With the holidays fast approaching — and its tablet already making some teasing appearances online — it was only a matter of time before Samsung officially introduced its first direct competitor to Apple’s iPad. On Thursday, before its press conference at IFA 2010, Samsung went public with the Galaxy Tab.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will run Android 2.2, aka Froyo, with a TouchWiz 3.0 overlay on a 7″ Super TFT capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution (WSVGA). The Tab will be powered by Samsung’s own 1GHz Hummingbird SoC that it introduced in its Galaxy S line of phones — an ARM Cortex A8 chip very similar to Apple’s A4. It will boast a PowerVR SGX540 GPU for graphics applications.
As far as connectivity, the Galaxy Tab that was revealed will have quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band 3G. Although not officially announced, expect a CDMA version to debut on Verizon before the year is out. The Tab will also sport 5GHz dual-band 802.11n WiFi, A-GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0. Additional features include a 3.5mm headphone jack, an integrated speaker, a 3 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video equipped with an LED flash, and a VGA webcam on the front for video calls. The Galaxy tab will be available with either 16GB or 32GB of built-in flash memory with a microSD slot allowing for up to 32GB of additional storage.
Unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab will be able to make voice calls, although it lacks a dedicated earpiece. The Tab will also be capable of playing full 1080p HD video as well as Adobe Flash content. Along with Flash Player 10.1, Swype, Google Navigation, and ThinkFree are a few more killer apps preloaded onto the device. The 4000mAh battery should be capable of 7 hours of video watching or 1000 minutes of talk time.
Samsung plans to launch the tablet some time in September — first in Europe, then Korea, the US, and Asia in the following months. There has been no official word on pricing, although don’t be surprised to see the Galaxy Tab commanding a price tag of over $1000 overseas completely unlocked. Here in the States, I would expect the price to be between $300 to $500 after carrier subsidies to be competitive with Apple’s iPad. It will be interesting to see how the Galaxy Tab will fare with consumers if it requires them to sign another contract. Having said that, it certainly seems like a distinct, viable alternative to the iPad that should attract a loyal following.
Continue on to see Samsung’s Galaxy Tab YouTube commercial and to read their official press release.