Refreshed Samsung tablet lineup keeps the heat on Apple's iPad, with unique features and prices starting at $250.
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Samsung revealed pricing information and release dates for refreshed versions of its Galaxy-brand tablet at a media event in San Francisco Wednesday, stressing the inclusion of features and form factors that cannot be had with Apple's iPad. The company first demonstrated its Galaxy Tab 2 line at the Mobile World Congress in February.
The Galaxy Tab 2 line includes the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, successor to Samsung's original Galaxy Tab, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, a revision of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus that challenges Amazon's Kindle more than Apple's iPad.
Asked about demand for a 7-inch tablet--a form factor that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs insisted was too small--a Samsung spokesperson said customers want choice. "One size fits all is not enough," he said.
The 7-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 2 features a 1024 x 600-pixel screen and internal storage capacity of 8 GB, which can be expanded to 40 GB using a 32-GB microSDHC card.
In addition, Samsung has partnered with cloud storage company Dropbox to provide tablet buyers with 50 GB of free online storage for a year, a $99 value. The tablet runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and sports a dual-core 1-GHz processor.
The 10-inch Galaxy Tab 2 comes with a 1280 x 800-pixel screen and twice as much internal storage, 16 GB, plus whatever the owner chooses to add via microSDHC card. Like its smaller sibling, it runs Android 4.0 using a dual-core 1-GHz processor. The Dropbox deal is available with the larger tablet, too.
Both versions come with a 3.2 megapixel rear-facing camera and a VGA-quality camera in front.
While Samsung's latest tablets may have features that the iPad doesn't--an external storage slot, an infrared sensor, and stereo speakers--their screens fall short of the new iPad's Retina display.
Both models include a built-in IR sensor, which can be used with Samsung's Smart Remote software for mirroring tablet content on recent vintage Samsung TVs (2011+ Series 7000 LED models) and for controlling other electronics.
Samsung will begin accepting orders May 4 for its $400 10-inch tablet and plans to make the devices available May 13. The 7-inch tablet lists for $250 and Samsung intends to begin taking orders Thursday with availability planned for April 22.
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