Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review
If you're looking for a lot of bang for your buck, the new Samsung tablet is certainly worth a look.
Meet the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Samsung's follow-up to the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. While not much may appear different to those of you who are familiar with the older tablet, the biggest difference is the operating system, Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and the additional features brought with it. While the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 seems to be an incremental upgrade, it's a necessary one.
Design & Usability
Quite a lot of features crammed into a tiny tablet.
Because of its low weight and small size, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is easy to hold for long periods of time in either orientation. Due to the contoured edges, the tablet fits easily in the crook of your hand, and does not exert much leverage force against your wrist.
Controls on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 are fairly standard as far as tablets go, using the capacitive touchscreen to interact with your device. There are a couple buttons on the top, namely the power button and volume rocker, but that's it. Because the Galaxy Tab 2 uses a Samsung-ized version of Ice Cream Sandwich (namely, by adding Touchwiz), all of the standard controls outlined in our Android Explored article are present.
Samsung did a fantastic job with its Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus in terms of connectivity, and that formula didn't change too much with the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. For those of you wanting to dominate the living room with your tablet, the Galaxy Tab 2 delivers: it comes with an IR blaster to control your home theater, Bluetooth 3.0 to connect devices, 802.11n wireless, a microSD card slot for expanded memory, 3.5mm out headphone jack, and a GPS unit stored internally. All that adds up to one heck of a media maven, and should not leave you wanting for more.
The IR blaster is a nice touch, but overall a very standard 7-inch tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is built around a 6.0625 x 3.5625-inch LED backlit LCD screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. While this is a relatively small screen, it gets the job done, and the resolution is appropriate for its size, though probably not big enough for those of you with poor eyesight.
A common problem with LCD tablets is the fact that not only are they super-reflective, but they also rely on a backlight to make their image seen, and that can be problematic in the direct sunlight. Not only are reflection patterns difficult to see through, but the backlight isn't strong enough to make the image seen in direct sunlight. You're better off trying to minimize your time in the sun with this tablet.
Much like its predecessor, the Galaxy Tab 2 does not last very long when the screen brightness is cranked to maximum, even less when the Wi-Fi is enabled. For example, when the display is cranked to maximum brightness, and all wireless and additional processes are disabled, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has trouble cracking 5 and a half hours reading eBooks or watching video continuously.
Because the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is a tablet that runs a supported version of Android 4, it has full access to Google's Play Store. Inside you'll find a wide range of apps, many that are free, and others that are not. If you'd like to get an idea of what's inside the Play Store, have a look yourself by clicking here. Apps installed on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 before you open the box include the Amazon Kindle app, Dropbox, Peel smart remote, and Netflix among others. While these aren't the only apps pre-installed, nor are they the only apps you'll have, they do offer a really cool array of options for you right out of the box.
A feature-laden tablet that gives you a good amount for your dollar.
Samsung recently released the successor to its Galaxy Tab 7.0 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 ($249.99), amid a flurry of new tablet releases. Solving many of the problems plaguing the earlier models of 7 inch Galaxy Tabs, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 brings better hardware and software to the table, shipping with Android's latest operating system, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It's important to note that this tablet isn't meant to take the new iPad head-on, but it answers a demand for a different type of consumer.
While the 7-inch screen may not be popular with the older crowd, a common complaint of larger tablets is the heft of a near-10-inch screen and battery making it hard to hold. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, with its smaller profile, does not suffer this setback, and is a good tablet to consider if you're likely to use your tablet for more than an hour at a time. If you use the tablet for more than 5 hours in one sitting, however, you're likely to run out of juice. Thankfully, it takes only about an hour to recharge completely.
If you'd like to use Bluetooth headsets or other accessories with it, you're in luck. A wide range of Bluetooth devices are supported on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. In everything it does, this tablet gives users what consumers want: more options. Subscribing to a data plan will let you take your media libraries with you anywhere, and enjoy music, movies and books on the go. At home, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0's IR blaster can control your entire home theater much like a universal remote would, making you the ruler of the living room.
With all the tablet's capabilities combined with full access to Google's Play Store, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has the range of apps to make your tablet experience a rewarding one. If you're looking for a smaller tablet that won't break the bank and give you a solid performance, and consolidate control of your media on any device into one small package, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is certainly worth a look.
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