Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: A So-So Tablet That Would've Been Really Cool A Year Ago [REVIEW]

galaxy tab 10.1 home screen with apps

Photo: Kevin Smith, Business Insider

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 line now comes in two flavours. There’s the 7-inch model, which we think is a better than the Kindle Fire if you’re looking for a budget tablet.Now we have its big brother, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

It’s very similar in design to its pocket-sized, sibling but that extra three inches gives more room for browsing the web, emailing, taking/viewing photos, and more.

This Galaxy Tab serves up Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, giving you all the latest features and much more control over how you interact with the device.

The Galaxy Tab 2 is Wi-Fi only, a bummer for 4G LTE fanatics. At times when testing the unit I wished that 3G or LTE was available because I had a little trouble holding a steady Wi-Fi connection. The problem was solved after I switched to a different network, but my iPad had no problems holding a signal on the initial network.

The Galaxy Tab’s native browser offers Adobe flash support, tabbed browsing, incognito windows, and it was also nice to have the option of downloading popular browsers on the device. However, I suggest using Google Chrome as your default browser. It syncs to your Google account and works just as if you were on a PC.

At the end of the day though, the Galaxy Tab 2 feels like its competing with the iPad 2, not the new iPad. But Android lovers will still get a kick out of it.

The tablet is a nice size, measuring in at 10.1 inches across.

The backing is comfortable in your hands and feels smooth. Despite this, it is still a little slippery so a firm grip is needed.

The Tab measures in at .38 inches thin and weighs 1.28 lbs.

3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot.

That small black bar in the middle is the IR blaster. You can use this to control your Samsung Smart TV or non-Samsung TV using the Peel app. There's also a 3.0 MP camera on the back.

VGA front-facing camera.

Samsung uses a dock connector similar to the one on the iPad.

The lock screen. You can slide to unlock, anywhere.

The home screen full of apps.

One of the home screens, they are completely customisable. Tapping the weather app...

...opens it up full screen with detailed information and a nice graphic.

Multitasking at the tap of a button. It shows all of the recently used apps and allows access to the task manager. Task manager allows you to take back control of your tablet and see which apps are memory hogs and which are active.

Samsung has widgets that float on top of your screen or current app.

More widgets on a different home screen.

The email app. It was simple to use and pretty intuitive.

The maps app. It offered many layers including traffic, a subway overlay, and more. GPS was awesome and even guided you with walking directions if you requested it.

The camera app. Despite it being just 3.0 MP, it still got the job done.

A photo from the 13th floor of Business Insider HQ.

The Netflix app was beautiful and really took advantage of the high-resolution screen. HD quality video showed nicely.

The Dropbox app screen.

Verdict: Should You Buy It?

Let's get this out of the way first, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is not an iPad, but it's certainly on par with the iPad 2. If you're considering an iPad 2 take the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for a test drive and see how you like it first.

If you want an Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will give you one of the best experiences out there. Ice Cream Sandwich is packed with a ton of customisable features and options that allow you to truly make it unique and personal.

My entire experience was smooth and I didn't encounter any software glitches or hangups. I did have a bit of trouble when using the GPS because it took forever for the device to locate me. But that's the extent of issues I had.

I think this is a very formidable tablet packed with first-class features and the friendly price of $399 certainly makes it worth you consideration.

Now read about its little brother...

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