Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100 Gaming Performance Review

Posted by B. Johnson
August 7, 2014 | 1 comments
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100 Gaming Performance ReviewHi guys, welcome back to this site! Glad to see you guys here again!

After showing you some of Samsung’s new tablets plus the older-gen tablet from this manufacturer, now i have more Samsung GALAXY tablets to come.

This time, i want to flash back again to the past and show you guys one interesting tablet from this Korean-based manufacturer. And the tablet i’m about to show you today is Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100, released around 2 years ago in 2012.

Similar just like any of Samsung’s tablets, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 also consists in varied different models – from the smallest 7-inch the and the 10-inch models.

And these 2 models also have other different variants – from the WiFi-only, the 3G-enabled and the one with 4G LTE support.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100 benchmarks and gaming performance

Interestingly though, the LTE variant of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is powered by the different processor as the 3G and the WiFi-only models – Snapdragon dual-core processor, accompanied with Adreno 225 GPU -, as opposed to the 3G and WiFi that both receive the Samsung Exynos treatment plus PowerVR SGX540 GPU (the same GPU found inside iPhone 4 if i’m not mistaken).

This is actually different with the last-gen model of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 series – the 8-inch and 10-inch (WiFi, 3G and LTE) –, which all of these models are powered by the same Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305, no matter the cellular supports that these tablets come with.

Anyway, today i’m gonna start the review with the 10-inch model with 3G cellular support, followed by the LTE variant in my next review.

So you’ll get to see which one of these 2 tablets that have the better gaming performance than any of them.

And hopefully, my reviews of these 2 tablets can help you decide which one of these 2 variants that you might want to pick up.

Okay then, if you want to get to know more about this tablet, including its gaming performance and what games that would be suitable for this tablet (or would run smoothly in full graphics), then here you go, my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 – the 3G and WiFi-only models -, which both will be wrapped up in just one review – this review you’re reading right now of course (duh).

Introduction

Ever since Samsung released the first-ever-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet, it didn’t straight away become the popular tablet, let alone become the challenger for Apple with its iPad – which used to be a definite choice for tablets shoppers out there on the market.

Samsung’s oldest-gen tablets – in fact – used to be really ugly in design and laggy in performance and experience, making it a huge 'meh' for many consumers out there.

However, slowly but surely, this Korea-based manufacturer finally found the right formula to make tablets for consumers and started seeing some great sign here and there on the markets in many countries.

And it’s proved when this company launched the successor for its laggy tablet to the market - Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE, with many improvements especially in features and performance, plus connectivity.

After seeing some pretty good success in sales and popularity across many countries, Samsung then released the sequel under the same Samsung Galaxy Tab series, called as Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

This tablet consists in many different models – from the 7-inch to the 10-inch variants, all also carrying different cellular supports (WiFi-only, 3G and 4G LTE), as well as different processors.

Interestingly, the WiFi-only and 3G-only variants of this tablet series are packing TI OMAP 4430 processor, accompanied with PowerVR SGX540 GPU – as opposed to the LTE model that receives Snapdragon treatment instead with Adreno 225 GPU handling the graphics power.

These 2 models (WiFi-only and 3G) actually kind of remind me with the first-ever-gen Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, also with the same exact TI OMAP 4430 processor with the same 1GHz clock speed, although Samsung’s device has 1GB of RAM compared to the smaller 512MP RAM on Amazon’s slate.

This kind of makes me think that Samsung’s tablet (both 3G and WiFI models) is probably gonna have the same performance, especially gaming performance, with Amazon’s tablet – given their same exact PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

But we’ll get more about the gaming performance of this tablet later.

So the questions are, with all the hardware found inside this tablet, especially its TI OMAP and PowerVR SGX540 chipsets, does Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (the WiFi-only and 3G models) have the capability to deliver great gaming performance, compared to the LTE variant (with Snapdragon and Adreno 225 GPU)?

Is this tablet still relevant to be positioned in today’s 10-inch tablet market?

Is it worth it to buy this tablet?

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  • 3G Network
  • Mini-SIM
  • Weight 588 g (1.30 lb)
  • Released May 2012
  • 10.1 inch PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~149 ppi pixel density)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9TI OMAP 4430 Chipset
  • PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • TouchWiz UX UI
  • Android OS 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, upgradable to 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 32 GB
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • 3.15 MP rear-facing camera
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • GPRS
  • HSDPA
  • EDGE
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • HTML, Adobe Flash Browser
  • No Radio
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • GPS
  • Colors Black, White
  • TV-out
  • Accelerometer, gyro, compass
  • Non-removable Li-Po 7000 mAh battery
On paper, the hardware specs of this tablet is probably slightly less powerful compared to the LTE variant – especially its TI OMAP dual-core processor and PowerVR SGX540 GPU compared to the Snapdragon S4 Plus and Adreno 225 GPU that gets huge support the most from the app and game developers.

But that’s the only downside found on this tablet.

Overall, this 3G and WiFi-only variant of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is still equal in the whole aspect with the LTE model.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) comes with a 10.1-inch display sporting the 1280x800 pixel resolution, a dual-core TI OMAP processor with the clock speed of 1GHz per core, 1GB of RAM, PowerVR SGX540 GPU (the same GPU found inside the iPhone 4), 3.15MP rear-facing camera with NO flash and autofocus, VGA front-facing camera, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, microSD card slot for up to 32GB, a huge 7000mAh battery and some other more.

Screen

In the screen department, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) is packing 10.1-inch PLS TFT display with the resolution of 1280x800 pixels (and with the pixel density of -149 ppi).

For today’s standards, then it’s really obvious that the display of this tablet will not be on par with today’s rivals, especially in terms of sharpness.

However, given that this tablet was released back then in 2012, then the 720p resolution on this 10.1-inch tablet can still be acceptable.

Everything that you throw on the screen still looks nice and pretty sharp.

However, you’ll always need to do a lot of pinch-to-zoom gesture especially when reading books or browsing the web.

User Interface

When it comes to User Interface, there’s not much difference between this tablet and the other Samsung GALAXY tablets out there.

It still has the same looking homescreen, widgets, app shortcuts, drop-down notification window, app drawer, skins and wallpapers, which come pre-loaded on the software.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) comes pre-installed with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the form of TouchWiz UI, which has a lot of cool and useful pre-loaded features like multi-window mode, multitasking apps (like video player, music player, browser, etc) and many other more.

So you’ll likely have a great time using this tablet in the long run.

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Interestingly, unlike the LTE model, this Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) is equipped with different processor – TI OMAP 4430 dual-core chipset with the clock speed of 1GHz, coupled with PowerVR SGX540 GPU (the same GPU found inside the iPhone 4) and 1GB of RAM -, as opposed to the Snapdragon S4 Plus and Adreno 225 GPU inside the LTE variant, with the same 1GB of RAM.

On paper, the LTE model of this tablet will likely have much faster and more superior performance than the WiFi-only/3G models.

However, in real life performance, any basic tasks that you throw on this tablet can still be executed smoothly without any meaningful problem on all these 3 models.

So for doing things like – watching HD movies, using live wallpaper, browsing the web, editing videos/documents or rendering graphics-related tasks – there’s not much difference in performance on both LTE and 3G/WiFi-only models.

On the other hand, as for playing games, the LTE variant of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will likely have more superior performance than the WiFi/3G models given that Snapdragon processor and Adreno 225 usually are supported by many app developers, especially game developers.

So it’s not surprising if games on the LTE model will run much smoother in full graphics then on the WiFi/3G models.

Even so, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) is still more than capable to handle most of the older games – even the most graphics intense ones – released in early 2012, like PES 2012, Need for Speed Undercover/SHIFT, N.O.V.A 1 and 2, Modern Combat 1 and 2, Asphalt 5 and 6, ShadowGun, Dead Trigger or even GTA III.

Meanwhile, for the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, GTA San Andreas or N.O.V.A 3, it’s really obvious that the hardware specs inside this tablet will not be adequate to deliver smooth performance especially in full graphics.

So if you’re in the search for a 10-inch tablet with great gaming performance, i suggest you to switch to other 10-inch tablets that have more superior specs, especially in the performance department – like Sony Xperia Z/Z2, iPad Air, Google Nexus 10 or Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro/Tab S.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

Similar just like the LTE variant – as well as the other Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets -, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) still inherits the same 3.15MP camera on the back, although it probably has more improved camera module and software.

So the camera quality of this tablet will be better than the same 3.15MP camera on the predecessor.

Meanwhile, on the front-side, you’ll be able to do selfies or video calls, thanks to the VGA front-facing camera provided on this tablet.

Speaking about its quality, then you just can’t – you’re even not allowed – to compare it with the cameras of other flagship tablets – like iPad, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 or Sony Xperia Z – because these tablets have high quality cameras than this Samsung’s tablet.

Battery Life

It’s great to see this tablet powered by 7000mAh power battery inside. With such a huge battery capacity, there’s no doubt that this tablet is more than capable to keep the engine going for one solid day, even in heavy usage – of course in one full charge.

However, if you’re type of power user and will likely use this tablet at the most for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen – like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row, then you can expect to see this tablet last around 6 to 8 hours, which is still great given its huge battery capacity.

My Personal Opinions

So my final words about this tablet are, as a 10-inch media-consumption tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) is still a pretty good choice for you.

But this also depends on its price point. I mean, if this tablet (especially the WiFi-only model) costs around $199 to $250, then it’s obvious that this tablet is worthless for you.

However, if you get the 3G model around the price range above, then this tablet can still be a good purchase for you.
  • I like its 720p display,
  • i like its huge battery capacity,
  • i like its pre-loaded features (which sometimes can be really useful),
  • i like the fact that this tablet has complete set of cameras on front and back (which is nice and can be pretty handy when you forgot to bring your smartphone at your disposal),
  • i like its 3G cellular support (of course, for the 3G model) which can be really handy to browse the net or even make phone call and text messages,
  • and pretty much for a media-consumption tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (WiFi and 3G) has all what it takes to be a good device for that matter.
However, there are still some downsides found on this tablet – from its mediocre processor and graphics card, mediocre cameras, chubby design, laggy performance especially when loading too many apps at once or using live wallpaper and the most prominent weakness of this tablet is its gaming performance.

With only TI OMAP dual-core processor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU and 1GB of RAM (which actually only provides less than 700MB of free RAM), then this tablet will suffer a lot in handling the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, GTA San Andreas or Dead Trigger 2.

But even so, for the older games released in early 2012 – even the most graphics intense ones -, then this tablet will have no problem at all in running these games in smooth performance even in full graphics.

So to answer some of my questions above, here are my answers:
  1. No – it’s really obvious that on paper, the TI OMAP dual-core 1GHz processor inside this tablet is not on par with the Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960 processor inside the LTE variant, especially its Adreno 225, which has great compatibility with many apps and games given the huge support from many developers specifically for this Snapdragon processor. But even so, for playing the older games in early 2012 or before it, this tablet will surely have the power to deliver a smooth performance when handling these games.
  2. No – without a question, the PowerVR SGX540 and the TI OMAP 4430 processor are already considered as outdated for today’s standards. Not to mention, this 10-inch tablet is still sporting 720p display, which is already left behind in competition where many rivals already adopt 1080p or even 2.5K display. So there’s no chance this tablet can be pitted together with today’s 10-inch rivals. However, if you manage to get the 3G model of this tablet in around $199 to $250, then you’ll make no mistake because this tablet is certainly a good purchase in that price range, especially when many $199 to $250 10-inch tablets usually don’t have 3G cellular connectivity.
  3. Yes – this tablet is still worth buying with the reason i mentioned above in the answer of number 2.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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