Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Tablet Upgrade with an Ice Cream Sandwich Finish

As Samsung and Apple slog it out in the courts over what they can and cannot do in their tablets it’s questionable what we as the consumer will get out of this battle of the technological giants. Apple want to protect its dominance of the market and Samsung want to be the best, what does it mean for us? Right now very little but the lack of knowledge when it comes to which tablets Samsung can actually give us, and when they are available.

Samsung have managed to bring one to us though in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 though which is an upgrade to the first tab that gained good critical reviews when it was first released. This upgrade is once again trying to make an impact but it’s going to be hard in a market that is dominated with the likes of the new iPad, Google’s new Nexus 7 and Asus’ Transformer Prime, the Galaxy Tab has to bring something special to the table.

Build
With the upgrade from the first tab, this version is actually thicker than the original, even if the looks are pretty much the same as the first. It’s also slightly heavier but this is not really major. There are a few styling changes such as the bezel around the screen which appears to be wider but other than that and a few differences in button and port placing there is little difference. One thing to note is the new MicroSD slot that has been made available which means the storage can be increased to 32GB which is a welcome addition.

Screen
The screen on the Galaxy Tab 2 is the same as in the first version, so the resolution is again 1280×800 but it’s vibrant and colourful and very reliable. This could arguably said to be a case of if it’s not broken don’t fix it. It definitely looks good when outputting HD.

When comparing it to the iPad of course which has 264ppi pixel density this tablet can’t compare though being only 149ppi. There is of course a noticeable difference here and of course there is no retina display. Other than that this is a quality screen that is probably one of the best on any Android tablet.

Operating System
The Galaxy Tab 2 comes with Ice Cream Sandwich straight out of the box, as we are now moving onto Jellybean it will be hoped that an upgrade will be possible. Ice Cream Sandwich is a slick operating system though and fast, so for now this is nothing to be complained at.

As expected Samsung have stuck its own software onto the tablet, this is known as TouchWiz UI. This gives quick access to things such as email and calendar (S Planner). Ice Cream Sandwich manages to give the Galaxy Tab 2 a more polished feel than the previous tab and is a nice upgrade. It definitely adds to the user experience.

Performance
In performance again Samsung have decided to use the same 1GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM like in the previous version. This is quite a surprise really as this would be a good time to upgrade these stats, especially when cheaper models (such as the Nexus 7) are moving up to quad core processors instead which provides better performance. The Galaxy Tab 2 uses its processor well though and there are no real issues seen with the performance. Just seems a shame this chance was not taken. Battery performance is good though, promising around 7 hours which should last you a day before a recharge is required.

Verdict
The first Galaxy Tab 10.1 was a good performer and gained rave reviews, so of course this one does too. The odd thing though is for a tablet that is now heavier and thicker where the real upgrades are but for the operating system? It’s hard to recommend this to people who already have the first version but it may gain the attention of new users who want a tablet from the Samsung range. It is a good tablet, but not much of an upgrade for a new version. At £299.99/$399.99 this is expensive when others like the Nexus 7 are a lot cheaper and performs just as good, if not better so if Samsung want to keep in the competition they will have to try harder.