The Bottom Line
Jun 18 2012 - While the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 may be the upgraded version of their flagship 10-inch tablet device, frankly so little has change to really merit it being an upgrade. The tablet is thicker and heavier than its predecessor with only the advantages of coming with Android 4.0 and an IR transmitter to let it function as a universal remote. Battery life while good has declined from the original and they even removed the LED flash for the rear camera. The results is a tablet that pretty much doesn't feel all that different from the original while its competitors now offer more performance, thinner profiles or better features for similar or slightly higher prices.
- Android 4.0 OS
- IR Transmitter and Remote Software
- Good Battery Life
- Performance Trails Newer Quad Core Tablets
- Thicker and Larger Than Original Without New Features
- Camera Flash Removed And Quality Not Improved
- 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 (Cortex A9) Dual Core Processor
- 1GB Memory
- 16GB Storage
- 10.1" WXGA (1280x800) Multitouch Display
- 2.0 Megapixel Front Camera, 3 Megapixel Rear Camera
- PowerVR SGX540 Graphics
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- 30-pin Dock Connector, microSD, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 10.1" x 6.9" x .38" @ 1.28 lbs.
- Android 4.0
Review - Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Jun 18 2012 - Samsung took a very different approach to its second generation Galaxy Tab 10.1 device. Rather than making a number of radical changes, much of the features have remained roughly the same. Instead, the overall appearance of the system has changed as well as the operating system. The Android 4.0 operating system gives a much smoother experience than the past operating system. For the most part it uses the standard layout buit it does also feature the TouchWiz UI skin that includes the quick task manager for killing applications which would have been extremely useful in the past Android 3.0.
In terms of the tablet itself, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has grown a bit thicker than the first version as well as a bit heavier. This is something that Apple did with their New iPad but frankly there hasn't been as much dramatic change in features here. Where it once used to be the thinnest tablet on the market, that title now belongs to the ASUS Transformer Prime that is a fraction thinner than the original Galaxy Tab. The redesign seems to be more a response to threats from Apple over the similar appearance to their iPad lineup. The most noticeable change is the rear cover wraps a bit over onto the front panel. In addition to this, the speakers have been moved to flank either side of the front display.
One new feature to the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 was first introduced in in their seven inch tablet lineup. An IR blaster is now located on the tablet that combined with the Peel universal remote app allows the tablet to control various home theater devices as well as channel listings. This works well for the most part but there can be issues at times with incorrect TV listings or unusual devices that are in its database of devices.
While some of the new Android tablets to the market this year have upgraded to the new quad core processors, Samsung has decided to stick with a dual core processor but switched away from the NVIDIA Tegra 2 to the TI OMAP 4430. It runs at the same 1GHz clock speed that gives it performance pretty much on par with the past version. It falls short of the new Tegra 3 based tablets such as the Acer Iconia Tab A510 or the Transformer Pad that retail for roughly the same $400 price. There are slight performance gains but this seems to be more from the Android 4.0 operating system than the processor itself.
Samsung's PLS based display was one of the better screens to be found in the tablet market a year ago but that has changed dramatically. Apple has introduced the retina display with an incredible level of detail and color clarity. Both Acer and ASUS intend to also release tablets that will features a 1920x1080 resolution for full HD video support while the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 uses the same original 1280x800 display found in the original. This would have been a major opportunity to try and distinguish themselves in the Android tablet market but they missed it.
Samsung kept the battery size the same for the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with a 7000mAh capacity. In video playback testing, the tablet was able to run for just over nine hours. This is a healthy amount of running time but is a bit lower than what was achieved with the first generation of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the same capacity battery. Apple had a similar problem with their New iPad and its retina display such that they had to greatly increase the battery size. This allowed them to keep the ten hours of running time. The ASUS Transformer Prime also was able to run for over ten hours at the same weight as this tablet but with a thinner profile.