Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) review
Normally it takes something pretty special to get us really excited at PC Pro: a new display technology, a significant step forward in integrated graphics, or a dramatic update to a staid operating system.
With that in mind, you might think the diminutive Samsung Galaxy Tab would come pretty low down the list, but that's far from the case. Samsung's new baby is breakthrough product: the first Android tablet from a big name manufacturer to launch in the UK at under £200, and we're very excited about it indeed.
And the good news is that, as well as being very cheap, the Tab 2 7.0 is also very usable. That's largely thanks to the combination of dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4, which results in hesitation-free menu and homescreen navigation, and fluid web browsing.
It's the same processor, in fact, as in our favourite compact tablet, the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition, (although clocked 17% slower), and it's accompanied by the same PowerVR SGX540 GPU. Angry Birds Space was perfectly playable on it, as was the demanding Shadowgun, but we didn't experience perfectly smooth frame rates.
With a tablet, overall usability is as much about the screen as CPU grunt, though, and here the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) scores another hit. It’s an area in which cheap tablets typically struggle, with their displays afflicted by poor viewing angles and low brightness.
The Tab 2 (7.0)’s plane-to-line switching (PLS) display bats such concerns effortlessly aside, recording a top brightness of 387cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 968:1. Viewing angles, meanwhile, are fine, with colours hardly changing as you shift position horizontally and vertically. It’s a perfectly competent display.