Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) review

29 May 2012

Not the most luxurious of tablets, but strikes a good balance between performance, price and usability

Price when reviewed: 
199(£199)more
Buy it now for 
5

Normally it takes something pretty special to get us really excited at PC Pro: a new display technology, a significant step forward in integrated graphics, or a dramatic update to a staid operating system.

With that in mind, you might think the diminutive Samsung Galaxy Tab would come pretty low down the list, but that's far from the case. Samsung's new baby is breakthrough product: the first Android tablet from a big name manufacturer to launch in the UK at under £200, and we're very excited about it indeed.

And the good news is that, as well as being very cheap, the Tab 2 7.0 is also very usable. That's largely thanks to the combination of dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4, which results in hesitation-free menu and homescreen navigation, and fluid web browsing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)

It's the same processor, in fact, as in our favourite compact tablet, the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition, (although clocked 17% slower), and it's accompanied by the same PowerVR SGX540 GPU. Angry Birds Space was perfectly playable on it, as was the demanding Shadowgun, but we didn't experience perfectly smooth frame rates.

In performance tests, the results give substance to those impressions, with the Tab completing the SunSpider JavaScript test in 2,235ms and a gaining a respectable score of 2,790 in Quadrant.

With a tablet, overall usability is as much about the screen as CPU grunt, though, and here the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) scores another hit. It’s an area in which cheap tablets typically struggle, with their displays afflicted by poor viewing angles and low brightness.

The Tab 2 (7.0)’s plane-to-line switching (PLS) display bats such concerns effortlessly aside, recording a top brightness of 387cd/m[sup]2[/sup] and a contrast ratio of 968:1. Viewing angles, meanwhile, are fine, with colours hardly changing as you shift position horizontally and vertically. It’s a perfectly competent display.

Detail

Price ex VAT £166
Price inc VAT £199
Warranty 1 yr return to base
Overall rating 5
Performance 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 6

Physical

Dimensions 122 x 10.7 x 193mm (WDH)
Weight 340g

Display

Primary keyboard On-screen
Screen size 7.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 600
Resolution screen vertical 1,024
Display type Multitouch, capacitive
Panel technology PLS

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 1,000MHz
Integrated memory 8.0GB
RAM capacity 1,000MB

Camera

Camera megapixel rating 3.2mp
Focus type Autofocus
Built-in flash? no
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Other

WiFi standard 802.11n
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes
Accessories supplied Mains charger, USB cable
Upstream USB ports 0
HDMI output? no
Video/TV output? no

Software

Mobile operating system Android 4.0.3

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£102
£158
£300