Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2: not likely a worthy purchase

By Herb Scribner

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story


There’s not much working in favor of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Sure, it has a sleek and stylish design that puts it up there with the rest of today’s tablets, but for users that have a capable smartphone with Internet access, you won’t be missing much by nixing the Tab 2 from your purchase list.

Out of the box, the Tab 2 feels like it should be competing with the newest Kindle and iPad. The 7 inch screen looks fresh and stylistic, but the Tab 2 doesn’t have much else to offer.

First off, the Tab 2 has an awkward size in that users’ thumbs are the focus, but the arms are not. Users will find themselves angling their wrists inwards just to keep their thumbs on the screen long enough. It is supposed to be held in the same fashion one would hold a touchscreen cell phone, but because of its size this is virtually impossible.

That’s how the software is built as well. Anyone with an Android device won’t be impressed by what they see upon turning on the device. Many of the same apps and tools that any new Android provides can also be found on this tablet.

On the side of the tablet, users will find the power button as well as the volume button. But unlike Samsung’s Galaxy S phones, the buttons are placed right on top of each other, which is difficult when beginning to use this new tablet.

One of the bigger problems with the tablet is that it is far too difficult to get back to the home screen or to the menu. The buttons for both of those are hidden in opposite sides of the screen, marking them easily forgettable. This doesn’t help when users are trying to get back to the main page or to switch apps.

Another big issue comes with the device’s on-screen keyboard. Despite the device being bigger than a smartphone, the keypad seems eerily similar. Unlike the iPad keyboards, the Tab 2 doesn’t allow users to really get a good grasp on sending notes or emails. The buttons are just too small.

The Tab 2 does improve, however, on several other issues that have plagued previous Android devices. For one, users can now take a screenshot and either save it, or play around with it – by doodling, cropping, etc.

With the camera, users can now flip the cameras facing point around so they can take a shot of themselves or use the screen as a mirror as with the newer iPhone models.

The device also touts a video maker, which is great for anyone looking to put together a video when they don’t have the convenience of a laptop near them. The video maker app is a bit limited compared to iMovie or anything you will  use with a regular laptop device, but it does give the tablet an extra amount of pizazz.

It’s tough to support the Tab 2. It’s not a worthy purchase for anyone that already has an Android device, since both products essentially serve the same purpose and function. Aside from a few key differences, the Tab 2 is nothing but a blown-up Android smartphone.

But for those looking for something different – and something moderately priced at $199 at most retailers – then the Tab 2 is surely for you.

Just don’t complain when you run out of things to do with it.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected]



28 Responses to “The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2: not likely a worthy purchase”

  1. thewindowsfreak on October 18th, 2012 11:06 am


  2. Tyler on October 18th, 2012 11:29 am

    This isn’t really journalism……………………………..

  3. bre on October 18th, 2012 3:18 pm

    always a good idea to let an apple fanboy review an android product

  4. ThatIrishGuy on October 18th, 2012 3:19 pm

    Oooh its soo hard to hold .. and what about the users that dont have thumbs ! and why type when you can use a pretty good speech to text program?

  5. John Leewart on October 18th, 2012 7:39 pm

    Did you do nothing but take it out of the box and hold it? These are all very minor ergonomic complaints. How about the functionality of the device? Software features? If you’re going to say the Galaxy Tab 2 isn’t a “worthy purchase” you should make a much better case for it.

  6. former asst. arts editor on October 18th, 2012 8:58 pm

    Nixing this from my Christmas list, thanks for the thorough account Scribbs. Excellent use of the word “pizazz” btw.

  7. Bilbo on October 18th, 2012 11:06 pm

    This guys the editor and chief lawl

  8. Rohan on October 21st, 2012 1:58 am

    Tab 2 is a piece of junk and really not worth it. I bought one and within 3 weeks the screen started acting up like it would turn off but the power is on since I can hear the sound of the apps I was using. Imagine my frustration on a brand new tablet with problems like this. Worse, it’s been to the repair center twice and all they did was restore it to factory settings which did not resolve the issue. I am now fighting tooth and nail for it to be replaced. I will never buy a Samsung again.

  9. Jenny on October 21st, 2012 7:10 am

    this was very good info because i needed help and i got it thank you very much for this daily collegian.

    Yours Sincerely,


  10. billz on October 22nd, 2012 4:31 pm

    Nice review Herb. And how’s an Ipad any different than a blown up Iphone? By the way, did you hear they’re coming out with a 7 inch Ipad. How revolutionary.

  11. Diana on October 25th, 2012 1:12 am


    its been really good to me, the battery life is amazing, I barely charge it and it lasts all day. It was running on 24% battery life one time , I was in back to back lectures, typing notes away with my complimentary keyboard I had received with it.
    ((In case you were wondering I purchased the student edition. equipped with keyboard, attachable USB port))

    I use it for my labs and reading as well. Yes for some of you, you may get bored because there are no unnecessary apps and games, but if you’re using it for academic purposes, it does its job very well. I prefer android than apple. Apple, may have aesthetically pleasing tech gagdets but I love that I can really personalize my tablet. You can customize your home screen easily manage everything. Overall, it serves its purpose.

    ps. you don’t even mention that it has sick infrared technology app you can control with your T.V with… the app is called Peel.. you should look into that…

  12. T on December 16th, 2012 3:22 am

    I got my tab 6 months ago and love it. The only disappointing thing is the recent update has deleted the screenshot icon, bad move Samsung! Otherwise it’s great, clarity is excellent, features and apps are plenty. The review is unfair and the tab needs some credit, its a fab device!

  13. kristine on December 17th, 2012 12:00 am

    biased review apple fan… my samsung tab 2 is the best thing for me… i love a bigger than normal screen but not too big as an ipad.. and the android market gives me a whole world for my tab. i use my tab for calls, browsing, chatting, gaming, watching, reading, opening office files, navigating, doodling, online banking, editing, etc. and ever since i bought it in august, i rarely use my other smart phones even my laptop! it’s the best device for me! i just love it to bits!

  14. alex on December 18th, 2012 5:21 pm

    Haha what a trash article from a deluded fanboy. Buttons too hard to remember haha seriously u fail. Galaxy tab 2 is a great device with more then enough power to do whatever u want on it and I’m writing this on it perplexed at the stupidity some these apple fanboys display.

  15. katty on December 19th, 2012 8:38 pm

    I love my tab 2. I use it for everything, txting, video chatting, school, work, gaming, movies , banking, I love everything about it. I believe u totally have a bias opinion or never used one! Also I never had any kind of problem with my screen or malfunction. Best part is the super good battery life 🙂

  16. Joy on December 25th, 2012 11:31 am

    IPad 2 owner. galaxy s 3 owner (former droid x and iphone 3 owner).

    Purchased the galaxy tab 2 for my 9yr old son. It is awesome! compared to the ipad 2 it is a great buy-the price and capabilities are excellent! Had to download a flashplayer (not factory installed) to play his online games and do school work, but other than that we both love it. This review was terrible and nitpicky for no reason. Lol. Please don’t make a purchase based on this review. The power keys and volume keys are too close together? Are you serious.

  17. Bill on December 26th, 2012 6:15 pm

    Just bought one, and I’d have to agree with this article. What a terrible, worthless device. I attribute it to Android, mostly, but I also have issues with it turning on if it’s not practically fully charged. Crappy device running an even worse operating system. I view any claims about how wonderful Android is as completely irrational; I just don’t see it at all.

  18. Marc on December 29th, 2012 1:40 pm

    simple solution to most complaints, get an external keyboard case.

  19. Larry on January 12th, 2013 5:41 pm

    I received my Samsung Tab 2 for Christmas and put only about two hours time on it and it “crapped out.” It won’t even turn on. The battery was about 60% when it went out, I tried to charge it up and start it up, but no go!

  20. Hannah on January 22nd, 2013 4:44 pm

    Regarding the “awkward size”: I’m counting 14 people now with the iPad who have played around with the Galaxy II, and all of them have said the opposite. They especially prefer the Galaxy II to the iPad 5.

    As for the home screen, there’s a button right there (no seriously, it’s right there) and getting to the home screen is easier than breathing. For the Galaxy II, you can also switch between apps by tapping the double box icon.

    I can agree on the keyboard – I’ve owned my tablet for about five months, and still have a problem typing.

    May I also add that I own an Android smartphone? I might be in a unique position – I travel. I don’t use data on my phone, so it’s mostly for phone calls, text and the odd emergency direction look-up. The tablet is my portal for “everything else”, and it serves well as a replacement for a laptop, especially with its near-universal compatibility.

  21. yoda33 on January 26th, 2013 8:17 pm

    Not sure how much apple paid this guy, but this review is so wrong. I love this product, and I have an android phone! Its not perfect, cant wait to afford a Note, but this mini tablet is perfect & I will keep it even after I get the Note.

  22. mojoJOJO on February 3rd, 2013 6:59 pm

    I have one. The power & volume buttons are in a terrible position. Inadvertently hit all the time. Battery life stinks. Several applications I downloaded won’t fully launch and hang. It has been dropped 2x and no problems, so software stinks, ergonomics stink, but its pretty tough. I would not buy this again. Actually the one I have was a gift, so its pretty good for free. Just so you all know, I don’t think I want anything else from Apple either. I’ll probably try the surface pro when it comes out, so I can consolidate my laptop and tablet, but the role of kid toy and exercise music player probably stays with Apple since I spent so much on their platform.

    If a case would help with the ergonomica, please post. That might be what I am missing here. Nice that it still fits in the back pocket of my jeans…

  23. Rob on February 21st, 2013 4:38 pm

    Complain much? All members of my family has one and we all love it.

  24. Steeve Gobs on February 22nd, 2013 10:33 pm

    The tab 2 is my bathroom computer
    And suntimes it gets down

  25. Chriska Eunice on March 19th, 2013 1:43 pm

    I bought the tablet for my daughter because she envy her sister who has an ipad. After two days while playing an application., it hangs, there is a continues sound we panic we tried all the buttons but none works it continue for more than 30 minutes until it heated badly…the very very very long press to the power button solve it….so i bring it back to the store Samsung(JAN BC) SM Megamall Manila, Philippines. I was terrified when i found out that that they do not replace defective items. The old lady ask me didnt the sale staff told me that after sale they dont care anymore. She pass me to the expert as she may say and allegedly telling me that misuse the tablet…it just hang because of the application. I told her that my other daughter have an ipad with same application how come it doesnt hang that way…I told her that some my friends think its not normal and may be a factory defect…it makes her silent and just told to go the service station which practically on the same floor of their store…while on the service station the girl ask me the problem so i told her that it hangs while my daughter is playing, she said that sometimes when her daughter plays the tablet it hangs also. i ask for more than 30 minutes? My older daughter has an ipad and it never hangs that way…it hangs but not that way…she became silent after i said that, then she thinks of what she would say next, she just ask me is the ipad an android? I just said i dont know i’ll check and then she told me that what they will do for now is restart the software, i should observe if this thing happens again i just have to come back….i swear this all are true i even have sleepless nights thinking i wasted my money on this…my hard earned money as a single mom

  26. Mark on May 27th, 2013 5:42 pm

    What a garbage review, and to the people that kick the entire line of product because of one faulty product come on…

  27. The Truth is out there on September 29th, 2013 1:52 am

    Very thought out and well put article. Saved me some money and aggravation. Of course folks who own it are gonna say nice things. But my phone does a pretty good job. The ones Im looking at doesnt have a keyboard offered with them, nor a protector or case that jumps the price up another $80.00 bucks. Then your gonna want the 32 gig sd chip also which is $75.00 bucks. With no usb port, your screwed if you want to use your other stuff. Oh I didnt even mention a stylus, or a budget for the software you will need to keep it running. No Sale.

  28. Jaye on November 27th, 2013 3:40 am

    Total Pos product! While typing it lags and freezes. Keyboard sucks its so small and I have small woman hands!! The touch screen is not responsive, everyone around me can tell I am stuck by my repeated frustrated stabbing at the screen to get it to respond! Don’t waste your money!!! Don’t listen to the Samsung employees on here, they lie!!!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.