Samsung has unveiled not one, but two new tablet additions to its Android mobile product line at Florida's CTIA Wireless 2011. The company has managed to slim down the width profile on both devices to an iPad 2-beating 8.6mm (0.33-inch), claiming the crown for the world's thinnest tablets in the process. The 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab devices both get a couple of cameras, benefit from dual-core processing and come in three storage choices.
Samsung already outed the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab at Mobile World Congress last month, but surprised everyone by shaving off some width for this announcement at CTIA Wireless. After releasing the 7-inch device last year, Samsung certainly looks to be covering all the mobile computing bases with an 8.9-inch version also unveiled.
The smaller of the two new tablets features an 8.9-inch WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution touchscreen display, is powered by a 1GHz dual-core application processor, and will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavors with microSD expansion. It runs on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and gets access to the Android Market and Google's Mobile Services such as Google Talk, GMail, Google Maps and so on.
Samsung has pre-loaded the device with a Reader Hub and Music Hub that gives users access to over 2 million books and over 13 million songs, and a Social Hub brings together email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface. Users also get something called the TouchWiz UX interface, which features a live panel where content such as photos, network feeds and favored websites can be displayed. The interface also includes a Samsung Mini Apps Tray for easy access to commonly-used functions like the music player and calendar.
The device offers full 1080p high definition video playback at 30 frames per second in MPEG4/H263/H264, Divx/Xvid formats and 720p movie recording, the latter courtesy of a 3 megapixel AF Camera with LED Flash installed at the rear and a 2 megapixel camera at the front. There's business-friendly Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support and Adobe Flash Player 10.2 compatibility. Audio from such formats as MP3, AAC, OGG, and MIDI is fed through to stereo speakers or a 3.5mm headphone jack.
This new 9 x 6.2 x 0.33-inch (230.9 x 157.8 x 8.6 mm), 16.5 ounce (470g) Galaxy Tab can operate on HSPA+ 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100 and EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 networks, has integrated 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and comes with Bluetooth 3.0 technology. Physical connectivity is offered via a USB 2.0 port, the device is powered by a 6000mAh battery, and sensors include a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a digital compass, and an ambient light sensor.
The 10.1 x 6.8 x 0.33-inch (256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6 mm), 20.9 ounce (595g) 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab shares many of the same features as the 8.9-inch model, but obviously has a bigger touchscreen display – a 10.1-inch WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution screen to be precise. It looses out slightly in the Bluetooth department, getting 2.1 with EDR, but makes gains with the battery, which is rated at 6800mAh.
Samsung has confirmed that the 8.9-inch model will be priced at US$469 for the 16GB and US$569 for the 32GB, and is set for a Q3 release. The 10.1-inch version has been given a definite June release date, and will follow Apple's iPad 2 pattern with a US$499 price tag for the 16GB and US$599 for the 32GB.
More information will no doubt appear on the Galaxy Tab web portal in the very near future.
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