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Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab offers everything from video calling to augmented reality. Its just released specs appear impressive.  (Source: Samsung via YouTube)
Another MID competitor offers Apple's iPad a run for its money

While there is a decided lack of tablet competitors to Apple's iPad, which is selling 2.3+ million units a month, a handful of small tablet-like mobile internet devices are trickling in.  The first of those was the Dell Android Streak, a 5-inch MID.  Now Samsung, maker of the hot-selling Galaxy S Android smartphone, is launching its own MID, a 7-inch design named the Galaxy Tab.

The Galaxy Tab packs a pretty nice specs sheet.  It boasts a modest 1024x600 pixel resolution TFT LCD, slightly below the iPad's 1024x768 pixel LCD panel and better than the 800x480 LCD screen the Streak packs.  The OS onboard is Android 2.2 Froyo and additional GUI functionality is provided by Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0.

The processor onboard is Samsung's proprietary 1GHz Hummingbird Cortex A8 (ARM) CPU, co-developed by Intrinsity.  Past tests have shown this to be a very fast processor.  GLSBenchmark, a benchmark that measures raw integer and floating point performance by the CPU, found that it crunched just under twice as many frames as the TI OMAP3630 found in the Motorola Droid X, and over 2.5 times as many frames as the 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD8650) widely used by HTC.

The device measures 190.09x120.45x11.98 mm (7.48x4.74x0.471 in), making it thinner than the iPad.  It weighs a mere 380 g (13.4 oz.).

There's 512 MB of RAM onboard.  The GPU is the PowerVR SGX540, a slightly improved, but similar model to that used in the iPad.  There's a 3 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and auto focus, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video telephony (chatting).  The sensor package is pretty standard -- a gyroscope, a geo-magnetic sensor, an accelerometer, and a light sensor.

It comes with a pretty beefy 4,000 mAh battery, good for up to 7 hours of video playback.  It also comes packed with either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal Flash memory, depending on which configuration is purchased.  Further storage is provide by a microSD slot.  

One of the MID's strong points is its connectivity.  It is the first tablet or MID to feature Bluetooth 3.0.  It has a 3G modem with full support for voice/data.  Calls can be placed via speakerphone or Bluetooth headset.  There's also built in 5GHz dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi.  Finally, much like the iPad, there is a 30-pin connector, allowing for HDMI, USB, and docking accessories (a car dock at least is planned).

Some will likely fall in love with this tablet, whose specs are clearly superior to the Dell Streak and on-par or slightly ahead of the iPad.  However, it may be wise to wait for Motorola's upcoming tablet/MID -- or the upcoming webOS-powered HP Hurricane and Asus Eee Pad, which may offer a superior Android tablet experience in some respects.



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RE: Space bar...
By amanojaku on 9/2/2010 10:19:47 AM , Rating: 3
Replicating a full-size keyboard is tough on a device with a screen less than 10" or so; the keys on my wireless clock in at 11 1/4", not including the arrow keys, home/end/del/pg up and down, number pad, and function keys. I think the manufacturers are forced to make a compromise: more keys vs. a proportionally larger space bar. They do shoot for a middle ground by placing the chiclet space bar in the middle where your thumbs usually are, but still...

I prefer a touch screen phone with a physical keyboard. The little bit of extra space allows for a more traditionally-sized space bar, and tactile feedback. I've seen this on at least two sliders so far, and they were the only phones I've considered buying. My fingers just don't like typing on a touchscreen, even though it's all the rage.


RE: Space bar...
By quiksilvr on 9/2/2010 10:32:24 AM , Rating: 3
The main reason why they made the spacebar so small is because this thing comes with Swype (it automatically puts a space between words for you). They wanted to make the letters as big as possible.

Also it has Android and therefore a pretty nice speech-to-text feature.


RE: Space bar...
By ksherman on 9/2/2010 12:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
But that's where I prefer Apple's approach with the iPhone, that there isn't a ton of buttons cluttering up the main keyboard. Sure some common things are buried (like commas and periods) but at least you can type easily enough on it.


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