accompanied with PowerVR SGX544 GPU (the same GPU found inside iPhone 5) and 1GB of RAM -, as opposed to the Samsung Exynos 4212 and Mali-400 GPU inside the 8-inch model.

But there’s probably no significant difference in terms of performance between these 2 models.

They both still perform smoothly and lag-free especially for doing some basic tasks – like watching HD movies, reading contents like books/magazines, browsing the web, using live wallpaper, checking out photos or editing photos.

Meanwhile, for playing games, the gaming performance of these 2 tablets will likely be similar one to another.

So this Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will also be as great as the 8-inch model for playing most of the games that you see today on Google Play Store – even the most graphically demanding ones like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted or even GTA San Andreas – although the latter will not perform smoothly in full graphics.

However, for most of the games, even the latest ones, there’s no problem for this tablet to deliver a great and smooth performance.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is still a good gaming tablet just like the 8-inch model.

And that’s thanks to its PowerVR SGX544 GPU which is powerful for any graphics-related tasks that you throw on this tablet, especially gaming.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

As a huge 10.1-inch tablet, it’s not surprising to see a huge 6800mAh battery capacity inside this tablet.

And that’s normal because most of large 10-inch tablets usually will squeeze a lot of juice from their battery given the size of the screen, compared to the smaller-sized tablets.

So with this large battery capacity, this tablet is more than capable to deliver you an all-day-long battery life even if you love doing some heavy things on this tablet.

However, if you are a power user and will mostly use this tablet to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all, then its battery will probably drop drastically to only around 6 to 8 hours or maybe less.

My Personal Opinions

So my final impression of this tablet is, first of all, i really like the dual-core Intel Atom processor inside this tablet, providing a great performance and lag-free smooth experience to the users.

Not to mention, the PowerVR SGX544 GPU on this tablet – which is the same GPU found inside the iPhone 5 - is also the other one that makes this tablet a great media-consumption tablet, or even gaming tablet.

Overall, i’m really impressed with the whole thing on this tablet, just like how i’m also impressed with the 8-inch model.
  • From its 720p display,
  • its rich and useful features,
  • its more appealing design (but not that elegant or premium compared to other 10-inch rivals like iPad Air or Sony Xperia Z tablet),
  • its great rear-facing camera that’s able to take some decent shots (despite using only 3.15MP camera module, according to some reviews),
  • its 3G/4G LTE cellular support (there’s also the WiFi-only variant by the way),
  • its huge battery capacity
  • and pretty much everything on this tablet is really good – although not on par with other 10-inch competitors out there, especially in terms of specs and performance/gaming performance.
As a media-consumption tablet, there’s no single doubt that Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is one of the good options in mid-end tablet market under the 10-inch segment.

As a gaming tablet, this device will also be great for that matter, if not the best.

Its PowerVR SGX 544 GPU is more than stronger to handle any games – even the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A 3 or even GTA San Andreas.

So in conclusion, to answer some of my questions above, here are my answers:
  1. Yes – no single doubt that this tablet will be a great gaming tablet, just like the 8-inch model. The reasons are already mentioned above.
  2. Yes – despite being a last-year model, there’s nothing wrong if this tablet is positioned in today’s tablet market, specifically in 10-inch tablet market. However, it’s relevant only in mid-end market segment - alongside HP Slate 10HD, etc – not in high-end tablet market.
  3. Definitely – if you’re currently owning the 10-inch model of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet, you might want to upgrade your tablet to this Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 given that it has more powerful processor and GPU, much newer Android software, much better design, better cameras (according to reviews) and better gaming performance, with some latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A or Dead Trigger 2 running smoothly in full graphics on this tablet. So you’ll make no mistake if you decide to upgrade to this tablet.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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