Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Review: Samsung's Second-Child Syndrome

TI's OMAP 4430: Hey, I Remember You

OMAP 44XXOMAP 44XX

A quick glance down at the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1's spec sheet should make it clear that this tablet wasn't designed to break performance records. One generation ago, Samsung used Nvidia's Tegra 2. This time around, the company is leaning on an older and slower Texas Instruments OMAP 4430, used in more budget-oriented tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire (The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed).With tablets like the low-priced Nexus 7 featuring a much more powerful Tegra 3, hardware's impact on overall performance is more important than ever to explore.

GeekBench Scores

Asus Transformer Pad (TF300T)
Google Nexus 7
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
SoCTegra 3 (T30L)Tegra 3 (T30L)OMAP 4430
Android
4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), Performance Profile4.1 (Jelly Bean)4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Overall15341527
912
Integer13801298
750
Floating Point2231
2288
1298
Memory1214
1222
853


According to GeekBench, the OMAP 4430 is significantly slower than Tegra 3, a fact that show in real-world use. We had a hard time achieving smooth playback of high-def video, and the user interface feels laggier than the Tegra 3-based devices we've tested.

GLBenchmark 2.1.4

Asus Transformer Pad (TF300T)
Google Nexus 7
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Egypt Standard
5752 frames (51 FPS)
5968 frames (53 FPS)
2042 frames (18 FPS)
Egypt Fixed
62.768 s (45 FPS)
59.279 s (48 FPS)
166.206 s (17 FPS)
Egypt Off-Screen (720p)
7178 frames (64 FPS)
7073 frames (63 FPS)
3125 frames (28 FPS)
Pro Standard2796 frames (56 FPS)
2830 frames (57 FPS)
1259 frames (25 FPS)
Pro Fixed22.982 s (54 FPS)
22.515 s (56 FPS)
54.359 s (23 FPS)
Pro Off-Screen (720p)
4006 frames (80 FPS)
4095 frames (82 FPS)
2257 frames (45 FPS)
Fill Rate
469.066688 Mtexels/sec
467.571264 Mtexels/s227.812 Mtexels/s


Drilling down into the GPU using GLBenchmark delivers more bad news for Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Simply, it's just lacking. The standardized off-screen tests, which are designed to take resolution out of the equation, indicate that Tegra 3 serves up nearly twice the graphics horsepower.

That'd probably be more of a problem, except that most of the best-looking games are exclusive to Tegra 3-based devices anyway. They're automatically made unavailable when accessing Google Play on a device based on a different SoC. You can get tricky and force their installation by backing up from another tablet. However, the outcome is less than stellar, as we discovered in our Kindle Fire review.

OMAP 4430: Playing SprinkleOMAP 4430: Playing Sprinkle

Running Sprinkle on the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, for example, results in water effects that are incorrectly rendered.

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  • Honestly I was extremely surprised that Samsung didn't significantly beef up on Hardware specs.
    When I saw it on the shelves I thought the store clerks labeled the specs wrong.

    To my horror, they were correct.
    I don't know what the hell Samsung was thinking, if they were purposely pulling that stunt so that the Galaxy Note 10.1" would look more appealing they sure succeeded but sadly for them, I snagged a Nexus 7 earlier on.
    18
  • correction: at the end of the conclusion it says "Moreover, we can't forget the awesome Nexus 7, also armed with 16 GB, selling for a modest $149", this should be $249.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • Honestly I was extremely surprised that Samsung didn't significantly beef up on Hardware specs.
    When I saw it on the shelves I thought the store clerks labeled the specs wrong.

    To my horror, they were correct.
    I don't know what the hell Samsung was thinking, if they were purposely pulling that stunt so that the Galaxy Note 10.1" would look more appealing they sure succeeded but sadly for them, I snagged a Nexus 7 earlier on.
    18
  • ahahah is the time when i say... "those specs were in my brick phone back in 1995! Fail Samsung"
    -9
  • correction: at the end of the conclusion it says "Moreover, we can't forget the awesome Nexus 7, also armed with 16 GB, selling for a modest $149", this should be $249.
    10
  • I think Samsung went easy on the hardware so people buy the Note 10.1.

    The Tab 2 should be seen as a budget tablet, and the Note should be seen as a high-end tablet.
    3
  • It's very hard to log in to Tom's Hardware using a Nexus. Seeing how some of the writers are fans, you'd think they'd notice a thing like that.
    1
  • So who would buy this? Why did they bother with re-doing the hardware... might as well stuck on 4.0 on the previous model.
    3
  • pckitty4427I think Samsung went easy on the hardware so people buy the Note 10.1. The Tab 2 should be seen as a budget tablet, and the Note should be seen as a high-end tablet.


    That'd be a better way of looking at this if this new Galaxy Tab was priced more modestly. At this price, is is not a good deal. It's not horrible, but this is disappointing. It is only $100 cheaper than the Note, but it has maybe half of the CPU performance (if that) and is otherwise disappointing in a variety of other ways.
    2
  • Instead of half-baking the Tab 2 they should improve the Tab 1 experience, which is woefully inadequate: I just contacted Samsung support which confirmed that even 1 year after launch there is still a problem connecting GT-P7500's to PC's using Samsung KIES (BTW never rooted it!!!). Result is I'm still on android 3.1. Over the air update does not seem to work either. Also, they could not confirm ICS updates, and even hinted that there may never be one! As a customer I feel seriously let down, shame on Samsung!
    4
  • killerclickIt's very hard to log in to Tom's Hardware using a Nexus. Seeing how some of the writers are fans, you'd think they'd notice a thing like that.


    What is difficult about it? I have no trouble on my Android phones, but I don't have a Nexus of any kind, so I'm not sure if they have some sort of problem with Tom's that I'm not aware of.
    -1
  • blazorthonWhat is difficult about it? I have no trouble on my Android phones, but I don't have a Nexus of any kind, so I'm not sure if they have some sort of problem with Tom's that I'm not aware of.


    When I try to leave comment when not signed in, the form asking for my username and password is being incorrectly repositioned, and on the Nexus (but not on Gingerbread), the focus is being returned to the username field after every keypress even if I'm trying to enter the password.
    0
  • killerclickWhen I try to leave comment when not signed in, the form asking for my username and password is being incorrectly repositioned, and on the Nexus (but not on Gingerbread), the focus is being returned to the username field after every keypress even if I'm trying to enter the password.


    Did you try using a different browser and/or making sure that you're viewing the desktop, not mobile, version of Tom's?
    0
  • If you walk into a store you'll see Samsung's tablet still has vastly superior screen. That including alternatives with higher resolution.
    2
  • I just (2 days ago) received the N7 16 GB tablet. Compared to older tablets it is the first one that I would consider to be a serious contender, if not altogether better than the iPad. JB is smoother than ICS (I also have the Samsung GSIII) but, because it lacks flash support has its own downside.

    I'm sure that the 10" form factor has its uses, but the 7" screen of the SGIII is much more comfortable to hold withone hand to watch video and/or websurf.

    I looked at the Fire HD before settling on the N7, and rejected it because of the form factor (it isn't comfortable to hold in one hand) and the conscription to the Amazon eco-system under a heavily modded ICS.

    While I am not enamoured of Google Play, it is more open than either Amazon or ios. The fact that much of Amazon's content can be played on the N7, while the Fire HD has difficulties with native android apps is another reason that I think that the N7 is the major challenger to the iPad.

    It would have been ni8ce to see Samsung offer a better, more competative, tablet. From this review it looks like Samsung put out the Tab2 as a stop-gap, and not a real competator.
    2
  • I'll never understand how Samsung manages to obtains such decent market shares and profits!
    There are a few companies like Asus for example who "think different". They take the risk of proposing products that are either original or either well built or cheap (sometimes both in the same product)... but Samsung has absolutely nothing special to offer and yes, their tablets are pale copies of the iPad. Don't get me wrong, I hate Apple's methods (and I am not so convinced by their products), but Samsung is even worse and clearly not here to save us from the evil Apple: they just make huge margins by selling us overpriced and uninspired stuff backed by some good marketing.
    4
  • This article is a bit disappointing. Not very thorough.
    IR blaster for a wicked universal remote with TouchSquid: Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: yes Nexus 7: no
    HDMI output: Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: yes Nexus 7: no
    MicroSDHC slot with 64GB card support: Galaxy Tab 2: yes Nexus 7: no
    Jelly bean? Reliable reports have it coming out very soon for the Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy S III.

    It is great to be excited about the Nexus 7. It is a fine device.
    These are like two women, beautiful for different reasons.
    3
  • Samsung really screwed up the Tab 2 didn´t they?? Cause this one is really their fault, guess they thought that after Apple´s lawsuit everyone would buy their products just to be against Apple. Sorry Samung, you need to put more effort on your products, especially with the actual competition
    1
  • thomasjm52ahahah is the time when i say... "those specs were in my brick phone back in 1995! Fail Samsung"


    That's one hell of a brick you had back then :-)
    4
  • blazorthonDid you try using a different browser and/or making sure that you're viewing the desktop, not mobile, version of Tom's?



    These are good recommendations, and they do work, but it would be nice if the stock browser displayed properly. Not sure why someone down voted you, but I gave you a thumb for it.
    0
  • The aspect ratios in the chart were strange. One was a reduced fraction and the other was not, they should have been the same.

    Either:
    16:10 and 16:12 or,
    8:5 and 4:3
    -1
  • Problem with all 16GB Nexus 7 tablets (besides you only really have about 12GB to use) - is that when you have less than 3 and especially 2GB of memory left, the performance becomes too slow to operate.

    I think adding memory may help... so store all photos and media on an SD Card.
    -2