The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 the successor to Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced at the Mobile World Congress in February 2012 and was released in May 2012. I have had the wifi-only version of the Tab 2 10.1 for a couple of weeks and I decided to write my experiences with it so far. Mine is the 16GB version.
• 10.1″ 16M-color PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels)
• TI OMAP 4430 chipset: Dual-core 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor; 1GB of RAM; PowerVR SGX540 GPU
• Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz UX UI
• 16GB of built-in memory
• 3.2 MP autofocus camera, 2048×1536 pixels, geotagging
• 2.0 MP front-facing camera; native video calls
• 720p HD video recording @ 30 fps with stereo audio recording
• Stereo speakers
• Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
• Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
• HDMI TV-out (adapter required), USB host (adapter required)
• MicroSD card slot
• Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
• Adobe Flash 11 support
• GPS with A-GPS support; digital compass
• 1080p DivX/XviD/MKV video support with subtitles
• Accelerometer and proximity sensor; three-axis Gyroscope sensor
• Polaris office document editor preinstalled
• 7000 mAh Li-Po battery
• Weighs 581g
In The Box
The sales package contains the Samsung Galaxy Tab, a USB cable with Samsung proprietary 30-pin connector, an outlet connector, a charging head and manuals.
The unit takes a little over four hours to charge fully. Set up is pretty easy and takes less than five minutes, all that is required is to connect the device to a wifi network, enter your Gmail account details, customize region, date and time and you are good to go.
Samsung seems to be of the opinion that people don’t really use their tablets for any serious photographic activity so the Samsung galaxy tab2 10.1 comes with a rear 3.2 MP autofocus camera and a 2.0 MP front facing camera, so don’t expect anything spectacular.
Running on Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 out of the box on a Dual-core 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, it delivers smooth performance with the occasional nano second lags but it is not serious enough to cause any annoyance. The tablet also functions as a USB host, so it is possible to transfer files from my flash drive to and from the tablet with the aid of USB adapter designed for the tablet.
There’s also a dedicated menu to take instant screen shots without the need of any app.
It also handles push email for different service providers.
The front facing speakers deliver crisp and sharp audio with a decent volume. Video playback on the default media player is also great. No complaints here, as it can also play a wide variety of video formats. Watching movies on its 10.1 inch screen is something to look forward to. You can also connect the Tab to your HDMI enabled TV. However, you will have to buy a Samsung HDMI adaptor for that.
The tablet comes with a number of preinstalled apps including Amazon Kindle, AllShare, ChatON, Next Issue (an app for digital magazines), Peel Universal TV Remote, Samsung Gaming and Media Hubs and free 50GB of storage is available via Dropbox for one year.
Since Amazon has refused to open their kindle store to Nigeria, the Kindle app is lying dormant there along with the chat, Next and Samsung media and gaming hubs. I have used the remote control once for my Television and hifi stereo set just to be sure it actually works.
Thanks to Mr Mobility and the others who campaigned for Google to open up their app store to Nigeria, as at the time of publishing this review, I have over 20 paid apps from the Google Play Store paid for with my GTB issued Mastercard. I can basically do anything I want to on my tablet in terms of productivity. If I don’t have the app, I buy it. Seriously speaking, I was awed by the number of apps there. I can safely say there’s app for everything. So google’s Play Store has got you covered there.
Internet and Connectivity
Since this is a wifi only tablet, the only means of accessing the internet is via wifi.
The default browser is a joy to use. It delivers a smooth and fluid browsing experience as kinetic scrolling and pinch zooming work excellently. It supports websites with flash and web pages render properly.
Android’s data guzzling tendencies are well known, so I have taken care of that with a couple of apps. Besides my tablet is wifi only. This means that when I have nothing to do that requires me to be online, I simply switch of the wifi radio.
With its 7000 mAh Li-on battery, this tablet delivers excellent battery life. On a single charge, I have use this tablet for close to two days without charging. I had the wifi on for at least 8 hours every day alongside browsing, document processing and the occasional video and music playback.
One draw back I noticed is that the device takes time to charge and it cant be charged via USB because the USB ports on a computer can’t provide enough power to charge it.
This tablet supports external storage via micro SD of up to 32GB. The external storage was a big selling point to me.
Availability and Pricing
As the timing of writing, no major electronic retailer in Nigeria had this tablet in stock so that makes me one of the few people probably using it in here. It is available for $400 excluding taxes and shipping and I had mine shipped to me. I have no information on the 3G variant.
This tablet works and gets the job done for me. Of course it is not perfect but its imperfections are not deal breakers for me and I can live with them unlike Uncle Steve job’s tablet that make easy tasks very difficult.
We had a conversation about whether or not wifi-only tablets work in Nigeria. Sure, they do. Personally, I don’t miss the 3G version of this. My mifi has solved this problem.