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Summary:

Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab has long been tied to carriers due to the integrated mobile broadband radio but Samsung is finally introducing a device free from carrier contracts. Priced at $349, the Wi-Fi device launches on April 10 and includes an internal storage boost to 32GB.

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Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab has long been tied to carriers due to its integrated mobile broadband radio, but Samsung is finally introducing a device free from carrier contracts: the Android 2.2 tablet launches in a Wi-Fi model for $349 on April 10. Since carriers won’t likely sell this model, Samsung has partnered with online and retail outlets: Circuit City, Tiger Direct and CompUSA all currently appear as online sellers but I expect we’ll see more added to the list. Although the device loses its 3G connectivity, it gains in another area over 3G models as Samsung boosted the internal memory to 32 GB of storage, which can be supplemented with another 32 GB through a memory card.

Aside from the additional storage and lack of 3G connectivity, there’s not much new in Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. The tablet still uses a 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, 3 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front camera, offers Adobe Flash support, and weighs just over 13 ounces. Samsung is touting the media ecosystem it has quietly been building for its Android  devices though: MediaHub is pre-installed on the device and offers access to television programming and movie rentals for rent or purchase. This same software will be present on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Player, meant to compete against Apple’s iPod touchdevice.

The obvious question for any prospective buyers is which makes more sense: buy a 7-inch Android tablet that doesn’t use the newer Honeycomb operating system (and may never see it); opt for a larger Honeycomb tablet such as the Motorola Xoom or one of Samsung’s larger upcoming tablets; or go the iPad route? That’s a personal choice of course, but I thoroughly enjoy the Tab I bought because I can use it in more places. It fits in a jacket pocket or back pants pocket; something I can’t say about the iPad. I eventually sold my original iPad for this reason. But I ended up supplementing the Tab with a new iPad 2 and found that depending on the task at hand and the location I was in, there’s room for both tablets in my house.

Now that the Galaxy Tab comes in a no-contract edition that’s cheaper since there’s no monthly data plan requirement, will any of you be joining me in the Tab experience?

  1. As much as I would love a tablet, I can’t say that the price on this one tempts me greatly, at least not today. Yes, I like that it is Sammy. And, yes, I appreciate the extra memory. But $350 for a 7″ still seems a bit much to me.

    But maybe by summer either the price will drop some or I will have a change of heart…

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  2. While the form factor is a plus, I am not sure if $350 is the right price for a device launched almost a year back. EEE Pad will be selling for $399, has much better specs and comes with Honeycomb. Given Samsung’s notorious history with firmware updates, I am not too hopeful that the Tab will get HC anytime soon.

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  3. I’m in. I want it for reading and light surfing. I think 7″ will be perfect for that. Been waiting for this announcement for weeks!

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  4. I really want to try out the 10″ version. I have a feeling that may be the tablet I finally purchase. It’ll complement by hubby’s iPad2.

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  5. For what it offers it’s not too bad of a deal. It’s not great, but not bad either. It would’ve been smarter to use only 8 GB of internal storage instead of 32, and price it at $249. Make it compete with the Nook Color.

    At the same price, it would’ve been a no-brainer for whoever considered buying a good tablet in that price range. It would’ve offered better specs, and the full Android OS.

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    1. Richard Garrett Thursday, April 7, 2011

      I agree — not a great deal, especially when compared to the Nook Color at $249 and especially if the NC gets the extensive software upgrade that is predicted for later this month. I would really like to see Kevin do a comparison between the GTab and (the upgraded) NC and am tempted to send him mine so that he can do just that!

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      1. LOL! I almost bought a Nook Color when they had them on eBay a few weeks back for like $50 off or so. Now I sorta wish I had done that…

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  6. The Eee Pad and Sammy’s own 8.9 Tab are much bigger draws for me. It’s six months too late (probably due to carrier exclusivity windows) for the wifi version to capture the public’s attention, especially with 2.2 on board that most likely won’t be upgraded.

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  7. why not get the 7″ Acer A100 at $350 with Honeycomb & Tegra 2? yes it only has 8GB but the specs are overall better.

    plus, if I’m not mistaken, this isnt the same Tab you have Kevin. they dumbed down the CPU & GPU specs considerably.

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  8. Got the tab when first came out and still love it! Returned the ipad because I found it too big to carry around daily and not compatible with my existing devices. Tab fits in my purse and easy to hide during mandatory boring trainings. with the ipad everyone was looking over to see what I was doing…this 7in is less noticable and I can have privacy. Works great and can connect directly to other computers to transfer files.

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  9. Samsung Galaxy Tab impressed a lot of people..Android 2.2 is really great and now it comes with wifi definitely its going to be great. :)

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  10. these need to be in retail stores not just available from online retailers. i would like to see these on the shelf next to the contract 3/4G versions so consumers can see the options first and than choose if they want to sign a contract or not.

    i actually think this should have an unlocked GSM radio and SIM slot built in. but should come without any carrier branding or service package. that should be for consumers to think about later if they decide at some point they need it and the carriers get competitive with no-contract data bundle options. or perhaps some people would like to occasionally pull the SIM out of their phone and temporarily use it in their tablet.

    if Samsung wants to keep there own brand significant and not the carriers that is what they would do.

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    1. I expect that Samsung is trying to work out retail deals at BestBuy, Target, WalMart, etc….. I think Samsung is still too reliant upon the carriers in the handset market to upset the apple cart with a 3G option in the U.S. not tied to a carrier. To a large extent, carriers still have much say over what devices connect to their network vs. those that don’t. I don’t disagree with your wish here; just stating the challenge. ;)

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