At CTIA in Florida this afternoon, Samsung has announced the Galaxy Tab 8.9 as well as a new Galaxy Tab 10.1 – both of which Samsung claim are thinner than the iPad 2 (but only just).
It had been reported that following the launch of Apple’s second generation tablet, Samsung got scared and planned on going back to the drawing board with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 it announced at Mobile World Congress last month. Well instead of changing the 10.1 Tab we saw at MWC, Samsung has instead gone and produced a completely new version which will go on sale side-by-side with the 'old' 10.1 Tab. The new Tab 10.1 looks a lot more attractive than the previous iteration and looks very much like the 8.9in Tab which was also unveiled this afternoon.
Neither Tab was working at the presentation by Samsung but both will pack dual-core 1GHz processors, presumably Tegra 2, have a 3 megapixel camera on the rear with LED flash as well as a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. They will have SIM card slots, microSD card slots and headphone jacks. Both will have WXGA screens with a resolution of 1280 x 800. Samsung are selling the devices as the world’s thinnest tablets measuring 8.6mm which is a fraction of a millimetre thinner than the iPad 2. The 10.1 weighs 595g and the 8.9 weighs just 470g compared to the iPad 2's 601g.
Both will come with Samsung TouchWiz UX interface on top of Android Honeycomb, which won’t please some, but from what we’ve seen of the interface in action, it doesn’t seem too much of a problem. Among the changes include an “application tray” of commonly used features and the ability to resize widgets on the home screen - which seems like a very nice feature to us.
Pricing for the US market was also announced at the end of the presentation today - for the Wi-Fi models at least. Both models will come in 16GB and 32GB varieties with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 costing $469 (16GB) and $569(32GB) while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will cost $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB). The larger model will be the first to market on 8 June with the Tab 8.9 available at some stage during the summer. No other pricing or release dates were mentioned today but we’ll bring them to you as soon as we have them. It was also confirmed that Samsung was working on a 4G model which would be "very competitively priced" according to Samsung.
“We don’t believe in a one size fits all model, it is all about choice,” a spokesman for Samsung said at the presentation today and with the 7in Tab already on the market, they are not kidding. With the 32GB 10.1in Tab matching up price wise with the 9.7in iPad 2 and the 7in PlayBook, Samsung will be hoping the slimmed down body and TouchWiz UX interface will be enough to set it apart from its rivals.
What do you think of the world’s thinnest tablets?