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Samsung launches Galaxy Tab Android 2.2 tablet smartphone


Product Launch by Todd Haselton on Thursday September 02, 2010.

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[Don't forget to check out our live photos and video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab here!]

We met with Samsung live in Berlin, Germany during the IFA trade show to go hands-on with the company's new Android 2.2 powered tablet, the Galaxy Tab. Powered by a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, the tablet felt very snappy as I flipped through the various home screen panels. There are five customizable homescreens as part of a special tablet version of TouchWiz 3.0.

The Galaxy Tab's display measures 7 inches across the diagonal and uses a non-standard 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. Unlike many other Samsung Galaxy devices, the Tab's display is a regular TFT, not one of the more colorful AMOLED displays Samsung is known for. It seems there are some initial drawbacks to using this resolution. Samsung says that some applications that weren't developed for the Galaxy Tab's screen size will not display properly. This is an issue that other Android tablets with similar resolutions will also likely face. But thanks to that narrow display and the tablet's relatively low 380g (13.4oz) weight, the Galaxy tab can be held with one hand, which should make the tablet's Adobe Flash 10.1 equipped web browser a bit easier to use while on the go.

The front of the Tab also has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calling, although Samsung wouldn't go into specifics on whether or not it will create its own software for voice chat, or if users will need to rely on Fring or Qik. The rear facing 3 megapixel camera has auto-focus and an LED flash and can be used for still photos and video recording.

Samsung says the 1GHz Hummingbird processor is capable of handling 1080p hardware decoded video playback, a step-up from the processor that can only handle 720p in Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones. The galaxy Tab does make use of the same graphics processor as the Galaxy S smartphones, however.

The Tab is capable of playing up to 7 hours of video with its 4,000mAh battery. However, it sports a pin-connector and not a micro-USB port for charging. Samsung plans to use this connector for accessories that will allow the device to output to an HD TV using HDMI. There is a microSD memory card slot that can be used to add up to an additional 32GB to the 16GB or 32GB or storage that will be built in, depending on the model.

Samsung has included some compelling software on the European version of the Tab, but it's unclear if the software will make it to the states. One piece lets you read and view newspapers and magazines. Another lets you download music over the air, although any device with Amazon's MP3 store can currently do this.

The European version of the Galaxy Tab features 3G UMTS/HSPA connectivity on the 900, 1900, and 2100MHz bands as well as quad-band GSM/EDGE support. The HSPA data connections are rated at 7.2Mbps for downloading and 5.76Mbps for uploads. The Galaxy Tab can be used for SMS and MMS messaging, and can even make calls with its internal speakerphone or by using a Bluetooth headset - thanks to its Bluetooth 3.0 support. The European version is expected to be available for purchase in mid-September. No pricing information has been released yet.

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy Tab will land in the United States, and that it will be available in both CDMA and GSM versions, although it hasn't confirmed when or with which carriers. We hope a final date, and possibly carrier partners, are announced during the Samsung event in New York City on September 16th. If priced right, perhaps with an optional data plan similar to the iPad, this tablet could carve out a compelling and fun niche of its own.

 
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About the author

Todd Haselton
Todd is a senior editor at MobileBurn and works out of his home in New York City. He covers news for us and also writes reviews. You can follow him on Twitter at @RoboTodd

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