Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

This next-generation tablet’s sleek design, reasonable price tag and diverse functionality make it a worthy mobile computing option.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a sleek and comfortable tablet that represents an excellent value for the functionality it delivers. At a cost substantially ­below that of comparable models, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 combines solid performance and stylish looks for an excellent value in a 10-inch Android tablet.

End-User Advantages

Users of all ages will appreciate the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2's light 1.28-pound weight.

The 1280x800 thin-film transistor LCD delivers vivid colors and provides excellent viewing angles that make the tablet easy to use in any orientation. Allowing it to adjust automatically for ambient light yields a display that's bright and clear in any light.

The dual-core, 1-gigahertz ­processor and 1 gigabyte of RAM provide smooth performance when swiping between applications and can easily handle video playback and demanding graphics.

The tablet's battery life is excellent, lasting a full day for all but the most graphically intensive applications. Processing speed is responsive in launching applications and in media recording and playback.

A 3-megapixel rear-facing camera offers reasonable still photography and 1080p full HD recording, while a front-facing VGA camera facilitates video telephony. Audio through the stereo speakers is clear and crisp at low and moderate levels, and the headphone jack provides clear audio at all levels. Finally, 16GB of Secure Digital storage and a MicroSD port provide adequate application and data storage.

Controls are minimized and ­strategically positioned. A docking port on the bottom fits well with the included docking station to provide a tablet that's quite usable even while docked and charging.

The addition of a Bluetooth keyboard makes the Galaxy Tab 2 a very comfortable platform for note taking or other writing-intensive tasks, and should be considered an essential investment if much writing is to be done.

The Galaxy Tab 2 includes many audio and video codecs, as well as several "hub" applications to help users aggregate content. The integrated photo editor app provides easy access to simple editing functions.

Why It Works for IT

The Galaxy Tab 2's low cost and Android 4.0 operating system, which fits well alongside other Android devices in a mobile device management strategy, will appeal to IT administrators. Microsoft Exchange users will appreciate the ActiveSync integration features available through the standard email application, which allow configuration and security ­policies to be pushed to the tablet.

All in all, IT personnel will find the Galaxy Tab 2 to be a solid tablet option capable of performing a wide variety of tasks at a low per-unit cost.

Disadvantages

The silver plastic back is stylish, but slippery, and tends to slide off the lap. The ambient-light sensor struggles to find correct brightness in low light. And the Samsung Apps ­application offers little advantage over Google Play, with some content duplication and no integration in purchasing or billing between them.

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Jun 26 2013

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