Along with the Galaxy SII, Samsung also launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 last Wednesday. We featured the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 early last month and we were told that it would be available early June. Unfortunately, we just learned that it still won’t be available until by the end of July and the 8.9 version will follow a few weeks after.
The reason for the delay? Samsung upgraded the OS on both tablets to Android 3.1 and this would allow the 3G version to send and receive text messages and have support for microSD card (via an accessory). For some reason, we were told that calls aren’t possible yet with Honeycomb 3.1. Samsung also included their TouchWiz UI into the device to give it some distinction from other Honeycomb tablets. Initially, it was supposed to only have the bare Honeycomb UI.
Both the 10.1 and 8.9 Galaxy Tab have the same internals. Dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 1280 x 800 display, 3MP rear camera with flash, 2MP front camera and a 16GB internal storage.
Personally, I think these new tablets look really nice and I also like how the UI is presented. The form and weight is just right for a tablet. Actually, even if it’s bigger than the iPad 2, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is lighter by around 37 grams. It follows the iPad 2 route though by limiting the ports on the device. There’s no microSD expansion slot nor an HDMI out. You can get accessories that you attach to its charging port if you want to use an HDMI cable or read from a USB stick or an SD card.
There’s also a charging dock / keyboard accessory (very first picture) if you’re going into some heavy typing. Then there’s the leather case which has a Bluetooth keyboard as well making your Galaxy Tab look like a slim netbook.
The 10.1 version (3G version only in the mean time) will be the first to be released by the end of July. Our source said it will have a price tag roughly the same as that of the Galaxy SII, Php29,990. As for the 8.9 version, expect it to be available by August with a price tag of around Php25,000 for the WiFi version. Samsung is still planning whether to bring in the 3G version.