Samsung Aims Low With Android Tab3 Lite

Samsung's latest Android tablet features stripped-down specs, targeting casual users more than mobile pros.
10 Best Tablets Of 2013
10 Best Tablets of 2013
(Click image for larger view.)

Samsung Thursday announced the Galaxy Tab3 Lite, an Android tablet that dips into the entry-level end of the pool. The Tab3 Lite follows several professional-grade tablets Samsung announced at the Consumer Electronics Show, but it aims for the casual user more than the working pro.

The Tab3 Lite features a 7-inch screen with an uninspiring resolution of just 1026 x 600 pixels. Measuring 7.6 x 4.57 x 0.38 inches and weighing in at just 0.68 pounds (310 grams), it is a small and compact device. Samsung has moved the menu bar to the device's bezel rather than the screen itself to make as many pixels as possible available for content. The device is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor of unknown make. It comes with 1 GB of memory and 8 GB of built-in storage that can be supplemented with a 32 GB microSD card.

The device runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. It offers the common core group of Samsung apps, such as Kies, ChatON, Samsung Hub, and Samsung Link. It doesn't include enterprise-friendly security or any productivity apps beyond Polaris Office. The Tab3 Lite includes a 2-megapixel main camera matched to its Smile Shot, Shoot & Share, and Panorama Shot functions for creative imaging. Flipboard is included for users who prefer consuming their social media magazine-style.

[Samsung's flagship smartphone may be getting a makeover. Read Samsung Touts Galaxy S5 Dramatic Change.]

Several connectivity options are available. The Tab3 Lite will be sold in two versions: WiFi-only or WiFi and 3G. The 3G is limited to HSPA+ at 21 Mbit/s; LTE 4G is nowhere in sight. The device also includes GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0, and an accelerometer. According to Samsung, the 3,600mAh battery is able to provide up to eight hours of video playback.

The Tab3 Lite comes in black or white and will be available worldwide in the weeks ahead. Exact availability and price (probably less than $150) will vary by region.

The Tab3 will compete with other entry-level tablets, such as those announced by Acer earlier this month and by HP last month. Devices such as the Asus Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Mini (the one without the Retina Display) trounce the Tab3 Lite in terms of specs.

Mobile professionals will be better off selecting one of Samsung's new NotePRO or TabPRO tablets, which were announced earlier this month. The NotePRO and TabPRO tablets range from 8.4 inches to 12.2 inches and offer class-leading features and performance, such as split-screen multitasking and superior displays.

The popularity of Samsung's Note-branded products is well documented. Late last year Samsung said it had sold 10 million Note 3 devices worldwide. This week, the company indicated it has shipped 10 million Note 3s in its home market of Korea alone.

IT is turbocharging BYOD, but mobile security practices lag behind the growing risk. Also in the Mobile Security issue of InformationWeek: These seven factors are shaping the future of identity as we transition to a digital world. (Free registration required.)

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer