Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7″

I have been smartphone user for many years, now. I started with my first Blackberry in 2006 and have been anxiously watching the development of Google’s Android operating system. I purchased an HTC phone in 2010 and recently updated to a new Samsung Galaxy SII. A few months ago.  In addition, my ten-year-old bought a Barnes and Noble Nook Color about a year ago. Very quickly, we replaced the stock operating system with CyanogenMod.
Having wanted to go with a new tablet, I recently purchased the Barnes and Noble nook tablet. I had no desire to go with an Apple tablet, as I very much find Android the superior choice. Unfortunately the Barnes and Noble tablet ships with an older version of Android and restricts purchases to only the Barnes and Noble shop.

I then saw that a new Samsung Galaxy 7 inch was soon coming out. The form factor was right and the price reasonable, so I figured the time was right to make this my new tablet. I have been very impressed with the hardware quality in the Galaxy SII, so figured the Tab 2 would be equally good.

 

Unboxing

image

the new device comes with an ac adapter with usb, a funky samsung proprietary cable with usb on one end, the device, and a few pamphlets on how to get started. Lacking was an instruction manual.

Why Samsung decided to use a non-standard cable, I’ll never know. I purchased a few extra cables on Amazon “just in case.”

The unit is easy to hold. It has nice beveled edges. The viewing is excellent. I compared to an Apple IPod 2 and found it quite acceptable. Of course, the size is much smaller, but I purposely did not want a 10″ screen. Viewing in daylight is acceptable. The screen is very glossy, so there is reflection. Not sure if a screen protector would help or hinder. I have the same issue with my Galaxy SII and my Blackberry Curve.

 

First Look

Upon turning it on, I walked through the registration prices. It connected me with my Google Play account and auto downloaded my applications.

 

There was no instruction manual included in the box, so I just guessed my way around. Since I have a few years of Android usage, the system was easy to understand.

The home screens are setup with a few widgets and applications. You can also list the apps in order.

The camera took a decent picture, though you can tell the quality is low and the lack of flash is noticable. However, I don’t really intend to use this device as a camera unless needed. Maybe for some Skype chat in the future. See below for a comparison picture between the Galaxy Tab and my Galaxy SII (with 8 megapixel camera and flash)

From the tablet:

 

 

Same lighting from my Galaxy SII:

 

Applications

The tablet comes pre-installed with several applications. Of course, the Android universe now contains several hundred thousand apps that can be added.  Per Amazon, the tablet comes pre-installed with the following:

Core apps: Contacts, Alarm/Clock, S Planner, Camera, Gallery, Photo Editor, Video Maker, Web Browser, My Files, Email, Calculator, World Clock, Task Manager, Music Player, Video Player, Navigation

Google services: Google Search, Google Talk, Gmail, YouTube, Latitude, Places, Google Maps, Google +, Google + Messenger, Play Store, Google Play Books, Google Play Music, Google Play Videos

Samsung apps: AllShare (DLNA), ChatON, T-Memo, Smart Remote
Samsung Hub widgets: Media Hub, Game Hub, Music Hub, Readers Hub (Kobo, Zinio, NPD)

Additional apps and services: Amazon Kindle, Polaris Office, Dropbox, Netflix

Of course, I’ve sideloaded several more of my needed – erm – productivity apps:

As I plan to use this as a desktop replacement for most daily tasks – email, chat, internet browsing, some gaming – I wanted the flexibility to add more if needed.

 

In fact, I’m writing this on the tablet using Google Drive, the successor to Google Docs.

 

One nice thing about Drive is the ability to view documents offline. Right now, you can’t edit documents offline; hopefully that will come in the future. of course, I also use the voice input method to type a lot of this document.

 

Performance

I’ve read the battery on this device will last around 7 hours with WiFi. Without WiFi enabled, the battery should last much longer. My son has a nook color, which seems to last about the same time. 4 my needs the samsung galaxy tab is sufficient I do not play that many games so I don’t need a super duty heavy duty processor however I’ve noticed that many games are available and work just fine

The Galaxy Tab 2 7″ has a dual core processor, running at a respectable 1 gHz. So far, I’ve noticed little lag. The device is snappy and responds as expected. I would have liked to wait for the new 7″ quad-core tablet, but that may be a year out and several hundred dollars more. I would say that for a general purpose tablet that is not too big on size I’m not part of the wallet the samsung galaxy tab 7 inch is a perfect workbook replacement.

Pros
Light on the wallet.
Full integration with android market.
Ice Cream Sandwich – Android 4.0.3

Cons
Proprietary USB port.
Not as hi-res

 

 

[EDIT 5/8/2012]

The support site for this device is located here at the Samsung web page.

 

Though I’ve had little issue with the battery, some may want to add some features to save battery life. I saw some on the XDA Developers forum.  Click for more information.

Posted in System Review
2 comments on “Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7″
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