Nov 16 AT 2:31 PM Clark Wimberly 3 Comments

Tab video: Text entry with Swype and the stock keyboard

Continuing our mutli-video series with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, we’re back today with a look at Swype and the stock keyboard. Typing on the 7 inch screen was a breeze, but both text entry options had strengths and weaknesses.

Swype is a great keyboard but overall I think it comes down to personal preference. Even on a small device like the Nexus, I don’t use it. So the swype motion blown up even larger it continues to not make the most sense to me (especially in landscape when swyping out a word means 37 inches of finger-dragging travel). I’m sure if you were a big Swype fan you’d be all over this, I just wasn’t.

The great news is that Swype performs more than admirably in peck mode (for lack of a better term) and is actually the keyboard I’ve been using as the default. The UI is clean and the key layout is pretty solid.

The stock keyboard is comparable to the one you’ve seen in the Galaxy S line-up already, and it performs just fine. The auto-complete is top-notch but it lost a few points for not having a voice input key (something we figured would have shown up by now).

The Verdict

Despite the few hiccups, text entry on the Tab is a total joy. Both pre-installed keyboards do a good job of handling touch input, even at a fast pace. I’m not really sure how much of the success can be given to the specific keyboards over the huge and totally awesome screen though, I’d imagine almost any input method would shine with this much space.

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website Lactose_The_Intolerant

    I *love* Swype on my Incredible but I could see where it might be a drawback on bigger screens… looking forward to using it on the Incredible HD =)

    note: at about 1:07 in, if the word you want is listed at the top of the little pop up menu (in your case, the word ‘BYE’) — you don’t have to select it — just hit the space bar and Swype will use the word at the top of the list. Great stuff!

  • http://Website My Galaxy

    Dumped swype for shapewriter which in my opinion works much better.

  • http://Website ac75

    Interesting. The UK Galaxy Tab I have access to keeps the narrow Swype keyboard, even in landscape mode, ie. Same width as portrait but centred with big blank areas either side. It doesn’t look particularly pretty but at least you don’t have the stupidly long Swype action you’ve shown here.