Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review Roundup

Samsung's newest Android tablet officially shipped today and I've been spending the morning reading reviews. This tablet only costs $250, so I was seriously thinking about buying it as a replacement for my current (original) Galaxy Tab.

I read a bunch of reviews and I even spent a few minutes playing with one in my local Best Buy.  I would have liked to post more pictures but I got a good enough look to know I don't want it.

After looking over the specs (below) I have decided that this tablet is more of a sidestep than an upgrade. The 2 big ways that it improves on its predecessor is that it runs a later version of Android and has a dual core CPU. That's great, but the Tab 2 also lacks the camera flash found on the original plus the rear camera is weaker. (product page)

I will be fair, though, and point out that this tablet not intended to be a premium tablet. It uses cheaper components so it can compete with the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. I would say that it is easily a better value than either the KF or NT.

Specs

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1GHz dual-core TI CPU
  • 7" (1024 x 600) screen
  • capacitive touchscreen
  • 8GB Flash storage
  • microSD slot
  • Cameras 3MP (rear), VGA (front)
  • Wifi, Bluetooth
  • 4Ah battery
  • Size 7.6 x 4.8 x 0.41 inches
  • Weight 12.2 ounces

At almost half the price of the similar-looking Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, the Tab 2 performs gracefully, comes with ample storage space to harbor your vast trove of media, and generally makes Google's latest software more accessible. Still, despite its reliable performance, it seems to us that Samsung didn't do enough to effectively overpower the allure of the Kindle Fire's tidy ecosystem. Without access to a well-curated content library, the Tab 2 (7.0) doesn't really stand out amid an ever deepening line of Android 4.0 devices, and it will have to work that much harder to win the hearts of consumers looking for a 7-inch tablet (or just a really inexpensive one).

This device is one of Samsung’s undeniably vast number of tablets they’ve got on the market right this second. Compared to the Galaxy Tab 7.7, it’s not nearly as impressive, but also not nearly as costly. This tablet is made to be inexpensive enough for anyone to afford while it keeps many of the features and elements that make a Samsung tablet experience one to look forward to.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 delivers good performance, a sleek design, and plenty of cool extras for an affordable $249. And unlike the Kindle Fire, you get expandable memory, access to more apps and dual cameras. The Peel app adds a greater level of functionality when using Tab while watching TV. While we wish the content-purchasing experience was less fragmented, those looking for a purer Android experience than the the Kindle Fire will find the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 to be a strong value.

How a device feels in your hand and performs is a lot more important than its technical specs and, when it comes to the user experience, Samsung gets high marks. Its smooth physical design, small and light weight form factor and up-to-date software and operating system come together to make the Tab 2 an excellent choice for budget-minded tablet buyers or those who simply want a portable media consumption device.

Amazon, beware. The big boys are going to show you how to make an affordable Android tablet! This new Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is an absolute steal for $249.99 - and I say that as a Kindle Fire owner. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich might not be as simple to use as Amazon's own user interface, but it also doesn't restrict you in any way, shape, or form. If you want a do-everything tablet for under $300, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is it.

It took Samsung a while, but the company seems to have finally figured out the secret to a successful tablet: don't compete with the iPad. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 competes instead with the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet, and unless you're a heavy reader or love the particular interfaces of those two tablets, the Tab 2 is probably a better buy right now. ... The Tab 2 is more powerful than either the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet, and because it runs a fuller version of Android it's a more capable device if you're interested in more than just reading. If Samsung would add the Galaxy Tab 7.7's Super AMOLED Plus display, this would be an absolutely killer tablet, but even as is it's as good a slate as you'll find for $250.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is less of a step forward in the Galaxy line and more of a step in a new direction. The solid build quality and slick design remains, but instead of packing in top-of-the-line components and charging top-of-the-line prices, Samsung is smartly focusing on a solid software experience and an accessible price. The company isn't trying to take on the Apple iPad, but is setting its sights on the burgeoning, budget-friendly tablet market defined by the Kindle Fire and the Nook Table.

How a device feels in your hand and performs is a lot more important than its technical specs and, when it comes to the user experience, Samsung gets high marks. Its smooth physical design, small and light weight form factor and up-to-date software and operating system come together to make the Tab 2 an excellent choice for budget-minded tablet buyers or those who simply want a portable media consumption device.

9 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review Roundup

      1. Since I want to grasp the 8 incher easily, it need to be about 5.5″ wide for my hands. Somebody I thought, was coming out with that width on a 8 inch model, although it probably has different resolution.

  1. Doesn’t the original have 512k ram while this one has double. Probably newer OS needs it, so not necessarily worth mentioning.

  2. You can buy a generic Chinese 7″ Android tablet with similar specs for about half this on eBay — or is that the elephant in the room that nobody’s supposed to mention?

    1. A few, quick searches reveal tablets at a lower price, but they are slower, have an inferior display, weigh more, and, presumably, will not be supported beyond what they are currently running.

      If the elephant in the room is that you can get less by paying less, I think people are talking about it. Like the site you are currently reading:

      http://the-digital-reader.com/2012/04/14/polaroids-new-android-4-0-ics-tablet-is-now-in-stores-and-in-my-hands

  3. Actually, the “breaking news” is that the cheap android tablets prove that the lack of features on so many higher priced tablets (USB, HDMI, SD) is a matter of product placement and planned obsolescence, rather than additional costs. I have an under $100 tablet with all of those features and Android 4.0.4, that runs smoothly and works surprisingly well. This could not be said a year ago, and writing off the “crappy tablets from China” as unusable simply shows how out of touch one is. The reason these tablets do not get more press is that they do not advertise, so why should a website/magazine “promote” them by reviewing them.

    I compared the display on my crappy tablet side by side to the Gtab 2, and, while there was some additional brightness from the Gtab, the cheaper tablet’s display is perfectly usable under most conditions, and the time to perform tasks was also pretty close. Plus, my “crappy” tablet has Android 4.0.4, and Google Play. The only real downside is that the battery life is not so hot, but it still lasts all day most of the time at my level of use, so that’s OK. It’ss better than my laptop!

    In a way, it’s kind of funny the amount of excitement that these “incredibly affordable” tablets that costs 2-2.5 times as much as the one I own (Idolpad +) has caused, when they have a “crappier” feature set, and only incrementally better real world performance, like the time to load an app or a webpage. Plus, when I lose mine, or one of the kids steps on it, or it simply becomes obsolete, I’m not going to be too upset. Can’t say that about an IPad, and its been specifically designed to become obsolete!

    1. I’m pretty much the only one reviewing the sub-$100 tablets, and you’re right that they don’t get the credit they deserve. I think the difference in quality is greater than you think, but I agree it’s not enough to justify the higher cost of some of the mid-range tablets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>