Of all the 10” tablets that I owned or tested, this one landed today in my hands as new blood, a tablet that I have hoped that it will fulfill my tablet computing needs, a tablet with an affordable price with hopefully good gaming and entertaining performance.

Is this the one I am looking for? Let’s find out.

Samsung is known for making a lot of tablets, heck, some may say that it floods the market with tens of models, just to catch some share from the “big pie” that is bitten hard by Apple. I say that Samsung is making tablets for everyone’s taste and budget. There are tablets with every format you can imagine, from 5” to 10”, with phone capabilities, or just simple tablets.

Ok, this model (P5100) is a big 10” phone. What Samsung? You did what? Well, you have made me very happy, because my version is gifted with phone calls option. I had a P6800 Samsung, that was also a phone, but I have never imagined that I will have a 10” phone. I am using it only as backup phone.

This may sound ridiculous for some, but I have always said that a tablet must have something like this, because it fills all communication needs. I can send SMS messages and place calls with a Bluetooth headset. I have a big, 7000mAh battery, so I can talk until I run out of money.

This Tab is interesting, it’s not designed to bring down the “big boys” with Tegra3 or fight with Snapdragons, this tablet is a very affordable companion, come on, it’s a cheap big 10” phone.

Just look at it. Screen is same PLS 10.1 1280×800 pixels, it weights 588grams, it’s made of plastic, but a very tough one, just like my old P7500 that had to go. If you see from photos, the PU case from P7500 fits perfectly, I have recycled it with success, thank you Samsung for not changing the design too much. I also have a PDMI to USB and micro SD adapter from the old Tab that works.

What I like at the new Tab is that I have a micro SD slot, so that PDMI adapter is used only sometimes.

Getting to hardware, I kind of have to say that I am not that impressed. I was hoping for Samsung’s own Exynos chip, with Mali400 quad-core GPU. Maybe to cut down the costs, they opted for a year old 4430 TI OMAP System-on-a-Chip. Don’t get me wrong, this chip powers the latest Nexus, but for a 10” screen, they could have integrated something else. And I don’t think that their own Exynos is that expensive to implement, come on, it’s an in house product, should be cheaper than buying from TI or Qualcomm.

Ok, so the chip could be better. But that doesn’t mean that PowerVR 540 is not a game GPU, I have tested Defense Zone HD and Sentinel 3, Shadowgun and they all perform very well.

Comparing to P7500 that was before (and I have owned), TI is better at some games and can decode fullHD video, Tegra 2 is better at other games (especially Tegra Zone ones) and cannot decode fullHD and some 720p with different baseline profiles.

The rest are the same, 1GB RAM, 3.2 Mpix camera (can record 1080p, P7500 couldn’t) and lacks a LED flash, but the sensor is the same. P5100 comes with a 3G modem, HSPA+ capable and also GSM voice calls (at least my version).

 

Battery? Same 7000mAh as P7500, but lasts a bit shorter, though. Watching a 1h movie online, (TV series), took about 10 percent, at automatic brightness and with Wi-Fi on. Engadget tested it and got 9 hours at 50% brightness looping a movie. So this depends on the conditions. I’d say that up to 9 hours is good only for watching videos. Gaming drops with 2 hours more, so no more that 6-7hours of pure 3D gaming and that depends of the complexity of game and how much is the 4430 put on work.

What is the most important is the operating system. It comes preloaded with ICS 4.03. This is a leap forward from that pesky Honeycomb that was an OS wannabe. Sorry, but I have owned a lot of tablets and the performance was ruined by the OS. I have ditched my P7500 because of that; at least a compromise must be made.

Think of this: A Samsung Galaxy P7500 that has no ICS, but some games perform a bit better, with 30-40 minutes more battery life? Or, a Galaxy Tab 2 P5100, with a better price, a phone (come on, a big 10 smartphone), a new processor that can perform almost the same as Tegra 2, if not better at some games, but can also decode 1080 movies? And a camera that shoots 1080p video?

You decide, I have already decided. I think I’m going to keep it, at least until that Note 10.1” Fairytale gets out. At 450euros, this is a bargain. If I’m wrong, I will be stuck with a big phone.

  • Hi there.
    i have been told by Samsung, Canal Walk, Cape Town South Africa, that all these P5100 have been recalled due to software error. Do you know anything about this?

  • DeianStancu

     There are already OTA updates, it depends the region you live in. Just wait a bit and the update will roll. My unit hasn’t got worse problems than other fresh/just launched tablets. I works properly.

  • Sulaiman

    Hi there, i’m currently using p7500. I’ve felt so fed up of this honeycomb. I heard that ICS will be available for my device. So, i think i’m gonna wait till the os arrive before i toss this tablet away.

  • James

    Hi , I really can’t make up my mind between the P7500 & the P5100. Which is the better Tab ?

  • Deian Stancu

    I would go for the second version, because the TI OMAP 4430 can decode full HD video and the tablet has microSD support.

  • James

    Thanks Deian,
    What about Video Chatting ? Skype ? On which of them does it work better ?

  • DeianStancu

     Well, basically they are built on the same idea. P5100 has an upgraded CPU and a slightly better GPU, but chat and Skype should be fine on both.
    I am using it now (P5100), also as the second phone, Yahoo, Mail, Skype, WhatsApp, some games.

  • James

    Ok.
    The reason i asked is because the secondary camera on the P7500 is 2MP where as on the P5100, it is a VGA Camera.
    Logically , the person at the other end would be able to view the person using the P7500 better than the P5100.
    Is this true in reality ? 
    Since you have used both the Tabs simultaneously, you would know better. Thanks to advice.

  • DeianStancu

     There is no chat program that can use HD resolution at the moment, for tablets or phones, that is.  Skype is not HD for mobile, neither Yahoo which is worse even than Yahoo at video.

    HD video chat requires lot of network power and a desktop PC. Also, both callers need HD Web cameras

  • James

    Thanks Deian , for clearing my doubts on the issue.

  • Pinkypink2007

     Can i Skype on this and can i use pen drive on  this?

  • HAMII

    i have buyed this Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
    i have a serious problem with that skype video calling is not suppored in this tablet only audio is working in skype
    can any 1 help me out plz ?

    i dont know why video calling in skype is not working in my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

  • Lars

    The older version is far better with its 2MP front camera. The P5100 only as a VGA camera. VGA? How could they do that. It’s 2012. 🙂
    What did Samsung think?