Have you been saving some money to buy a new gadget? Have a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 which costs only $250 and provides you with a full-featured tablet that looks a little bit different in comparison to the Tab 7.0 Plus but these differences are not that noticeable upon a first sight, unless you have used the Plus for a long time.
While the weight and shape are just about the same, there are a few dimensional changes as the outer plastic shell of the Tab 2 7.0 now spills a little bit into the bezel at the left and right sides, while the volume rocker and power/sleep button feel more responsive and are more pronounced. Compared to the Plus, the IR blaster is now larger than before. Aside from these minor differences, the tablets look pretty much the same.
We are dealing with a fairly thin tablet but it isn’t as thin as the Tab 7.7. Thanks to its smooth and rounded corners, as well as the lightweight construction, the tablet feels comfortable when you hold it in your hand. Besides the 8GB of built-in memory, it comes with a microSD card slot that can store a card of up to a 32GB capacity. In addition, for one year you get 50GB of free storage on Dropbox, courtesy of Samsung. You will be happy to hear that the door of the card slot is now easier to open and it won’t get stuck as it does on the aforementioned Tab Plus.
While the Tab 7.0 Plus has a 2.0 megapixel front-facing camera, the Tab 2 7.0 is fitted with a VGA camera, while the back of the tablet is still holding a 3 mpx camera, but this time without the LED. We like that both cameras have been cleverly installed in the upper left corner when you hold the Tab 2 7.0 in landscape so you won’t obstruct the camera lens with your fingers.
On the right spine of the tablet you will notice a dock connector, while the left side is home for the microphone pinhole and the headphone jack. Approximately one inch away from the front-facing camera is the ambient light sensor. Some users and reviewers have said that this sensor has been calibrated too sensitively but we have not encountered this issue. If this is a problem for you, you might want to turn off the auto brightness function.
This is the first tablet from Samsung to run on Android Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0.3) and on top of Google’s OS is the TouchWiz user interface which comes bundled with several Samsung-specific applications like Game Hub, Media Hub, Music Hub, Mini Apps tray and a built-in screenshot application.
Under the hood of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is a dual core OMAP 4430 CPU running at a clock speed of 1.0 GHz, along with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. It also comes with digital compass support, an accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. There are also two speakers which have been installed on the tablet’s bottom which offer a decent sound quality but nothing impressive.
Just like the Tab Plus, this Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 utilizes the PLS-based panel technology and the 7-inch display has a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels which might not be enough for some users since there are other tablets on the market with this screen size that come with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels which obviously makes everything look sharper. While the screen clarity of the Tab 2 7.0 is not too shabby, it still isn’t capable of providing the pixel density of other more expensive 7-inch tablets.
As we have said earlier, this tablet from Samsung comes with a VGA front-facing camera which obviously is not as good as the 2.0 mpx front-facing camera that you will find on the Tab Plus. The camera at the back seems to be doing a better job as it can capture more details, but we have to warn you that the photos still look a little bit washed out and they don’t have enough contrast. Despite the fact that the camera of the Plus needs more time to focus, the photos taken are of a higher quality.
The Korean company said that the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is able to run 1080p videos but lots of users have complained that the tablet can’t play such files. You won’t have these issues while running 720p videos from an outside source as the clips are crisp and smooth.
You will be happy to hear that there is no noticeable lag while launching applications or when you are browsing through the menus. The app downloading and web speeds are on par with other tablets that run on Android so this is a pretty competent piece of hardware. As far as the battery of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is concerned, it lasts for approximately seven hour of video playback which is an average performance for a tablet that comes with a 7-inch screen.
Even though it might not be the best 7-inch tablet out there, it still has a lot to offer for its low price tag of just $250. However, we have to mention that in the near future there will be several interesting tablets launched which will come at just about the same price. One of the most anticipated is the Asus Memo 370T which will be powered by Nvidia’s quad core Tegra 3 processor and will feature an eight megapixel camera and a screen which will boast a higher resolution. All of these goodies will be available for approximately $250 and the tablet is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of this year. We should also mention that Google plans on launching its own Nexus tablet which is rumored to have a $150 – $200 price so there is a lot of competition coming in the world of tablets and this can only be a good thing for us the customers since we will be getting more features for the same or even less money.