* Prices may differ from that shown
I purchased the Samsung Galaxy 2 Tablet in White in August last year for my husband for his birthday. At the time, it cost me £240 from BHS direct (this was the best deal at that time). As with all these things, as technology moves on and gets updated, the price has dropped slightly since then and it can be found for around £220-230 in most places online now (October 2013). It was the first tablet that we had purchased and the one that we still use now.
The variety of the Galaxy that we own has a 16GB hard drive capacity and is white in colour - the border round the screen and the back of the tablet is white. It has a 10.1 inch screen which is obviously touch screen, which is LCD. It has a Dual-Core processor (ARM Cortex A9) with a speed of 1 GHz. Memory is 1GB and the operating system is android 4.0. Alot of this means very little to me as I am not much of a technology-minded person, but my husband selected the tablet (he is much more knowledgeable than me in this area!) and he was happy with the specifications here. We can access our WIFI on it, which as far as I was concerned, was pretty much what I needed to know!
There is a 3.5mm stereo headphone/line out so you can listen to it discreetly and also a built in webcam. There is a front and rear facing camera and also the ability to record videos. The battery life is 8 hours. Tablet size is 175.3mm height x 256.6mm width x 9.7mm depth. Weight is 585grams.
USING THE TABLET
The tablet feels fairly lightweight to hold, although a little heavier than perhaps I had been expecting it to be. It is easy to hold and comfortable to grasp in one hand. From the front, you can see two circles at the top of the tablet where the cameras are located. At the bottom, there is a port for placing the electric charger into to charge up the battery. Along the top edge, there are two silver push buttons - one for turning the tablet on and off and one for volume control - and a small door that opens to reveal a port for putting a micro SD card in. The buttons are easy to push and work without the need to apply significant pressure. There are two speakers located to the left and right of the screen.
On turning on, you need to then swipe the screen to unlock and you are faced with all sorts of preloaded icons. Some of these we have used, others we have had very little use for personally. However, it is nice that things are ready to go so, from first use you are able to connect to the internet easily and access the Play Store and Samsung Apps etc. Having not used everything available on the tablet, I cannot give a completely comprehensive review of everything available to you (that would probably make for a rather lengthy, wordy review anyway) but can give an overview of the aspects that I have used.
The camera is also easy to locate and very self explanatory to use - even for a complete novice like me. The camera itself can be quite difficult to use in terms of getting a clear picture. It took us several attempts to work out a technique that resulted in getting a non-blurred picture. This is partly due to the fact that the object of our focus was usually a rather active toddler, but also partly due to learning how to hold the tablet to ensure no movement as you take the picture! It is easy to flick between cameras so you can select front or rear facing (and therefore take a self portrait, should you so wish) by tapping the camera icon at the top left of the screen. There is also a timer function for group portraits etc. The album feature allows you to flick through your photos with ease and presents you with a selection of thumbnails. There are also various photo editing options available too via the Samsung Photo Editor App.
The internet is easy to browse and opens with a page of 8 thumbnails of your most visited pages, so if you visit the same pages regularly, you can just tap on them and bring them up. To type a web address or email etc, a keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen. This is a regular QWERTY keyboard and can be used by touch typing, this can be changed to a notepad where you can draw the letters with your finger (or a stylus if you preferred) and write that way or, alternatively, Google voice typing, where you speak the words you want to write. I have used this from time to time and it recognises the words well and makes writing lengthy items much quicker!
We have also used the tablet to download films and watch. The screen is great quality for this, with a sharp, bright picture and good volume which is easy to control. With the speakers located at the front of the tablet rather than rear, the sound comes right at you, enhancing the experience. It is also good for playing games on, with a quick response to tapping and swiping the screen. Again, the screen size accommodates this use well.
So, for my usage, the tablet is pretty much spot on. However, over the months we have encountered one or two problems with the tablet. The first, and most serious, being only a month or so after purchase. The tablet had been turned off and, no matter how much button pressing we did, it wouldn't come on, despite knowing that the battery was almost fully charged. After a bit of googling, it became clear that this could be quite a common problem with this tablet. We tried the various solutions suggested and, eventually, holding down the power button whilst tapping the screen worked and the tablet turned on. I am still unsure quite why this happened and it hasn't happened since but it did seem very worrying especially given the relative newness of the tablet.
Another issue that we have encountered is the battery life. This is supposed to be 8 hours playback time but it is usually a little shorter than this, in our experience. Possibly due to having the screen brightness set up high and various applications running but I would say it was more like around 6 hours.
Not one that bothers me particularly, but a negative never the less is the lack of ability to support 3G - there is no internal SIM slot - so you cannot use on the go, just with WIFI. This suits our needs fine but it is worth baring in mind if this is something you want from a tablet.
MY OVERALL OPINION
As a tablet novice and someone who doesn't have terribly high demands from a tablet, this suits me perfectly. It is easy to operate and very user friendly. Nothing seems to be overcomplicated for the sake of it and basic functions are pretty self explanatory. I would say that the tablet was neither very appealing or very unappealing aesthetically. It is thicker than others I have come across but the screen size is good. Whilst it does not feel particularly heavy to hold, after a two hour film viewing, it does take a toll on your arm muscles!
There are a few minor issues that would probably put me off a wholehearted recommendation - particularly the rather worrying issue we had early on with not being able to turn it back on and the fact that there is no 3G capability which would be an issue for a number of users. The camera is probably not as good quality as others available on tablets either. But, for general ease of use and reliability of the applications that I use, together with the screen size, clarity and brightness I would definitely recommend it.