Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 review
If there's one thing that the Google Nexus 7 proved, it's that there's demand for low-cost, yet powerful Android tablets. While Google may have the 7in market sewn up at the moment (at least until the Kindle Fire HD appears), if you want a 10in model, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 could be the tablet you're looking for.
Externally you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's merely a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 without a stylus. After all, both devices are roughly the same size and have the same case. It's no more attractive here and the silver-effect bezel still looks rather cheap. Inside, Samsung's two tablets differ slightly, with the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 having a slightly reduced specification, which helps keep its price far below that of the equivalent iPad model.
So, instead of the 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM on the Note, the Tab 2 10.1 has a 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM – the same spec as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The trade-off is the that Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is that little bit jerkier, compared to the Note 10.1, when it comes to scrolling or zooming into web pages, and flicking between home screens is a touch jerky.
PERFORMANCE AND SCREEN
However, if this tablet gets upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with its Project Butter UI improvements, it should be very smooth. Even running Android 4.0, this tablet is far from slow. It handles websites and the OS perfectly well and it managed to render the BBC News homepage in around seven seconds. Battery life is pretty decent at 8hr 12m. It lasts over an hour less than the Galaxy Note 10.1, but you'll still have enough power to watch even the longest film.
The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has the same screen as the Note 10.1, a 10.1in 1,280x800 LCD. While this feels a little low-res compared to the Full HD tablets from Acer and Asus, and the new iPad's stunning resolution of 2,048x1,536 resolution, it's pretty good on a sub-£300 tablet, with enough room for browsing websites comfortably.
Although the pixel count may be lower than higher-cost rivals, the screen quality is excellent. Brilliant viewing angles mean the display is easy to read at any orientation, while bright whites, dark blacks and vibrant colours make the most of any content you're viewing.
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