Back in February, a Samsung executive was quoted as saying: "Honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market." The company's solution? Release more of the same tablets that haven't done very well in the first place. While the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 offers a couple of new features, it appears to be a largely similar device to its predecessor.
Samsung's tablet strategy is definitely one of the more overwhelming in the market. 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, Samsung recently released the Galaxy Note, a 5.3in half tablet, half smartphone.
If you're not confused enough already, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a replacement for the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, which only released in Australia late last year following a long and well publicised legal battle with Apple.
On first glance, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 appears to be a needless upgrade on paper. Its most attractive feature is the fact that it will run Google's latest Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android (4.0) out of the box. Software aside, the new Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has the same sized screen with the same resolution (1280x800) as its predecessor, the same 1GHz dual-core processor, the same 1GB of RAM and the same combination of a 3-megapixel rear camera and a basic VGA front snapper.
To be fair there are a couple of things that have changed. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 now has a microSD card slot for external storage. Perhaps the best feature is an infrared port that works with a pre-loaded remote control app. Using this app will turn the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 into a universal remote that will control any device in the home that uses an infrared remote. This includes TVs, air conditioners, Blu-ray players and surround sound stereo systems.
UPDATE: The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 sold in Australia DOES NOT have an infrared port or a pre-loaded remote control app. The Australian model differs slightly to models sold in other markets, which may include the IR port.
Samsung has produced two models of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, one Wi-Fi only and the other Wi-Fi and quad-band 3G. Optus is selling the 3G model, while retail outlets like Dick Smith, Officeworks and The Good Guys are selling one or both variants.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 comes with Samsung's TouchWiz UX overlay on top of the standard Android UI. 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 yet confirmed whether the Video Hub service will be available in Australia.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is available now through Optus stores and the Optus online store. The tablet is available on a range of Optus data plans starting from $39.95 per month for 2GB of data (comprising a $19.95 plan cost with $20.00 monthly device repayments).
Both 12 month and 24 month plans are available and monthly device repayments vary depending on the plan selected. In addition to the 2GB plan, Optus offers 5GB, 10GB, 15GB and 20GB data plans.