The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is both slightly heavier and a bit less svelte than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It still sports the same plastic backside, but now comes in titanium silver, as opposed to white.
When held in landscape, the top edge of the tablet seats five features: from left, there’s a power/sleep button, a volume rocker, a 32GB capacity microSD slot, an IR blaster and a headphone jack. In addition, two 2-inch-long speakers stretch vertically along the left and right bezel. A dock connector and microphone pinhole sit along the bottom edge.
The Tab 2 10.1 is the second Samsung tablet (after the Tab 2 7.0) to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.3, to be precise).
Samsung’s TouchWiz UX skin is, of course, included and comes with custom Samsung apps like Music Hub, Media Hub, Game Hub, a built-in screenshot app and the Mini Apps tray located on the bottom of the screen. Tapping it brings up a tray of apps consisting of a calculator, notes, calendar, music player and clock. However, the most useful of these is still the task manager, which allows you to quickly kill any app running in the background; this comes in handy when apps become unresponsive.
The basic look and design of ICS are retained, just with a TouchWiz skin and a few extra shortcuts for quickly turning off Wi-Fi, GPS, screen rotation and so on. As an added bonus, Samsung offers 50GB of free Dropbox storage for the first year.
The Tab 2 10.1 houses a 1GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Tablet mainstays like 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS are included, as well as gyroscope, accelerometer and digital compass support.
The larger speakers deliver louder sound, but, unfortunately, don’t exceed the apparent quality limitations most tablets also adhere to.
The Tab 2 10.1 uses the same PLS-based panel tech the Tab 10.1 does, running at a resolution of 1,280×800 pixels; that’s typical for most 10-inch tablets. Its clarity is as high as the original Tab’s, but either there are different tiers of quality when it comes to PLS panels, or Samsung really didn’t devote much time or effort to calibrating the Tab 2 10.1’s colour. Like the Tab 2 7.0, the Tab 2 10.1’s screen looks noticeably greener and colours appear washed out, compared with the original 10.1’s.
When swiping through screens and navigating menus, the screen matches the sensitivity of some the most responsive Android screens out there, like on the Transformer Pad TF300. Also, apps launch without delay and settings menu options appear readily after tapping them.