After a lot of initial buzz from the MWC 2012, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 went into a strange state of stasis. It didn’t help that there were multiple lawsuits that Samsung had to deal with (primarily owing to Apple accusing Samsung’s entire Galaxy Tab series to be clones of the iPad).
Rumors about Samsung being shaken enough by the new iPad (and hence delaying the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1′s launch) to fit in a quad core processor meant that this tablet would have a long way to go before it saw the light of day.
Finally, Samsung’s slate is finally out to the public, and there has been a decidedly mixed reception to the latest addition to the already massive Galaxy Tab line.
Dana Wollman of Engadget opines that the Galaxy Tab 2 “is a good enough Android 4.0 tablet with a pleasing, lightweight design and decent battery life.” But at a price of $400 (which is exactly the same as the iPad 2), Wollman’s review finds the performance of the Tab 2 rather poor. The ASUS Transformer Pad TF300, for instance, absolutely blows away the Samsung slate in most benchmark tests, and costs a bit cheaper too.
Eliane Fiolet of Ubergizmo compares the Galaxy Tab 2 unfavorably to the Transformer Pad TF300 on almost all counts as well, save build quality. Fiolet does add that the IR blaster in the Galaxy Tab 2 (which helps it act as a remote control for the vast majority of remotely operated electronics) is a nifty feature that the competition fails to provide as well.
David Pierce from The Verge tackles the rather curious pricing of the Galaxy Tab 2 head on. He writes “At $299 or $349, the Tab 2 10.1 could be an incredibly compelling 10-inch tablet, but at $399 it has some solid competition. I’d still recommend the iPad 2 over the Tab 2, because Apple’s tablet app selection is so superior to Android’s.” The camera is another grouse that Pierce shares with most other reviewers: “The Tab 2′s rear-facing 3-megapixel camera doesn’t even take very good pictures in great lighting — every picture is just a little bit too dark and too saturated, and photos are soft enough that it’s hard to tell what’s actually in focus.”
Chris Burns from Slashgear takes a much more liberal approach to the Tab 2 than most other reviewers in his review. His opinion is that the Tab 2 shouldn’t be expected to have the best processor in the market at $400. Instead, it simply needs to be a pocket friendly option for casual tablet users, and according to Burns, it’s not a bad choice at all. He also has a word about one of the most crucial elements of a tablet experience – the battery backup. He says you can use the “…battery for several days if you don’t use it too heavily. Play several full-length videos and you’re looking at more like 8 hours max.” 8 hours is a decent figure compared to the likes of the Toshiba Thrive (which rarely went beyond 4 hours), though, as with the rest of the Tab 2, it certainly isn’t the best battery life out there in the tablet market.
Overall, the general vibe of the reviews selected above, and otherwise suggests that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 tablet is a decent option, but a tad overpriced. Its performance isn’t buttery smooth by any stretch, but Samsung does a good job in integrating its TouchWiz UI into Android 4.0. Familiar problems such as the lack of tablet optimized apps for Android tablets persist, and are hardly in the hands of manufacturers such as Samsung.
The Tab 2 isn’t the best tablet around by any stretch, but it is a decent all-rounder given its price point.