We knew it was coming. After the rather disappointing reveal of the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3, Samsung unveiled two new models today. The 8-inch Tab 3 bears a striking resemblance to the Galaxy Note 8, while the 10.1-inch version extends the design language first introduced in the Galaxy S III smartphone to the 10.1-inch form factor... buttons and all. Both models are mild refreshes of older Tab variants (though the 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3 could bee seen as a mix of the 8.9 and 7.7). They'll be available internationally in early June, but Samsung unaccountably forgot to include the prices.
The 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3 takes most of the specifications and design of the Galaxy Note 8.0, subtracts the Wacom digitizer and S-Pen stylus, and calls it a day. A diminished 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and slightly lower 1.5GB of RAM should still run Android smoothly, and there's the usual choice of 16 or 32GB of storage plus whatever you can shove in the MicroSD card slot. The 5 megapixel rear camera has no LED flash, and it's moved up to the corner, while the front-facing 1.3MP camera stays the same. The screen is an identical 1280x800 LCD, though Samsung has shrunken the bezel a bit, making the Galaxy Tab 3 a little more than 10mm skinnier than the Note 8.0. The battery is 4,450mAh, and the tablet comes with an infrared port.
The 10.1-inch Tab 3 gets a radical and somewhat baffling redesign to keep it in line with pretty much every device Samsung has released since the S III. There are no virtual navigation buttons, just a huge plastic home button flanked by two capacitive buttons, looking quite out of place on the "bottom" horizontal bezel. (This seems like it would be a real pain to use in portrait mode, or indeed, anything except the standard landscape.)
The processor is a bit faster at 1.6Ghz dual-core, and the rear camera is a bit worse at 3MP. Strangely, RAM is reduced compared to the 8-inch tablet, down to 1GB. Storage remains the same, as does the IR port. The screen is the same 1280x800 10.1-inch LCD that Samsung's been using ever since the original 10.1, and when compared to some of the other 10-inch tablets on the market, it's really showing its age. The battery in the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 is 6,800mAh.
Both tablets will run Android 4.2 at launch, with Samsung's obligatory pack-in interface and apps. Three versions of each tablet will be available, Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE, though regional differences will likely apply. Prices for either model in their various storage and wireless options were not revealed, but we shouldn't have long to wait. Considering the disappointing specifications, it seems that Samsung is fully committed to pushing the Note line into the premium tablet space, while keeping the older Tab family in the low-end area of the market.
Hey, at least they got rid of those proprietary connectors.
Update: Reuters has confirmed that the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch is using an Intel CPU, according to a Samsung representative. There's no definitive word on which precise model is being used, but we'd guess it's one of the current-generation Ivy Bridge mobile CPUs. We'll update this story if more information can be verified.
SEOUL, Korea, June 03, 2013 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the introduction of the GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch and 10.1-inch which will be available globally beginning of June. Offering an expanded range of options along with previously announced 7-inch version, the GALAXY Tab 3 Series provides customers various ways to view, listen, create, and share meaningful events and special content with those who matter most. Whether surfing the web at home or reading during the commute, each device is packed with enhanced content and intuitive design perfect for viewing or sharing content with friends and family, and capturing all of life’s spontaneous moments.
Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch
• Exceptional Reading and Entertainment Experience: Designed to be held in one hand, the new GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch is the optimal device for viewing videos, playing enhanced games, and reading e-Books anytime, anywhere. Outstanding slim bezel for effective and maximum screen use makes Samsung’s “reading mode” technology which optimizes the display to deliver perfect illumination and tone for comfortable paperlike readability in a variety of lighting conditions work better on its 8-inch screen. Samsung’s Sound Alive for Audio and Dolby Surround for Video Play maximize every sound allow users to enjoy clearer dialogue, consistent volume levels, and superior audio to further enhance the overall multimedia experience with the new device. Also, the physical keys on the bezel at bottom give users a comfortable smartphone-like experience in navigating.
• Enhanced Smart Usability: Making travel and discovery more effortless, the GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch features S Translator, which provides instant translation through voice recognition and via text on applications including email, text message, and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech-to-text and text-to-speech, ensuring that you can communicate with ease while traveling internationally. Also, S Travel, the Smart Travel Companion, provides real-time local information in need for travel along with user's travel paths. Users can get information and make reservation of the places classified in various categories such as Place, Hotel, Tickets, Food and Forum, and more. In addition, intuitive features such as Story Album and Group Play also allow users more ways to instantly share and enjoy music, photos, documents, and games with those around them.
Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch
• Amplified Multimedia Experience: Built to be the leading 10-inch tablet in the market, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch seamlessly combines sleek design and enhanced multimedia capabilities for home and family use. Stacked with a 1.6 GHz Dual Core processor, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch is the ideal device for everyday family use and multimedia consumption. Featuring a comprehensive suite of video, music, and photo software, and coupled with the clarity of its display, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1 takes center stage for portable home entertainment.
• A Perfect Tablet for the Entire Family: Equipped with Smart Remote and MHL (TV Out) capabilities, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1 seamlessly transitions from the perfect gaming device for kids to the ideal home media control device for the parents. Whether streaming movies to the family television or playing games at the highest resolution, the GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch smoothly integrates into the household media environment for an experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family.