Editors Note: Some of this review is pulled from the previous Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus review from a few weeks ago. There are many similarities that justify this move, however, there are also some differences and this review will reflect the thoughts and opinions of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, by Samsung, only.
Read on to find out..
Today I’ll be reviewing the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, by Samsung. This is a 7″ tablet is Samsung’s second generation tablet. It’s powered by android OS version 4.0.3 Ice Scream Sandwich. I have all the specs at the bottom of this review. Remember, my main focus is how this device could benefit your child with Autism. There are already tons of your more typical tech reviews all across the web.
As usual, I will be approaching this review from the unique perspective of a special needs parent, who just happens to be a hardcore techy. Not only do I understand the tech but also how it can be incorporated into the lives of the special needs family to assist a child with Autism in learning, communication and even social skills.
Here is a quick rundown of what you get for the $249 price tag and I’ll explain what this means for you and your child.
You get a bright, colorful and crisp, 7″ TFT display, sporting a resolution1024 x 600 pixels. As with it’s big brother, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, I still feel like this is kind of an oddball resolution and I’m not sure why they chose to go with it, but it get the job done and done well. Your apps, movies and pictures will look great on this display. My kids are really attracted to the bright, colorful images that are displayed on the screen.
The newly released Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) will connect to the internet via WiFi only. This means no overpriced carrier contracts to worry about. WiFi is available just about everywhere, so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most people. We connect to WiFi at the children’s hospital all the time. It’s free and works great for things like streaming NetFlix. I can’t stress enough how many times this has been a lifesaver for us during long waits or extended stays at the hospital or doctors office.
[flagallery gid=7 w=720 h=480 name=Gallery]
Their are two cameras on Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), one is on the front (known as a front facing camera) and the other is located on the back. The front facing camera can be used for taking self portaits and videos. Oddly enough. Samsung does’t even list the front facing camera on their site, so I don’t know the actual specs. The camera is perfect for using apps like Skype for making free video calls to loved ones. My kids love taking video and pictures. The get a big kick out of being able to capture their favorite moments and replay them over and over again.
The rear facing camera is spec’d at 3MP and does not include a flash. Both cameras do a good job of taking pictures and videos. They won’t replace a high end camera but they get the job done and serve a very good purpose for your special needs child.
One of the things that we have utilized the camera features for is helping our kids to adjust to new people and places. While my kids tend to adjust to new people and places more easily then some, at times they do struggle. We will have Emmett, for example, take pictures and or video of his new surroundings, as well as take a picture of his new doctor or therapist. This allows us to help him become more familiar and comfortable with new things. He can view the pictures or watch the videos to better familiarize himself with his new friends. The front facing camera allows him to take pictures of himself with a new person in his life and that’s worked out great for him as well.
Will this work for your child?
Nothing will ever work for everyone. It’s important to remember that every child on the Autism spectrum is different and has unique abilities and needs. Having said that, I will share with you why I think this particular device will be is a fantastic piece of technology for families out there and how and why it’s helped mine.
I’ll start out with my favorite feature this tablet possesses and that’s size. What good is a tablet device if it’s simply to cumbersome for a younger child to easily manage on their own. The fact is, that as parents to these kids, we want as much intervention as possible and at the earliest age possible. Many kids on the Autism spectrum have difficulties with gross and/or fine motor skills and as with my kids, could find larger tablets more difficult to hold and subsequently use. The Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) provides the perfect size and weight for a younger child to be able to operate on their own, comfortably.
While I would totally agree that bigger is better when it comes to TV’s, the same isn’t always true for portable computing. A 7″ display allows for plenty of room to view their favorite apps, in a crisp, bright and colorful fashion. My kids can easily navigate the touchscreen and can hold the tablet itself with one or both hands. My 3 year old son, Emmett, has been the primary user of this device and has been able to use it without any problems. This also helps to promote independence, as they are able to do something on their own.
Something else to consider when investing in a device like this is durability. As I mentioned previously, I’m a hardcore techy at heart and I’m really picky about things. I like to take care of the few things that I have and keep them looking new. My kids on the other, are more impulsive and aren’t as gentle with their belongings or mine, for that matter,as I would like to see them be and understandably so. I want to know that a device that I invest my very limited funds into will last long enough for my kids to get some use out of it.
With that said, I have to say that I am honestly impressed with the construction of this tablet, as I was with the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. While is all plastic, it’s sleek and solid. It feels like one solid piece of glass in your hands. There are no sharp edges and the joints are all solid. The buttons (power and vol+/-) are sturdy and responsive. These are hallmarks of a well built device. The screen is scratch resistant as well. Emmett has accidentally and not so accidentally dropped this tablet on at least 4 or 5 occasions and there isn’t a scratch. Every time I clean the screen, I’m always looking for scratches and scuffs, all things I hate, and the screen remains undamaged. While I’m sure that Emmett will one day scratch the screen, I’m really, really impressed with how much it has stood up to so far. I’m very comfortable with my boys using the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) without me feeling the need to hover.
The other major thing I simply love about this tablet is the price. Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, by Samsung can be purchased at your local retailer for only $249. The cheapest iPad 2 will still run you $399 and you’ll need to spend $499 for the cheapest iPad 3. That is a significant difference in price. If you pick this up at Best Buy, you can also chose to purchase a one or two year accidental damage protection plan. This will cover anything that could happen to the tablet while in the hands of your special needs child. Basically, if it gets broken, you take it in to the store and they replace it.You can buy the tablet itself and a 2 year accidental protection plan for the same cost as the cheapest iPad 2 alone.
This is a very well built, feature filled and well performing 7″ android tablet. Having said that, nothing is indestructible. Also, this is not the most powerful tablet you can buy. However, the combination of features, build quality and price make this a tablet that you should seriously consider, if your in the market for a tablet.
I think that this device is perfect for young children and adults alike. I would highly recommend Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, by Samsung, to anyone that would like a tablet based tool for use with their Autistic child.
I would never recommend something that I haven’t personally used and found useful with my 3 boys on the Autism Spectrum. Emmett and Elliott absolutely loves this device and with over 250,000 apps to choose from on the Google Play Store, your sure to find the apps that will be right for your child.
I give this tablet a 5/5 for use with children on the Autism Spectrum.
If you have any questions at all, please send me a message via the contact form at the bottom of this page or simply post your question in the comments.
The Complete List of Hardware Specs
Carrier: Wi-Fi Only
Form Factor: Touchscreen Tablet
Color: Metallic Gray
Operating System: Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
Camera (Front): 2.0 Megapixel ??????
Camera (Rear): 3.0 Megapixel Auto Focus with Flash
Features: Auto Focus; DivX®; HD Recording; HD Playback (on another HD device)
Dimensions (W x H x D):4.8″ x 7.6″ x .41″
Weight: 0.76 lbs
Usage Time: Up to 8 hours
Standby Time: Up to 600 hours (Wi-Fi on), Up to 1500 hours (Wi-Fi off)
External: micro SD card slot supports up to 32GB
Frequencies and Data Type: Wi-Fi Only
Display: 7″ Display
Main Display Resolution: 1024 x 600 Pixel
Main Display Size: 7″ Display
Main Display Technology: TFT
User Interface: Widgets; TouchWiz; Social Hub; Accelerometer
Audio: Music player; Compatible Music Files- MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, FLAC, WMA, Vorbis, Midi, AMR NB/WB, AC3(only with Video), WAV
Video: Video Player; Compatible Video Files- 1080p playback (HW codec only)Format: 3gp(mp4), avi(divx), wmv(asf), flv, mkv, webm Codec: HW – MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC-1, DivX; VP8, WMV7/8, DivX3.11, Sorenson H.263
Fun and Entertainment: Google Play Store™, Samsung Media Hub, Social Hub, Peel Smart Remote, Amazon™ Kindle™, AllShare™, Kies Air, Next Issue, Photo Editor, Pulse
Business and Office: Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync, Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access, Polaris® Office, Video Chat, Cisco WebEx, EAS IT Policy, HW Encryption, Sybase Afaria
Messaging Options: Email; Corporate Email; Instant Messaging; Swype™
Where to get it
Here are links to Samsung’s online store as well Best Buy where you can purchase this particular device:
Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) $249 (Direct from Samsung)
Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) $249 (Best Buy)
Facebook: Samsung USA
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