Review

Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 with LTE

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The tablet market is full of products that have different screen sizes, resolution, operating systems, and so much more. Finding the right tablet these days is not as easy as it was a few years ago when one fruit ruled the landscape. 

Seeing as Samsung has been churning out quality tablets for a few years now, their latest product for Verizon, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 (7in class) should be a device that has learned from the woes of the past. While the base product is not entirely new, this model has the added benefit of Verizon’s LTE connection. You can see the full list of specs below:

The device costs $349.99 and that’s without a contract. This is a welcome change from the tablets Verizon previously offered which were several hundred dollars more and required a two year contract. Seeing the lower price point is likely to account for the modest spec alteration, which we are okay with.  

If the device looks familiar, it’s because it looks nearly identical to previous Galaxy Tab products. That’s not necessarily a bad thing by any means but then again, a tablet can only have so many variations to it.  

The front of the device is relatively plain with Verizon and Samsung branding front and center and a modest size bezel surrounding the screen. The camera up front is neatly tucked away and like every other tablet on the market, it is recessed into the bezel with a clear plastic covering.  

In your hands the, 7in size still feels great. The weight of the tablet is a bit lighter than we anticipated and the plastic shell certainly does not bolster the physical appeal of the device. That being said, the tablet does not feel cheaply made but the plastic exterior is a bit slick and like every other tablet on the market, fingerprints are always an issue. 

With the lower price point comes lower performance too. With a slower CPU than other tablets on the market (to help keep the price down), you do see a bit of sluggishness when transitioning between applications or on occasion when scrolling on websites. It’s not the worst lag we have seen on a tablet and to the average consumer, it is unlikely to impede use.  

The battery behind the 7in screen is a 4400mAh battery that keeps this tablet running for over 7 hrs when watching video. I ran two video tests on a loop to see how long the battery would last and the two runs averaged 7 hrs and 45 minutes.  

The screen on the tablet is quite good and on par with the Motorola Xyboard we reviewed a few months back. Colors were accurate, but slightly cool, and viewing angles were respectable for the device. Touch input was also responsive and accurate.

The cameras on any tablet are nothing more than a whimsical feature to keep users only modestly satisfied. Using a tablet to take a picture is an awkward adventure and you look ridiculous doing it. Given that, pictures are a bit on the warm side and only minimal shutter lag. The camera on the tablet will always be a second class citizen to your cell phone or dedicated point and shoot but can suffice in a pinch.  

Image taken with rear Galaxy Tab 2.0 camera

The front facing camera is exactly what you would expect from a front facing camera, enough for video chat but not much else. It's not the best camera we have seen, nor the worst, but does its job adequately.  

Audio from a tablet is much like that of a laptop: it works, but it’s always a bit less than thrilling. The Tab falls into that same category with the onboard speakers allowing you to watch the occasional YouTube video without any issues but we would still recommend a pair of headphones for longer listening sessions. 

The screen on the tablet is quite favorable when compared to the Motorola we reviewed a few months back. Colors were accurate, but slightly cool, and viewing angles were respectable for the device. Touch input was also responsive and accurate.  

Samsung has opted to include its TouchWiz UI on the tablet. Seeing as we don’t like visual overlays, it is a bit annoying that Samsung continues to try to redefine what Google has already done. The UI is neither a high nor a low; it doesn’t make the device harder to use nor does it optimize workflow. There was a time and place when skin-overlays had their place on Android, but that ship has likely sailed.  

One thing you cannot over look is that the tablet comes with built in support for Verizon’s LTE network. Connecting to the network was simple and straightforward and offered an overage download speed of 8.2 Mbps and an upload speed of 4.42 Mbps. Even though we are used to seeing LTE devices with these connection speeds, it still blows us away as the wireless connection is truly at broadband speeds. 

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 with Verizon LTE is a tablet that provides an attractive upfront price but makes up for it with a bit of corner cutting. That said, for the price the value is quite good, especially when compared to previous products with built in LTE support. 

If you do venture down the Samsung path and purchase a Tab 7.0, for the price, it is a great product if you need to a tablet with the ability to connect to a 4G network.  

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