Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Review: A Portable Entertainment Center

The last few years have seen a convergence of technologies. Manufacturers and developers have made repeated efforts to streamline our media consumption. These efforts have included building phones with HDMI ports, selling dedicated set-top boxes for television streaming, and all-purpose cloud solutions. None of these have really managed to hit the mark, though, and that’s what makes the [easyazon-link asin=”B007P4VOWC” locale=”us”]Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)[/easyazon-link] such a remarkable device.


There’s a lot to take away from the Tab 2 as soon as it comes out of the box. It’s a fantastic-looking device, for starters. The seven-inch form factor is large enough to use at home, but also small enough to comfortably be taken out into the world. It’s roughly the same size and shape as the Kindle Fire, but the subtle curves and elegant component placement make it much more attractive to look at. Even though so much brilliance is in the hardware, the most impressive aspect of the Tab 2 is how well Samsung has done on the software side of things.


As we discussed before, most attempts to bring user content into one place are in vein. They fall victim to the trappings of proprietary systems or half-baked ideas. This is where Samsung differentiates the Tab 2, as all of the software works together to provide a seamless experience no matter what the tablet is being used for. This starts with the operating system. The Tab 2 runs a mostly-stock version of Android 4.0, which is otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich was built with ease of use in mind, and it shows. Whether it’s adding widgets from the app drawer or swiping to kill tasks, Ice Cream Sandwich is the point where Android has leapfrogged iOS.


The operating system is only the beginning, though. Samsung’s enhancements are what have made the Tab 2 a perfect one-stop solution for content. This starts with AllShare Play, Samsung’s solution for streaming digital content. Through the service, Tab 2 owners can stream content from their computers or smartphones, or they can stream content to their Samsung television. Movies, photos, music – everything is up for grabs, and the days of using different cloud services and apps are coming to an end with AllShare Play’s introduction.

In addition to this, Samsung has made it easy to acquire new content with the introduction of what the company calls Hubs. Hubs are places where Tab 2 owners can go to purchase new content. Samsung has included several with the device, including dedicated portals for movies, music, books and games. In the case of movies, the picture can be started while the download is still ongoing in the background, making buying movies a one-stop process.

Other features such as ChatON, a universal messaging system by Samsung, make the Tab 2 an exceptionally well-rounded device. Video calling is even supported. Other enhancements have been made to the interface, such as a custom dock for frequently used icons. In short, not only did Samsung make it easier to access content from multiple devices, but they also made it easier to simply use the tablet for tablet things.


Processor:1 GHz Dual-Core Processor
OS:Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Resolution:1024×600 (7 inch WSVGA multitouch)
Internal Memory:8 GB, additional microSD up to 32 GB
Camera:3 Megapixel (Rear), VGA Video (Front)
Connectivity:Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, Bluetooth v3.0
Battery:Li-ion 4,000 mAh
Headphone Plug:3.5mm headphone/microphone jack
Price:[easyazon-link asin=”B007P4VOWC” locale=”us”]$249.00[/easyazon-link]
Release Date:April 22, 2012

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Samsung has done a terrific job of leveraging its foothold in so many different markets. Save for Apple, no other manufacturer comes close to matching Samsung’s industry presence in smartphones, tablets and TVs. The Tab 2 would be a failed experiment in convergence if not for Samsung already being so large. Fortunately, Samsung is a major manufacturer with millions of devices in peoples’ homes, and that’s why services such as AllShare Play and ChatON can work so fluidly. They’ve leveraged this position, and the result is the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 – a tablet that’s incredibly portable and can easily be the center of anyone’s digital life.


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