Alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes a range of accessories, the most interesting of which is this Keyboard Dock. Available to order now from Dixons for £80, this full Qwerty accessory is high quality and reasonably lightweight.
Much like the famous Lapdock available for the Motorla Atrix, there are some proprietary keys for things like Home, Search and Apps. There’s a button for the shortcut which brings up a list of recently used apps as well as a button to bring up the control panel (Wi-Fi, GPS etc).
Somewhat bizarrely, there’s also a button which toggles the on-screen virtual Qwerty on and off…
There’s also play/pause and skip media controls and volume keys, plus two keys for ‘Internet’ and ‘Mail’, which (shocker) act as shortcuts to the browser and Gmail respectively.
Despite the Keyboard Dock being passive and having no battery of its own, there’s a port on the side that you can plug the Tab 10.1’s mains charger unit into to keep you going. On the back there’s also a separate 3.5mm line out for headphones/speakers.
Like we said the build quality is excellent and if you were looking to get an Android tablet for use as a replacement laptop, then the Tab 10.1 with a Keyboard Dock ought to satisfy. We’re looking forwards to seeing how this all works with Google Docs, Smart Office and the like before we decide to ditch our work laptops for good.
Until then, have a gander at this handful of hands-on snaps.
Round on the side there’s a connection allowing you to charger your Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the mains while you work. There’s also a separate 3.5mm jack for your headphones so you can stay plugged in and not have the cables trailing down the front of the screen.
The keyboard itself is just great; nice responsive keys that are light and effortless to type on. Spot the proprietary shortcut keys: there’s Back, Home, Recently Used Apps, Internet, Mail, Lock Screen and many more.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 slots in neatly and stays securely in place. No wobbling even when you’re properly hammering away at the keys.
We like that you can access accents on the vowels with the Alt Gr key; doing so on virtual Qweryts often entails a quick dive in and out of a special chracter’s settings or another menu.
A quick tap of the Power Control key launches the widget from where you can toggle things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and the rest as well as enable Airplane mode or jump into the Settings.
It’s not that much bigger than the Tab 10.1 itself and doesn’t feel particulary heavy or weighty in the hand. You could easily stash these in your bag when you’re done with it and combined, they wouldn’t weigh you down any much more than your average laptop.