Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 tablet has specs and a low price that put it more in competition with Amazon's Kindle Fire than Apple's iPad. Image: Courtesy Samsung
Since launching in 2010, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series spawned more than a dozen sibling tablets, each of varying sizes and prices. Yet those attempts did little to hinder the skyrocketing sales growth of Apple’s iPad.
But the company’s upcoming Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 tablet, slated to arrive in stores on April 22, is aimed at a different rival: Android.
More specifically, Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Unlike the Galaxy Tab, Amazon’s 7-inch tablet has sold millions of units and is widely seen as the iPad’s biggest threat.
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which will feature a 7-inch touchscreen (surprise surprise!), will launch at a price of $250 — $50 more than the Kindle Fire. The larger Galaxy Tab 10.1, and its 10.1-inch display, will hit retailers on May 13, at a price of $400 — $100 less than the 9.7-inch screen iPad.
Both of the new Samsung slates will run the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, version 4.0 (a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich), and are powered by a 1-GHz dual-core processor. The two tablets also both feature 3MP rear cameras for photos and video, VGA cameras up front for video chatting, a built-in IR blaster (so the tablet can double as a TV remote) and a built-in microSD card slot for expanded storage.
Storage on the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 comes in at 8GB — same as the Kindle Fire — while storage on the 10.1-inch unit is 16GB.
The smaller Galaxy Tab 2 has a display resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels (again, same as Amazon’s tablet), while the 10.1-inch model has a resolution of 1,280 x 800. The third-generation iPad has a screen resolution of 2,048 x 1,536.
If you feel like you’ve seen the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 before, you’re aren’t far off. It’s nearly identical to the Galaxy Note 10.1, which Samsung showed off back in February.
Samsung also announced on Wednesday that it will bring two new iPod Touch competitors to the U.S.: The Galaxy Player 3.6, on sale now for $150, and Galaxy Player 4.2, in stores May 13 at $200. Both of the Galaxy Players are essentially Samsung Android phones without the phone, and both will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which first appeared on the scene back in December 2010, and feature 2-megapixel rear cameras and VGA front-facing cameras.
We’ll be getting our hands on the new Galaxy Tab 2 family and Galaxy Players tonight, so stay tuned to Gadget Lab for our hands-on first impressions.