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Quick Look: Samsung's Galaxy Tab Android Tablet

Samsung Fires Shot Across Apple's Bow with iPad Rival

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Quick Look: Samsung's Galaxy Tab Android Tablet
Photo © Samsung

After the parade of vaporware and underwhelming tablet options that followed the iPad’s release, one company has finally stepped up to the plate and released what looks to be a worthy competitor to Steve Jobs’ self-proclaimed magical and revolutionary device.

Samsung officially announced the launch of its new 7-inch Galaxy Tab (i.e. tablet) on Sept. 2, 2010. Powered by Google’s Android operating system, the Galaxy Tab obviously has its sights set on the sector that Apple’s popular tablet currently dominates.

Here’s a list of key specs from Samsung:

HARDWARE

The Galaxy Tab is powered by a Cortex A8 1GHz processor and features a multi-touch WSVGA TFT screen with a resolution of 1024x600. In case that sounded like jibberish to you, let’s just say that the device should be reasonably quick and allows for greater flexibility via touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom.

Wireless options include 3G, Wi-fi and Bluetooth 3.0. The Galaxy Tab also has both a rear- and front-facing camera, allowing its users to not just take photos but also do video chats. The camera for taking photos is rated at 3 megapixels and has an LED flash. The Tab is also GPS-capable.

Memorywise, the Galaxy tablet will come in two flavors: 16GB and 32GB, plus a MicroSD slot for up to 32GB of extra memory.

The device measures at 190 millimeters tall and a little over 120 millimeters wide with a thickness of nearly 12 millimeters. Battery life is about 7 hours for video via a 4,000mAh battery.

SOFTWARE

The launch OS for the Galaxy Tab is Google’s Android 2.2 build. The device is compatible with both Android and Samsung apps. In addition to Google services, the Galaxy tablet also integrates with Facebook, Outlook and other social networking and e-mailing services.

The device can play video up to 1080p and records video at a resolution of 480p at 30 frames per second. Besides being DivX-certified, the Tab can play video formats such as XviD, MPEG4, H.263 and H.264. Compatible music formats include (hold your breath) MP3, WAV, MIDI, AAC, FLAC, OGG, WMA, AC3, etc.

One key feature for the Galaxy Tab that’s been noticeably absent from the iPad is Flash Player 10.1 support.

PRICING

Pricing in the U.S. varies by carrier, with some offering discounted prices for customers who sign up for a contract. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have already released details of their Samsung Galaxy Tab release plans. For more on tablets, don't forget to check our Tablet Roundup

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