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In recent weeks we've seen major manufacturers delay their tablet offerings until 2011. It now appears that Samsung will be the first non-Taiwanese manufacturer to unveil its tablet, called the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The announcement is set to happen at the Internationale Funkausstellung trade show in Germany on September 2. But we are beginning to wonder just what's left to announce, after a week of 'leaks' has already given the world a good look at Samsung's iPad competitor.
The leaks began with video of the Tab being used on a train in Sydney, which appeared on blog Electronista. Shortly aftwards Samsung launched its official teaser site for the Tab. The teaser video was suitably enigmatic, with glimpses at some of the features of the device. From this video we learned that the Tab is running Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) and uses Swype for text input. The Tab is appearing in a 7in form factor initially and will feature video calls and a 'full' web browsing experience (likely referring to built-in support for Flash in Android 2.2).
The dam bursts
Unfortunately for Samsung this careful tease campaign has been negated with the 'leak' of a video from South Korean site DT and an article by Chinese site ifanr. Between these two articles the features of the Tab have been outlined in some detail.
We now know that the Tab is about half the size of an iPad and features both 3G and 802.11n WiFi for connectivity. The screen is a 16:10 ratio 1024 x 600 AMOLED, and according to the Chinese site it is driven by a PowerVR SGX540 graphics chip. It should also have a front-facing camera, which is alluded to in the official teaser video, shown on the dt.com video and absent from the ifanr Tab. Storage will be via SDHC memory cards and the Korean version at least should come with a built-in TV tuner (Samsung has been doing this with phones in Korea for some years).
One thing that stands out from the dt.com video is the sheer speed of the interface. One of the major advantages of the iPad is how responsive the interface is, and it seems that Samsung has managed a similarly zippy interface for the Tab.
The minor differences in spec between the leaked Tab versions fits in with what we have been hearing about the device. We expect that while the initial launch may be of one model, Samsung is ultimately planning to make a range of tablets designed for different markets. Some will be more akin to smartphones, while others closer to laptops.
There's no information about the likely Australian launch date of the Tab.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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