Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 review

The popular Galaxy Tab gets a reboot and redesign for 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 review
On-par Android tablet plays it straight down the middle

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

After the blockbuster entrance by the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a more muted affair, offering little in the way of an upgrade from its predecessor and seemingly happy to nestle into mid-range obscurity, instead of setting itself up to challenge the new iPad.

It's also been out-done by the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in terms of raw power, but the price difference between the two shows they're two very distinct products.

We liked

It's pleasing to see Ice Cream Sandwich is making it onto devices out of the box these days, even if Jelly Bean is just around the corner, and Samsung has done a good job of implementing Android 4.0 onto the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

Movie playback is decent, with the large 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 screen doing feature films justice and the front facing speakers delivering sound directly at you instead of behind the tablet.

Even though the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 only comes as a 16GB option, the inclusion of a microSD card slot on top of the tablet will keep the majority happy.

Samsung's impressive Video editor application is certainly fun to play with, and well designed, allowing for some enjoyable hours of film making shenanigans.

We disliked

Although the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 may have looked like an iPad a little too much, it did mean it had an appealing design, something which the Tab 2 10.1 sorely lacks.

The two-tone grey, large bezel around the screen and oddly designed speakers means the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 isn't going to be winning any beauty contests.

The low-res cameras, both front and rear, feel like afterthoughts from Samsung, with no flash, auto-focus or other options to write home about, although the 720p video recording does draw a small silver lining in an otherwise drab offering.

Some may be disappointed to see that the 3G version doesn't look like it will be hitting UK shores officially, and the added Samsung bloatware feels unnecessary in most cases.


As far as middle of the road Android tablets go, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 hits the nail on the head.

It's doesn't stray too far from the norm, failing to offer anything truly exciting or different, but also ensuring it doesn't fall flat on its face. However, we're loving the recent price drop, meaning we're happy to boost the score on a tablet that brings rich power on top of the latest version of Android for under £240.

If you're looking for a bog-standard Android tablet experience then it's worth considering, but you may want to check out the Asus Transformer Pad 300, Toshiba AT200 and Acer Iconia Tab A200, which offer strong competition to the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.