Top positive review
380 people found this helpful
One of the best budget tablets out there
on 15 November 2012
A little history:
This is my first Android Tablet, but it isn't the first time I've used an Android Tablet. I've been used to iOS devices these past 5 years or so, from iPhone to iPads, but I've also owned an Xperia Play, had some time with a Galaxy SII and a play with a Nexus 7.
But now, for my first proper Android Tablet, I've settled on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 because it was the tablet I feel most comfortable with.
The device is one of the new bunch of 7" tablets at the sub £200 mark, including the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. I admit to being sceptical about smaller tablets, already owning an iPad, but needed an Android device for testing software and it seems like a much easier size to carry around.
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 currently runs Ice Cream Sandwich, which isn't the latest OS (which is Jellybean) but the previous one. It should, after Samsung tinkers around a little, run Jelly Bean, hopefully in the next few months, but until then this is one area where the Nexus has the edge.
Edit Jan 2013: as of last month, Samsung have updated the software and now it runs Jelly Bean. It's not a huge change, but does mean that it now has the latest OS.
Out of the box, the device has:
A USB lead with a proprietary connector very similar to the old iOS connector, but not quite the same. (my recommendation would be to get a spare on Amazon for a couple of quid).
A power adaptor with a US and UK connector in 2 parts. Annoyingly big and bulky, but it can be charged via USB or one of those little USB chargers.
A voucher for cashback and an 8GB card from Samsung (for a limited time).
The device has a connector on the bottom under the Samsung logo and is designed to be held in portrait, but automatically rotates the screen if you hold it in landscape. It has an SD Card slot on the side which can take cards up to 32GB 9or 64GB if formatted a certain way), and a power and volume buttons on the opposite side and a standard headphone jack at the top.
The screen isn't as high a resolution as some other tablets (1280 x 800), but makes up for it by producing bright and vibrant colours that are perfect for media. With the SD card and decent screen, this makes for a great multimedia device and is just the right size for movies on the go. It also has the ability to auto-dim in brighter light and lighten in dark surroundings.
The 1GHZ Dual Core processor isn't as fast as the Nexus either, but the powerful GPU does help out here.
There is a 3MP camera on the front and a VGA camera for voice calling.
Software-wise, the OS is overlaid with Samsung's own front end which makes widgets easy to move around and place on the screen, plus a bunch of stores unique to Samsung devices and some nifty media players which do a good job of playing movies, music and showing off pictures. It has Chrome browser built in as well.
One annoying feature with Samsung devices seems to be their reluctance to run apps off the SD card. If you're in to some of the larger games. It might be something to think about. There are ways around it, but not for the layman.
Battery life isn't fantastic, but should last a day or two with average use (movies, email, music and internet) on a full charge.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has some nifty features which made me pick it over other devices. The screen quality is one of these features, it's beautiful to look at. It also manages to play all the current crop of Android games available from the Google Play store, including titles like GTA3 and Dead Trigger, thanks to the powerful GPU.
Storage is another feature I like, as being able to use SD cards means I can swap out cards should I need to and share media.
The weight of the device is pretty light, too, but the plastic back doesn't seem all that strong. I do like the surround for the screen with the white and silver contrasting nicely with the black screen.
I would recommend a case and protective cover for the device to prevent scratches and knocks.
Overall, the Tab 2 is a great tablet that I'd recommend to anyone with a lower budget after a small device. It isn't the most powerful or best spec device, but it does a good job of keeping up when you add everything together and the screen and storage options vastly improve it.