The Galaxy Tab 2 is a successor of the original Galaxy Tab that Samsung launched early in 2011. Samsung maintained the same svelte look on the tab that is now becoming characteristic of the Samsung range of tablets.
The first Galaxy Tab had a premium design and specs that were specifically intended to go head to head with those of the iPad. However much has changed and with the introduction of more premium tablets such as the Asus Transformer and the Nexus 10, Samsung shifted their intentions to developing an affordable tab packed with decent specs to satisfy the needs of an average tablet user.
Enough with the talk, lets tear down the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and see what the tablet has to offer in terms of performance and specs.
Samsung retained the PLS TFT capacitive touch screen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. This is opposed to the LED-backlit IPS touch screen found on the iPad. Nevertheless, the display is still quite a marvel to gaze at due to its massive size.
Despite the PLS TFT screen, the tab has some pretty good viewing angles and visibility is great even under direct sunlight. Additionally, the tablet comes with a feature that automatically adjusts the screen brightness that I found useful in extending the battery life.
The size of the touch screen remained fixed at 800×1280 pixel and consequently the tab retained the 149 ppi density. While still on the display, the screen comes covered with a corning gorilla glass layer to protect the tablet from scratches (This is a feature conspicuously absent in the Galaxy Note 10.1).
As a norm with all Samsung touch screen devices, TouchWiz UX (a Samsung proprietary user interface) is present to enhance the look of the stock Ice Cream Sandwich UI.
Body and Design
The chassis dimensions basically remained the same. However, the tab is slightly thicker (1mm thick to be specific). In terms of weight, the tablet weighs in at 588g (about 20g more than the Galaxy Tab 10.1).
The body design is quite sturdy and hence a protective cover for the tab isn’t that of a necessity. The Galaxy Tab comes in white and black colors.
Unlike the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the tablet comes with Google Ice Cream Sandwich in box. The ICS is way much better than the Honeycomb OS aka Android OS, v3. 1 that shipped with the Tab 1. Ice Cream Sandwich gives the Galaxy Tab 2 a PC look and feel that has been absent in previous android tablets.
However, on the chipset, the tab comes with a TI OMAP 4430 as opposed to the Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 found in the first Galaxy Tab. Therefore, users should live with the fact that the tab won’t be able to handle graphical intensive games as well as the other tablet in the market.
On the CPU, Samsung retained the Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9 and packed in the PowerVR SGX540.The rest of the technical specs are much more like the first Galaxy Tab, ie. Html, Push Email, A-GPS etc. However, it is worth noting that the tab will not come with Adobe Flash installed.
On the memory, the phone comes 16/32 GB of onboard storage and a card slot that can handle up to 64 GB of micro SD memory. Just like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the tablet will come with 1 GB of RAM, making multitasking a fluid affair.
On connectivity, the buyer can choose between the 3G and the WI-Fi version. Depending on your network strength, browsing is super fast and scrolling through web pages a joy.
The stock android browser is great at rendering web pages and supports Java script. Mobile Web browsers such Mozilla Firefox, support flash and therefore boost to some extent the web functionality of the tab.
The Galaxy Tab 2 supports USB On-The-Go meaning that you can access your files stored on external storage devices such as Thumb drives and also use USB plug and play devices such as keyboards and mice.
Despite the lack of dedicated graphic chipset, the playing games in the on the Galaxy Tab 2 is an awesome affair with popular game brands such as Temple Run, Fruit Ninja and Grand Theft Auto 3 playing fine on the 10.1 screen.
If you are a multimedia lover, you will definitely love the Galaxy Tab 2. The tablet supports 1080p video playback which is an upside especially for video clarity fanatics. The playback of the 1080p videos is amazing and has no lag issues whatsoever. This coupled with the stereo speakers found on the side of the tab, gives an awesome audio experience that even the iPad 4 cant rival (i.e the iPad has a single speaker)
The same can be said about audio playback on the tab. The Galaxy Tab 2 handled well most of the audio formats I threw at it. It also comes with a beautifully designed media centre that organizes your music library for easy indexing of your audio files stored on the tab.
Battery life is an important aspect for any tablet. As expected, the Galaxy Tab 2 doesn’t disappoint. The Tab comes with a standard 7000 mAh battery. If you are a casual user of the tab i.e. Checking emails, editing office documents and light browsing, the battery packs in enough juice to take you through 18- 24 hours.
For heavy users i.e. streaming of videos, playing graphic intensive game and watching movies, the Galaxy Tab 2 can last a max of 6-7 hours of continuous use. On normal usage, the tab can take you through the day i.e. 12 hours before the next recharge.
Tech Trends Diary Verdict
The Tablet PC market is getting crowded with each passing day. Samsung has successfully managed to cut a niche for itself by providing an affordable but yet powerful tablet for users on a medium budget.
I admit, Galaxy Tab 2 isn’t the best tablet in the market. However, it has managed to cut itself a unique niche that will definitely appeal to most of the first time tablet users.
Tech Trends Diary Rating
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 [usr 8.5]
Alternatives to the Galaxy Tab 2 include the Asus Transformer prime, the iPad 3 and the Sony Tablet S.