Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Meta-Review

Samsung has outed its latest tablet, and it looks like a killer. With powerful specs, a killer screen, and an incredibly thin form factor, is Samsung’s latest outing worth it’s price? Read on to see what the reviewers think.

Form Factor

Everyone seems to agree that this is a gorgeous tablet. Many people initially wondered about the odd 7.7” form factor, but by and large reviewers seem to love it. Engadget said of its size and screen:
“Truly, the form factor and screen size come together to achieve a near-perfect balance between easy content consumption and portability. No, it's not going to slip into your jeans pocket, but it fits easily into most purses and even managed to find a home in this editor's suit pocket.”
ComputerWorld says simply, “Although 7.7 inches may seem like an odd size for a tablet screen, but the compact size means that it works nicely.”As you might have noticed, Engadget loves the display. So do others. The Verge commented that:
“It's gorgeous, with incredibly deep blacks and vibrant colors. It does tend to give everything a slightly warm tint, so things look a little too orange and red, but it's not a terrible effect and it certainly makes colors pop. Viewing angles are excellent, with almost no discoloration even far off-axis, and it’s bright enough to be somewhat readable even in sunlight, though like most AMOLED panels it’s still not great.”
Though they couldn’t help but compare the screen to the new iPad’s which puts all other screens to shame. They note that this is the second-best tablet display out there, however.

Reviewers lauded the thinness and lightness of the Tab 7.7, with The Verge again noting “It's really comfortable to hold, even in one hand, and the way the sides taper slightly toward the back feels just right.”


The main problem with the Tab 7.7 seems to be that it still runs Android version 3, Honeycomb. While Honeycomb was seen as a game-changer when it was first released, it has some age on it and it was never able to compete with iOS. Ice Cream Sandwich is much, much better, but the Tab 7.7, for some reason, doesn’t run it. The Verge explicitly called out this fact, saying:
“Using the Galaxy Tab 7.7 perfectly crystallizes how bad Honeycomb really is. Samsung built a solid, high-end tablet with great internals and a great display, but equipped it with an operating system that's just not up to the task. If and when it's upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich this will easily be one of the two or three most compelling Android tablets, because Samsung did virtually everything else right. Right now, though, it’s being held back considerably.”
Techworld, meanwhile, said:
“Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a mixed offering: The design is superb, but the user experience offered by this tablet will be much better once Ice Cream Sandwich is deployed.”
Others noted how much bloatware is on the device. Engadget said:
“And yes, there's definitely bloatware. Samsung brings its usual suite of Hubs as well as Allshare, Samsung Apps, pen memo and a few tools for editing videos and photos. Verizon's contributions to the selection of pre-installed apps include its Backup Assistant Plus service, Blockbuster, Dead Space (the first level comes free), Mobile Hotspot, My Verizon Mobile, Amazon Kindle, Quickoffice HD Pro, Videosurf and The Daily.”
Though not all of those are horrible to have preloaded on your device.

Battery Life

The battery on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 seems to be outstanding. Engadget timed it at 12:42, which is more than 2 hours longer than what the iPad offers. They found LTE 4G battery life to be stellar too, being reduced by just a few hours. This is confirmed by Computer World, who timed the battery to be 9 hours with LTE on.


All indications are that this tablet performs fine. Its dual-core Exynos processor might not be the cutting edge anymore, but it is still is more than up to the task of running the device. And while many reviewers noticed stutter and lag when using the tablet, it was put down to Android Honeycomb, an operating system known for those things.


The general concensus seems to be that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a great device held back by an outdated operating system and insane pricing. The screen, form factor, build quality, and battery life are all fine. The problem is that this tablet runs Honeycomb, an operating system that just isn’t competitive. Why Samsung didn’t upgrade the tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich is a mystery, though it should be noted that they are planning on updating in the coming months.The Tab 7.7 is also $500 on a two year contract. In case you were wondering, that is really, really expensive. You can get one without a contract for $700.
So despite this being a largely solid device, it probably is a skip. Which is sad. I really like the 7.7” form factor. It strikes the perfect balance. Oh well, next time.

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