The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 shows up short in performance, features, and value compared to rival tablets.
Well-designed tablet with powerful speakers; responsive screen; Ice Cream Sandwich preloaded.
Overpriced compared to competing tablets that have more features; unable to run 1080p videos smoothly; screen color accuracy not as good as previous Tab.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was one of the premier Android tablets when it launched in 2011, with specs that, at the very least, matched top tier Android tablets at the time. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 looks more like a disappointing prequel, rather than a full-fledged improved sequel. Samsung has informed that the Tab 2 10.1 will be available in Asia this quarter, but specific dates and prices have not been revealed.
Design of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2:
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is both slightly heavier and a bit less graceful than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It still sports the same plastic backside, but now comes in titanium silver as opposed to white.
The tablet feels comfortable in our hands, but it’s a bit wide and feels awkward when trying to type and hold at the same time. Also, the bezel isn’t completely flush with the outer casing of the tablet, creating a slightly annoying edge.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Acer Iconia Tab A510
|Weight in kg||0.583||0.562||0.671|
|Width in mm||256.7||256.5||261|
|Height in mm||175.3||175.3||175|
|Depth in mm||9.7||8.6||11.7|
When held in landscape, the top edge of the tablet seats five features: From left to right there’s a power/sleep button, a volume rocker, a 32GB capacity microSD slot, and a headphone jack. In addition, two 2-inch-long speakers stretch vertically along the left and right bezel. A dock connector and microphone pinhole sit along the bottom edge.
The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 trades in its predecessor’s 2-megapixel front camera for a VGA one, and while it retains a 3-megapixel rear camera, the LED support light has been exorcised. There’s no HDMI option, unfortunately, requiring you to purchase an additional accessory if you have plans to connect the tablet to a TV.
Features of Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1:
The Tab 2 10.1 is the second Samsung tablet, after the Tab 2 7.0, to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich installed. It comes with custom Samsung apps like Music Hub, Media Hub, and Game Hub, a built-in screenshot app, and the Mini Apps tray located on the bottom of the screen. Tapping it brings up a tray of apps consisting of a calculator, notes, calendar, music player, and clock. However, the most useful of these is still the task manager, which allows you to quickly kill any app running in the background; this comes in handy when apps become unresponsive.
The Tab 2 10.1 houses a 1GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. Tablet mainstays like 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS are included as well as gyroscope, accelerometer, and digital compass support.
The basic look and design of ICS are retained, just with a TouchWiz skin and a few extra shortcuts for quickly turning off Wi-Fi, GPS, screen rotation, and so on. As an added bonus, Samsung offers 50GB of free Dropbox storage for the first year. The larger speakers deliver louder sound, but unfortunately don’t exceed the noticeable quality limitations most tablets adhere to.
Performance and Battery Life:
The Tab 2 10.1 uses the same PLS-based panel tech as the Tab 10.1, running at a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels; typical for most 10-inch tablets. Its clarity is as high as the original Tab’s, but either there are different tiers of quality when it comes to PLS panels, or Samsung really didn’t devote much time or effort to calibrating the Tab 2 10.1’s color. Like the Tab 2 7.0, the Tab 2 10.1’s screen looks noticeably greener and colors appear washed out when compared to the original 10.1’s.
When swiping through screens and navigating menus, the screen matches the sensitivity of some of the most responsive Android screens. Also, apps commence without delay and settings menu options appear readily after tapping them.
Tab 2 10.1 has a front-facing VGA camera and a 3-megapixel back camera. Compared with the Tab 10.1, the difference between images and video recorded on the front camera was quickly apparent. The 3-megapixel back camera fared better, capturing more details, but the Tab 2 10.1’s pictures still looked washed out and were lacking details and contrast.
While the Tab 10.1’s camera took a longer time to focus, it resulted in higher-quality pictures. 720p video playback from outside sources was smooth and crisp. 1080p files that were only a couple hundred megabytes in size, played fine, but files that were larger, say 1GB or looked less like a moving picture and more like a slideshow of images.
The battery also drains fairly quickly when tested by specialists.
Even if you’re a huge fan of Samsung’s Touchwiz interface and you’re champing at the bit to get yer hands on a 10-inch tablet, US$400 for the Tab 2 10.1 is still pushing it, given its rivalry.
This is still a dual-core US$400 tablet with 16GB of built-in storage. The quad-core Asus Transformer Pad TF300 is US$20 less for the same storage and US$400 gets you that tablet with 32GB of storage. The TF300 also includes Micro-HDMI and a higher-quality rear camera.
With that kind of competition, it’s difficult to see the Tab 2 10.1 as anything other than an overpriced sequel that comes up short in performance and isn’t exactly setting the world afire with unique features. We would rather have HDMI and quad-core power.
Support and Services:
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 comes with a one-year international warranty. On its support Web site, you can download user manuals, drivers and software patches. Technical support is available via phone, email and online chat. In case of hardware failure the unit has to be brought to a service center for repair.