The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is a 7 inch tablet with a dual core processor, Android 4.0 software, and an appealing price tag of just $250. That puts it in competition with the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet and Amazon Kindle Fire, but unlike those tablets you don’t have to root the new Galaxy Tab in order to install the Google Play Store.
But if you want to root the tablet anyway, now there’s a way to do that.
RootzWiki forum member nycbjr has released some basic tools that will let you root the 7 inch Galaxy Tab 2. It’s not the most user-friendly root method at this point — it requires you to download and use the Heimdall tool for flashing firmware updates. If you’re looking for more of a one-click solution you might want to wait a little while.
Update: The tools have been updated so that you can now install ClockworkMod Recovery on the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and flash a zip file to gain root access. It still takes a little work, but it’s easier than the original method — and once ClockworkMod is installed you can use it to backup and restore your device.
Update 2: You can find step-by-step instructions for rooting the tablet with ClockworkMod at RootzWiki.
But several users have reported that they’ve successfully rooted the tablet using nycbjr’s method.
Rooting the tablet allows you to access files and settings that are otherwise protected. This lets you run apps such as Titanium Backup, which you can use to backup and restore applications and data or Root Explorer, which lets you browse the entire file system on your device.
I think the main draw of the Galaxy Tab 2.0 at this point is that it offers the full Android 4.0 experience without rooting, which makes the tablet more user-friendly than some other devices in its price range.
If you’re willing to root a Kindle Fire and install a custom kernal and custom ROM, you can get a very similar experience — but Samsung’s new tablet also features front and rear cameras, Bluetooth, and GPS — features that neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble’s tablets offer.
Once you add root access to the mix, and the Galaxy Tab 2.0 look like a pretty great deal for $250.