If you’re after a small, lightweight budget Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in could be ideal. At just 345g, it’s one of the lightest devices in its class, and the elegant curves of its metal-rimmed body fit effortlessly into the hand.
One disadvantage of all this svelteness is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in’s grey plastic back cover is so smooth it can be hard to hold on to. You’ll need a proper stand for hands-free use, since leaning it against something will invariably end in the Tab 2 sliding on to its back.
The 7in screen has a 1024×600 resolution, which looks sharp and offers great colours. Text is crisp and easily readable, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in tablet lacks the precision of the Blackberry Playbook 2.0′s display.
Interacting with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in is a fluid experience, thanks to an accurate touchscreen and the inclusion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Apps open quickly and you’re rarely left hanging while the dual-core 1GHz processor does its job.
The tablet’s camera app utilises the 3Mp rear camera, with dedicated Panorama and Smile modes. Our test results varied, but were acceptable; the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in’s stills tended to offer better colours than video.
With access to the Google Play store, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in has no shortage of apps to download. All the social media regulars are present, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as are the various movies you can stream for a modest fee. We recorded a 7-hour battery life when playing video.
Games ran very smoothly on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in. 3D action shooters showed no signs of stuttering, and driving sims, played nicely thanks to the light body and responsive accelerometers. The Kindle app turns the tablet into a decent e-book reader, while a BBC iPlayer app lets you catch up on TV – although we couldn’t find a way of streaming in HD, which was slightly disappointing.
Although it’s more expensive than the BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0, a two-year warranty helps to justify the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in’s premium.