Samsung Galaxy Tab Gets Official

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Arguably the closest contender to the iPad yet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be heading to all 4 key U.S. carrier stores in “coming months,” announced Samsung.

The Android 2.2, 7-inch Galaxy Tab is a larger version of Samsung’s Galaxy phones and Samsung is billing it as a pocketable tablet (unlike the larger iPad). The Tab also has 2 cameras and supports Flash (unlike the iPad).

It can run apps from Android Marketplace and support a newly announced video store—Media Hub—from Samsung that will serve up movies and TV shows for rent or purchase from MTV, NBC, Paramount and other studios.

The device, to be offered through AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, won some immediate praise from Engadget: “The screen is great… Capacitive touch response is just as excellent as the iPad’s, and the processor doesn’t seem to have much trouble keeping up with the UI…it’s a device that’s much better suited to supporting with a single hand than the iPad, and seems to squarely best that competitor when it comes to all things e-reading.”

The Tab will use the Kobo store for ordering eBooks and Zinio for eMagazines, said Engadget. It’s cameras include a rear facing 3 MP unit and a front-facing 1.3 MP camera/camcorder with video chat, but only over WiFi, and it cannot make standard voice calls other than over VoiP, said PC World.

Users get access to more than 80,000 apps on Android market, and those intended for smaller screens will appear centered on the Tab’s TFT, said Samsung.

The 13 ounce device may be used with a $100 keyboard dock, a $50 desktop dock/charger with an HDMI output to play video from the Tab on a TV and a $100 car dock to convert the Tab into a GPS device with traffic updates.

The Tab offers Google Maps navigation and Google Goggles plus Google voice searches.

PC World is reporting that a WiFi-only version will be forthcoming.

While the Tab, with 3G service, is selling through carriers, the bulk of new tablet sales over the next 2 years will likely be in WiFi devices that need not sell through carriers.

“The majority of tablets that sell in the next 2 years will be WiFi only devices,” said Yankee analyst Dmitriy Molchanov. It will take time for carriers to develop innovative product bundles that bundle together smartphone and tablet data plans. Retailers are okay for now,” he added. Apple is largely positioning the iPad as a WiFi only device and “iPad’s sales have been largely concentrated on the WiFi only version,” he noted.

Other Tab features:
It’s screen offers 1024 x 600 resolution (WSVGA). It uses a 1GHZ Hummingbird processor and has 16GB or 32GB internal storage plus microSD card slot for up to 32GB additional storage. It has Bluetooth and a speakerphone, 802.11n WiFi, full HD video playback and a 30-pin dock connector.

No pricing was announced.

Source: Samsung, PC World, Engadget

Photo via PC World

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