The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is the company's first Ice Cream Sandwich Android tablet and a replacement for the original Galaxy Tab.
Samsung's tablet strategy is definitely one of the more overwhelming in the market. If you need a brief rundown, the company started off with a 7in Android tablet, then released a 10.1in, then revised that 10.1in to be thinner and lighter than the first, then brought out an 8.9in model, and then a slightly bigger 7.7in device. To top it all off, the company recently released the Galaxy Note, a 5.3in half tablet, half smartphone. Confused yet? We certainly are.
Officially, Samsung clarifies its many different sized tablets as "expanding the choice of tablets to customers". JK Shin, the company's president, is quoted in the media release of the Galaxy Tab 2 saying that "two years ago, Samsung Galaxy Tab began to offer customers more possibilities on the go. Since then, Samsung has actively enhanced our tablet line-up with several tablets in different sizes." We're not so sure that consumers really need a 7in, a 7.7in and then an 8.9in tablet: to us that promotes confusion rather than choice.
If you're confused, take note that Samsung has clearly intended the Galaxy Tab 2 to be an entry-level, inexpensive model. Firstly, it has a regular LCD with a resolution of 1024x600 so it lacks the brighter, AMOLED screens that come with the company's other sized models. The Galaxy Tab 2 also has a rather underwhelming set of specifications: the tablet is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and only a 3-megapixel rear camera, with a basic VGA snapper on the front.
Like the original Galaxy Tab, perhaps the best inclusion on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is 3G connectivity via a SIM card slot. The tablet supports the 900MHZ and 2100MHz 3G bands, but not the 850MHz band used by Telstra's 3G network in Australia. It's always possible Samsung could produce an 850MHz model suited to Telstra (as it did with the original Galaxy Tab) but this remains to be seen.
The Galaxy Tab 2 comes with Google's latest 4.0 version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and runs Samsung's TouchWiz UX overlay on top. The usual array of Samsung apps and services are all included — Music Hub, Readers Hub, Game Hub — and the company has also introduced a new app called Video Hub. It offers over 1000 films for purchase or rent, and provides reviews, trailers and recommendations for these films. Samsung hasn't confirmed whether the Video Hub service will be available in Australia.
Samsung hasn't announced if or when the Galaxy Tab 2 will launch in Australia. The tablet will first launch in the UK next month, but pricing details have yet to be revealed. Considering the specifications, we can only hope Samsung will price the Galaxy Tab 2 aggressively.