Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Wi-Fi, 16GB) review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Wi-Fi, 16GB)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Outstanding AMOLED display. Good performance. Solid battery life.

The Bad Many connectivity options are absent.

The Bottom Line Don't write off the Galaxy Tab 7.7 because of its smaller screen size. With an AMOLED display and a zippy 1.4GHz processor, the Tab 7.7 is among the best Android tablets around.

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If you ask us, the 7-inch tablet has not received its due. Often unfavourably compared with the standard 10-inch models, 7-inchers are seen as the cheaper, lesser alternative. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a great example of why good things come in small(er) packages.

Design

Like a prop from the movie Honey, I shrunk the kids, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is exactly as you'd expect it to be — just like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 , only smaller. And this is a good thing; smaller means lighter among other things, with the Tab 7.7 weighing in at 340g, or just over half the weight of the Tab 10.1 and the iPad 2. It's also easier to interact with a smaller screen, with the keyboard being more compact and options and icon being closer together.

From the width of the black bezel around the screen to the stainless steel finish on the underside, the 7.7 is instantly recognisable as part of the Galaxy Tab family. The big differences shine through when you power up the unit. Though it's unlikely you'll see the effects of the faster 1.4GHz processor straight away, there is simply no denying the improvement the AMOLED screen technology makes to using a device in this category.

Samsung uses Super AMOLED tech in creating this panel, and it looks gorgeous, with deep blacks and rich colours. In fact, some keen eyes may even say the display looks a touch oversaturated. There is also the same number of pixels in this 7.7-inch display as most other companies use for larger 10-inch screens, giving the Tab 7.7 more pixels per inch and a sharper appearance as a result.

There aren't too many slots or switches around the edge of the Tab 7.7. As with the Tab 10.1, this newer model uses a proprietary port for charging and USB connectivity, and offers owners the option to add more connections, like TV-out, with the use of adapters purchased separately. This is a different approach from most other Android tablet makers, who include micro-USB ports, SD card readers and HDMI-out for connecting to TVs. The Tab 7.7 does have a microSD card slot, however, so you can expand its internal memory.

Compared to

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 BlackBerry PlayBook Acer A100 Samsung Galaxy Tab 7
7.7-inch 800 x 1280 7-inch 600 x 1024 7-inch 600 x 1024 7-inch 600 x 1024
Super AMOLED LCD LCD LCD
Dual-core 1.4GHz Dual-core 1GHz Dual-core 1GHz 1GHz
Proprietary port, microSD Micro USB, micro HDMI microSD, micro HDMI, micro USB Proprietary port

User experience and performance

If you're holding out for a tablet running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, you will have to wait a little longer. The Tab 7.7 ships with Android Honeycomb (3.2), though Samsung has committed to upgrading these units in the near future. As such, the user experience is identical to the Tab 10.1, with the Samsung TouchWiz user interface (UI) subtly adding enhancements to standard Honeycomb UI, but not enough to make it feel much different to other Android tablets available today.

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Where to Buy

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Wi-Fi, 16GB)

Part Number: CNETSamsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Wi-Fi, 16GB)

Typical Price: $534.00

See manufacturer website for availability.