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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 – Small But Almost Perfectly Formed

I decided to buy my own New Year gift this year, in the hope that, once opened, it would end up being something I wanted as opposed to something that the gift-giver thought I wanted. The gift was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 – the 7” Wifi version.

Now before I discuss what’s good about it, I want to share why I chose this one over its competitors:

• Size
• Weight
• Usability
• E-books

Basically I wanted something that had the look and feel of an oversized cell phone, and yet offered more functionality than your average Android hand-held. The Samsung is, so far as I can tell, a little like a pumped up Galaxy Ace (which is my cell phone of choice) only better, in as much as it runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, is slightly larger and, on first inspection looks like it’s much bigger brother.

samsung galaxy tab 2

A General Overview

The default interface is almost identical to that of any of the last few Samsung Android cell phone models, and the same user-friendly settings allow you to quickly personalize it to suit your needs. For me it’s all about accessibility so I made sure that I only have what I need on the front screen, everything else is tucked away in folders. The megatouch screen has proved to be pleasingly responsive, and despite it not being able to boast the retina display of the iPad, it’s hardly something worth bothering about.

Weight wise? Well it comes in at 12oz, which is about the same as a 600 page novel. Speaking from experience you barely notice it and, if you buy a cover that’s styled in the fashion of a book (like I did) then that’s kind of what it feels like when you’re using it – a book, albeit a fairly flat one. And that brings me nicely to its e-reader capabilities. A Kindle it’s not but, to be fair, it’s not a bad substitute.

Having got it out of the box, sorted out the front screen, time, date etc, the next thing I did was download the Kindle app and give it the once over. In direct comparison to the Kindle the app version is never going to win but, in all honesty, it’s unnecessary to hold it to the same light. The app is a simulation, and you need to keep that in mind. In all fairness it’s pretty good, and I certainly can’t pinpoint any one fault.

The screen (7” remember) is the perfect size when it comes to reading books, and despite the fact that the Tab isn’t a dedicated e-reader, it does a pretty good job of acting like one. Your access to the Kindle store is the same as it would be via the Kindle, and it looks and feels almost the same. In short it does the job it was meant to, in as much as you’re reading books on a mini tablet computer rather than a dedicated e-reading device.

In terms of its ability to perform as a tab, the Samsung 2.0 is a user-friendly device. Games, web browsing, music, movies and apps are all at your finger tips. Battery life is satisfying (for what it’s worth, I charge mine every couple of days, or once per 24 hours if I’ve subjected it to heavy use), and the number of apps that you can download/access is impressive.

The Verdict

Bearing in mind that this review is an owner’s perspective, I’d sum up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 as being one of those gadgets that you’ll probably use far more than you anticipated. Ok it doesn’t carry the same branding or idolatry that the iPad enjoys but that doesn’t mean it’s best left on the shelf. For the budget-conscious and the none-followers of fashion, it’s the perfect bridge between blowing the budget and spending wisely.

Or, if you’re like me, it’s a great choice if you love your cell phone but just wanted something that little bit bigger.