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4/3/2012
10:40 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Android 4.0 Forces Samsung To Delay Galaxy Tablets

Optimizing Ice Cream Sandwich for its second-generation tablets proves nettlesome to Samsung.

10 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
10 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
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Samsung has pushed back the release of it second-generation tablets from the end of March to the end of April. The delay, according to a Samsung spokesperson, is because the company needs more time to work on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That's funny, because Samsung has had access to Ice Cream Sandwich longer than any other hardware maker.

Google released Android 4.0 in October. Samsung released the global variant of Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0 on board in November, followed by the U.S. Verizon version in December. Other OEMs didn't gain access to the Ice Cream Sandwich source code until November, about a month after Samsung got its hands on it.

The Galaxy Tab 2--both the 7-inch 7.0 version and the 10-inch 10.1 version--will be the first tablets to ship from Samsung with Android 4.0 on board. Android 4.0 offers a number of system-wide improvements when compared to earlier versions of Android.

The two Tab 2s are powered by dual-core 1-GHz processors, accompanied by 1 GB of RAM. Most new smartphones are shipping with 1.2-1.5-GHz dual-core chips. The Tabs supports worldwide 3G data, with HSPA+ at 21-Mbps in the 850/900/1900/2100-MHz bands, in addition to 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, and a bevy of sensors.

[ See Apple's New iPad Tops Consumer Reports' Ratings. ]

The Tab 2 (7.0) has a seven-inch display, with 1024 x 600 pixels. The Tab 2 (10.1) has a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels. Both come with two cameras: a 3-megapixel fixed-focus main camera, and a VGA user-facing camera for video calling. They can record HD video at 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second.

They will ship in three different storage variations: 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB. All three will include a microSD card slot supporting an addition 32 GB of storage. The Tab 2 shaves a little thickness and weight when compared to the original, but not much. The Tab 2 (7.0) measures 0.41 inches thick and weighs 12.1 ounces, or about 0.75 pounds if you prefer.

The Tab 2 (7.0) and (10.1) are not bad efforts, but they are not very sexy. They lack 4G support of any kind, the cameras are low in quality, the processor and memory setups are already outdated, and Samsung already makes tablets that measure 7.7 inches, 8.9 inches, and 10.1 inches.

Samsung says Android 4.0 on the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and (10.1) is much faster than Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with a better app and user interface response. Faster is (nearly) always better, as laggy software is frustrating. Let's hope so, because this is the second delay Samsung has admitted to due to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Last month, Samsung delayed Android 4.0 for the Galaxy Note.

As businesses rely increasingly on tablets for the productivity benefits they provide, IT must address the security challenges the devices present. Find out more in our Security Pro's Guide To Tablet PCs report. (Free registration required.)

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