Limited quantities of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi edition will be sold in a single New York store on June 8, the same day that Verizon Wireless begins taking online orders for a more expensive model that runs on its LTE cellular network.
On Verizon, the LTE version will come in two models-- a 16GB device for $529.99 and a 32GB version for $629.99. Both require a two-year data agreement with Verizon. Both will also come in either metallic gray or glossy white.
The Wi-Fi-only, 16 GB version will sell for $499, while the 32 GB version will sell for $599, as Samsung announced (see video) in March.
Some analysts view the 10.1 model of the Galaxy Tab as the most likely to take on the iPad and iPad 2, which have a huge lead in the tablet market. The reason is that the 10.1 runs the latest Android OS, 3.1, also called Honeycomb, which is described as offering faster transitions between applications and has more support for USB accessories. Also, Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1-inch display that approximates the size of the iPad display at 9.7 inches.
In addition, the 10.1 is only 8.6 millimeters thick, a clear attempt to better the iPad 2's 8.8 mm thickness, analysts have noted. The 10.1 is the thinnest tablet on the market, and also the lightest at 1.25 pounds.
Samsung also makes a Galaxy Tab with a 7-in. display, which was released last year on an earlier version of Android, and announced a Wi-Fi-only 8.9-in. version in March. Version 10.1 runs a dual-core 1 GHz processor and its high- definition touch-screen features 1280 x 800 resolution. It also has a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera.
Samsung has described the 10.1 as enterprise friendly, with on-device encryption of user data, Exchange ActiveSync support, Sybase Afaria mobile device management, a Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN and and an F5 SSL VPN. Its battery life is pegged at 14 hours of continuous use on a single charge thanks to a 7000 mAh battery.
Dale Sohn, CEO of Samsung Mobile, said that once the 10.1 is released, it will get a series of over-the-air upgrades in the near future to make the device "even more powerful, entertaining and secure." Further details were unavailable.
Verizon will start taking online orders June 8, but the availability of the LTE version was not announced. Verizon said the LTE version of the Galaxy Tab will be in stores sometime this summer, with optional accessories such as a full-sized keyboard dock and a multimedia docking station.
While Samsung in March promised a June 8 launch for the Wi-Fi edition, it will only be available in limited quantities on that day at one store, the Best Buy Union Square store in New York City. Best Busy customers elsewhere can order the device online or in stores for later availability.
On June 17, the Wi-Fi version will be available at Best Buy stores, as well as Fry's Electronics, Amazon.com, Micro Center, TigerDirect.com and Newegg. Sprint will begin selling the Wi-Fi version sometime in mid-summer, Samsung said.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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