The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 was a pretty nice budget tablet, even having some features over the Nexus 7 (though the Nexus 7 was overall far better). It was a solid offering from Samsung for its time, and with the great discounts you can find these days, it’s worth buying for many people. However, the time is right for a successor to the Jelly Bean powered tab, and Samsung is ready to deliver. Unfortunately, they seem to have gotten the order wrong.
The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is not quite what we imagined it to be. It closely follows the design of the Galaxy Note 8.0, which means you’re looking at a giant Galaxy Note II. And while that design works quite well for phones, I do not think it fits tablets very well. The worst part of the design may be the capcitive buttons at the bottom; whenever you hold the tablet in landscape, you’ll accidentally press those buttons. Trust me. Samsung, why not just conform to Android standards and use on screen buttons?
At least the tablet will redeem itself on specs, like most Samsung devices do, right? Not at all. it’s barely an upgrade over the Tab 2 7.0. The device houses an unknown 1.2 GHz dual core processor (it could either be the two year old dual core Exynos used in the S II, or less likely, a dual core Snapdragon S4 Plus), 1GB of RAM, 8 or 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, dual cameras (3MP rear and 1.3MP front), and of course, a 7 inch display with, wait for it, a 1024×600 resolution. Oh, and toss Android 4.1 in there, while the Galaxy S 4 already launched with 4.2.
Consider the issue of storage. This tablet will run a modern version of TouchWiz, which is massive. If there is only 8GB of storage, very little will be left for the user. Games can’t be transferred to the external SD card without root, so the 8GB model may be rendered useless by TouchWiz itself. 16GB is better, but it’ll probably be a significant bump in price.
Now, we don’t know the price, so all of this can be redeemed. If this tablet launched at a price tag of $150 or less, I’d gladly take my criticism back. But with on screen buttons and stock Android with the hybrid UI, the $170 HP Slate 7 suddenly looks awfully attractive. We’ll see about the price though, as the tablet comes out in May. And if you’re looking for a 3G version, that’ll be out in June. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.