Last month at Mobile World Congress Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a NVIDIA Tegra 2 based Honeycomb tablet. Since then, Apple's iPad 2 raised the bar for ergonomics and performance. Not wanting to be outdone, Samsung just announced a redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1 that's both thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad 2.

The new Galaxy Tab 10.1 measures only 8.6mm thick and weighs 595 grams. The iPad 2 by comparison is 8.8mm thick and weighs 601 grams. The display is a Xoom-like 1280x800 using Samsung's PLS display technology.

The old 10.1 on the left and the new 10.1 on the right

Samsung Galaxy Tab vs Apple iPad 2
  Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (New) Apple iPad 2
Depth 8.6 mm 8.6 mm 8.8 mm
Weight 470 grams 595 grams 601 grams
Screen Size & Technology 8.9-inches PLS 10.1-inches PLS 9.7-inches IPS
Screen Resolution 1280x800 1280x800 1024x768
Battery Capacity 6000 mAh 6800 mAh 6930 mAh

Network connectivity is pretty decent. Like the Galaxy S II you get HSPA+ 21.1 support, as well as 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi with two spatial streams. The assumption here is that the 10.1 uses an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC however we'll find out soon enough. Samsung is promising LTE and WiMAX versions of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 as well.

Ergonomics aren't the only area in which Samsung is competitive with the iPad 2; there's also pricing. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions, priced at an iPad 2 competitive $499 and $599 respectively. The 10.1 will be available starting June 8th. Cellular enabled versions will ship at a later date, pricing TBD.

As expected, Samsung also announced the Galaxy Tab 8.9. The specs between the 10.1 and 8.9 remain the same; all that really changes is screen size from what I can tell. You still get the same 1280x800 PLS display but in a much more dense package.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Lineup Pricing
WiFi 16GB 32GB
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 $499 $599
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 $469 $569

Pricing on the 8.9 is a bit lower than the 10.1. Again there are only two versions: 16GB and 32GB, priced at $469 and $569 respectively. The prototype I played with had a SIM slot; however, Samsung didn't announce pricing on the 3G/LTE/WiMAX versions.

Samsung is playing the ambiguous SoC game again and only referring to these two tablets as having a dual-core applications processor. I'm guessing we'll see a mix of Tegra 2 and Samsung Exynos based versions depending on region. Samsung's 8.9 prototypes at the show floor had NVIDIA's Tegra 2 under the hood.

Both tablets will ship with Samsung's new TouchWiz UI for Honeycomb. Having a custom UI on top of Honeycomb does go against the spirit of Google's latest Android OS, but it looks like manufacturer differentiation wins out.

The biggest UI change is the addition of an app dock at the bottom of the screen similar to the dock in OS X. Drag up to reveal the auto-hiding dock and tap to launch an app. The default Honeycomb app switcher is still present.

The new tablet TouchWiz also has new size adjustable widgets that look very good on the big screen.

Samsung only had prototypes of the 8.9 and 10.1 tablets for hands on use at the show. The mechanically accurate samples were both behind glass.

It's far too early to draw any conclusions but I will say that the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a dream to hold.

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • bah12 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    I couldn't agree more, until google wakes up and takes some control of their OS's update process I'm afraid I will have to steer clear. I know I can root it...blah blah blah. And that is fine for me, but I'll be darned if I'd recommend it to my mom. Seriously on a CE device like these over customization by the OEM is a BAD BAD thing, when will google start cracking down on this and integrate OTA updates directly from them regardless of OEM. If OEM's want to put some apps on fine, but stay out of the core OS.

    I realize this is harder that I am making it out to be, and is why MS and Apple have very limited hardware (physical devices not limited power), but IMO it is the holy grail for these markets. Seamless OS integration across multiple vendors is key. Lets face it it took YEARS for MS to do that on the windows side, and we still have the vista's to remind us of what poor 3rd party support can do to an OS upgrade, but we really need this in a CE device.
  • dukepeter - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    that paint memo app -- is that a windowed application?? or just a widget?
  • dukepeter - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    PenMemo, not paint memo
  • R3MF - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    the tiny bezel on the 8.9" looks perfect, i'd love to see the sized compared to an ipad2.......
  • vision33r - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    The problem isn't the iPad, it's the sheer number of Android tablet entries this year.

    We know Apple will keep 70% of the marketshare, regardless how much armchair speculation the consumer masses has iPad set as the de-facto standard today.

    The rest of the 30% will be shared by entries from HP, LG, Asus, Acer,Toshiba, Samsung, Moto, etc..

    The competition between other android tablet will be fierce as it comes down to who has the bleeding tech hardware and the right price.

    Right now the dark horse is RIM, the Playbook looks very good and it isn't Android which may surprisingly be a good thing.
  • kenz1 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    Kinda like what is happening in the smartphone market right?
  • PeteH - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    The question is will the tablet market be more like the mp3 player market (where Apple dominates) or the smartphone market (where Android is the big winner)?

    My personal believe is that it will come down to whether WiFi or 3G/4G becomes the primary way consumers access the internet from their tablets.

    If 3G/4G wins out Android will likely end up dominating the market, because cellular providers will push the marketing and distribution of tablets (they'll probably sell subsidized tablets with two year data plans).

    If instead WiFi wins out Apple has a very good chance to dominate the tablet market the way they dominate mp3 players. It will be very hard for any consumer electronics manufacturer to match Apple's combination of marketing, retail presence, and platform lock-in.

    My guess is that the only way 3G/4G wins out is if data prices come down considerably. I know I don't feel like signing up for another $30 per month bill.
  • RHurst - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    IMO, what you said makes a lot of sense. Couldn't agree more.

    Also I suspect the plan is to charge a lot more, invest in the infrastructure for higher speeds (4g, etc.), then little by little they will go back to unlimited/more reasonable plans. If they did not, I suspect we would be locked into slower 1-3Mbps type speeds.

    However, by the time a 10-30Mpbs infra is in place, by then I'm afraid Apple will have a big lead along the lines you painted.

    Will see what happens.
  • kenz1 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

  • tswhittaker - Friday, April 1, 2011 - link

    when is coming out in the uk EMAIL ME ON

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now