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Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 announced

Android 3.0 Honecomb tablets thinner than iPad 2

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The new tablets measure just 8.6mm – thinner than the iPad 2.

Samsung has announced two new tablets in its effort to compete with the Apple iPad 2, called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1.

The two tablets, Samsung’s first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets, will go on sale in the US on June 8. 

As the names suggest, they feature 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch screens, though in most other respects the two tablets are identical. 

A previous version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which we saw at the Mobile World Congress trade show in January, may still be sold through Vodafone stores in Europe.

Thinner than the iPad 2

Samsung’s main claim is that both are thinner than the Apple iPad 2, measuring 8.6mm thick. It’s a minor difference as the iPad 2 measures just 8.8mm, but both are significantly lighter. The Tab 8.9 weighs 470g and the 10.1 weighs 595. The lightest version of the iPad weighs 601g, and the 3G version weighs 713g.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 specs

Both will feature a 1,280 x 800 resolution display, and will come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions with and without 3G. Wi-fi is a standard feature. The 8.9 has a 6,000mAh battery; the 10.1 has a larger 6,800mAh battery – necessary due to the large screen.

Like most recent tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tabs have dual-core processors inside that can play 1080p HD video. They’ll ship with Adobe Flash Player 10.2, so will play Flash video and content from websites – including those on which.co.uk. Built-in cameras include 3MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, and a front-facing 2MP camera.

Unlike the Motorola Xoom, which is due to go on sale in the UK next month, Samsung has created its own interface called the Samsung TouchWiz UX. It gives Android 3.0 Honeycomb a slightly different visual style, and adds some new features – e.g. a pop-up ‘app tray’. For more on the standard Android 3.0 interface, watch our Android 3.0 Honeycomb first look video.

No UK price or availability has been announced, but both with go on sale in the US on June 8 with prices starting at $469 for the 8.9 and $499 for the 10.1.

Read our Tablet Buyers’ Guide for more advice on buying a tablet.

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