The Bottom Line
May 3 2012 - Samung's latest revision of their 7-inch tablet computer takes a much more affordable turn with its very reasonably $250 price tag. It may still be slightly more expensive than some of the other 7-inch tablets, but it does provide a full tablet experience with some impressive performance for its price. Of course, Samsung did have to make a few changes in order to keep the price down. These include reducing the internal storage, the resolution of the front camera and most importantly a screen that isn't quite as nice as its predecessor. Still, it is a very capable tablet for the price.
- Android 4.0 OS
- Well Priced
- Good Performance For 7-Inch Tablet
- Screen Not As Nice As Past Models Or As Some of The 7-inch Competition
- VGA Resolution Front Camera
- 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 (Cortex-A9) Dual Core Proccesor
- 1GB Memory
- 8GB Storage
- 7" WSVGA (1024x600) Multitouch Display
- VGA Front Camera, 3 Megapixel Rear Camera
- PowerVR SGX540 Graphics
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- 30-pin Dock, microSD, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 7.6" x 4.8" x .41" @ .76 lbs.
- Android 4.0
Review - Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
May 3 2012 - At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 doesn't look all that different from the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. Design wise, they are nearly identical with a few items such as the plastic encroaching on the display and a slightly thicker profile. What has changed significantly is the price. While the old Tab 7 Plus sold for around $400, this new 7-inch tablet comes with a much more consumer friendly $250 price tag which makes it much more competitive with the popular Amazon Kindle Fire. Of course, to achieve such a price, a number of changes had to be made.
If you were to compare the two side to side, the most notable change will be the display. It still uses the same PLS technology found in the Tab 7 Plus with a 1024x600 resolution as well. The problem is that the color and sharpness just isn't quite as nice as the previous model. Part of this might be because of the brighter backlight that allows for a screen that is more functional outdoors. The drawback is that it also tends to wash out the blacks into a more grey hue.
Other changes to keep the costs of the tablet down include dropping the storage from 16GB to just 8GB which is more typical of this price segment. It does still retain the microSD slot for adding up to 32GB of storage via flash card. The front facing camera has been reduced from two megapixel to just a VGA resolution. This makes it a bit less useful for video chatting and conferencing. At least the rear camera retains its three megapixel sensor but the optics or something have changed as it doesn't seem to provide as clear of pictures or video.
One big change for the better is the introduction of the Android 4.0 operating system. This gives it a bit smoother and stable experience than the previous Android 3.0 software. Samsung does expand on the interface by including their TouchWiz UI skin with their list of applications in it. The most useful of these is the quick task manager for killing applications which still do hang periodically. In addition, Samsung has kept the Peel smart remote applications along with the IR blaster for the tablet to act as a universal remote control. It works pretty well but is highly dependent upon proper information from the channel providers.
In terms of performance, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 performs quite well especially against other 7-inch tablets. Rather than using one of their own Exynos processors, it uses the TI OMAP 4430 processor which features 1GHz dual core speeds based on the ARM Cortex-A9. This puts it very close overall to the speed of many larger 10-inch tablets and very close to the Tegra 2 based Acer Iconia Tab A100 which still beats it but does cost more.
Thankfully, Samsung did not decrease the size of the battery and uses the same 4000mAh capacity battery. Interestingly enough, the tablet was able to run roughly five and three quarter hours in video playback before shutting down. That is a good three quarters of a hour better than the previous Tab 7 Plus model. It still is shorter than the Kindle Fire or NOOK Tablet but much longer than the Iconia Tab A100. With more typical web usage, it will likely survive just about long enough to last a full day without requiring a recharge.