Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Low price. 3G option.

The Bad Average performance and battery life. Dull-looking design. Battery heats up during use. Strong competition.

The Bottom Line Though the core elements of this tablet are fine, there is no compelling reason to choose this tablet over the many others in this fast-growing category.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Design

Do you remember the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 from earlier this year? Or perhaps you're familiar with the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 ? If so, then you've seen the Tab 2 7.0 before. Covered in a gun-metal grey plastic chassis, and with a wide black bezel surrounding its 7-inch touchscreen, the Tab 2 looks just like many of its predecessors. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it isn't an eye-catching design by any stretch of the imagination. The back of the tablet lacks any sort of grip, too, unlike Google's Nexus 7 .

Although Samsung has an excellent reputation for its display technology, it chooses not to use its best panels in the Tab 2. Rather than the same excellent screen we saw on the Tab 7.7, Samsung goes for a PLS LCD panel instead, obviously in an attempt to keep the price low. The screen is serviceable, but not outstanding. It's 1024x600-pixel resolution is a touch low, equating to roughly 170 pixels per inch. In comparison, the Nexus 7 has a 216 pixels-per-inch resolution on a screen of the same size.

As it is with most tablets, the unit is sealed and the battery is not user accessible. It is pretty easy to spot where the battery lives beneath the chassis, though, as it tends to heat up considerably during use. We wouldn't say that it became uncomfortably hot to hold, but it does make your hands sweaty.

User experience and performance

With a range of tablets in its arsenal, Samsung seems to weigh up price and performance, delivering only what you pay for. The Tab 2.0 is the company's cheapest tablet, and, as such, it is among its weakest performers. Powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor, the Tab 2.0 held its own in web-based performance benchmarks, but fell way short of the competition in 3D rendering tests.

Synthetic tests aside, the overall performance of the Tab 2.0 wasn't too bad in everyday use. Most of the heavy-duty games we downloaded and tested ran smoothly enough to be played without frustration. Our biggest performance complaint probably pertains to Samsung's TouchWiz UI, and to some of the resource-hogging widgets that are preloaded on the tablet. Out of the box, there are widgets on display featuring various Samsung software services, and the frame rate when switching between home pages is disappointing. If you remove these widgets, though, the user experience is much smoother. There are other bothersome pauses in the UI; bringing up the keyboard is often slow, and loading databases like Contacts can take a moment.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Part Number: CNETSamsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Typical Price: $299.00

See manufacturer website for availability.