Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars 17 user reviews

The Good Gloriously deep blacks and superbright colours; thinnest small tablet yet; expandable memory; impressive games performance; infrared sensor.

The Bad High price; no HDMI or USB port; not running Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Bottom Line The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 delivers a beautiful screen and fast performance but it's over-priced in the US, which doesn't bode well for its UK release.

7.5 Overall

This review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is based on the laudable opinions of our sister site CNET.com's Eric Franklin, who awarded it 3.5 stars. As we sit here twiddling our thumbs over a tablet-shaped air hole, idly waiting for a stork to drop off a Tab at CNET UK's HQ, we've summed up Eric's findings below and updated our own preview from when we went hands-on with the Tab in September 2011.

As and when we get to spark up a Tab here in London, we'll give our own take on this techie treat. If we've been shinily happily reviewing it alongside the sun-soaked Thames, or if the capital's mired in gloom and we're feeling particularly mean-spirited, we'll update the score accordingly.

We were huge fans of the first Samsung Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch Android tablet. But there was one fly in the ointment -- the Tab was running the outdated Android version 2.2, which was built for mobile phones. Now Samsung is back with a tablet that brings the portability of a smaller slate, with a proper -- if not the latest -- tablet operating system. But is it good enough to challenge the dominance of the new iPad?

Design and build

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is one of the slimmest things we've ever seen. Turning it sideways you'd be forgiven for thinking it had disappeared into the space between atoms -- it measures an iPad 2-beating 7.9mm across. It's astonishingly light too, at 335g, so if you throw it in a rucksack or handbag and you'll quickly forget it's there.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ports
Here's the SIM and microSD slots.

Underneath the screen there's a single home button that zaps you back to the Tab 7.7's home screen, and the back is furnished with an extremely smart brushed metal finish, that we think easily beats the first Tab's rounded plastic rear.

Nestled in the top there's a 3-megapixel camera, which might not sound very powerful, but we suspect it's been chosen to save on space. On the front there's a 2-megapixel camera, for subjecting your video-call victims to a clear shot up your nostrils.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is thin
Look how thin it is! This is what 7.9mm looks like.

For a small tablet, it's able to produce audio with surprising bass grunt, with two speakers situated on the bottom alongside a microSD card slot and a SIM slot, delivering high volumes with no discernible distortion.

Also packed into the wee frame is an ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer and digital compass. Alas, there's no HDMI port, so if you want to play video from your tablet on your TV, you'll need to buy an adaptor.

Screen

The display looks absolutely brilliant -- it stands toe-to-toe with the new iPad's much-hyped retina screen. This is Super AMOLED Plus tech, which is the same as employed in the gorgeous Samsung Galaxy S2 smart phone. It's eyeball-searingly colourful and looks extremely striking. The screen has a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels, which is sharp enough to keep your photos and hi-res video looking good.

In fact, it delivers the highest contrast ratio that CNET has yet seen on a tablet screen, with deep black levels and higher perceived brightness than regular LED displays. It's the most impressive-looking Android tablet screen out there, even if it doesn't quite trump the new iPad.

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