The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch, Wi-Fi) is one of the most popular tablets on the market today. Its flashy visuals and fast operating system are complemented by a sleek exterior and an affordable price.
We put the Tab 2 through rigorous testing to see if it actually lived up to the hype. Here’s our much anticipated Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1-Inch review.
- Great value
- Samsung apps
- Beautiful black exterior
- Big screen with crisp visuals
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- Cheaper than the original Samsung Tab
- Could use more RAM and processing power
- Camera isn’t as good as the ASUS Transformer TF300
Design and exterior
We usually start our tablet reviews by looking at the exterior of the device. After all, that’s the first thing you’re going to see when you unbox your tablet PC. In that department, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) certainly doesn’t disappoint. It has an incredibly thin design and is noticeably thinner than the iPad 2.
Some people may the design to be plain and boring. The 10.1-Inch Galaxy Tab 2 features a simple, all-black plastic casing that feels nice in your hands, but to some, it may seem uninspiring. Nevertheless, we liked what we saw and we appreciated the all-around sturdiness of the Tab 2.
Almost all of the buttons for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) are located along the top of the tablet. There, you’ll find the power button, volume control, headset jack, and microSD card extension slot. There are also cameras on both the front and back of the tablet.
Display and visuals
In terms of clear, vivid visual effects, the 10.1-Inch Galaxy Tab 2 certainly does not disappoint. It uses a Super PLS-LCD display running at 1280×800 resolution, so it’s very crystal clear. Colors are authentically reproduced and the tablet can easily be viewed from pretty much any angle.
The visuals aren’t as crisp and clear as higher-end tablets like the Samsung Series 7 Slate (read our review here), but in the sub-$400 range, this is as good as it gets. In fact, the average tablet user won’t be able to notice the difference between the Slate and the Tab 2.
The operating system
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. While Android is slightly more difficult to navigate than Windows and iOS mobile operating systems, it suits the Galaxy Tab 2. One tap of the screen brings up your list of apps, and features like email, typing, and the calendar are seamlessly integrated with the operating system. Simply input your email address once and Android will recognize that email across all of its programs.
We also appreciated the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 doesn’t come preinstalled with bloatware and other junk programs. Only a limited number of apps are available from when you first start up your device, so you’re going to have to download any additional apps yourself. This keeps your tablet running smoothly from day one, and you don’t have to spend time deleting junk files to free up hard drive space.
Power and performance
Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes part of the review. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1-Inch packs a decent punch in terms of processing power and performance. However, it falls behind the performance of its competitors like the ASUS Transformer TF300. It uses a TI Dual-Core CPU with 1GHz of processing power. It also includes 1GB of RAM.
While the Tab 2 runs most applications smoothly, its limited processing power and memory is noticeable at some points. Integrating features like a live wallpaper caused noticeable slowdowns. However, if you plan to stick with internet browsing, word processing, and traditional tablet PC tasks, then you shouldn’t have any problems.
Better than its predecessor
The original Samsung Galaxy Tab was a very good tablet. It was fast and powerful while maintaining an affordable price point. Many people expected the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 to be more powerful and more expensive.
However, that is not what happened. Samsung decided to make the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 $50 cheaper than its predecessor. It also features similar, if slightly improved technical specs. Since its still powerful enough to handle basically any application you throw at it, we think Samsung made a good business decision.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) versus the ASUS Transformer TF300
Since both the ASUS Transformer TF300 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) cost $399.99, many people have trouble deciding which tablet PC they should buy. While these two tablets are similar in many respects, there are some noticeable differences.
- Camera: As far as camera quality goes, the TF300 is at the top of its class. It features a powerful 8MP camera on the front and a decent camera on the back, which means that it surpasses the iPad and matches the iPhone 4S in terms of picture quality. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) can only film in 720p video and features a 3MP front-mounted camera.
- Power: The ASUS Transformer TF300 uses a 1.2GHz quad-core processor from Nvidia. This is slightly more powerful than the 1GHz processor in the Galaxy Tab 2. However, both tablets use the same 1GB of RAM and have a similar amount of hard drive space. In most applications, both tablets perform equally as well.
- Appearance: While both the TF300 and the Tab 2 feature a bland, plain exterior, we’re going to give the edge to the Tab 2 on this one. We appreciate the sleek, streamlined black look of the device, and the ‘Samsung’ logo emblazoned on the back looks classier than the ASUS logo (sorry ASUS).
- Samsung apps: Really, the only advantage the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has over the ASUS Transformer TF300 is its array of Samsung apps. If you’ve enjoyed using Samsung tablets in the past, then you may have grown used to popular applications like Media Hub. If those apps mean a lot for you, then Samsung is the way to go.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-Inch) is a formidable device. While it’s not as powerful as its bigger brother, the Samsung Series 7 Slate, it still offers seamless web browsing and great functionality at an affordable price.
We recommend the Galaxy Tab 2 if you don’t want to spend more than $400 on a tablet, but still want it to look like you’re using an expensive piece of hardware.
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system
- 1GHz dual-core CPU
- 16GB/32GB of storage space
- 1GB of RAM
- 1xUSB port
- 1xheadphone jack
- Weighs 1.28 pounds (21 ounces)
- 10.1-Inch 1280×600 resolution screen (HD 720p)
- Includes Samsung Hub widgets and Samsung apps