CNET First Look
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0: A full Android experience for $250Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 offers expandable memory, dual cameras, and a full Android experience for only $2
Glad to see that the tablet market has shown that is important, premium tablets like the iPad or the Transformer Prime but also low-end tablets like the Kindle Fire as well and it's great that Samsung is getting in on that low-end action with the $250 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. Hi. I'm Eric Franklin and today, I'll be taking a First Look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The Tab 2 gives you a full Ice Cream Sandwich experience with Samsung's TouchWiz UI layered on top of it. Unlike most budget tablets though, you do get a few extras. You get dual cameras, an option to expand your storage by up to 32 gigabytes in addition to the 8 gigabytes that are built-in. You also get an IR Blaster that allows you to turn your tablet into a smart remote control. Design-wise, the Tab 2 looks and feels a lot like the thin, light and comfortable 7.0 plus review last year. There are a few differences however. The front camera is now VGA instead of 2 megapixel. You can definitely see the difference in quality. The back camera is still 3 megapixel but looses the LED light and honestly it takes some pretty crappy pictures. The processor has also been downgraded from 1.2 GHz to 1 GHz and while you probably won't notice a difference when you are swiping through windows or navigating the OS or even launching apps really, you will notice a difference when you are surfing the web or playing games. In 3D pilotival games like Rip Type GP, we did notice that the frame rate was lower than on the 7.0 plus. Although the Tab 2.0 did deliver consistent frame rates in 3D pilotival games, getting up to maybe 25 to 30 frames per second. We did notice that the 7.0 plus delivered higher frame rates. That one got up to maybe around 60 frames per second and the difference was noticeable. Battery life under normal use seem to drain quicker than most other 7-inch tablets I've tested. So should you go for the Tab 2 7.0 or the $300 Kindle Fire? The Tab 2 is $50 more than the Kindle Fire. It doesn't have full support for the Kindle Fire's impressive content ecosystem. On the Tab 2, books, magazines and newspapers are accessible via the Kindle app and you can stream or download Amazon's Cloud music but "Free Amazon Prime books" aren't available nor is in the Amazon Video content. Still it might be worth the trade off for Amazon fans who want to take advantage of the Tab 2's expandable memory and dual cameras. For an extra $50 is not really a bad deal. There's something to be said about convenience though and the Kindle Fire does convenience really well. You can easily sync all your movies and music and books without having to worry about multiple apps and logging in multiple times. It's windows and tangibles that you don't really see the advantage of on paper but once you've reset your tablet multiple times, it's something that you quickly learn to appreciate. The Fire is a gentler introduction to the world of tablets that's relatively safe to control and convenient. If that's important to you and you don't care about cameras or expandable memory, you may wanna go that way. But if you don't mind paying a little extra money and you are open to a more complex experience that you can ultimately do more with anyway, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 should serve your needs. Once again, I'm Eric Franklin and this has been the First Look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.