Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 review
Updated 10 April 2014 – Don't buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
This tablet is now old, almost impossible to buy from reputable retailers and poor value for money. The vastly superior Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is widely available for £279.99 and is an excellent Android tablet. The Galaxy Tab 2 runs an old version of Android, has an outdated processor and fairly paltry specifications by today's standards. Despite that it is nearly as expensive as the newer, shinier, faster and better Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.
The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 runs Android 4.2, has a 1.6GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It only launched last year and is still a great Android tablet if you're after a larger, 10in screen. Samsung is already preparing to launch the Galaxy Tab 4 range, including 7in and 10in versions, but no release dates have been announced for its latest Android tablets.
Such is Samsung's almost constant update cycle its technology quickly becomes redundant and that's exactly what has happened to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. While it was a decent tablet when it launched in 2012, this is now an old piece of technology. Even if you can pick it up on the cheap, we wouldn't recommend it.
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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