Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 tablet a winner?
The Korean manufacturer's new 7-inch device will have to compete with proven winners.
The market for affordable tablets below the $300 price point is alive and thriving, as best evidenced by Amazon's (AMZN) popular $200 Kindle Fire. Now, Samsung (SSNLF) is entering the fray with the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2, which actually costs $50 more than the Fire or Barnes & Noble's (BKS) 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. Among other pluses it 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."
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 NET. 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.
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.
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