In mid-February Samsung teased the followup to its first major tablet the Galaxy Tab. The 7-incher is loaded with Android 2.2 and honestly it just doesn’t compete with the king (Apple’s iPad, duh). So Samsung went back to the drawing board to come up with a new version of the Tab, designing it around Google’s made entirely for tablets OS called Honeycomb. The result is the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since February, however, Sammy has retooled the slate making it thinner, sleeker, and adding a customized software layer to it. Also, they’ve introduced a slightly smaller version dubbed the Galaxy Tab 8.9 (yep, it’s got an 8.9-inch display).
Instead of running through all of the specifications here (most of them remain the same since the February tease), I will list the changes that have been made. First and foremost, the Tabs have been redesigned and made incredibly thin. They both measure 8.6mm (or .33-inches) thick. Sammy touts them as “the world’s thinnest mobile tablets.” And it’s true; comparatively the iPad 2 is 8.8mm thick. They are also extremely light; the 10.1 and 8.9 weigh just 595 grams and 470 grams, respectively. Because of the thinner design the Tabs have been forced to ditch the 8 megapixel rear camera for a slightly lesser 3 megapixel variant; the front-facing 2MP camera remains in tact, as does the ability to shoot 1080p HD video. Another change lies in the software. Previously Samsung was contemplating shipping the Tab with plain ol’ Honeycomb. This time around they’ve decided to incorporate a new version of their customized skin called TouchWiz UX. The software layer brings a Live Panel menu and Mini Apps Tray to let users browse and manage apps in new ways.
Competitive pricing and availability have been spilled, too. The one with the bigger display will hit the market first on June 8; the 8.9-incher will arrive shortly thereafter in “early summer.” Strictly WiFi-enabled models have been detailed. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will go for $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB) and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will also come in 16GB and 32GB SKUs at $469 and $569, respectively. For those of you in the market for a tablet, the Galaxy Tab just became a hot item worth anticipating. Jump after the break for the official PR.
Update: According to Pocket-lint, the original (thicker) Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will ship afterall in the UK only on Vodafone. It will be known as the Galaxy Tab 10.1V.