Print 29 comment(s) - last by eldakka.. on Oct 3 at 8:25 PM

Samsung smaller tablet finally gets a referesh

Over the course of this year Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) has rounded out its tablet lineup with the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note slab (Sept.), the 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet (Sept.), the 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet (Aug.), and the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (Feb.).  But the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab (Sept. 2010) remained untouched.  And it was starting to look a bit long in the tooth, compared to its other Galaxy family members.

But Samsung just dropped some happy news for prospective Android tablet buyers.  It's refreshing the original Galaxy Tab, rebranding it the "Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus".  

Pretty much everything about the new 7-inch tablet is better than its predecessor.  It's thinner: 9.96 mm vs. 11.98 mm in the previous gen.; it's light: 345 g vs. 380 g; it's faster: 1.2 GHz dual-core Exynos ARM Cortex A9, 1 GB of DRAM vs. 1.0 GHz unicore Hummingbird Cortex A8, 512 MB of DRAM.

And it's been upgraded from Android 2.2 "Froyo"/Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" -- distributions better suited for smart phones -- to Android 3.2 "Honeycomb".  It also bumps the resolution on the front-facing camera slightly from 1.3 MP to 2 MP, for better video chat image quality.

Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, seen from different views

Strangely the tablet will first be available in Indonesia and Austria in mid-October.  We're guessing that decision has something to do with the legal mess [1][2][3][4][5] Samsung finds itself in, in its war of lawsuits with Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  Samsung says that in coming months the tablet will "gradually rolled to (sic) globally including Southeast and Southwest Asia, US, Europe, CIS, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Japan and China."

Hopefully it rolls into the U.S. before the end of holiday shopping, as we're guessing more than a few prospective buyers might be interested in snagging this petite, yet powerful Honeycomb tablet.

Here's a quick reminder of what the Samsung Galaxy product family now looks like, for prospective buyers:
Galaxy Product family

Source: Samsung

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BUT... how much?
By therealnickdanger on 9/30/2011 9:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
The tablet to beat now is the Kindle Fire. I don't expect this new Galaxy to be $199 since it will likely be more powerful, but $249? Maybe $299? I'd be hard pressed to pay much more than that for any tablet. If they follow suit with their past releases and try to price this at $469 or $449, I don't think it will work. Samsung is a strong brand, but not that strong.

RE: BUT... how much?
By Boze on 9/30/2011 11:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, as I read the article I came to the same conclusion.

With the Kindle Fire announcement, I've finally found a tablet that does what I want, for a price I can live with. Already pre-ordered 4 of them for myself and family.

And I'm really looking forward to Amazon's real iPad competitor, the 10 inch tablet they'll be releasing "soon" according to that Amazon exec that was interviewed at the launch event.

If Amazon can match iPad 2 or 3 specs and do it for $350 to $399, then we're going to see a really interesting time for tablets.

As I said on Wednesday in the Kindle Fire article posted that day, I think we're seeing the beginning of the end of the iPad's market share dominance. Very exciting time for investors and consumers.

RE: BUT... how much?
By Aikouka on 9/30/2011 11:53:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how being priced at $399 will necessarily help. The reason for my uncertainty is because ASUS's Transformer released at $399 as well, and while it sold very well in the beginning, you don't see it being touted as an "iPad killer."

I think the market wants to see innovation and/or a low price. I'll admit that I own an iPad and a TouchPad, and what would get me to buy an Android tablet is most likely the Transformer 2. That's of course if the SoC doesn't have some of the media issues that the Transformer 1 has. I absolutely love the idea of the keyboard dock, and if we had the "Aikouka Awards", I'd probably give it Best Tech Accessory of 2011.

RE: BUT... how much?
By priusone on 10/2/2011 12:57:52 AM , Rating: 2
Amazon is going to plaster the Fire all over their website. With that much marketting, and it's lower price, the Fire will be awesome to watch.

RE: BUT... how much?
By sigmatau on 9/30/2011 1:46:21 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but $399 is way too much for a tablet. You can get an i5 Sandybridge Laptop for that much or $50 more.

RE: BUT... how much?
By SilthDraeth on 9/30/2011 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
I may be getting four, however I am waiting until around Christmas, or early next year. If this new Galaxy tab is $249, or $299 I might bite for one, and get 3 of the other.

My wife actually liked what she saw of the Kindle Fire and she was bleh about most tablets. But she wants one for each kid, for loading kid stories on, and we can pretty much mount them in the kids room to play movies at night.

RE: BUT... how much?
By bug77 on 9/30/2011 3:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Already pre-ordered 4 of them for myself and family.

Has anyone confirmed you can actually download your purchases from the Amazon Cloud? I have only seen it mentioned that your purchases will go directly to the cloud, but nothing about being able to actually download it.

RE: BUT... how much?
By omnicronx on 9/30/2011 12:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately that tablet cannot be beat as it currently stands. While it may look like a great price now, the Fire could very well stiffle the progress of Android in the tablet marketspace.

You can't sell a decent tablet at 200-250 dollars as a normal hardware manufacturer and turn a reasonable profit. Whether you believe the price of a tablet is justified or not, Amazon is either making razor thin margins on these tablets or are taking a loss, knowing full well that the bread and butter of the entire project is the content that users will pay for afterwards. (similar to a console maker selling a console at a loss).

Believe it or not, even the iPad is very strategically priced at its 500 dollar entry price point. Even if it only costs ~350 dollars to create one, that does not account for all the R&D, marketing etc that they have spent. Just looking at the specs of the Fire, one can easily see these are merely tried and tested components, so I have my doubts that there was anywhere close to the money put into R&D as would occur with an Apple device. (the A4/A5 is a perfect example).

Personally I feel that for a normal hardware manufacturer to turn a decent profit with current component pricing, its going to need to be in the 400 dollar range. Anything lower is being subsidized, and most likely with shortcuts made (no camera or 3g etc etc) in one way or another.

Now of course you can't fault the consumer for buying a well priced product, but if people start to expect and think this is actually how much tablet hardware costs, there may be trouble on the horizon for certain manufacturers.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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