The 10-inch form factor is the corridors of power in tablet terms, but the ones that won't turn your wallet inside out are hard to come by. In the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Samsung seem to have a reasonably-spec'd Android tablet, which might be the answer to that particular problem.
The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 builds on the company's tablet know-how and launches with Google's latest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Here are the Specifications Of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1:
- Dimension: 256.6 x 175.3 x 9.7 mm
- Display: 16M-color 10.1" PLS LCD capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels)
- OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, TouchWiz UI
- Chipset: 1 GHz dual-core processor
- Camera: 3.2 MP autofocus camera with 1080p video recording; VGA front-facing camera
- Memory: 16/32GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via a microSD card slot
- Connectivity: Voice and data connectivity with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and quad-band (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) UMTS, 21 Mbps HSDPA and HSUPA 5.76 Mbps support, video calls, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Assisted GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 30-pin connector
- Battery: 7,000mAh
- Gyro sensor, accelerometer sensor for automatic UI rotation, ambient light sensor, Adobe Flash Player 11 support, DivX/XviD support, TV-out (adapter required), USB host (via an adapter)
If you were expecting the Tab 2 10.1 to take charge of Samsung's Android tablet lineup, you'd probably be disappointed, but there's little to cast doubt on its ability to handle daily tasks with ease.
Samsung have also enabled 1080p video recording (like in the Tab 2 7.0), but photography on a tablet shouldn't be a priority.
Things like web browsing, watching videos, gaming and document editing are well within its reach, the only area where the Tab 2 10.1 is likely to fall short is high-end gaming.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It's the most common choice for 10-inch tablets.
The screen is pretty impressive - viewing angles are very good (although there's a noticeable blue tint when viewed at an angle) and the blacks look reasonably deep.
Pixel density is less. Its about 149ppi, but big tablets like the Tab 2 10.1 are viewed at a bigger distance than phones, so it's not much of an issue really.
There's no earpiece (like on the 7" Galaxy tablets), so you can put the tablet up to your ear and use it as a phone, but loudspeaker mode or a headset (wired or wireless) would make a lot more sense anyway.
The two speakers are on either side of that port. You have to be careful not to place your palms over the speakers when you hold the tablet landscape.
The microphone is at the bottom and you are warned upon launch of the camcorder app against covering the microphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is powered by a 7000 mAh Li-Ion battery. There are no official quotes on battery life yet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 can easily be held in one hand and will slip into a coat pocket or a purse. The curved back doesn't hide the 10.5mm thickness too well, but makes it easier on your hands when holding the tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box and some useful pre-loaded apps, with TouchWiz supplying a familiar set of interface customizations.
Ice Cream Sandwich:
Here is a video demo of the user interface in action.
The Ice Cream Sandwich interface is similar to Honeycomb, so you'll feel right at home if you're upgrading from an Android 3.x tablet.
Despite its size, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 features full voice-call support. It will even do 3G video calls with the front-facing VGA camera.
You could (and should) use the loudspeaker or a headset to make your calls. Picking a contact to call is fairly easy - you have smart dial, a call log if you need to call someone back and Favourites, which display large tiles with the photos of your favourite contacts. Voice dialling is enabled too.
The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 comes with two email applications out of the box - one for your Gmail and one to use with any POP3/IMAP account.
Bulk actions are supported too, so you will easily manage mailboxes that get lots of traffic.
You can set up the automatic email retrieval interval or you can disable that completely and check mail manually. There's also a handy setting that makes your client automatically download attachments only when you are connected over Wi-Fi.
Writing emails is reasonably comfortable with the virtual QWERTY keyboard taking about half of the screen. The tablet is too big for the landscape keyboard to be used comfortably (your hands have to hover over the screen), but if hold it vertically, you can type easily with two thumbs.
There's auto correction and auto capitalization available and you can enable sounds on key presses. There's haptic feedback too - the slate vibrates exactly where you've tapped.
Camera And Video (3.15 megapixel camera and 720p video):
A 3.15 megapixel main camera that shoots 720p videos and a VGA megapixel front-facing snapper (with VGA video) is what you get with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Provided that tablets aren't the most photography-friendly devices, it's probably as much as you are going to need anyway.
Anyway, the two cameras are mostly there to cater for video-chatting and some augmented reality apps or games and the possibility to snap a thing or two as a reminder comes as a welcome bonus.
The web browser on Android has always been excellent and the Ice Cream Sandwich version is no exception. Its interface has been revamped to better fit the new ICS layout and the tablet form factor.
Tabs are available at the top of the screen, so switching between them and closing unneeded ones is very easy. In the top right corner, you'll find the an extended settings button, which brings out cool features like Find on page, Desktop view, Save for offline reading and several others.
The browser has a new trick too, one which it learned from its desktop sibling, Chrome. When searching for something, if the browser is confident you'll click on a certain search result (and with Google's algorithms there's a good chance you will), it will start preloading that page right away so that it opens faster if you do click it. You can set this to work only over Wi-Fi or turn it off completely.
Another trick the Android browser snatched from Chrome is the Incognito mode - there's no global setting, but you can open Incognito tabs.
If you don't like this desktop-like interface, you can enable Quick controls from the Labs settings, which reveal many controls (Tabs, URL, Reload, History, etc.) when you slide your finger in from the side.
Galaxy Tab 10.1, was the dawn of Android tablets, and will get you from A to B at comfortable cruising speed.
The Tab 2 10.1 doesn't seem like the gadget for people who already have a 10-inch tablet. If you're about to get your first tablet, or looking to upgrade to a bigger screen, the Tab 2 10.1 starts making sense.
The screen looks good, you get voice and data connectivity (plus video calling) and the tablet should have enough power to handle daily tasks.