What You Get
The tablet is about the size and weight of a hardback book, although its rather thinner. It comes packaged with a data cable and a charging plug (the data cable doubles as the charger cable). There is also a headphone set (the device takes a standard headphone jack). That's all that comes in the box.
Charging & Battery Life
The tab is pretty much ready to go - mine didn't need charging - so there's none of that frustrating waiting around before you can start playing. There's a good day's worth of play in a full charge - maybe more, depending on how much you're using it. It doesn't take long to charge, though although you may want to be charging it overnight for use during the day.
The instruction booklet is rather small and only just detailed enough to get you started, after which you'd be well advised to seek out the full manual from Samsung's website product support page. It's easy enough to find, is actually quite readable and it does provide a lot of useful information that will help you get the most out of the tab.
If, like me you're a tablet novice and are more used to the "IBM" format of most keyboard operated laptops and desktops, you will need to spend some time mucking around getting to know the tablet and familiarising yourself with the operating format. For instance, you don't need to "turn off" apps when you've finished with them. Simply return to the home page and the app will remain dormant in the background. However, the whole thing is pretty intuitive and it won't be long before you're doing Loop-the-Loops and Immelmann Turns.
Apps & Capabilities
As for apps, the tab comes with lots of them preinstalled and with access to a couple of app stores (including Samsung's own) where you can download plenty more for free or for good money. I downloaded Angry Birds - I've never encountered that game before and I'm hooked! I also downloaded Skype so I could talk to my brother in Australia and a couple of flight trackers so I could watch him fly home and pick him up from the airport on time.
The tab has several movie and music players, ereaders (including a Kindle app), email and social networking apps, an internet browser (you have full web access) and several memo apps. There're also a couple of map/navigation apps - the tablet has a built in GPS, which is independent of the wifi - your tab communicates with sattelites! How cool is that?!
Also, there is an QuickOffice app which allows you to create and edit word processing, powerpoint and spreadsheet documents. It's compatible with MS Office formats but the conversion from Excel into QuickOffice spreadsheet in particular is very patchy and the spreadsheet functionality is extremely limited. I bought (for a few quid) Documents-To_Go which is a similar and slightly better MSOffice clone.
Interfacing (inc. Bluetooth problem fix)
The Galaxy interface cable is a USB connector at the far end and a proprietary plug at the tablet end.
Setting up a WiFi connection is easy. The Galaxy automatically searches for nearby networks and then prompts you for a passkey (if it's a secure or private network), which you only need to supply once. I will say that the strength of the connection varies from room to room and the Galaxy does struggle to make contact at times. My daughter's iPad has the same problem, so I suspect that it's my WifFi, not the tablet (see Accessories).
Data input is by an on-screen keyboard, of which there are several different formats according to your preferences.
As you probably know, there is no mouse. All that sort of stuff is done via the touch screen which requires you to learn a new "language". That said, it is easy to cope with although I found my fat fingers are a little bit clumsy, especially when trying to select some of the smaller icons or hyperlinks, so a stylus would be a good idea. However, you CAN zoom in on the screen to make these targets bigger and easier to hit.
An inbuilt gyroscope allows you to rotate the tab through 360 degrees and view the screen in portrait and landscape mode. I have found it a little slow to respond - although it's more of an irritation than a real failing.
You can also interface via Bluetooth. Now, I was having a terrible time trying to get this to work - try as I might, I couldn't get my laptop or moby to send a file TO my Galaxy - for some reason the sending device kept complaining that the transfer had failed or couldn't be honoured, despite the fact that the device could SEE the Galaxy. Then I discovered that I could send a file FROM the Galaxy TO the device with no probelm, and that miraculously cleared the pipeline and allowed 2-way traffic. Sorted!
Screen & Speakers
The 10" 1280×800 screen is crystal clear and the colour and resolution are impressive - very impressive. This is demonstrated by Samsung's default wallpapers which are vibrant, sharp and colourful. I've recently been using the Tab to watch movies in bed. Great!
You can scroll between five 'virtual' screens which maximises your workspace and you can personalise it with your own wallpaper or Samsung's own.
The speakers are tinnier than Robbie the Robot; adequate for for casual listening at normal levels but rubbish at elevated volume. But then if you wanted hifi, you'd have bought a hifi. You're much better off with a decent pair of headphones.
And the competition? Well, I'm not much of a one for counting diodes or doing detailed research, I'm afraid so I can't say too much. However, my daughter has an iPad (I refused to buy one of them on basic principals) and as far as I can tell there's nothing much between the Galaxy and Apple's offering. Maybe some of the detailed functionalities will differ and the price will vary according to the weather/moon-phase etc etc, but that's pretty much all.
Interestingly, a British High Court judge recently ruled (Judge Colin Birss - July 2012) that the Galaxy isn't as "cool" as the iPad*. Now, that for me is all the validation I need to go out and buy a Galaxy.
I didn't do much research into the other 10" tabs either, but if you want an iPad, but don't want an iPad (if you see what I mean), this has to be a strong contender.
I bought (and would advise that you do too) a protective case or cover of some sort, a screen protector and perhaps also a stylus.
You can also buy a USB adapter set that allows you to interface with USB sticks and SD/MSD Cards (although you won't need the latter on the Tab2).
Update: I have now purchased a Huawei E586 broadband hotspot for my Tab. This allows me to connect to the internet anywhere without the need to rely on my home or someone elses wifi signal. To make it work you also need to buy a sim card (eg: this Three 3GB mobile broadband SIM card - a great way to make your WiFi Tab truly mobile!
Admittedly, all these accessories turn this sleek racy tablet into a bit of a logistical nightmare, but it's a small price to pay, in my humble opinion.
Basically, there is all you need here and more to supplant your laptop... Throw it away!
Well, no. Don't. Even the best tablet is probably unlikely ever to take the place of a decent laptop, but it makes a very fine, lightweight alternative, with a few basic limitations (screen size, of course, storage space, and the on-screen keyboard is a little crude).
I really think I could get to like this!
on 13 December 2012
Reliable, stylish and 3G all for less than the price of a Wifi ipad mini. I also use mine as a wireless modem for my laptop on the train and it just takes my existing mobile phone contract sim. No extra data charges for monthly 3G.
Android marketplace is super and apps download effortlessly. Customisable, and I find more intuitive than my larger wifi ipad. Lovely screen, decent enough camera for a phone/tablet. Syncs effortlessly with Microsoft exchange server at work for rapid e-mail transfer and separately with googlemail for personal e-mail. Calendar and memos very useful and as a teacher I find a lot of the apps are brilliant. I use mine in lessons to track pupil progress and behaviour. I even have a random student generator on it that the students love as they never feel picked on by me - it is the tablet that does it!
Never crashes for me and I rarely, if ever, switch it off. Just charge and go, perhaps I should deliberately restart it occasionally but I never have to.
Great GPS and works very well as SatNav in the car (although a bit hefty to mount, it ends up sitting on the seat next to me which is not ideal).
Only reason it loses a star is because I like mine so much I bought one for my husband for Christmas this week and was disappointed that the seals were broken on the box and the box scruffy around the edges. Clearly has been out to someone else Amazon! Don't want to risk sending it back with only a week or so to Christmas but will tell hubby that I wanted to pre-charge the battery for him for Christmas day.
Other criticism is Amazon's shifting prices on a daily basis. Up £30 down £30 these are substantial changes and make you feel like you are playing the price is right when you plump to buy. Not been massively stung yet this Christmas but the same was true of the Meep tablets and the day after I bought two they went up £20 each - £40 difference, these are big numbers you are playing with!
on 10 August 2012
Got a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 WiFi a few days ago and am very pleased with it.
I have been a long time tablet sceptic but I repair and build computers for a living and figured I would have to take the plunge with tablets sooner or later. This was brought to head with a number of clients asking for advice.
I have played with iPads before but wasn't impressed and so I decided to try Android. I tried a cheap altenative but returned it for a refund and finally settled on this device.
The initial impression is of a well made and robust device but note there is some confusion over what is and isn't included in the box.
My "White WiFi only" tablet (no point in 3G as I live in an area with terrible 3G coverage) came with only the USB cable and plug unit and the tablet itself. There were no headphones included (and nowhere in the box where they should have been). Also there doesn't appear to be the famed InfraRed blaster that can be used for TV remote control - presumably Samsung have either changed the spec of this device or have a different spec in the UK to the US.
Set up was a breeze and took only a few minutes to get going and downloading some apps from the store.
On setup there are some rather large widgets on the Home Page (mainly Samsung trying to get you to pay for books, music and video) but these can be dragged to the bin at the top of the screen (they aren't deleted just removed from the screen - you can still find them in the widgets panes) or off to one side to a subsidiary Home Page.
Some people have commented on responsiveness of the screen - I haven't encountered any issues - seems very responsive to me, even with a screen protector applied. I have also played some HD games and it seems to cope very well.
Things you will need to consider when you buy this are the additional cost of a case, screen protectors (though they will drive you mad applying them but worth it to stop the screen getting scratched) and possible the USB adapter so you can plug in a range of USB devices (make sure to read the instructions on the order to plug things in - it isn't obvious but you can do damage if you plug things in the wrong order - basically the last connection to make/first connection to break is the adapter into the tablet.)
I have tried a number of USB devices and they seem to work without issue. I also tried a Blue Tooth mouse which worked fine. I have ordered a keyboard docking station and can see this replacing my webbook computer!
The GPS seems sensitive - I live in a stone built house and yet it still managed to find my location to within 30m (more than may Garmin GPS can do indoors).
The only niggles I had are:
1. the onscreen keyboard had predictive text enabled by default and it is horrendously bad (it wouldn't let me type my name into web forms as well as predicting about 99% incorrectly!!!). Just turn it off and forget it. Also it my be my voice but voice recognition has a long way to go to assume useful status!
2. The cameras are pretty pants (front and back) with fuzzy poorly focused images with over-saturated colours. If there is a flash function I can't find it. Having said that, I didn't want to use it as a camera so I am not unduly bothered.
on 11 January 2013
I bought this tablet, using a voucher and some cash I got for Christmas, and paid the rest myself.
I spent a good couple of months looking at the little differences they had spec wise, and playing with the Ipad and this one in shops and showrooms. Also read HUNDREDS of reviews from lots of different sites and magazines.
As far as I can see and tell, unless you have some sort of superhuman powers, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference in processor speed, and display qualities, which are the two main things that make a difference with these products.....
I have had Apple "lovers" tell me how inferior the Samsung is to the IPad, but when pressed, the things the Samsung is "rubbish" at, I haven't had any problems with??
I bought the cheaper 16Gb Wi-Fi only tab for the following reasons:
1)It has a Micro SD card slot, so I have purchased a couple of high speed 32Gb cards, for £30 giving me a total of 80Gb of storage, plus I can add to that whenever I want. (Bear in mind the 32Gb Tab is roughly £100 more??)
2)I have a samsung phone, with All You Can Eat data sim card, £15 a month, so I just use that as a wireless hotspot, hooks up within seconds, never had any problems (although Apple followers tell me its rubbish at doing this??).
The main reasons I chose the Samsung are for: e-mails, watching streaming video/tv, watching/viewing photo's, videos and or music, playing games, surfing the web, downloading free (Yes Apple users, FREE) apps, scheduling events etc (pre-loaded scheduler/diary, excellent).
All these things and more it does with no problems. I can't find anything it doesn't do, that the Ipad does? Why pay OTT for the other one?
Oh, and have been running on "power save" mode for first couple of weeks, battery last for about 3 days or more depending on what I'm using it for, and seems to perform very well, despite apparently running on reduced processor and graphics settings???
Am going to try on full power now as have a few days off work. Will see how much difference it makes.
P.S. have heard of Ipads that seem to get hot with a lot of constant use. My Tab2 doesn't even seem to get ward, even while it's in its case..... Just an observation.
Don't be a sheep, choose what you think is the better option by research and trial. I couldn't be happier with my choice. You can keep your fruit based tablet.....
on 4 June 2012
I was going to wait for the galaxy note 10.1, but then decided that I didn't really need a top spec tablet at a top spec price. I managed to get mine a few weeks before the u k launch, on Amazon but it cost me a little more £329 when AMAZON HAVE IT IN STOCK you should not have to pay more than £299, if out of stock they seem to get them again in a day or so, so don't get stung on the price as some are charging more.After sseeing some videos I was a little disappointed as mine had not arrived at that time ....... I think a lot of the reviewers were concentrating on the fact that this tablet was a replacement for the galaxy tab 1. They were expecting a tablet of the highest spec so only concentrated on knocking this tablet in relation to the upcoming Galaxy Note 10.1 which is going to be Sammys top of the range tablet with a price to match.
I like the feel and quality as well as the experience of the Samsung Galaxy range so did not want to stray in to other tablets around the same price range.
I have found this tablet to be just a job for what I am wanting,
E-mail gmail browsing the web, BBC i player, U tube, stream videos from my 2tb network drive via wifi (all share), play videos from the sd card, have a clear bright screen, it seem smooth and fluid to me, so I am pleased in that respect also, and the sound is good with the front speakers,
but it's fantastic when I use the the Bluetooth to stream the sound to the Philips Android speaker unit.
Almost forgot the flash player works great, watch the BBC and Sky News clips just like on the PC.
I have now put in a 32gig memory card in the slot, so now that takes storage up to 48 gig. I have also used a usb adaptor to connect a 32 gig pen drive which has movies etc on, this works with no problem as does the small keyboard.
What I don't need is a tablet to play fast action games and have not tried any, only my usual games like Random Mahjong etc.
I do like to use the microphone to dictate text into applications as I am doing now for this amazon review.
I have a galaxy s2, a galaxy note and an ipad 1 so I can give a balanced view in respect of performance .
So my review is if you want a samsung quality tablet without breaking the bank buy a galaxy tab 2 10.1
I just love the way of my google contacts and appointments keep syncronised no matter which item of hardware I use.
Just a note that if you have problems connecting to your wifi , try altering the Channel in your router settings, I had to do this for the pad 1 but no problem with the tab2.
Well I hope this helps you make your mind up, at least you can see review from a actual owner with no vested interest involved.
Now going to watch a film on this great bit of kit.
on 18 November 2012
Ive been using this for a few months now. Its a fantastic performer, Android ICS works brilliantly on it and provides an excellent experience. so far its handled everything Ive thrown at it both in media content and business applications. It works very well with my works exchange server for email and manages the multiple accounts without problem. The dual core processor easily handles the multimedia side including HD video (it downscales for the screen) used with a video player like mx Video it plays pretty much anything you want to dump onto it. I tend to use wifi explorer or a memory card reader rather than the Samsung Kies which is a bit buggy a little cumbersome. Games are excellent on it with offerings from EA such as need for speed looking and playing brilliantly on it, using the tilt to steer works really well due to the very accurate sensor inside the tab. The screen is bright and easy on the eyes and the touch sensitivity is just right allowing very easy typing and even drawing. You can get plenty of good stylus pens as well should you wish to use on. The speakers are at the front which is a lot better than other tablets who tend to place them on the back or the sides. They produce excellent quality audio for watching films, music or streamed TV. So far Ive only had one crash which was caused by one application and rebooting the device was easy enough without any loss of data or having to re-install anything. Overall I wouldnt hesitate to recommend this to anyone no matter what the intended use.
on 2 October 2012
I'm fussy, just ask my wife, the milkman, my friends and work collegues, they'll tell you exactly how fussy I am so I expect decent quality from big brand names.
That's the background, now the review:
This Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1" with 3G built in is simply amazing, I was lucky to get it at a decent price from Amazon and they delivered as promised, nice and fast.
The build quality of this is good, it feels nice and solid and it's amazingly thin, actually almost too thin for big handed people, it nearly slides out my hands so you might well consider getting a protective case. The performance is good, it's fast without lag, it's got great battery life and a quality screen. wifi is excellent and 3G seems very good too - I've used a Three 1GB preloaded data SIM which last 30days or 1GB for around £5 a go. Pop in a voice capable SIM and you can make phone calls although the received phone audio comes out the loudspeakers so it's not a phone to use on the train without annoying everyone and not to mention looking stupid holding a 10" table to your ear (hint, get an earpiece)
Don't expect much in the big impressive box, you get the Tab2, a mains charger and a USB to 30pin cable for charging and a user guide that's small and to the point, if you enjoy reading hundreds of pages of a user guide then prepare to be disapointed, the remaining item in the box is air, factory fresh air.
You may want to get the Samsung 2amp car charger that's available on Amazon as it's pretty cheap and comes with another USB-30pin cable.
All in all it's a superb tablet. There and I didn't even mention ipad, oh blast.
First and foremost, this is an excellent tablet and with the additional of a 32Gbyte MicroSD card and a 3G SIM, it worked immediately and very well.
Fully worth the full five stars.
However, a few things I have done which have significantly improved it are:
- the email reader included doesn't seem to display images properly in all email (yes, I have got the setting right), so I have replaced this (in my case with the Yahoo Email app since I use a BTOpenworld email address)
- the browser is detected, by many web sites, as a PC browser and as such gives you the full web page. On a 7 inch screen this can be just too small to read. I have replaced with the Chrome browser (downloaded from Google Play) which, by default, is detected as a mobile browser, but can be set to display full pages if you want
- the video player is limited by what types of video format it can play, but replacing with the MX video player (free from Google Play) solved that and I now seem to to be able to play any video format that I try.
The only thing I wish I could do would be to replace the "mini Apps" toolbar with Apps of my choice. However I have tried and also trawled many fora looking for a solution, but everyone seems to be in the same position (unless they risk rooting the device).
Even with the above, it is worth the full five stars...
Suggested accessories are:
- a cover/case
- Micro SD card (32 Gbytes)
- a 3G SIM
- a USB adapter
Hope this all helps..
on 23 August 2012
I am into Android world for a year or two and have owned several of them (both myself & my family). This tablet (P3100, 8GB, 3g) is very lightweight, sleek, has good battery life and though the pixel density is not as good as my Galaxy Note, I think this one has more "soothing" and "natural coloured" display with good viewing angle. But being different display technologies, white appears to have yellowish tint on this one and have bluish tint in my Note but overall both looks good. Performance wise this tablet is smooth with no "noticeable" lags even with multiple processes running in parallel. The UI is top notch. It has got almost all softwares that one might need to start with, viz File Manager, Office Application, and popular video codecs to name a few. Camera is weak though.
Overall its a good value for money, however, one function that makes me worried is the Auto Brightness. When Auto Brightness is turned on, the brightness sets to minimum, and does not become normal until you place it directly under strong light source. This causes immense pain if you are working with lights off during the night. If this is a software issue Samsung should fix in later firmware update, but if it is a hardware issue then my kit needs replacement. Anyone else is having similar problems? For the time being I have set the display to fixed brightness, but that impacts the battery life so I would actually like to have the Auto Brightness working.
on 26 July 2013
Beware - if this goes wrong (as ours did) you are NOT covered by the Samsung UK guarantee as it is not a European sourced product. We are currently arguing the case with Amazon but getting nowhere. A dead tablet after 4 months and no warranty is not funny :(