So I am celebrating my birthday this year at Google I/O 2011. It now seems to be a tradition that Google gives us attendees free stuff and this year is no different. Today we got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Android. Here are some of my first impressions from first use:

  • The device is physically light, lighter than my first gen iPad.
  • After power on, I have to configure it and the default locale was English (UK), not US. A little weird. Makes you feel like you got something smuggled in from abroad.
  • As far as I know this tablet is WiFi only, but it prompted me to set time and time zone automatically from the network. I figured why not. Big mistake! After completing set up I noticed that I was still in the GMT timezone (look its the UK again) and when I went into Settings->Date and Time, all the options for time zone were grayed out. I was stuck. I tried to search on the web for how to fix this, but I couldn’t find it. Ultimately I gave up and did a factory reset of the device. That sucks!
  • Setting up a Gmail account was easy and painless. Just like I would expect. The Gmail app is easy to use and performs reasonably well.
  • I tried to setup a Microsoft Exchange account. I was hoping I could just type in my e-mail address and password and the client would use some sort of auto-discover to determine the server and other settings. No such luck and since I can’t remember the settings, I can’t setup the account until I contact the administrator of the Exchange server. That sucks!
  • I tried to setup a VPN. Now I know I use a Cisco VPN and I know the server address and my username and password, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out which VPN type to pick in settings. Is it PPTP? (probably not), L2TP, IPSEC with PSK, IPSEC with CRT? I have no idea. Oh well, no easy VPN setup. That sucks!
  • The browser does seem to work well, like a good WebKit browser should.

So I know that is pretty rough, but again these are just first impressions. On other mobile platforms, like webOS and iOS, setting up basic things like date/time, Exchange email, and VPN were pretty easy. Most of the time the system just guessed or figured out my settings. This is certainly an area that either Google or the Android licensees could improve.