Samsung Unveils Galaxy Tab with Android 2.2, Front Camera

Samsung Electronics Co. Sept. 2 introduced Galaxy Tab computer to challenge Apple's iPad. The 7-inch-screen tablet machine will be available in Europe in two weeks, but U.S. and Asia will have to wait months for it.

Samsung Electronics Sept. 2 launched the widely anticipated Galaxy Tab computer to challenge Apple's iPad in a tablet market set to burst with Android devices.

The tablet, unveiled at the IFA 2010 consumer electronics show in Berlin, sports a TFT-LCD 7-inch screen and runs Google's Android 2.2 operating system.

The machine weighs 13.4 ounces and is powered by a Cortex A8 1-GHz processor. The device sports a modest 3 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash.

Just as Apple conceived its iPad as a major multimedia consumption gadget, Samsung views the Galaxy Tab as a window into video content, electronic reading and document sharing.

Samsung has created its own e-reading application dubbed the Readers Hub, as well as a Media Hub app for film and video and Music Hub app for songs. The gadget's 4,000 mAh battery allows 7 hours of movie playing.

Unlike the iPad, Galaxy Tab supports Adobe's Flash 10.1 multimedia application and enables video chat, thanks to a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera.

The tablet also enables access to Google Apps such as Google Maps Navigation turn-by-turn GPS directions, Google Voice Search and Google Goggles visual search. The device will also support augmented reality apps.

Galaxy Tab comes standard with 16GB of internal memory but scales to 32GB external memory. To keep users online, Galaxy Tab supports 3G/HSPA connectivity, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0.

The device, whose pricing will likely be about $300, depending on carriers, is slated to launch in Europe in mid-September.

Samsung expects to sell it in the United States, Korea and Asia in the coming months, with the company planning an evening launch event Sept. 16 in New York City.

Boy Genius Report reported Aug. 31 that Verizon Wireless will be one of the Galaxy Tab carriers.

The Galaxy Tab will have steep competition. ViewSonic is rolling out its ViewPad 7 at the IFA show.

Archos has introduced not one but five tablet computers based on Android 2.2 that will start rolling out later this month and into October.

Dell has also thrown its Android offering into the mix with its Streak tablet/smartphone hybrid device.