Samsung revamps Tab 10.1 and officially unveils Tab 8.9

Samsung revamps Tab 10.1 and officially unveils Tab 8.9
Samsung revamps Tab 10.1 and officially unveils Tab 8.9
Samsung unveils new Galaxy tablets along with Touch Wiz 4.0 UX and pricing details

When Samsung’s mobile division’s executive VP went on record saying that Samsung would have to “improve parts that are inadequate” in their Tab 10.1, most didn’t expect any actual changes to occur. However, it seems the Korean company has actually made some interesting adjustments to their Tab 10.1, and revealed them along with the Tab 8.9 at today’s CTIA conference.

First off, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 managed to keep most of its inner components but received an overhaul on the outside. Previous measurements of the Tab 10.1 had its thickness at 10.9mm and its weight at 595g. Now, in what appears to be an attempt to best the iPad 2, the refreshed Tab 10.1 will weigh 595g and will be only 8.6mm thick; both measurements being less than the iPad 2’s 613g and 8.8mm.

Samsung VP of marketing, Young-Hee Lee, was quoted as saying: “Samsung is determined to outperform and become the world’s leader in any area”, and the company appears to do be doing just that with their updated Tab 10.1. Samsung was able to slim down the tablet in such a short amount of time by using innovations that were already being developed. Unfortunately, in order to achieve the thinner size, Samsung was forced to cut the rear camera’s quality from 8 MP’s to 2 MP; a relatively small price to pay for the 2.3mm difference. The older version will not find its way into the US, but Samsung could release it abroad through an agreement with Vodafone.

While the Tab 10.1’s slimmer profile seems to be taking over the spotlight, the CTIA announcement was mainly intended to introduce the Galaxy Tab 8.9. After much speculation, it is now clear that the 8.9” Tab will feature pretty much the same specs as the Tab 10.1 but with a smaller screen. Both Tabs will have a 1GHz dual-core processor (probably the Tegra 2), a 1280x800 pixel resolution, the same 8.6mm thickness, a 3.0 MP camera in the back, a 2.0 MP camera in the front, and will be available in 16, 32, and 64GB versions.

Both Tabs will also be the first Honeycomb tablets to receive a customized UX over the stock Android UI. The Touch Wiz 4.0 customization includes the ability to resize widgets, a quick app launcher and a live panel for various social network and website feeds. It will have to be seen whether Samsung’s changes positively affect the Android interface or not.

Some might have expected Samsung to raise prices as a result of the thinner style, but in a pleasant surprise Samsung is keeping their prices extremely competitive. The 16GB Wi-Fi versions of the Tab 8.9 and the Tab 10.1 should retail for $469 and $499 respectively while the 32GB versions will be a $100 more expensive.  There’s no word yet on the 64GB version pricing, but the Tab 10.1 should begin shipping this April with the Tab 8.9 coming sometime this summer.

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Author: Omar Qudsi, 2011-03-23 (Update: 2012-05-26)