Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Sammy brings knife to gunfight?
Turning to the 1280 x 800 screen the colours and viewing angles of the Tab 2’s PLS – Plane-to-Line Switching – panel give nothing away to Asus’ excellent IPS screens, though it’s not quite as bright when turned up to 11. Usefully, storage expansion is now present courtesy of a microSD card slot which is something both the original Tab 10.1 and Google’s new Nexus 7 both lack.
Samsung has repositioned the Tab’s speakers so they now flank the screen facing forward rather than being tucked away on the sides. The change serves to improve sound quality and also makes the Tab 2 look a little less like an iPad to your average Supreme Court judge.
Like all the best new Android tablets, the Tab 2 runs Ice Cream Sandwich but here you also get Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay. TouchWiz has some advantages for newbies over stock ICS including a more comprehensive list of settings toggles in the notifications panel. It also has a secondary pop-up menu on the toolbar that launches what Samsung calls Mini Apps for the likes of the world clock, music player and calculator functions.
There are also some decent pre-installed apps including a full version of Polaris Office and a rather fine video player which coped with 1080p video in every codec I threw at it. You also get Samsung’s Reader, Music and Video ‘Hubs’ from which you can buy content.
I can see the Reader Hub – with its e-book, magazine and newspaper subscriptions – finding fans. Likewise, the 7Digital-powered Music Hub – unlike Google Music – does at least work in the UK. If you want to hook your Tab 2 up to a telly over HDMI or access files on a USB memory stick you’ll need to buy the relevant adapter to utilise the 30-pin dock connector at the bottom of the device.