Samsung debuts Galaxy Tab Android tablet; can it out-price iPad?

Samsung has announced the launch of its Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000) tablet computer, the nearest rival to Apple's iPad. Here are the specs.

In an effort to draft behind Apple in the small but growing slate tablet market, Samsung on Thursday announced the launch of its Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000) tablet computer.

The device, which will have a 7-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display, will run on Google's Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system. It is "the first of the company's tablet devices, representing a new category of mobile products for Samsung" -- in other words, it's a warning shot that indicates many more tablet models to come.

[ZDNet Photo Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Tab]

Like Apple's iPad, the Galaxy Tab offers multimedia viewing, web browsing and e-mail, as well as voice and video call and SMS/MMS.

In many ways, the Galaxy Tab is a strategical move by electronics giant Samsung: let Apple do the difficult work in creating the market and gauging customer interest, then attack with a device that offers most of the same functionality.

The question, then, is a matter of price. Can Samsung beat Apple where that company won't compete?

[Related: CNET's live coverage of the announcement]

A few more data points about the device:

  • OS: Google Android 2.2 (Froyo) with TouchWiz UI
  • CPU: Cortex A8 1.0GHz
  • Graphics: PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB or 32GB (plus 32GB expandable memory)
  • Sensors: gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, accelerometer, light sensor
  • Weight: 380 grams (0.84 lbs.)
  • Support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
  • "Readers Hub" is Samsung's e-reader digital library application.
  • "Media Hub" and "Music Hub" is Samsung's answer to iTunes (movies, videos and music)
  • Support for HD content (DivX, XviD, MPEG4, H.263, H.264, etc.)
  • 3G HSUPA connectivity, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Front-facing camera allows for 3G (as opposed to iPad's Wi-Fi-only FaceTime) videoconferencing
  • Rear-facing camera captures still images and video.
  • Why would you use voice telephony on such a device? Samsung suggests as a speakerphone on the desk, or a mobile phone via a Bluetooth headset.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be launched in the U.K. on Vodaphone and others in "the coming months" -- probably Europe this fall and elsewhere later in the year. No word on price.

Here's a promo spot for the device: