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Samsung Officially Launches Galaxy Tab

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Samsung Officially Launches Galaxy Tab

Read our first impressions of the Galaxy in our First Look report from Berlin

The iPad now officially has a bona fide rival, as Samsung has announced the Galaxy Tab at IFA 2010.

The 7in tablet sports a 1,024 x 600 resolution display, a touch less than the 1,024 x 768 on the iPad, but a higher pixel density than Apple's 9.6in slate. It’s powered by a beefy 1GHz Cortex A8 processor and runs Android 2.2, which means it nominally supports Adobe Flash 10.1.

At 380g it is almost half the weight of the iPad 3G (730g) , but packs in more features. There’s a three megapixel camera on the rear, and a 1.3 megapixel camera at the front – so Skype calling should be on the cards. Samsung is also touting a Google Goggles feature – where you can perform a search just by taking an image of a landmark or piece of artwork.

Connectivity is comprehensive with 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and built-in 3G HSUPA; the latter will allow you to make calls but only via the in-built loudspeaker, or a Bluetooth headset - there is no conventional earpiece.

There will be two memory configurations – 16GB or 32GB – but either way there’s a SD card slot for adding up to 32GB of extra storage. You’ll likely want to fill that up as the Galaxy Tab is fully DivX certified, and also natively supports Xvid, MPEG4, H.263 and H.264 formats too.

While it’s clearly got the iPad beat on the hardware side, Samsung has addressed the software side of things too with a Reader’s Hub to provide eBooks, magazines and newspapers with a pool of over 2,500 titles.

The Galaxy Tablet is due to arrive in Europe in late September, and will be followed by a US release.

The only thing we’re waiting to hear now is the price. Knowing Samsung, it’s likely to be very competitive - 3G iPads are £529 and £599 for the 16GB / 32GB respectively - and it all mounts up to an impressive package that clearly indicates that that tablet wars have officially begun.

Full IFA coverage from TrustedReviews

Link: Samsung IFA 2010 site.

HarryGlass

September 2, 2010, 7:30 pm

In a way it's not really an iPad competitor and more of a Kindle competitor. The iPad is too big to read books comfortably, with this it's the right size (and weight). I don't want an Ipad cos i'd rather carry a laptop once I get to that size so I can create as well as consume. This however while it's not e-ink i'd probably find myself using to read with.





A lot depends on price, that's the main thing that keeps me from deciding. I think if it's £250ish then I'd pick up one of these and go back to a dumb-phone (good call quality and decent battery life again, goodbye smartphone).





Still would rather wait for Chrome OS or Android 3 (not sure why Google have two platforms...).

rav

September 2, 2010, 7:43 pm

How will it manage the Skype calls without an Android app?

Stelph

September 2, 2010, 7:44 pm

Aaargh curse you samsung, tell us the price! Its a really desirable device with all the functions that I would want from a tablet but its all down to the actual price of the device as to how well it will sell (and if I get one!)





I agree with HK, I would hope it will cost £250 or less, then I will probably get one

Geoff Richards

September 2, 2010, 8:10 pm

@Ravi: what do you mean? Admittedly I don't own an Android phone (yet) but I can see on Skype.com that there's an Android app for that...





Pricing: I think a lot depends on how much margin Samsung wants to make (compared to Apple, who make a TON per unit). But given that the Galaxy Tab is really a Galaxy S mobile phone with a bigger screen, and bigger battery, I think those hoping for £250 or less are going to feel pretty miffed.





Admittedly, it's LCD rather than Super AMOLED. And I don't have any inside track on pricing. Hopefully the fact that the Galaxy Tab appears to have 3G as standard will go some way to convince Apple that £100 premium for mobile connectivity is too much. (I bet most of that is pure profit anyway).





Given that Apple has sold MILLIONS of iPads for between £429 and £699 (I don't think a model breakdown has ever been disclosed) I don't think Samsung needs to launch at a LOW price to compete. The price war will come when the likes of MSI WindPad and ASUS EeeTab(?) launch.





Anything as low as £399 for 16GB 3G would represent a major shift in the tablet market. £250 just isn't going to happen in my view, unless they launched 8GB Wifi only.





Just my opinion. Anyone with some other ideas?

speedyg2012

September 2, 2010, 8:20 pm

Agree with Geoff, my guess was originally 399 for the 16GB version and 499 for the 32BG (Hopefully including VAT.)





It's a Galaxy S with a bigger screen (More cheaply made tho.), so there is no way it's going to be available for 250 unless a cheaper version with a weaker processor and feature set is made available alongside the tab.





Until Android 3.0 comes out and Ipad 2.0 sees the light of the day, we won't see real 'tablet wars' till next year at least, seeing as there a few competitors in the wild atm.

scotw

September 2, 2010, 8:49 pm

Sadly I doubt we'll see £250 either, although it depends if there is a WiFi only version, which should be cheaper. When you think that a netbook has much of the same components (no touch screen & 3G, but keyboard and hard drive) its likely that they could sell a tablet that low, but I suspect they'll look to cash in on nicer margins than the netbook market gives. I'd guess at undercutting the ipad by £100 or so.

Geoff Richards

September 2, 2010, 8:51 pm

Here's a quote from Samsung's Facebook page:


"Samsung UK Mobile Hey guys, thanks for all your comments. We are currently in discussions with mobile operators to offer the Galaxy Tab at a reasonable price and it will be released soon in the UK. Hope this helps :)"





The worrying thing is one person in that thread reckons the cost in Austria is a whopping 700 euros!





Sadly, a quick check of TrustedReviews Mobile Deals suggests a Dell Streak on a 24 month contract will costs you around £750...


http://mobile-phone-deals.trus...

Stelph

September 2, 2010, 8:53 pm

@Geoff and speedyg2012


Actually I now agree with your comments, £250 is (unfortunatly) never going to happen unfortunatly! However I think that considering the iPad is £429 for a 10" screen, I think a £350 price tag is reasonablly competative for a 7" android (and if I keep guessing them eventually ill get it right ;-) )

HarryGlass

September 2, 2010, 8:56 pm

I'm sure as well it's going to be more than £250 was just throwing a number out there without much thought.





Still the Archos 7 is retailing at £150 now for the 8 GB version. Another £50 for 16GB and another £100-150 for better hardware, Google Market, etc, still £300-350.





Other comparisons: iPod Touch 32GB is £250. This is pretty much a big version of that (minus Apple tax) so I don't see why the 32gb version of this shouldn't be within biting distance of that number either.





So £300 I think is realistic, £400 for the 32GB; £100 less than you guys predict.





I think they could even bring it down another £50 less to undercut Apple even more; but in reality it'll probably be £50 more and it'll come down in price once more competition is out there.

HarryGlass

September 2, 2010, 8:58 pm

also surely a 7" vs. a 10" panel has to chop at least £100 off the price. Another £50 for it not being Apple. Still comes out at £250. I can dream. I also don't care, I doubt i'd get one no matter the price. Why am I bothering to comment...

Runadumb

September 2, 2010, 9:05 pm

According to Engadget Samsung have said it will be getting GingerBread so I guess that means this is the minimum screen res for gingerbread which is slightly disappointing.


Still don't understand why they are releasing this now, surely by the time it hits the street Gingerbread will be a short wait away.


Also what processor is it? Why won't they tell us? Just says 1Ghz Arm9

Floriank

September 2, 2010, 9:09 pm

Expansys lists the 16G model at £679.99 (incl VAT) and availability as at 11th October but no price yet for the 32G model.


OUCH!

BOFH UK

September 3, 2010, 12:59 am

Here's the thing, I'm very interested to see where Android tablets are going to go but there's no way I'd even consider owning one until Google get their act in gear and sort out the platform fragmentation.





Right now there's, what, 5 different versions of the OS being launched on new handsets (1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2) and upgrades are a mess being utterly dependent on the manufacturers deciding to bother rolling one out in a timely manner. Now looking at the tablet market you've got cheap pieces of junk running 1.6 and better devices running 2.2. Yet Samsung are already talking about a 3.0 upgrade to come at some point in the future for the Tab AND a whole new tablet running Honeycomb. Then you've got Chrome OS coming as well to further muddy the water.





Basically I just don't see how anyone can really invest in Android until this mess is sorted out. There's no guarantee that a device you spend hundreds of pounds on will see so much as a single update, much less that that device will be properly supported in a years time. I'm sure Google are working on this (it's certainly been rumoured for gingerbread) but until they deliver an OS that can be upgraded independently of the manufacturers it could be that Android is its own worst enemy.





Oh, and if that expansys price is right then all the build-up was a tad pointless.... £150+ more than the equivalent iPad, yeah, that'll work.

rav

September 3, 2010, 2:24 am

@Geoff


There is no official Skype app avaiable for Android. I've been waiting for the past year. Three have a special version for their Android phones but everyone else is out of luck.

Geoff Richards

September 3, 2010, 2:37 am

@Ravi: so sadly this is USA only?


http://www.skype.com/intl/en-u...

rav

September 3, 2010, 12:04 pm

@Geoff


It's for Verizon handsets. Very annoying.

Chris

September 3, 2010, 12:14 pm

@Geoff Richards: Yeah it is, there's no equivalent en-gb page. If I go to www.skype.com/m on my rooted, unlocked Hero, I get 'Sorry, Skype is unavailable for your mobile'. Sounds like a licensing issue to me, it can't be technical.

HarryGlass

September 3, 2010, 6:12 pm

Oh screw it, they're selling it as a big f****ing phone not as a tablet. It'll sell as well as the Sony P. The prices that are floating around the web are ridiculous; it seems they are not even trying to compete. I wonder if somewhere there's some Samsung execs debating the price which is why they've not announced it yet?





Sammy A: £700 or £100 and a 24 month £35 contract.





Sammy B: We will sell about 5 at those prices, look how few Streaks Dell have sold?





Sammy A: But it's a big Galaxy S, we need to charge more.





Sammy B: But nobody wants a big phone, what idiot put all that phone stuff in there? We need to strip that out and sell it at £400 max or we'll never get any traction...





I mean this device is already like the initial ASUS netbook, a great idea just needing a better res screen & OS that will not come til Gingerbread - except it's not priced like netbooks are.





This is going to sell like hot Froyo...





I'm almost tempted by the iPad, looks like Sammy has missed the mark, but I don't want such a big device. Credit to Apple otherwise, they know the market much better than Samsung.

Chris

September 3, 2010, 7:32 pm

@HK: "Credit to Apple otherwise, they know the market much better than Samsung."





That's what Apple do best, IMHO :)

HarryGlass

September 3, 2010, 8:06 pm

@Chris: Well 20 odd years of selling less for more has in the past led me to think otherwise. Yet somehow they've kept afloat and now finally have a product that looks like it'll undercut the competition so much nobody can even release something. 2010 was meant to be the year of the tablet, September and still nothing. The iPad is well priced. It is probably the only well priced Apple product however.

Sorin

September 3, 2010, 10:20 pm

Google certification (i.e. acces to Market and theother Google apps: Gmail, Calendar, Gtalk) requires the device to have phone functionality. So this means either the device is overpriced because it includes the GSM module (Samsung Tab, ViewSonic ViewPad 7 etc.) or you don't get the full Google Android experience (Archos is the best example).


Google needs to change the rules!

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