The low cost tablet war. Amazon threw its Kindle Fire into the 7-inch tablet wars late in 2011, and would change the 7-inch tablet market. Last month Google announced its own US$199 tablet with the 8 GB version of the Nexus 7, with a 16 GB version priced at US$250. The Google Nexus 7 is manufactured by Asus.
Samsung own entry into this low cost tablet wars is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 series of tablets are revised versions of their 2011 tablets. The new series of Galaxy tablets is not necessarily better than last years models, except in one important aspect. They are cheaper.
The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is officially priced at Php12,990 for the WiFi only version. A 3G version with full phone and SMS functionality is also available, with a suggested retail price of Php16,990. Street prices are lower with the WiFi only version at Php12,300 and the 3G version at Php15,990.
The entry level Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has a 7-inch PLS LCD display with 600 x 1024 display, a dual core 1 GHz processor, PowerVR SGX 540 graphics and 16 GB of internal storage. It runs Android 4.0.3, Ice Cream Sandwich.
The specifications are not as exciting as Google Nexus 7 tablet with a 720p HD display and quad-core power via Nvidia's Tegra 3 processing unit packing the latest Android 4.10 operating system, Jelly Bean.
Should you wait for the Google Nexus 7? There are aspects where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is better than the Google Nexus 7.
The Google Nexus 7 comes in two versions, an 8 GB and 16 GB version. The Google Nexus 7 has no MicroSD card slot so the storage is not expandable. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 P3110 sold here has 16 GB of internal storage and a MicroSD card slot which supports card of up to 64 GB in size. This means you can expand the storage of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 to up to 80 GB's.
If you want a 3G capable 7-inch tablet, there is no 3G version of the Kindle Fire of Google Nexus 7.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 also comes with a 3.2 MP primary camera, although I really think having a primary camera on a tablet makes little sense, except maybe for augmented reality apps.
There is no official word on whether the Google Nexus 7 will land in the Philippines. This makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 the best low cost tablet it the market right now. For many users, the expandable storage and option for a 3G version with full phone functionality will make it a better choice.