Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 review

2 Mar 2012

A terrific tablet, with a great screen and all the features you could ask for, packed into an elegantly compact frame

Price when reviewed 
480
Buy it now for 
5

When Samsung revealed its 7.7in tablet at IFA, it looked like a sterile exercise in gap-plugging. In the flesh, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a revelation. At 6mm thick and weighing only 340g, it’s small and light enough to carry around one-handed, yet large enough to make a comfortable web browser or ebook reader.

Despite its size, the screen offers a sharp 1,280 x 800 resolution – higher than many 10.1in tablets, including Samsung’s own. A measured brightness of 200cd/m[sup]2[/sup] might sound unremarkable, but thanks to the perfect contrast of a Super AMOLED Plus panel, it looks vivid and punchy even in broad daylight, with eye-socking colour reproduction. A tastefully narrow bezel completes the appearance of a flagship product – and with its sturdy metal back, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 feels like one too.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

The only real disappointment in the Galaxy Tab 7.7’s headline spec is its reliance on last year’s version of Android. Honeycomb doesn’t lack any major features, but its performance can be jerky and uneven as you swipe between homescreens and scroll through web pages. A forthcoming free upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich should smooth things out, but no date has been set for release.

Samsung extensions

On top of Honeycomb, Samsung has installed its TouchWiz UX extensions. These bring a few nifty features, including the ability to synchronise music and content via Wi-Fi (using Samsung’s proprietary Kies package), and quick access to common settings via the notification area at the bottom right of the screen. There are various market-type "Hubs" too, for downloading games, music and ebooks. The Swype input method lets you enter text by simply sliding a finger over a virtual keyboard, and it works well at this size.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 - TouchWiz UX

Other preinstalled features are more hit and miss. Motion control lets you navigate and zoom by tilting the device, and adaptive brightness conserves battery life by dynamically dimming the backlight when displaying bright content. Both feel gimmicky to us, but you can easily turn them off.

Samsung also adds its Mini App Tray to the taskbar, providing instant access to seven custom widgets (including a task manager, notepad, calculator and music player) from anywhere in the system. It’s fine, but not as useful as it could be, as you can’t switch out the preset apps for shortcuts of your choice.

Internals and battery life

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 may be small, but its performance is on par with the best of the full-sized tablets. Thanks to a 1.4GHz dual-core ARM-A9 based Exynos processor, it scored 3,803 in the Quadrant benchmark, and completed the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark in 1,940ms – a mere 100ms behind the iPad 2. It fared similarly in the BrowserMark test, with a very respectable score of 89,775. (For comparison, the 5.3in Galaxy Note scored 59,473.)

Detail

Price ex VAT £400
Price inc VAT £480 from www.expansys.com
Warranty 2 yr return to base
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 3

Physical

Dimensions 133 x 6 x 197mm (WDH)
Weight 340g

Display

Primary keyboard Physical
Screen size 7.7in
Resolution screen horizontal 800
Resolution screen vertical 1,280
Display type Super AMOLED Plus
Panel technology Super AMOLED Plus

Battery

Battery capacity 5,100mAh

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 1MHz
Integrated memory 16,384.0GB
RAM capacity 1MB

Camera

Camera megapixel rating 3.0mp
Focus type autofocus
Built-in flash? yes
Built-in flash type LED
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Other

WiFi standard 802.11n
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes
Accessories supplied In-ear headphones

Software

Mobile operating system Android 3.2

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