Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy Tab, its first Android-based tablet. It represents Samsung's first entry into the sector, which looks like becoming very competitive in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.
The Tab is a relatively small device sporting a 7in. screen with a resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels (the iPad's 9.7in. screen has 1,024 x 768 pixels). It measures 190.1mm by 120.4mm by 11.98mm and weighs 380g. The bigger iPad's dimensions are 242.8mm by 198.7mm by 13.4mm and 680g-730g (depending on model).
The Tab's relatively small screen size may make it less satisfactory than the iPad for activities like web browsing, but Samsung's tablet is more portable. And, unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab can be used for voice and video calls, and SMS. We understand that voice calls are made via a speaker on the device rather than by holding it to your ear.
The Galaxy Tab supports mobile broadband (HSDPA), and the product was jointly announced by Samsung and Vodafone at the IFA event in Berlin. The Galaxy Tab will be available in October in the majority of Vodafone's European markets, partner networks and other Vodafone markets worldwide. No price has been announced.
The Galaxy Tab runs Android 2.2 (Froyo), and importantly supports Flash 10.1 for media playback. This gives it an edge over the Flash-averse iPad. In a bid to take some market share from e-book readers, Samsung has also equipped the Galaxy Tab with the 'Readers Hub' — an e-reader application that apparently provides easy access to electronic books. There's also a 'Media Hub' for film and video, and a 'Music Hub' for, logically enough, music.
As well as mobile broadband, the Galaxy Tab has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There's a rear-facing 3 megapixel camera with flash, plus a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera that's intended primarily for video calling.
There is no mention in the press release of GPS support, although Samsung would be missing a trick if that were left out. The usual Android feature of Google Maps is present and users will have access to the growing Android Market and the Samsung App store.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 400mAh battery which is charged by a proprietary connector. The device is powered by a 1GHz processor.