Welcome to a Good E-Reader IFA Exclusive! The first moments of the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany is upon us, and the show kicked started up with the device everyone has been waiting for, the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Many people have been salivating to get any news or new pictures of this device. We have been continously posting videos the last few days, about this little Tablet PC in action. We now have a little bit of hands-on experience with this new device that is blowing us away.
First of all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is a 7 inch Android 2.2 driven Tablet PC, that Samsung is billing as a new breed of entertainment device. It only weights around 300 G and can easily be held in one hand.
Under the hood we have a 1GHz chip Cortex A8, PowerVR SGX540 graphics and 512MB of RAM. It has 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, 5.76 Mbps HSUPA and HSDPA 5.6 Mbps. You can upgrade the memory to 16 or 32GB. The battery is labeled a 4,000 mAh, which Samsung says can support up to seven hours of video playback.
Visually, the Tablet has a resolution of 1024 by 600 on a full color TFT touch screen, which gives almost PC like graphics and most things look so great there is little need to zoom in. Samsung announced the availability of the latest version of Flash Player – 10.1 – is on the device and working fine. They also mentioned that it was completly compatible with HTML 5. You can also do some Video-conference with the 1.3 megapixel front camera, and switch the conferencing between portrait or landscape mode. There is also a dandy 3.1 MP camera on the back of the device, to take pictures with. The Camera quality does not compete with some higher end smart phones, but we will take it anyways.
Now let’s talk about some applications! Google Maps and other Google core applications are built into the device, and unlike the woeful Augen Gentouch78, the Galaxy Tab has full access to the Android Market. We mentioned earlier today that Samsung had partnered with Kobo for the new Readers Hub Application, they also showed off Media Hub and Music Hub. We will report back with further news on these two new applications. One of the cooler applications shown off were the augmented reality applications
The device also includes the new Swype input method, allowing users to drag their finger over each letter, rather than tapping each letter individually to input text. Some mobile operators will offer a second SIM card so customers can use the Tab and their mobile phone from a single account.
Many people at the conference were referring to this device as a tablet, which incurred the ire of Thomas Richter, Samsung’s head of product development which continually pounded into the packed room that this device was in fact a “Smart Media device.”
When prodded for more information on subsequent rumors of follow up devices to the Tab line, Samsung executives said that the company will probably launch several more Tab models next year, possibly with different screen sizes, to target different audiences. DJ Lee, a senior executive had mentioned that many different devices are in testing.
The one facet of this device, that left the whole room groaning, was that there was no definitive price yet. When asked for comment DJ Lee had said “Our business model is to go through global telephone operators,” Lee said. “The final price setting, including the rate plan, will be finalized by the rate plan operators. We cannot give an exact number. We are working to keep a very attractive and competitive price to offer the end user.”
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.