Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 – A Review

When I was growing up, if you were getting a tablet, you were getting paper. Computers weren’t in practically every household, and phones had cords.  There were only VHS videos, and if you missed a TV show, tough. The difference between then and now is mind-boggling. We just got our new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 from Staples.com. You can do more with this sleek little tablet than you could with my first computer – actually, my first two or three computers, lol. Commodore 64 ring a bell? 

 

 

 

 

These days, more people than not are tech-savvy, so some of the things I’ll address here might be pretty basic to you. But let’s assume that we have some novice gadget-users reading this (um, kinda like me) and take it from there. Powered by Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, this tablet has a seven-inch display, making it plenty big enough for reading, viewing, or whatever else you might want to do on it—and with a flick of your fingers, you can zoom in or out if you want to adjust the size of what you’re displaying.The images and media are bright and sharp. Ours is the 8 GB model, but it also comes in 4 GB and 16 GB, with additional memory available through the microSD card slot.  Its picture-taking capabilities are better than my old camera. Not brilliant, but very adequate. It has a front-facing camera for video chat and a rear-facing camera for taking regular pictures and video.

 

Here is a picture of a picture of Lucy taken with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Here is a picture of a picture of Lucy taken with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

 

The back of the tablet. Rear Facing camera is on upper left.

The back of the tablet. Rear Facing camera is on upper left.

 

 

You can also use voice commands using the built-in microphone, and there is a video tutorial to show you how to set it up. Also, the speaker volume is pretty good for such a compact device. Of course, you can always plug in some headphones or speakers if you want.

A lot of touchscreens are imprecise and either too sensitive or not sensitive enough—you can spend five minutes just trying to click that one little button onscreen. Not so with this one; it has just the right amount of sensitivity. 

 

The personalization options are really nice. You can change the size and type of the font, you can choose how long it takes for the screensaver to kick on, you can choose whether or not you want the screen to flip automatically when you turn it on its side or upside down—you can adjust pretty much anything, any way you like it.

 

So hub is browsing the Samsung Apps. And there are over 450,000 to choose from! It looks like we have Sonic CD Lite, about 20 ebooks, an expense planner, a mini piano and who knows what else so far. This is like shopping via remote control for hubs. “Hey, this looks cool.” Tap. “Got it.”  “Hey, this looks cool.” Tap. “Got it.”  And on and on it goes.

 

And ironically enough, with the  Smart Remote app you can turn your Galaxy Tab 2 into a universal remote control. So you can control all of your stuff – your TV, cable box,  Blu-ray and DVR, whatever – from your SGT2. Hub also informs me that the Smart Remote will learn about what you like and you’ll get personalized recommendations. Find a show, click  “watch”  and never see your husband again  it switches automatically.

 

Another husband stealer (are we seeing a theme here??) is AllShare, with  IR blaster built right in, which is Samsung’s content-sharing service. With it you can wirelessly stream multimedia content from your tablet to your TV (or another DLNA-enabled device)  Don’t worry if you have to leave the room, because Smart View allows you to wireless stream what’s on your Samsung Smart TV to your Galaxy Tab 2.

 

Misc observations, 4 days in. 

 With the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, you can connect up just about any standard Bluetooth keyboard, which is great b/c I don’t love on-screen typing.  Wi-fi seems to be working great everywhere in our house with no dead spots- even laying in bed with it propped against my pillow – yeah, I could be watching the tv or using my laptop, but the small profile doesn’t light up the room and disturb hub like those do. I’m not sure what will happen when I take it somewhere- we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve read conflicting reports about battery life. We are pretty okay- about 8+ hours of  pretty heavy use takes us down to about 8% to 10%  battery life and then it drops fast. But it charges pretty quickly; we just plug it in at night. Not too bad, IMHO. The memory space is good for most things, but it can fill up pretty fast. An SD card for storage is pretty much mandatory if you’re planning on taking lots of pics or video.

After playing games, reading books, watching movies, browsing the web, trying out apps, and taking pictures of the dogs’ noses and dead spiders, the whole family loves this tablet. So much bang for your buck. There is great value for the money in this – at only $249.00, I don’t see how you can go wrong. Do I have any cons? Just one. Sometimes, depending on how you hold the GST2, you can inadvertently muffle the sound, but I’m not sure where else/how else they could have done the speakers so that’s really just nit-pickiness on my part. But yeah, it bugs me. Oh, and I have noticed that running more than 2 or 3 things (apps) at a time can cause a skip/lag. Irritating, but not a deal breaker. So, I guess that’s 2 things. On a scale from 1 to 10, I give this a 9 – based on the way we are using it, it’s great. We  have come a long way since floppy discs, people. 

 

For those of you who want techy type specs:

Dual-core processor, Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich

Internal 8GB; External MicroSD card slot supports up to 32GB

Resolution 1024 x 600

Display Type: TFT (provides the best LCD flat panel display)

Wireless Internet WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct

Camera: 3MP rear-facing, VGA front-facing

Bluetooth V3.0

Business or Office: Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync, Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access, Polaris® Office, Video Chat, Cisco WebEx, EAS IT Policy, HW Encryption, Sybase Afaria

GPS

Video: 1080p Playback @ 30fps

Stereo Speakers

USB 2.0 Host

Battery Type: Li-Polymer, Battery Capacity: 4,000mAh

Dimensions: 7.6″ H x 4.8″ W x .41″ D; .76 lbs

1 year limited warranty

 A very big thank you to Staples.com for sending me the Samsung Galaxy Tab2 to review!

Comments

  1. HA! The VHS player – we even had a BetaMax and the remote to our first VCR had a cord!

    This tablet looks very functional, I’m not an Android user but could be tempted by the low price point!

  2. I like seeing reviews on the mainstream Android tablets. I’ll probably never be able to afford the Apple counterpart but these are definitely in my price range. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Melanie Schemanski says:

    Wow!! I am not sure I would even know how to begin operating these! I do remember the Comodore 64!! My phone is android, so this would be something I would like to try out..

  4. Aw, you got one of these!! They’re so cool – I want one so bad! Awesome review!

  5. We had a Commodore 64 and 128! This would make a good present for my wife. She has been looking at these for quite a while, originally wanting just a book reader, then it steamrolled into one of these!

  6. Sounds like a very nice item to have! I am not sure if it would be mine of my husbands. lol We have to share the laptop for my work and his games. lol

    Thanks for the info, you gave me something to think about :)

  7. I love the size of it!

  8. I really want one of these. I have a laptop but I want something a little more portable, especially when I am waiting at the doctor’s office or when I take my cousin to chemo. We are there for hours with not much to do. This would be perfect thing for us to take when we are on the go.

  9. This is a great little tablet for the price! Thanks for all of the infomation!

  10. Kellie Conklin says:

    Thanks for the great in-depth review! I’m considering a tablet and there are so many options. I love that there is a front facing camera and it’s so cool that you can use it as a universal remote! That would be a lifesaver when we are searching for our remote :)

  11. Richard Hicks says:

    this is a nice review. I have been thinking about getting a tablet but hesitating. Like this one a lot as it has a fast processor

  12. This looks like a nice tablet. They seem so functional and easier to travel with than taking a lap top. I enjoyed your review.

  13. wow this looks so cool. Now I am torn between this or an ipad.

  14. I love that this is run on Android, my Samsung phone is as well and I love the operating system

  15. Great review :)

  16. I would love this! A very thorough review!

  17. Wow! It sounds like a great product. I think it’s a great idea for a Christmas gift for my husband ;-). Thanks for a great review.

  18. it looks cool and all, but i am an apple girl