The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is the ideal gadget for those who want something to do for quick 10-15 minute breaks from work. For me it is the perfect way to step away from my desk and zone out for a while. I use mine mostly for playing games, reading RSS feeds and checking email. It is great value even if you don’t use it often. The Tab is a great travel companion and has kept me entertained with TV shows when waiting around in airports. Lets look at what it can be used for and why the Tab 2 is better than the original…
Is it worth upgrading from the original Galaxy Tab?
I recently purchased the Tab 2 7 inch wifi only version as an impulse buy as the price was very reasonable at around £140. The next day I sold my original Tab for £90 on eBay. So for just £50 it was a great value upgrade. If you are thinking of buying one of these then I recommend you look at the Google Nexus 7 too. That device gets better reviews, I went for the Tab 2 as I know the original product and it was the one available. For anyone else considering upgrading, here are the benefits of the new version:
- Slightly lighter. I feel they could get the weight down further but it is still very easy to hold in one hand.
- Nicer to hold. The new Tab has curved edges and is slightly longer which makes it more comfortable to hold, especially in landscape mode.
- It looks better. The slightly thinner design and faux metallic finish on the rear make this a more aesthetically pleasing version. The old one was starting to feel rather dated.
- Functions seem smoother. Everything now seems better, from browsing to scrolling and loading apps. There seems to be a general improvement in performance.
- The speaker is now louder and good enough for watching videos.
Games on the Galaxy Tab 2
The games on tabs are usually much simpler affairs which means they are great for short bursts, rather than computer or console games which tend to get more involved. My preferred games include Age Of Conquest which is the best of the Risk style world domination strategy games, Quell which is a fantastic zen puzzle game and good old backgammon. These are all very relaxing titles and ideal for a quick break. I have no issues with them being too addictive. If you want a high quality game with impressive graphics, check out Modern Combat 4 which is a Call of Duty style game. Other games worth looking at include Tetris, Angry Birds, Live Holdem poker (can be time consuming), Jewellust, Forbidden Brakes (like the old Mico Machines), Rusted Warfare (like the old Command and Conquer), Drisk and Landrule (two more Risk style games).
Other Apps For the Tab 2
Reading RSS feeds is my only access to news. I don’t read newspapers because I just don’t find 95% of their stories relevant. Installing an RSS reader such as Pulse means you get to choose what news you see. It gives a quick snippet of new posts on your chosen websites so that you can easily choose which ones to read. I use this for sport, work related site and hobby sites. Again, this is an ideal way to relax for 10 minutes or so.
My new Tab wouldn’t connect to my email using the built in client so I downloaded the highly rated K-9 Mail which worked instantly. This allows me to check messages when away from my computer which is very handy. As long as you are in a wifi hotspot you can check messages on the move too. Writing messages feels smoother and more accurate on the Tab 2.
This is a great device for the money. I prefer the 7 inch screen size over the larger versions. I also prefer it to the iPad mini which is too thin at the sides and just doesn’t quite feel right to me. As mentioned above, if looking to buy you should also consider the Google Nexus 7 which is likely to be better. Both devices use the Google Play store for downloading apps, many of which are free or at least have free trail versions.