You can now order the 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which will ship in four to six weeks and cost only a few dollars more than the Wi-Fi version.
Verizon Wireless has placed a mere $30 price premium on the LTE 4G radio inside the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Wi-Fi version sells for $499 or $599 for the 16-GB and 32-GB variants, respectively. The LTE-equipped Tabs, which will have access to Verizon's speedy data network, will cost just $529 or $629 for the 16-GB and 32-GB variants--albeit, with a contract attached.
The same 4G feature warranted a $200 price premium for the Motorola Xoom when it was released in February.
Verizon Wireless claims that its LTE network, which has seen several significant expansions in recent weeks, offers download speeds between 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps, and upload speeds between 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps. That's plenty fast for the mobile professional's business needs when out on the road.
The LTE version will ship with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, which offers several key updates compared to Android 3.0, such as support for USB accessories, improved multitasking, resizable home screen widgets, an improved browser, and better Wi-Fi security so IT managers can rest easier at night.
Now for the bad news. The LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 requires a two-year data plan if you want to purchase it at the $529 or $629 price points. The least expensive option starts at $20 per month and provides users with access to 1 GB of data. Pay $35 for 3 GB, $50 for 5 GB, or $80 for 10 GB of data. These plans mirror what Verizon's customers pay for other 4G devices, such as mobile hotspots, for example.
Each plan may have its own pros and cons, but for the money, the $35 fee for 3 GB will surely be enough for most users. Verizon is sticking to reasonable overage fees, at $10 per GB. Given the near ubiquity of Wi-Fi these days, many users may even find the $20 plan to be sufficient. All plans will incur a $350 early termination fee if broken before they expire.
If you want to purchase the LTE of the version Samsung Galaxy Tab without a contract, it'll cost $100 more. The 16-GB LTE version runs $629 and the 32-GB LTE version runs $729 with no commitment to Verizon. Verizon offers month-to-month data plans at the same rate that it does for contract customers, but with the flexibility of turning the plan on or off when needed.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with LTE 4G can be pre-ordered starting on Wednesday, though Verizon said that devices won't ship for four to six weeks.
Verizon has yet to say when the Motorola Xoom will receive its LTE 4G upgrade. The 3G version of the Xoom went on sale in February, with a promised upgrade to LTE 4G by "summer." The most recent commitment from Motorola only indicated that the upgrade is on the way "in the near future."
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