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12/14/2011
11:08 AM
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Samsung Tablets Added To Some American Airlines Flights

First class and business class passengers on American Airlines flights will be able to use the Samsung Galaxy Tab for entertainment while in the air.

American Airlines announced on Wednesday that its premium customers will have a new way to keep themselves entertained during flights. First Class and Business Class passengers will have access to 70 movies--including 30 brand new releases--as well as a variety of television and audio selections on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Tab 10.1 will first appear on transcontinental flights from New York (JFK airport) to San Francisco, New York (JFK) to Los Angeles, Miami to San Francisco, and Miami to Los Angeles that use Boeing 767-200/300 aircraft. It will also be available on international flights to and from Europe and South America, as well as flights between Boston and Los Angeles that use Boeing 757 aircraft.

The Tab will replace the current entertainment system found on those flights. American Airlines didn't say if or when the Galaxy Tab would be made available to other routes or to the main cabin on those same flights.

According to Samsung, the tablet has been customized for American Airlines and features a special touchscreen that lets customers more easily use the tablet. It has its own user interface that American Airlines believes is best-suited for the scenario that it has created. No word from American Airlines on how locked down the device is to prevent passengers from cracking their way in and fooling around with the code.

The Galaxy Tab on American Airlines flights will gain more functionality over time, including Wi-Fi for Internet access, games, eReader publications, and so on.

"We continue to move forward with our efforts to modernize the travel experience by using the innovative Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to provide inflight entertainment onboard," said Rob Friedman, American's Vice President of Marketing in a statement. "Today's news is the latest in a series of investments we've made in our focus on product and service enhancements for our premium customers, and we know they will be delighted with the contemporary entertainment experience of the tablet."

The Tab 10.1 is Samsung's main iPad competitor that's thinner (8.6mm) and lighter than Apple's tablet. The Tab 10.1 weighs 1.31 pounds while the iPad weighs in at 1.33 pounds.

It runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb (no Ice Cream Sandwich yet) and supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n. It typically comes with an array of enterprise-friendly features, such as software from Cisco, Sybase, SAP and Citrix, but I somehow doubt those features will make their way onto the tablets being supplied by American Airlines. It is powered by a dual-core 1-GHz processor and boasts a 1280 x 800 pixels in its WXGA TFT LCD display.

It has a 3-megapixel main camera and 2-megapixel user-facing camera for imaging and video chatting. It can record video in 1080p HD, though not in 3-D. I can't imagine that American Airlines is going to give passengers access to the cameras.

Last, in addition to the tablets, American Airlines is offering Bose Quiet Comfort 15 noise-cancelling headsets for use with the Galaxy Tab on select flights.

Preparing some business travel for next year? Now you know which flights will give you the opportunity to check out the Galaxy Tab.

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