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Following the event, Samsung provided the CRN Test Center with a 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2, and we've been duly impressed for two days now. The form factor is comfortable, the 1024 x 600 pixel screen is bright and crisp, Ice Cream Sandwich is intuitive and well-designed, and its apps are fast and responsive. And despite all of its high-performance hardware, the 7-inch unit ran continuously from a single charge for more than 10 hours, during five of which all power saving features were disabled (the default).
Also impressive is TouchWiz, Samsung's Android-environment overlay. We're not generally fans of vendor-specific OS add-ons because they often alter the environment's personality and can lead to fragmentation. Samsungs' does neither. Instead, it adds a taskbar to apps from which other apps can be quickly accessed, edited and dismissed. For instance, if an email you're reading requires the creation or change of an appointment, two taps on the screen overlays your calendar for editing. Another tap dismisses it. These so-called mini-apps include an alarm clock, calculator, music player, planner and task manager and can be added or removed.
TouchWiz also adds navigational control to the Android desktop. For example, while the five-panel (default) desktop can be paged with finger swipes as usual, it can also be scrolled using a scroll bar that appears when the page indicator is long-touched. A third option displays the pages -- with as many as seven pages total -- as mini-panels that can be reordered by dragging and accessed directly with a touch. Activate this function with a two-finger twist on any panel.
Long-touching a blank portion of any panel shrinks the panel and brings up a dialog for adding Widgets, shortcuts and folders, and for changing wallpapers. When deciding where to place objects on a panel, dragging the object near the edge of a panel brings up the next panel.
The Samsung 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 will begin shipping on April 22 at a list price of $249. The 1280 x 800, 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 2 will list for $399 and be available on May 13. With each new Galaxy Tab 2, Samsung also includes a one-year DropBox subscription with 50GB of online storage, a $99 value. With their solid performance, intuitive interface enhancements, competitive pricing and extras, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 tablets are a solid reseller value and worthy of strong consideration.
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