Tablets

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 teardown reveals efficient hardware layout and replaceable battery

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Android tablet has a case that's easy to open, clean internal design, and replaceable battery.

Samsung is jumping into the budget tablet market with a 7-inch device that looks nearly identical to the company's Galaxy Tab Plus, but costs $200 less. This week, I crack open the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Android tablet.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has a 1GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a 7" Plane to Line Switching (PLS) display (1,024 x 600 resolution), 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth, a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a VGA front-facing camera. It measures measures 7.6" (H) x 4.8" (W) x 0.41" (D) and weighs 12.1 ounces.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Cracking Open observations

  • Easy-open case: Samsung didn't use any hidden or tamper-resistant case screws on the Tab 2 7.0. To open the device, you just pop off the back cover.
  • Super-clean hardware layout: Like the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, the Tab 2 7.0 has a clean internal hardware layout. There's a single circuit board, each component is attached to the main PCB with a snap-on connector, and with the exception of the display, nothing is held in place with adhesive.
  • Replaceable battery: The Tab 2 7.0's 4,000 mAh battery is held in place with screws and attached to the motherboard with a snap-on connector. Once you've removed the back cover, replacing the battery is a snap.
  • Same processor as the Kindle Fire: As for the tablet's engine, Samsung used a Texas Instruments 1GHz dual-core 4430 OMAP processor, which is mounted under the unit's 1GB RAM chip. This is the same processor Amazon used in the Kindle Fire, but a step down from the Galaxy Tab Plus' 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 processor.

Bottom Line

How does the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 stack up against the other 7-inch tablets, like the Galaxy Tab Plus and Kindle Fire? As Erik Franklin pointed out in his CNET review, this tablet "offers an excellent value and a full Android 4.0 experience that no other tablet can currently match for the price."

At $249, the Tab 2 7.0 is $50 more than the Kindle Fire, but the Samsung device has two cameras, you can expand the device's memory to 32GB using a microSD card, and it functions as a TV remote. On the other hand, the Fire puts the power of Amazon's online store in the palm of your hand.

Comparing the tablet to other 7-inch devices is a bit trickier. Does it have the processing power of the Galaxy Tab Plus ($349 for 16GB and $449 for 32GB)? No. But the user experience is still good and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Internal hardware

Our Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 test unit had the following hardware:

  • 1GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor
  • Samsung K3PE7E700M-XGC1 2x 4Gb LP DDR2 DRAM (1GB)
  • 8GB Samsung KLM8G2FE3B-B001 eMMC memory
  • 7" Plane to Line Switching (PLS) display (1,024 x 600)
  • 3MP rear-facing camera
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • 3.7V, 4,000 mAh Li-Ion battery (SP4960C3B)
  • Unknown i7514HS H201H0Y
  • Unknown 34LM85AM 1205
  • Melfas 8QL373 1208 (perhaps a touch sensor controller)
  • Texas Instruments TWL 6032 Fully Integrated Power Management With Power Path and Battery Charger (23A9ETI TWL6032 A1BB)
  • Maxim 8893C power-management IC (+MAX 8893C EWV 9 203 TGC)
  • Wolfson WM1811 Stereo CODEC (WM1811AE 22AGKGW)
  • Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/Baseband/Radio with Integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS & FM Transceiver (BCM4330SB2KUBG)

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

24 comments
cp dukes
cp dukes

My experience is that the SamsungĀ  Galaxy 2 7 inch cover is anything but easy to open. Indeed, I find it very irritating to deal with.

khan.abid523
khan.abid523

i dont no my tab 2 is not off and not on

henderman
henderman

Hello everyone, I recently purchased my Tab 2 7" from Costco (Canada) for only $149.00. It just updated itself to Jellybean two days ago, and now it runs a little more smoothly and efficiently (as far as battery life goes). Excellent information Mr. Detwiler... thanks very much! Mark Kelowna B.C. Canada

tabletannouncements
tabletannouncements

Such great informative post, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 presented well. Thanks!

Gisabun
Gisabun

One advantage of begging this is the replacable battery [unlike some gadget manufacturer that I won't mention]. A disadvantage is that it's just 7". At least Samsung is helping the environment unlike that other company.

c21698
c21698

Samsung has nothing compatible with the Tab 2 except a data/charging cable and Support says they have no idea when they'll have anything. They can't tell me if anything for previous versions like the 7.0 Plus (e.g. usb/sd connection kit, dock, etc.) will work on the new device, which seems ridiculous. Sigh....... Otherwise the Tab 2 is performing well, good size and weight, a little slower than I expected but for the price overall a good unit.

kevinshin
kevinshin

unknown 34LM85AM is LVDS transmitter that is supllied by Doestek. (www.doestek.co.kr)

droidfromsd
droidfromsd

Would you consider cracking the cases of some of the latest 802.11n routers to get a look at the various boards?

tomg98
tomg98

you said one I believe. i own a kindle fire and it is an Amazon consumption device and that's about it. ok tablet. I don;t do much with it except read books, watch movies and listen to music.

PeterM42
PeterM42

Cannot speak about this particular device, but had a cheapo Samsung phone some time ago and over recent months have bought a Samsung laptop and smartphone (Galaxy S II). As an IT consultant, I am often asked what kit to buy. I used to reply Dell, but not any more - SAMSUNG is THE brand. Fantastic kit, well made, competitive pricing.

billk11
billk11

Just got one. Sending it back immediately. Completely locked. No Android Market, just Google Play. Most apps don't work right or aren't compatible with the device. ICS is too advanced for the apps available. Really, really dumb release--not even half-baked.

mstooley
mstooley

I too purchased my tablet, same one, at Costco. I discovered that my tablet... while stating it supports flash doesn't or at least I cannot figure it out. While trying to view videos i get a "Adobe flash 11.1 not supported on this device". I thought I could just download a previous version but i have had no luck! Any one have any ideas on this? NEED MY FLASH PLAYER! is there an alternative?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Definitely. Did you have particular router in mind? I've been thinking about some of the new 802.11ac boxes, such as the Netgear R6300.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

You're correct. I cracked open the Kindle Fire when came out, and it does not have a camera. I clearly misspoke.

glohr
glohr

Google may have made a silly decision to rename the market as they did, but it still has all the content. I have an ICS device and have few application problems. It takes a little while for developers to catch up with new hardware, though. All the apps that matter to me just work, with one slightly annoying exception that the developer has abandoned.

jon.catt
jon.catt

...and so specifically WHICH apps "don't work right" if you couldn't figure out what happened to Android Market then how did you install the apps which don't work - old versions of apps from SD maybe? I'm not convinced you have a clue...

droidfromsd
droidfromsd

I don't believe anyone else has one to market right now. I get involved with WiFi thuput and it is important to know the quality of chip(s), MB design and what parts of the tasks are handled in HW as opposed to slower code. Any way you could include a clean room type of test as well? Maybe just a benchmark against some known popular router.

carola
carola

So in terms of having a router at home for normal home things - wireless access for computers, phones, tablets, etc and pushing television, does a $200 router make any difference from a $50 one?

billk11
billk11

Yes, I'm a noob. ESPN radio app not compatible--yahoo music app stutters and stops on 20 mb/sec internet connection. As an MLB Premium subscriber, I'm supposed to get MLB@Bat included. Google Play wants 14.99 for the full app--no way to link my MLB account with Google Play. Any suggestions??? I'll keep it a few more days if I can fix these issues. Recommendations for other similar tablets that others are happy with would be appreciated.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Choosing the "best" router is always a subjective decision. Does the router have the features you want? Does it have the signal range you need? Does it fit your budget?

droidfromsd
droidfromsd

assume you don't want ipad? 1. Provider issues (line errors (layer 1)) 2. WiFi (if not wired) packet retrans due to poor reception recommend you get an accurate thruput number (not what they tell you it is)

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

If there's a list of "must have" apps for your tablet, I suggest you do a few web searches on those apps, perhaps even check the feedback/forums for the apps on the developer's website or listing in the store/marketplace. Look for people who are having a good experience with the app, and try to find out what device they have. Many times, apps developers are a few days/weeks/months behind an OS update.