Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) Preview
TouchWiz over Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the name of the game on the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), and in our prototype unit Samsung hadn't skin the stock interface fully yet. Bear in mind that the amount of UI overlay and/or widgets might change in the final version, but for now it seems like a good mix of ICS UI and Samsung's own custom touches, like the Game, Music and Readers “Hubs”, plus some proprietary apps sprinkle, and additional connectivity toggles in the notification area. The Mini Apps drawer for fast launch was missing from our prototype, but it was on the unit we played with at the MWC, so it's a fair bet it will be present in the final edition. The app launcher is unchanged, but it sports icons for proprietary Samsung apps like the Hubs, file browser, and photo and video editors.
The Contacts app syncs with your Google account as well as with your social networking buddies, and, since the tablet has a version with a SIM card slot, you can carry conversations with them over the cellular networks.
One of the most useful proprietary apps from Samsung that will be on this tablet is the Pen memo app. The Tab 2 (10.1) is not equipped with a stylus, but it still allows you to doodle with your finger, choosing a variety of pen/brush sizes and colors. The S Planner is a souped-up version of the default calendar in ICS, offering you to select a day in the month view and all events scheduled for it will appear at the bottom.
The Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) is powered by a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor and has 1GB of RAM, so the final UI should be smooth sailing, but we'll spare judgment for the review unit.
Since we have a Texas Instruments processor inside, the GPU is listed as PowerVR SGX540, the same one we have in the Galaxy Nexus, and a step away from the ARM Mali GPU units Samsung uses in its Exynos processor line. TI's OMAP family was chosen as the banner processor for Android Ice Cream Sandwich, so it has obviously been easier for Samsung to just slap what it's already worked on.
Internet and Connectivity:
The browser is your standard Android fare on a dual-core processor, meaning quick rendering of Adobe Flash and various scripts quickly. Page navigation like pinch-to-zoom, double tap, scrolling and panning around was very smooth, even on our prototype.
You can now open tabs in Incognito mode and there are dedicated brightness/contrast presets from within the browser settings you can choose with one tap, based on the level of power saving you want to achieve.
The Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) has a version with a SIM card slot and 21Mbps download speeds, and also sports the usual plethora of connectivity options we've come to expect from Samsung, like Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, FM Radio and DLNA media streaming, which is managed by the AllShare app.
The 3MP camera on the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) is capable of shooting HD video, and has a variety of scene modes and effects you can apply to the picture-taking experience, like Smile Shot and Panorama mode. We are embedding some photo and video samples below as a rough guide what you can expect from the final unit.
There are proprietary Samsung apps for photo and video editing – Photo Studio and Movie Maker – which sport a ton of features and effects for some on-the-fly editing.
The music player has plenty of functions attached to it, including equalizer presets and mock surround sound modes. The two speakers flanking the screen are strong enough for good volume output and don't overly distort the sound even when maxed out.
Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) is not it. Despite that the “2” implies an upgrade, it is actually inferior to the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 in certain aspects, so its main advantage remains Android ICS.
It, however, shapes up to be a very capable workhorse, one that will burn through your daily routine like Internet browsing with full Adobe Flash support and watching DivX/Xvid movies right out of the box. Plus, it has a hearty 7000mAh battery, so it should be serving those videos or web pages to your eyeballs for many hours on end.
That is what most users require from their Android slates, and, while the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) might not wow you with more premium build materials or a high-res display, it will certainly get the job done pretty well, and you can't request much more from an affordable Ice Cream Sandwich tablet.
The price will thus be what will ultimately make or break the Tab 2 (10.1), and we are eagerly awaiting for Samsung to give more details on it to gauge if its new 10-incher stands a chance in the ocean of Android slates.
8. Knicknevin (Posts: 135; Member since: 18 Mar 2011)
so what exactly was the upgrade here from the original 10.1? I have the 10.1 and this seems to be nearly the exact same tablet, maybe a slight upg in processor....
Wait, it has expandable storage...and a lower res front camera.
It seems like this tablet is going to provide just a larger margin for them than the original 10.1.
10. matrix_neo (Posts: 307; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
Wow 9 thumbs down samsung offering this tab to the masses so that they can afford to buy a tablet. At least samsung has a concern to customers that having a tablet should not be expensive. Why you spend your money to overpriced tablet which both of them can offer the same usefullness and performance.
Just wait also for samsung to release its hi spec tablet that apple for sure will sue it... again!!
2. imkyle (Posts: 979; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
I'm pretty surprised Samsung didn't put a Full HD screen and an upgraded processor... TI is pretty good, but with Snapdragon S4's and Nvidia's quad core this year.. will this have a chance?
4. 2pe_2pe (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)
this is supposed to be an affordable version of Galaxy Tab 10.1, should have been given the name Galaxy Tab 10.1 lite rather than Tab 10.1 (2) in order to avoid misconceptions that this thing here is an upgrade which it's not.
5. c.hack (Posts: 492; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)
Same old low res junk. Might as well buy a refurb Xoom and save a few hundred $$.
Android is becoming the ghetto of the tablet market.
7. cgyspy (Posts: 13; Member since: 25 Jan 2012)
And the Ipad is becoming the "Wall Street" of the tablet market.
9. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
this isnt ment to be their flagship tablet of the year. They said they will show that off at their private event where they are also expected to show the SGS3. I wouldnt be surprised if this was meant to go after the asus transformer more than the ipad. its still an upgrade from the tegra2 sporting tablet as the OMAP is slightly more capable and the PowerVR GPU is much more capable, and who really uses those cameras anyways?
ya cant really say that the "new ipad" is a justified upgrade if this isnt.. its pretty much the same minor upgrades in the same areas other than the super high res screen.
11. rudlie (Posts: 182; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
this is a crap. samsung release new product but there is no significant upgrade. same processor, same disp&resolution, same camera, all the same. the big bonus is u will get extra thicker body. new ipad only got 0.6mm thicker and at G tab 2 u will see 1.1mm thicker and I think samsung to charge u more expensive. I rather choose new ipad.
12. samboycott (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)
The tablets indutry ismoving to combine up with the smartphone industry and bring out something new. Like the windows phone qualifies for both, as a tablet and as a phone.
Google plans to move away from Samsung
Google is receiving millions of issues related to Samsung phones every day, so they have decided to move out of Samsung, then obviously they won’t support the android phones from Samsung anymore.
It is better to learn before time.
Windows is running the latest trends smartphones and also very popular.
Windows phones from Nokia are the rapid sold handsets all over the world. Nokia has launched the windows Lumia phones at various range for better availability to users.
Grab your Windows phone or smartphone now