In the year of 2010, which is quite long ago from the point of view of the present mobile industry, the Samsung Company launched the production of 7-inch tablet computers Galaxy Tab. We made the review for the device then and came to the ambiguous conclusion. Samsung presented one of best Android-tablets of the time, still almost all the device prameters including the price where much worse than those of iPad.
With the course of time Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus as well as the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 were presented on the market. The first Tab with the 3G module cost a sky-high price of $900, in its turn the present 3G module device will cost at most $430. Samsung explains that such a big change in price is due to the fact that in 2010 the production of tablets was just launched and as a consequence the company had to bear great manufacturing expenses. Still that commentary is not so important, as the claimed price stays within the normal range (i.e. is competitive) for a 7-inch tablet PC with Tab 2 characteristics.
Tab 2 can’t boast of the catchy appearance. Directly above the screen in the center the small grid of the speaker is located. Such design can be seen in the former models of the series as well. One cannot call such a design decision to be very successful as it reminds of a big phone. To be fair one shall mention that the device has “usual” speakers as well.
The impression from the device greatly improves when one takes it at hands as it has extremely convenient weight of 345 grams. Anyway, even the girls are not going to have problems holding Tab 2.7.0 with one hand. The device has thin body and rounded edges, which makes it convenient for holding. In general, one can say that the device ergonomically designed.
Describing the device quality we should mention that we had the pre-sale tablet unit for examining. In the pre-sale unit one could definitely see the gaps between the body and the cover in the corners of the device bottom part. Still, that defect was fixed for the production units of Tab 2. On the other hand we can’t be sure that Samsung has fixed some small but quite noticeable deflection of the back cover.
The choice of production materials raises questions as well. The front panel glass has quite good quality; still the plastic of the cover doesn’t look presentable.
Controls and Connectors
After issuing by Google of Android 3.x it became very easy to define the system version installed in the tablet. The economic Android 2.2/2.3 models still had a number of touch buttons under the screen, while Android 3.x units didn’t have it. Android 4.0 model still had the design with all the supplementary buttons on the system panel, that’s why there are no any buttons on Tab 2 front panel.
Instead, the central upper part has the speaker with dense grid, mentioned above, as well as light and proximity sensors. The bottom part has just the manufacturer name drawn.
The left side has connectors for the microSD memory card and SIM-card. Our attempt to insert the SIM-card failed completely, it fall inside and the device demanded to turn to the service center. By the way all the connectors have the plugs, which is very convenient as the connectors won’t be getting dirty because of dust or other pollutions.
The right side has the place for two double volume control buttons and switch on/off buttons. They stand out from the body and have convenient location precisely for the forefinger. It is quite convenient to push the buttons.
The upper side has just the 3.5 mm connector for headset and earphones.
The tablet lower part has cuts for the speakers from the both sides. One shall mention that the speakers give quite good volume parameters and sound quality for a tablet PC unit. The central part has 30-pin connector to switch to a computer or a charger.
The back cover has the inscription “Samsung” and the camera’s eye in the upper left corner. By the way we should mention that Tab 2 has no flash.
The 7-inch display has the resolution of 1024x600 pixels, in the present time such a resolution becomes more or less standard for such type of diagonal, instead of outdated resolution of 800x480 pixels. Pixel density is 169 points per inch. Of course, the display is capacitive, with multitouch support, recognition of up to 10 simultaneous touch points.
Tab 2 has got the PLS matrix, produced by Samsung. An unpleasant surprise is insufficiently dark black color. The drawback becomes more visible while watching films with dark scenes. Still the contrast received after measurement makes 947:1, which is not bad figure at all. And the black color level for 100% brightness was just 0.41 cd/m2.
Still the above mentioned can be compensated by the general good brightness of the display. Correspondingly, a color image is seen well in the sunlight. The brightness of the screen white point is 388 cd/m2, which is above the middle level.
Tab 2 viewing angles is another tablet “specialty”. They are quite large, still even insignificant vertical inclination gives slightly seen effect of grey “film” across the screen.
As for the color temperature, tab 2 showed quite stable diagram, without “defects”; almost throughout all the length it has values close to the reference ones.
The situation with gamma curves is even better. The curve line almost doesn’t decline from the reference value. Only the upper part shows some disproportion, which may be the evidence of some insignificant light misbalance of the image.
The tablet has two cameras. The back camera has three megapixels, max filming resolution is 2048x1536 points. The front camera is associated solely as a “web” device, as it has just 0.3 megapixels.
Although one uses Android 4.0 version, it is difficult to mention any serious changes, which is first and foremost the fault of the limited facilities of the front camera.
The camera even has no function of autofocusing, not to mention LED flash.
The disappointing range of settings is on the other hand compensated by a surprisingly good quality of pictures.
The back camera didn’t offer any pleasant surprises; it is especially sensitive to bad light.
The new Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is going to compete with comparatively cheap Chinese models like Huawei MediaPad.
- Samsung official site.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 user manual.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 driver and flash utility.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 firmwares.
The device has quite powerful hardware. The dual core processor has become almost standard for tablet computers of the middle-price category. The device has sufficient RAM of 1 GB. 16 GB is enough volume to store a small multimedia collection, including a few HD-films. Moreover one can install a 32 GB memory card and get a storage space of 48 GB.
As for wireless network, Tab 2 offers all the necessary functions including cellular network connection, 3G and 802.11b/g/n frequency. The Bluetooth of the 3.0 version gave a great deal of positive emotions as well. The absence of NFC cannot be considered as a serious drawback as this technology is not widely spread yet.
Still it’s difficult to make a choice when comparing the device to its strongest competitor, the Huawei MediaPad. Almost all the parameters are the same; still among the advantages of the Huawei model are a bit stronger processor, and “clearer” IPS-screen. On the other hand it has outdated Bluetooth version, 2.1 and weighs 41 grams more. Finally, Huawei cannot boast of the software.
It was decided to check the actual productivity in comparison to the already known PocketBook A7”, which has one core processor, 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM and weaker graphics processor. Let’s study the actual advantages of Tab 2 parameters.
SmartBench 2011 showed great results. Probably, the test managed to the full extent use the multicore processor of Samsung tablet, and its RAM. That’s why, 4 times better results are not a surprise. The 2012 result was not that clear. General productivity still preserved the 4 times advantage, on the other hand game possibilities are not so much behind any more.
AnTutu once again highlights the characteristics. The difference for all the results makes 2-4 for each one. The only “surprising” exclusion” is the two-dimensional graphics. Apparently the PowerVR SGX 530 chip is far from being perfect.
The Linpack test is based on the processor computing power; thus one shouldn’t expect any good A7” result.
A range of graphic tests has cleared out all the doubts that appeared after the Smartbench 2012 test. Each benchmark test revealed at least 2 time gap. The A7” owners shouldn’t be too optimistic about productivity of such “middle-class” tablets of the present time as Tab 2.
The PocketBook tablet was about 25% ahead during the wireless productivity test, which can be explained by the less load on the battery from the system and software. Still the more productivity is limited the better wireless productivity a device has. The AnTutu wireless productivity test revealed an insignificant difference, on the other hand we trust our own practical measurements much more.
In general more powerful processor and graphics processing unit of the device really give Tab 2 better characteristics. The advantage in comparison to less productive competitors, justify the price of the device.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Software
It is not a mystery that the device has Android 4.0 with TouchWiz add-on installed. If you once used one of Samsung devices with installed Android 3.x, Android ICS with TouchWiz of Tab 2 is not going to surprise you. Even more, all the changes first and foremost were done to the device’s design and one get’s a feeling to be using the improved version of Android 3.x.
The Start Menu offers no screen blocking. The function of blocking the screen wasn’t found in any of the device settings including system settings. Is that a peculiarity of the production unit? Possibly. So, on the main screen one can see a range of programs placed in two rows, the upper part has Google search shortcut, indication of desktop number, and switch to the full program list. The left part of the bottom panel has the standard for Android ICS set of virtual buttons: Back, Start Menu, Task Manager and Screenshot.
After pushing the Home button one may see all the possible desktops; delete the old ones and add the new ones. The pop-up panel with a list of programs for quick launch is placed in the bottom part. The list cannot be changed. The device has the tray as well, still it is almost the same as in Android 3.õ.
One can not call the choice of widgets and wallpaper logical. Making a little longer touch on any screen one gets the addition’s menu and sees options suggested. The list of commands is disappointing as well, for instance one can hardly understand what is meant under the phrase “To choose wallpaper from the Main Screen”.
The device has surprisingly small number of wallpapers suggested; on the other hand the pictures are extremely attractive. The device has interactive wallpapers as well.
There is quite a big choice of widgets. It is, on the other hand, not very original – there are gadgets for all the basic programs.
The list of the programs installed is not small per se, but one is acquainted with it from the previous Samsung devices. On the other hand such a list is more than enough for a common user.
As we have already mentioned there are no many programs that are new or changed. Anyway, let’s look through them. Firstly, it is the most powerful office packet Polaris Office.
The tablet has a new version with interface that is totally different from the one of Galaxy S II. Firstly, the menu has a different look. It informs us that the program can support “cloud” services. The file manager was changed; it became much more convenient and functional. The upper panel gives opportunity to create a new file immediately, add a new button, and change the order of files and search.
The editor panel in text documents editor is now located at the upper right corner. It appears after a section of text is emphasized.
The table editor is organized in the same way.
The procedure of creation of slides was improved as well. The settings order became clearer.v
The Pulse program is quite interesting. It is a creative approach to making of some kind of own RSS- feed, moreover its design reminds of a mini-site, not a boring text list.
Moreover feed sets are organized in the form of “desktops”. For instance, one can place fashion feeds in one of them, and technical feeds in another one. Generally speaking, a true Web 2.0, as it should be.
The calendar got new looks as well. On the other hand it is difficult to name anything outstanding. One may set different tasks for each day, and there is a possibility to synchronize the work of your devices.
Samsung Apps design was improved. The applications are now better organized, still the dark background is not the best choice for the service.
The system alarm clock leaves good impression, mainly thanks to convenient location of settings.
Samsung video player got some functional changes. After pushing the button in the upper right corner, one gets a large list of options; among options one may see the choice of subtitles or playback speed. On the other hand, the size of the panels is not so convenient, even though being transparent, altogether they occupy half of the screen.
The device has the task manager as well. The program permits to close one of the applications or to stop the operation of all the programs at once. One may also classify processes according to different parameters.
The system browser is as good as it was. It is only colors that were changed in comparison to Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The music player as all the programs of such kind has many options to filter or classify the lists of songs. The program has equalizer, it is also possible to control playback from the system tray.
It is really difficult to find any outstanding decision for the phone functions, thus, here we deal with a common interface for dialing a number or writing a message, and we see an ordinary contact list.
The device has ChatOn client installed to offer better communication possibilities. This is a chat program for two or a group of people and sending of files. Generally speaking, a typical IM-client.
Game Hub service got some strange change. Earlier the service gave the access to a big number of Gameloft games, with the possibility to download a free game for the demo period. Now the device has some strange application instead, that just redirects us to Google Play.
The program “World Time” looks really original. It has the 3D globe with different towns and cities on it, thanks to it one can get to know the time in different time zones.
In conclusion, we would like to repeat that there are no surprises for those who are already acquainted with the former Android-based Samsung products. At the same time the company still pursues the policy of providing its devices with the maximum amount of necessary programs “from the box”.
Tab 2 is quite a successful attempt of Samsung to make a tablet PC with all functions that one nowadays expects from such kind of device. Anyway, the device had all the necessary features that differs it from typical low-price tablets.
The good picture is provided by high-quality PLS display, which doesn’t look at all as a compromise when comparing to IPS. The dual core processor is more than enough both for basic and some difficult tasks. Anyway, until the present time producers didn’t manage to give enough reasons for usage of the quad-core processor. The 3G module is far from being a novelty, still having that unit one will not depend on Wi-Fi connection.
The tablet design has no any distinctive features; on the other hand its thin body makes the device look attractive. It is just the body assembly and unpresentable material of the back cover that may spoil impression a little bit. It would be much better if Tab had Gorilla Glass cover as well.
The price of the device together with the 3G module is $400. Whether it is a big or a small price one can understand after comparing to the same offer from competitors. We considered a device as a competitor if it had 3G module and a 7-inch screen with resolution of 1024x600 pixels. So, Huawei MediaPad and Acer Iconia Tab A101 can be considered as the ones.
Huawei MediaPad now costs $370. Its features were compared to Tab 2. The price difference may excuse possible disadvantages.
Acer Iconia Tab A101
Acer Iconia Tab A101 costs $350-370. The device has NVIDIA Tegra 2 basis, on the other hand TN+Film matrix is quite an unpleasant surprise as such configuration is absolutely inappropriate for such an expensive tablet PC.
In general, Tab 2 if not the best, still a very good offer in comparison to competitors.
- High-quality PLS-screen
- Thin body
- Small weight
- Thanks to microSD memory cards the memory volume can be extended
- Productive hardware
- Android 4 with TouchWiz interface
- High-quality back camera
- The screen gets dirty from fingerprints quite soon
- The back cover may get deflected
- The system is not optimized in a proper way
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Screenshots