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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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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.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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