Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW) and T-Mobile will begin offering the long-awaited, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 June 8 on a limited basis with Google's Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" operating system.
Available in metallica gray or glossy white, Verizon's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is equipped with a 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) broadband radio, and will be available for preorder only June 8. Verizon will sell the 16GB model for $529.99 and the 32GB model for $629.99, both on two-year contracts.
Verizon said the slate would hit its retail stores later this summer with optional accessories, such as a full-sized keyboard dock and a multimedia docking station.
While Verizon is selling a 4G/3G Tab 10.1, T-Mobile's Tab 10.1 is WiFi-only at this time and will cost customers $499 for the 16GB version and $599 for the 32GB version.
T-Mobile will begin selling a "limited quantity" of the Tab 10.1 exclusively at the Best Buy Union Square store in New York City on June 8. Best Buy customers may also preorder the Galaxy Tab 10.1 online or in-store that day with availability set for June 17.
Starting June 17, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will also be available at Fry's Electronics, Amazon.com, Micro Center, Tiger Direct and Newegg.
This summer, T-Mobile's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will receive an over-the-air upgrade to the Samsung TouchWiz UX.
This user interface includes a Live Panel menu for customizing the home screen of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with digital pictures, favorite Websites and social-network feeds, and a mini applications tray of frequently used features such as task manager, calendar and music player.
The Tab 10.1 is a fine tablet entry. eWEEKreviewed the limited edition Google I/O Galaxy Tab 10.1, which included Android 3.0 "Honeycomb," the first version of Google's tablet-tailored operating system.
The commercial Tab 10.1 slates from Verizon and T-Mobile will launch with Android 3.1, which includes expandable widgets, support for Google's USB host API and Open Accessory API, and other capabilities.
Verizon and T-Mobile's Tab 10.1 offerings share some features with the custom Google I/O version. All three are powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, employ a 1280 by 800 resolution display, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats and a 3MP rear camera.
All three are also super-thin at 8.6 millimeters and weigh only 1.25 pounds. With those proportions, the choices between 4G LTE on Verizon or WiFi on T-Mobile, the Tab 10.1 could prove to be a formidable rival and alternative to Apple's thin and light iPad 2.