Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 review: Make it two
Design and build quality
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 looks a lot like the Galaxy Note 10.1, which we recently previewed. The only way to tell them apart is the LED flash and the darker finish of the Note's rear. The Note is also a tad slimmer but the difference of less than a millimeter is negligible on a 10" slab.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is built around a 10.1" PLS LCD screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. The resolution is only average by today's standarts - the iPad 3 and the Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD have raised the bar too high.
The screen is quite decent though - viewing angles are very good (although there's a noticeable blue tint when viewed at an angle) and the blacks look reasonably deep.
Pixel density is nothing exciting (149ppi), but big tablets like the Tab 2 10.1 are supposed to be viewed from a greater distance than phones. And no, it's obviously no match for the Retina display, but as we said, it's not supposed to compete with it to begin with. The iPad 2's XGA screen has 132 ppi.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7||0||200||∞||0||328||∞|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus||0.17||196||1141||0.34||424||1236|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1||0.31||257||826||0.55||502||915|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1||0.33||293||887||0.55||479||878|
|LG Optimus Pad||0.19||170||889||0.57||458||811|
|Apple iPad 2||0.18||167||925||0.55||429||775|
|Apple iPad 3||0.21||167||809||0.6||477||779|
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has no hardware controls at the front - it doesn't need any with Ice Cream Sandwich inside. All you get here is the front VGA camera and some sensors.
There's no earpiece but the tablet can be used as a phone in either loudspeaker mode or with a headset (wired or wireless). That's one of the improvements over the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The two speakers are on either side of the screen. You have to be careful not to cover them with your thumbs when you hold the tablet landscape. The speakers aren't as powerful as the grille size may suggest but the front-facing position is better than having them on the sides as in the first Tab 10.1.
At the top we find the 3.5mm audio jack along with the SIM compartment and microSD slot, both covered with plastic lids. There's also the Power/Lock button next to the volume rocker.
The microphone is at the bottom and you are warned upon launch of the camcorder app against covering it with a hand.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 uses a proprietary 30-pin connector for charging and connectivity, which is located at the bottom of the tablet.
At the back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the 3.15 MP camera lens. There's no LED flash this time round. The original Tab 10.1 has one and so does the 10-inch Note.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is powered by a non-replaceable 7000 mAh Li-Ion battery.
The back cover is made of soft plastic, which is nice to the touch and offers decent grip. It's matte too, so it hides fingerprints very well. As you would imagine, you can't pop this cover open to access the battery.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 can actually be held in one hand but we don't think of too many scenarios when you'll have to. That's something for the Note tablet to worry about with the S Pen occupying your other hand. Anyway, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is reasonably portable and comfortable to handle. It's not as slim as the original or the Note tablet but the increased thickness seems to actually make it easier to hold. It's a solidly built tablet too.