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Say hello to the new and improved Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab 8.9.  (Source: Samsung)
South Korean phonemaker looks to make good even better

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930) is the world's leading seller of handsets on the world's leading smartphone operating system -- Android OS.  While that has made it a tempting legal target to competitors [1][2], it has also been a financial boon to the South Korean electronics giant.

At the 
IFA 2012 trade show in Berlin this weekend, Samsung had some big news for Android fans pulling the wraps of refreshes to two familiar product lines.

The first new model is an improved model of the 
Samsung Galaxy S II.  The new model continues the dangerous game of mobile brinksmanship, upping its armaments to including a whopping 4.5-inch touch-screen display (up from 4.27 in.).  There's no word on the resolution, yet -- hopefully Samsung will look to match Apple's 960x640 iPhone 4 resolution, which currently is the highest resolution smartphone on the U.S. market.

Also new is a higher clocked 1.5 GHz dual-core, likely a clocked up Exynos system-on-a-chip, Samsung's in-house ARM Cortex A9 design.  Samsung also did not announce whether the width would change from the previously announced, industry-leading 8.49 mm.

The new model sports an LTE modem, meaning that it will likely hit America's Verizon Communications, Inc. (
VZ).  It will launch beside its (presumably) smaller-screen, slower-CPU Galaxy S II brethren -- the HSPA+ Samsung Hercules and the LTE Samsung Epic 4G Touch (names unconfirmed).  The Hercules is rumored to get at least the display bump as well -- no word yet on the Epic 4G Touch.

The package is rounded out with an 8 MP camera, an 8-device capable Wi-Fi hotspot (rather ludicrous from a bandwidth proposition), an 1850mAh battery, and 
NFC (Near Field Communications).  The phone runs on Android 2.3 "Gingerbread".

While the new LTE-equipped Galaxy S II is sure to titillate smart phone fans, tablet fans also were given something to get excited for.

Samsung announced an LTE-equipped Galaxy Tab 8.9, an 8.9-inch tablet running Android 3.1 "Honeycomb".  The new tablet on the block will join the growing Galaxy Tab family, which includes the original 7-inch model, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (inch) model.  

The tablet also sports the new 1.5 GHz dual-core and includes a 3 MP camera.  It remains a slender 8.6 mm -- thinner than Apple, Inc.'s (
AAPL) iPad 2.

Speaking of Apple, the new tablet's international release could be blocked if Apple is able to secure victories in its numerous international lawsuits against Samsung.  Apple claims to own design patents that grant it exclusive ownership to minimalist (button-wise), thin multi-touch tablet designs.  Things seem to be headed in the opposite direction, though -- Apple was 
handed an unfavorable decision by a Dutch-court last week.  The Dutch court rebuffed Apple's claim to minimalist tablet exclusivity, saying Samsung did not violate Apple's design patents.  

Apple must now try to convince courts in America, 
Australia, Germany, and South Korea to see things differently.  Given that the Galaxy Tab 8.9 looks like a smaller Galaxy Tab 10.1, the outcome of those cases should decide whether Samsung would be able to sell its new tablet in those regions.



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Can we get the Doc's opinion on these trends?
By EricMartello on 8/29/2011 9:14:34 AM , Rating: 4
The basic premise of what's going on with technology is that it took a detour with the netbook fad, where people decided that they didn't need CPUs and GPUs with ever-increasing power, and that the "sensible" netbook was "more than enough" to check email, fap to porn and play farmville.

This detour is now looping back on itself. We first went back in time to 2005 levels of computing power with these mobile devices, but now these devices are becoming larger, less mobile and are encroaching on 2008 levels of power.

Meanwhile my Alienware M11xR2 is still kicking strong, able to do what I want to do on the road without the compromises faced when using a tablet or smartphone...with 4-5 hours of battery life it lasts about as long as a tablet or smartphone, and its processing power will surpass even the best "mobile device" released for at least the next 2-3 years.




By VitalyTheUnknown on 8/29/2011 9:43:27 AM , Rating: 3
RE: Can we get the Doc's opinion on these trends?
By ssnova703 on 8/29/2011 10:34:04 AM , Rating: 2
I believe there is a market for these. In my opinion the iphone's screen is a tadbit too small to be efficient at productivity or for reading. At 3.5" and around, it's fine for a smartphone.

However, how often I've wished that I would always carry a device with me that had a bigger screen for reading ebooks and articles all day long without having to carry a bag(for a netbook or a tablet).

At 4.5" this beast would be adequate for longer reading sessions while also providing an excellent screen for movie viewing and GPS displaying. Something that I would argue 3.5" is lacking(it works, but I much rather have a bigger screen), while at the same time it is portable enough to carry with you, something that a netbook or tablet is lacking.


RE: Can we get the Doc's opinion on these trends?
By Denigrate on 8/29/2011 10:51:15 AM , Rating: 2
The 4.5" screen is nearly enough to convince me to finally move to Android from my venerable Nokia N900. Though I would really like to have a 5" screen. I nearly went with the Dell branded 5" android device, but didn't like the hardware.


By B3an on 9/3/2011 12:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
Check out the new Samsung Galaxy Note.

5.3" AMOLED screen which is 1280x800 res, plus a 1.4GHz dualcore.


By NellyFromMA on 8/29/2011 11:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
Question:

A) How much was your Alienware when you purchased it brand new and when did you purchase it?

I have a feeling that, like all of Alienware's line, it was over-priced in a market already known for overpriced devices compared to their desktop counterparts. (Strictly in pricing terms here)

So, its sensible to surmise that you paid a huge premium to purchase a device that, for the common average user that netbooks / tablets largely target, your devices potenntial wouldn't be realized by 90% of that market and they'd pay at least twice as much for the device compared to what's available to them for now.

Also, I'm too lazy to Google your Alienware model, but if its like any other performance laptop I've seen that didn't go all wild slimming it down (and you pay HUGE premium for this if so) then comparing that to one of these tablets is way off IMO. Form factor is huge for this market.

I'm definitely not a huge Android or Apple fan from personal experience (yes, I still own an Incredible I bought from a friend as a new FRU, but stuck on VZW and the HTC Trophy (WP7) as a device is = to it) but to claim somehow your Alienware is the answer to this market just because you, as potentially a power user, you're thinking in real strict terms that make no sense economically. Don't you think all major manufaturers would be all over that right now?

If your claim is truly level-headed, don't you think Engineers at all the top computer manufacturers would be having 'Winning!' Moments right now and we'd be seeing a flood of these alienwares or knockoffs?

Just my opinion.


By The0ne on 8/29/2011 1:38:03 PM , Rating: 3
I have the M17xR2 myself and love it. Comparing the Alienware against a tablet is unwarranted. Different markets completely. I would use the tablet for casual use (keyboard-less type of tasks) and switch to PC for the keyboard stuff. In addition, my sisters would absolutely love the tablet gadget as all they all really is read (books, news, etc.), look at photos, watch online videos, email and....and...I think that's about it. So in this case a tablet would be perfect :)

Engineers seldom have they say in what the products is going to be or look like. This belongs to the marketing, sales and VPs that cater to consumers. If we engineers do it in our own ways I think most of the time it be more fantastic...that is if it gets done and is practical :D That's one of the problem, we don't stop tinkering! GRR :D


By EricMartello on 8/30/2011 12:48:47 AM , Rating: 1
Alienware is now owned by Dell. Their prices are reasonable and I love my M11x. It's about the size of a netbook with an 11 inch screen, a bit heavier but it has the performance to run current games at decent framerates with the effects turned on, plus it's great for getting work done.

The utility of a tablet is questionable for me because I know I Can do anything I need to do just as well on my laptop...why would I want to lug around a tablet AND a laptop. A tablet alone would not be so great for gaming and other entertainment...and I do not like the touch screen typing so it would suck for work.

The battery life of the M11x can be extended up to 10+ hours on if you kick it into "econo" mode...though I consider the 4-5 hours at "full power" to be respectable. It has a mobile Core i7 CPU and a Nvidia GT335M GPU (in addition to the intel GPU which is active when the nvidia GPU's power is not needed). I paid around $1,400 total last year, including an 8 GB ram upgrade, a WD Black 500GB hard drive and a Centrino 6300-N wifi radio.


By NellyFromMA on 8/30/2011 2:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
Just to clarify, I never knocked on that device, just stated, like someone who replied as well, that these two devices just don't compare. But, as usual, when you express common sense on DT, you get down rated. Wah.


RE: Can we get the Doc's opinion on these trends?
By aebiv on 8/29/2011 12:33:06 PM , Rating: 3
Uhhhh... 4-5 hours is the life of a tablet? I get 8-9 on my Asus tablet WITHOUT the keyboard/dock/battery. With that? 16+ hours.

I can completely ignore my charger all day.


By retrospooty on 8/29/2011 2:45:03 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, but his alienware is a real computer.


RE: Can we get the Doc's opinion on these trends?
By nikon133 on 8/29/2011 6:51:57 PM , Rating: 3
Which makes sense only if you need real computer power on the move.

I actually do... I shoot RAW images and like to start sorting them while still on vacation (having to deal with 1000+ raw images in post-vacation blues is kind of off-putting). I also don't mind having a game or two - REAL game or two - for rainy days.

But... majority of people will do Internet, email, some social networking on the go. Angry birds, maybe on occasion. Laptop might be an overkill there.


RE: Can we get the Doc's opinion on these trends?
By aebiv on 8/29/2011 7:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
Or for me, my work revolves around SSH/RDP/VNC all day, and the tablet is actually remarkably effective at that. Sure, there are still days the 16" Dell comes out with me, but 9/10 times I carry the tablet only.

I completely agree on that it is not a laptop replacement in its entirety, yet there are many things a tablet can do as effectively while saving you a few lbs in your bag.


By aebiv on 8/29/2011 7:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
*PS

I was a tablet hater too until I owned one and learned just how functional they can be.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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