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?
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
Business or Office: Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync, Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access, Polaris® Office, Video Chat, Cisco WebEx, EAS IT Policy, HW Encryption, Sybase Afaria
Video: 1080p Playback @ 30fps
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!