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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & 8.9 officially revealed

Samsung has now introduced 2 new tablets into its fold that promises optimum tablet experiences with different sizes. They are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.

You might have known that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which is also known as the Samsung Galaxy Tab II was revealed at MWC just a while ago. After the announced of the iPad 2 that underwent a strict diet, Samsung had brought the 10.1 back to the drawing board. As a result, they have redesigned the tablet which now weighs 595 grams and with reduced thickness of just 8.6mm, which is 0.2mm thinner than the iPad 2. As comparison, the earlier 10.1 was 599 grams and 10.9mm thick.

In terms of hardware specs, it features a 1280×800 XGA display, dual core 1GHz processor, stereo surround speakers and 6800mAh battery which provides up to 10 hours of usage. As expected, it runs on Android 3.0 Honeycomb but with Samsung’s customised TouchWiz 4.0 skin.

In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will have support for 4G in a form of HSPA+ and they will be coming out LTE and WiMAX versions later. For enhanced reception, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with dual antennas.

To bring out the potential of the new Tablets, Samsung has done more in the software segment to give it a customised user experience. Some may argue that this spoils the Pure Google experience but from our experience, some customisation does work perfectly like HTC Sense. For the new Samsung tablets, the TouchWiz 4.0 is expected to bring this to the next level. They will be introducing Live Panel which is basically an improved tablet home screen with widgets that provide constantly updated dynamic contents and Mini Apps Tray that lets you launch shortcut apps that runs on top of what you’re doing. Also improved is Samsung’s Social Hub which offers unified messaging and better social feed management. Since this is a multimedia power packed device, they are also introducing Music Hub which provides various music contents on your fingertips.

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All is not just about fun and games as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with an array of business tools as well. This includes support for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, Exchange ActiveSync, Sybase Afaria, CISCO AnyConnect VPN and QuickOffice.

Samsung doesn’t believe in a one size fits all concept and they believe in giving consumers choice depending on what they need. With that, they have introduced the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. It also features the same 8.6mm thickness as leaked earlier and it weights 740 grams. In terms of battery, it is slightly smaller at 6000mAh but also stated to provide up to 10 hours of usage.

From what we digest, the 8.9″ is similarly spec’ed as its larger 10.1 sibling but we’ll find out more once the full specification is out.

In terms of pricing, Samsung obviously had to revise their plans after the unveiling of the iPad 2. At last night’s event, they have revealed some pricing and availability details of the tablets.

For the Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi only model, the 16GB version is going at US$499 while the 32GB version is going for $599, which is the same as the iPad 2. It will be made available in the US on 8th June.

Meanwhile the Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi version is priced at $469 and $569 for 16GB and 32GB respectively. Availability for the 8.9 is slated for Summer which is around middle of this year.

No pricing yet for 4G versions but Samsung has assured that it will be competitively priced as well.

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The new Samsung tablets are probably the biggest threat to the iPad in the market. Spec for spec, the 10.1 and 8.9 looks to be very capable devices. Also not forgetting this time around they have Honeycomb, Android’s first tablet specific OS. Expectations are definitely high for these new tablets and we would like to see its impact when it hits the market.

For us folks in Malaysia, no ideas on pricing and availability for now. Hopefully when Samsung brings them in, they will consider their pricing carefully and not make it more expensive like the Galaxy Tab when it was launched here.

Last year, the original Galaxy Tab reached Malaysia a month before the iPad. So which one will reach first? Galaxy Tab or iPad 2? We just can’t wait!

Find out what we think of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in our recent review.

Unpacked Video

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