The market for affordable tablets below the $300 price point is alive and thriving, as best evidenced by Amazon's popular $200 Kindle Fire. Now, Samsung is entering the fray with the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2, which actually costs $50 more than the Fire or Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet. The Galaxy Tab 2, however, has some superior features, such as a dual-facing camera, and a not-so-secret weapon: A full working version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, instead of the watered-down operating systems of other so-called "cheap" Androids. Will consumers ignore the slightly more expensive price and buy the Tab 2?
They should. It's the best Android tablet yet: The Tab 2 may be more expensive than other tablets, but don't rule it out. The extra $50 is "a small price to pay for the full Ice Cream Sandwich Experience," says Eric Ravenscraft at Android Police, which, among other pluses, gives users access to the Google Play App Store. One of the tablet's standout features is the Smart Remote app, which turns the Tab 2 into a slick universal remote for your home entertainment center. With added incentives like 50GB of free Dropbox space for a year, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 is clearly "the way to go."
"Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is the best cheap android tablet around"
The Kindle Fire still prevails: Samsung's tablet may boast superior hardware and a full version Ice Cream Sandwich, but "is the Samsung a better Kindle Fire than the Kindle Fire? Short answer, no. Long answer, still no," says Eric Franklin at CNET. As a consumption device, the Kindle Fire handles e-books, streaming movies (through Amazon.com), and music way better than the Tab. It also offers a more user-friendly interface, and is $50 cheaper. Even with better specs, you can't beat Amazon's signature tablet.
"Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 a better Kindle Fire than the Kindle Fire?"
Ultimately, it's about ecosystem: To answer the $250 question: Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 worth choosing over the Kindle Fire? Well, that depends, says Keith Wagstaff at TIME. "If you have Amazon Prime, the answer is no. That tablet was built as a media mecca for Amazon's ever-growing library of books and movies." If you don't have Prime, "the fact that the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 ships with Ice Cream Sandwich — on top of all of its other features — makes it an excellent buy for an extra $50." You can't go wrong either way.
"Review: Samsung takes on Kindle Fire with new 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2"