MWC 2012: Samsung Shows Off Galaxy Tab 2 Series

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 series of tablets is on display in Barcelona this week, as part of the annual Mobile World Congress event. News of the 7-inch model came a couple of weeks back; now, Samsung confirms that the 10.1-inch Tab will get a facelift as well.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 series of tablets is on display in Barcelona this week, as part of the annual Mobile World Congress event. News of the 7-inch model came a couple of weeks back; now, Samsung confirms that the 10.1-inch Tab will get a facelift as well. Both tablets will ship in the UK starting in March, followed by other parts of the globe. The new Galaxy Tab 2s come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich; they will be the first tablets from Samsung to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich on-board.

While Samsung tried out a total of four different tablet sizes in 2011, the Galaxy Tab 2 will come in only two sizes (at least initially). It will be interesting to see whether or not Samsung continues to develop multiple tablets with varying screen sizes, or if it will eventually settle on only one size.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0's specs are similar to those of the 7.0 Plus that is currently available abroad. Both have a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 7-inch 1024 by 600 display, 3-megapixel rear-facing and VGA front-facing cameras, and a microSD card slot. In addition, both come with the usual variety of storage capacities (8GB, 16GB, 32GB). The Tab 2 7.0 is slightly heavier than the 7.0 Plus, but just barely; and it measures a smidge thicker, 10.4mm to 9.9mm. The initial specs supplied by Samsung do not indicate whether this model has an IR port for controlling your TV, as the Tab 7.0 Plus has, but we expect to confirm these details Monday when we see the Tab 2 7.0 up close for the first time.

As is the case with the Tab 2 7.0, not much has changed with the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is 1mm thicker than its predecessor (9.7mm from 8.6mm); it's a tad heavier, too (588g to the original 10.1-inch Tab's 564g). The Tab 2 10.1 has the same specs as its sibling, save for its larger (and higher-resolution) display.

As with current models, the Galaxy Tab 2 series will come in 4G (HSPA+) and Wi-Fi variants. There is currently no word on an LTE version of either tablet--strange, considering there was an LTE variant of the original Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Aside from shipping with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Tab 2 series doesn't bring much else to the table. Compared with the current push towards faster quad-core models and higher-resolution displays, these minor refreshes make it feel as if Samsung is treading water--it would make sense for Samsung to sell these models at a lower price, with higher-end Galaxy tablets (such as the large-screen Galaxy Note we've been seeing all around Barcelona) joining the lineup later on. For now, it's all speculation; Samsung has not formally announced any pricing to speak of for the Tab 2 series, let alone its plans to join the quad-core tablet party.

These very tepid refreshes may not be the quad-core, high-def, or higher pixel density models we were looking for, but they're a start. Something tells me we'll hear about more new Galaxy Tab 2 models from Samsung in the coming months.

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Melissa J. Perenson

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