I recently reviewed a Samsung Galaxy tablet from Verizon. Here is my take:

The form factor of the device is too large to be used one-handed, yet that is how you want to use the device. The screen edges are not as large as the iPad’s which causes some erroneous input from time to time. The OS seems snappy, even more so than my droid phone. The device comes with a camera and a 16 GB micro SD card. The charger utilizes a proprietary plug instead of the industry standard micro or mini USB as I would have liked to have seen on the device, although it can be charged from either wall power or USB on your PC.

Mounting the device on my computer provided a similar experience to that of mounting my droid phone. A new drive appeared once I selected “Mount” from the device and I could copy files to and from the Galaxy.

There is a front and rear facing camera. The camera is equipped with many modes such as continuous, panorama, and smile shot (which senses when the subject smiles to snap the perfect photo). The Galaxy is also equipped with a video camera which worked fine in testing. Video playback is good, without lag, but I was unable to test playback with any HD video.

The Galaxy appears to have a phone number bound to the device and SMS services baked in to the OS. I was able to text message my phone, but did not receive the reply back to the Galaxy. When I tried to call the Galaxy, I received a canned Verizon voicemail message. I am not sure if what I experienced is by design or if something is not setup correctly.

Wi-Fi tethering is available in the Galaxy and worked great in my tests. I successfully tethered my iPad and received approximately 500 kbit/sec download rates in my speed tests (using dslreports.com).

There is a Media Hub application with looks to compete with the iTunes store for video and music rentals and purchases. It utilizes a Google account for purchases which can be a separate account from the Google account that is used to initialize the device.

The Galaxy also comes with a program to stream media content to your DLNA devices on your local network. I did not test this feature. It also comes with a File Manager out of the box (a feature the iPad lacks out of the box). Google integration is tight within the device as would be expected of an Android device. There is also a program to use the Galaxy as a digital picture frame and a navigation program built in. Amazon Kindle is also installed out of the box. One application that I assumed it did have  but was missing out of the box was a calculator application.

The mobile browsing experience left me wishing I was back on my iPad. Most every site I visited presented their “mobile” version which seemed “clunky” and out of proportion on this device. When I did get to a normally formatted site, I felt cramped by the small text. Web browsing is almost completely done while holding the device in landscape mode. While in this mode it is hard to hold and not accidentally press one of the 4 offscreen OS control buttons. The “pinch-zoom” feature that Apple pioneered is available on the device and does not react with the same level of fluidness as on the iPad and iPhone/Pod devices.

One feature that I was happy to see out of the box was the inclusion of the Swype keyboard software, which allows you to “type” words by drawing a line through their respective letters. This is a very welcome feature on cramped keyboards.

The screen on the Galaxy can be locked with a pattern, PIN, or password. There is also an option to “hide passwords as you type” (another feature that the iPad lacks).

The Galaxy also has built in VPN functionality which looks to be the same as that offered on my droid. In previous tests with my droid phone, I was unable to establish a connection to a Cisco VPN solution.

The Galaxy seems more polished than my droid phone. Motions and effects feel more fluid. I think that the device has merit although the form factor takes a while to get used to. Battery life seems to be on par with what you would expect from this form factor of device.