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Last Updated: June 7th, 2011

It looks like at least one Android tablet manufacturer has finally realized that $700-800 slates just won't cut it against the (starting at) $500 iPad 2 in the eyes of most customers. In case you missed our Live Blog, Samsung has finally announced its upcoming Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 10.1, both of which will launch with Wi-Fi-only versions - and we finally have an Android tablet that can compete with Apple's slate in one of the most important categories: price. Fear not though, for these tabs are no slouches in the specs department either.

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At 8.6mm thick, these two slates (which sport dual-core processors) beat out the 8.8mm iPad 2 in the thinness department by what will likely be an indiscernible .2mm.

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They will feature dual stereo surround speakers, and will come in 16GB and 32GB models (do you think they were paying attention to what Apple was doing here or what?).

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Perhaps aiming for the business-minded demographic, Samsung is also including USB in/out capabilities (only for the 8.9)...

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... and a Bluetooth stick headset, which includes vibration:

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As reported previously, Samsung's custom UI, called TouchWiz 4.0 will be overlaid on top of Honeycomb.

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Perhaps the sweetest news to come out of the event was that Wi-Fi-only versions will be not only available, but priced very competitively too. The 10.1 will start at $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB. The 8.9 Tab will carry a $469 price tag for the 16GB, the 32GB will mark up at $569.

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The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is looking to launch on June 8th, with the 8.9 slate being labeled as available "early this summer."

While we have seen some impressive Android tablets both announced and launched, I find it refreshing to finally see some offerings that are obviously intended to be taken seriously by many customers from a price point perspective.  Samsung has delivered that along with some impressive hardware specs today. We can't wait to get a hands-on with these new Galaxy Tabs.

... and what about you? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • floppy

    If they want to make a real difference they should go even lower with the price. It's not just good to be at the same price but if they want to reach more people than Apple, a price around $300-$400 would bring a lot more people.

    • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

      Get a job and stop your whining. Things cost money.
      If you think that a low price makes all the difference, get one of those cheap Android tablets... I think you can even pick them up in the 100-200 range. Running some version of android 1.6 or 2.1, made to look like some weird concoction of different smart phone interfaces. I'm sure you'll love it.

      • Jon Garrett

        lol, you're crazy but you're right. things do cost money and every company wants to make a profit.

        besides, I think the prices are perfect and Im really excited about these two devices.

  • Alexey

    I was about to shout "GOODBYE, MOTO" until I read Touchwiz.

    Nevermind.

    • Aaron

      I agree. Although, I keep reading that TouchWizz will be an optional add-on. If this is the case, I am not as annoyed.
      Perhaps this is a good sign the HW makers are truly offering their crap customizations as optional additions?

      • Pedro

        Where did you read it'll be optional ?
        Maybe the launcher, but i doubt we'll be able to use vanilla Honecomb so easily.
        But i hope they'll not lock the bootloader, so we can install some good roms on it.

        • Aaron

          I read it on a few other Android and gadget blogs.

          No guarantee, but I did read the word "optional" enough times to at least cause me to reserve judgement.

        • Pedro

          "11:18AM Omar says that the custom UI will be coming to "some" models, but isn't going into details."
          http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/22/live-from-samsungs-ctia-event/?sort=oldest&refresh=0
          Interesting...

        • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

          >> will be coming to “some” models

          Coming to "some" models doesn't mean "optional". Although, it gives enough hope to those of us who are eyeing at the Wifi only model because I bet the carrier subsided models are going to be hijacked by the custom UI.

    • Jon Garrett

      its optional, don't you bother reading before you post?

    • theadam

      "I was about to shout “GOODBYE, MOTO” until I read Touchwiz."

      ROTFL my thoughts exactly. Can those manufacturers get any dumber?

  • RandyN

    Look nice but my issue is they're from Samsung and being an owner of a Vibrant, I vowed not to purchase anything from Samsung until they consistently prove they'll support their customers (i.e., with promised OS updates, etc.). So for now, I'll definitely pass on anything from Samsung.

    • Jon Garrett

      I happen to be a big fan of Samsung. but if you're not happy with them, at least you have a choice as opposed to apple.

      What about the Toshiba Antares or the LG Optimus?

  • Alex Garcia

    Definetly the price is getting good and the tablet itself looks pretty good....

    BUT...........

    Sansung: PLEASE!!! NO Touchwiz.... no one deserves that ugly interface. Please... dont... dont...

    • Jon Garrett

      they said its optional damn it !

      • Steve

        Not in this article they didn't, so relax and lay off the caffeine. And without links, it didn't happen.

  • Greg

    I want to hear about the screen technology. Got the resolution specs but will it be Super AMOLED?

    • Eric

      At that price? No

  • http://trueacu.com acupunc

    They look great and price is OK with me however. . .

    Release date of June and summer?!?!
    1GHz dual-core hummingbird--looks to be outdated by then.
    Proprietary port = no micro usb or HDMI?!?!?!
    The touchwiz "upgrade" will most likely fubar Android updates--please just add enhancements via apps that don't fubar Android updates. . . all companies!!!

    • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

      >> Proprietary port = no micro usb or HDMI?!?!?!

      I saw a slide that says USB in/out, where do you get that there's no USB.

      • acupunc

        Where did I say "there's no usb"?

        I said, "Proprietary port = no micro usb or HDMI?!?!?!"

        That means, there's no micro USB or HDMI on the unit. You MUST use a proprietary port. And according to the slide, for 8.9" *only* you will get USB in/out via a proprietary port.

        Main point is, why are they using a proprietary port? They don't have standard (micro) USB & HDMI on either of the units. Like I want to carry around a proprietary port with me everywhere I go.

        • Jon Garrett

          proprietary is better than none. looking at the pictures it loos as though it will come with an adapter.

  • Gareth Tiedt

    Sold. I'll take one 8.9 Inch 16 GB.
    Touchwiz is optional as far as I know, from reading other blogs. A good decision. Not that I have anything wrong with it actually.
    Also, the SD Card and USB capability are so attractive, as is the slightly smaller, more portable nature of the 8.9.
    Nice looking device too! And as far as the price goes...for something that has more features than the iPad (ie. GPS, USB, SD Card, smaller, cheaper, doesn't look like an over sized iPod), it definitely means a much more economic package.

    • Jon Garrett

      yeayyy somebody that makes sense.

  • brie987

    I love the specs but they really dont mean anything if there is no power supporting it. What is the batter like? How long with wifi ON! If the battery can meet or pass the 10 hour mark with wifi on the 32gb seems do able. Im also a Vibrant owner and Im a sucker for punishment :(

  • dragonithe

    It seems pretty sweet, and if i could plug a USB stick in the 8.9, I'm sold!

    And for touchwiz, it doesn't look bad at all and the widgets look awesome!

  • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

    Those look pretty nice. Not a big fan of the custom adapters... I think they limit usability cause I'm just not likely to have them on me. I actually don't mind touch wiz that much on the Galaxy Tab, though I'm curious to see what it will be like on a Honeycomb device.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    You know, I am about to give up the fight against custom UIs. They will stay, no matter how much we hate them. On top of that, just because a device is a stock Google device doesn't guarantee the OS can be upgraded -- in fact, it very well won't receive one after the first year, unless it's an official Google developer phone (ie, the Nexus line.)

    From now on, what I will look for is whether custom ROM is possible or not. If there's a CyanogenMod port, I am in.

  • Yose Llourinho

    To all other tablet makers: undercut apple on price, it's your only option. I don't know why are you taking that much time when all we know that by xmas those tablets will cost at least 100€ less.

    • Jon Garrett

      they wont have to undercut apple on price, they beat them with specs. and according to all the professional "analysts" out there, Android will beat them with number of apps in the next 12-18 months.

      • Franky

        "they wont have to undercut apple on price, they beat them with specs. "

        That's the big mistake everyone makes.... What you don't get is that Apple has opened up tablet-devices for a wide range of average consumers, i.e. people that DONT'T HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA about hardware specs. And neither do they care as long as their new gadget serves its purpose. That's the reason why so damn many people buy the iPad, while noone was ever interested in the tablets that were available years and years before.

        And that, my friends, is the reason why android tablets like the Xoom won't stand a chance against whatever trash apple is going to throw at them, despite the iPad2 looking like a gameboy compared to the Xoom resembling a PS3 hardwarewise.

        That's why the iPad dominates the tablet market: It's relatively cheap. And it works.

        That's all.

        Samsung seems to be the only corporation that actually got that.

        • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

          That's probably not much a concern. Motorola may not respond to Apple's price, but they definitely will respond to Samsung because the comparison is much more obvious -- they are targeting the same group of buyers. As Motorola cuts prices, Samsung will respond. Looking at the history of desktop PC, we know that the only thing PC makers are capable of doing right is to lower prices.

    • TA

      It's basically not possible to significantly undercut Apple on price. They're too vertically integrated. This is the sort of thing regulators are supposed to stand in the way of, but Apple seems to get a free pass on all kinds of non-competitive shit.

      • Bob

        What does "too vertically integrated" mean, exactly? Do you mean that Apple designs both the hardware and the software for the iPad? And what anti-competitive behaviour are you accusing Apple of?

  • ZZ

    No thanks, don't feel like committing to the Samsung cycle again.

    http://i.imgur.com/PNv8g.jpg

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    None of the Android makers learn why so many Android fans hate custom UI. Let's just forget about whether their UI is great for usability or not. The fact that they rarely upgrade old phone's custom UI to a later version tells us how serious they are when it comes to software development. I am not even talking about upgrading Android here. It's their OWN software. TouchWiz is now at version what, 4? Now, let's guess how and when many of those TouchWiz 3 phones get an update.

    The bottomline is, they are all hardware makers, and I highly doubt their commitment to bringing new life to old hardware -- they always want to sell you a new one.

  • Eric

    I wonder what the developer side of this will be. Custom roms? CM tablet? If so, I'll buy. Also, is there any SD support?

  • http://stuarthalliday.com Stuart Halliday

    These devices are probably getting made for the newly emerging retail trade who will be using them in house for POS...
    Hence the lack of 2/3/4G and other key features like HDMI.

  • http://www.myrecipebookspace.com Alec5216

    These look pretty sweet. Gigantic batteries = huge bonus!