Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 review: Make it two

GSMArena team, 19 April 2012.
Pages: 123456789

Introduction

The question this second-generation Samsung tablet is trying to answer is not "How much better can it get?" The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 stops at how much. It feels safe pretending there's no such thing as a third-generation iPad.

Under different circumstances, the second-generation Galaxy Tab 10.1 would've been a disappointment. It still is, in a way - especially if you expected a substantial upgrade of the original. This duty however falls on another member of the Samsung tablet lineup.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 official pictures

The 10-inch Note is the one with the better specs and the S Pen adds an extra dimension to the tablet experience. And it certainly needs every bit of muscle and brains to stand up to the iPad 3. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has the seemingly easier job to compete with a discounted iPad 2.

On a second thought, although not as much as everyone may've hoped, the actual upgrades over the original manage to make a difference. The voice-call support and the memory-card slot are most welcome. And of course, it comes with Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box.

Key features

  • 10.1" 16M-color PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels)
  • TI OMAP 4430 chipset: Dual-core 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor; 1GB of RAM; PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz UX UI
  • Quad-band GPRS/EDGE and quad-band 3G with HSPA connectivity (HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps)
  • Voice calls
  • 16/32 GB of built-in memory
  • 3.2 MP autofocus camera, 2048x1536 pixels, geotagging
  • 2.0 MP front-facing camera; native video calls
  • 720p HD video recording @ 30 fps with stereo audio recording
  • Stereo speakers
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • HDMI TV-out (adapter required), USB host (adapter required)
  • microSD card slot
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Adobe Flash 11 support
  • GPS with A-GPS support; digital compass
  • 1080p DivX/XviD/MKV video support with subtitles
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor; three-axis Gyroscope sensor
  • Polaris office document editor preinstalled
  • 7000 mAh Li-Po battery

Main disadvantages

  • Proprietary 30-pin connector for charging and connectivity
  • No camera LED flash
  • Average screen resolution
  • Non-replaceable battery

Samsung have not one but two tablets to inherit the original 10" Galaxy Tab. Two tablets to challenge Apple and their iPads. Two options for users to choose between. Essentially, it's a choice between the special and the second-best, the exciting and the affordable.

Taking the gloomy view, the second-gen Galaxy Tab 10.1 isn't good enough for the slim profile, the Exynos chipset and the fullHD videos of the Note. Not to mention the game-changing S Pen. For those who look on the bright side, it's an affordable ten-incher with the latest Android and better specs than the iPad 2.

Hopefully, this review will help you know where you stand. We're back with the design and build right after the break.

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