Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus to Challenge Amazon Kindle Fire
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs once remarked, there is unexplored territory between smartphones and tablets computers.
Samsung Electronics appears intent to explore all of that territory, unveiling the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, a tablet with a 7-inch, WSVGA (1024 x 600) PLS LCD display powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) latest Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" operating system.
Speedy Honeycomb tablets have become old hat for Samsung, which launched a Galaxy Tab 10.1 this past summer, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 at IFA in August and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 a few days later at the same show.
No other tablet computer maker is touting slates ranging from 7.7 to 10.1 inches, but with the Galaxy 7.0 Plus, Samsung has just moved down the value chain by emphasizing portability and power.
The Galaxy Plus 7.0 weighs only 12.2 ounces and is only .39 inches thin. Samsung claims this svelte form factor will make it easy to fit into an inside jacket pocket or a handbag without weighing either down.
The diminutive tablet has a 3 megapixel camera with LED flash and video recording, with recording in 720p HD and playback in 1080p full HD. There is also a 2 megapixel shutter in the front to enable video chat. The tablet has 1GB of RAM and will be available in 16GB and 32GB options, expandable to 64GB with a microSD card.
Samsung is also touting its own TouchWiz user interface, popularized on existing tablets and its Galaxy S II smartphones. TouchWiz includes the Mini Apps feature, which enables 7 applications to be easily managed from a bottom tray on the main screen.
Users can also customize their homescreens using Samsung's Live Panel, another TouchWiz perk. The slate also comes with the full complement of Google Mobile applications, including Search, Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube Google Maps, and the Android Market.
U.S. users interested in this one will have to wait a bit. Samsung is rolling out the Galaxy Tab 7.0 in Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, with a global rollout following to Southeast and Southwest Asia, United States, Europe, CIS, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Japan and China, on a rolling basis.
Another concern will be pricing. Amazon just unveiled its 7-inch Kindle Fire, a custom Android tablet that will go on sale in the United States Nov. 15 for $199. Samsung might have to price its Galaxy 7.0 at or close to the Kindle Fire price to make inroads against the slate in the 7-inch form factor segment.