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.
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.
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)
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
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 support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.