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Apple has had free reign over the tablet market since it launched the iPad in March. Since then we have heard a lot about plans for other companies to enter the tablet market, and seen some embryonic tablet devices like local manufacturer Pioneer’s ePad; but the only major manufacturer to have shown us a tablet in detail has been Dell with its 5in Streak device.
However none of the devices have taken Apple head on. The Streak is more mobile phone than iPad, and the ePad is heavily focused on being low cost rather than Apple-level flashy. This has changed, now, with the expected announcement of Samsung’s worst kept secret, the Galaxy Tab.
We have already seen numerous leaks of details about the Galaxy Tab, but with last night’s unveiling at Germany’s IFA trade show we now have solid details on what looks like a very stylish piece of portable computing.
The Tab is a 7in tablet with a 1024 x 600 16:9 TFT screen. It uses the same 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU combination that is found in Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone. In terms of Operating system Samsung has sensibly settled on the most up to date version of Android, 2.2 or ‘Froyo’ with promises that it will be upgradeable to Android 3.0 ‘Gingerbread’ when Google launches this next iteration of the operating system.
It has both 3G and 802.11a/b/g/n wireless connectivity and is one of the first devices we have seen that support the Bluetooth 3.0 standard. It also supports DLNA, which means that it can hook into a home network for media playback.
Unlike some of the other tablets out there it is also an officially sanctioned Android device, with access to the Android Marketplace and other official apps (the Android OS is open source but the Market and other Google Apps need to be licensed from Google). Like the Galaxy S it also comes with the third party Swype keyboard, which allows for text entry by dragging one’s finger between letters on the software keyboard.
Software features also include support for Adobe’s Flash 10.1, which is a major strength over the iPad. The Tab also comes with e-reader software and is the first tablet to ship with DivX certification, both of which reinforces the media consumption focus of the device.
We have contacted Samsung locally for information about availability and pricing but for now all it will reveal is that the Galaxy Tab will launch in Q4 2010 with pricing announcements closer to launch.
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Issue: 316 | July 2013
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