Samsung was the first manufacturer to provide a credible iPad competitor with its Samsung Galaxy Tab and the company has just lifted the lid on its predecessor, the larger, more powerful Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v.
UPDATE: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v will be available for a limited time only, both online and in selected Vodafone stores. The device will cost $729 as an outright purchase which includes 6GB data with a three month expiry, or a $259 upfront payment, plus $39 per month over 12 months. The latter includes 1.5GB of data per month.
As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v has a 10.1in display with a resolution of 1280x800. The original Galaxy Tab had a smaller 7in display, so the new model will compete directly with the 9.7in iPad and the upcoming iPad 2, which is rumoured to be the same size as the current iPad.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v Android tablet also features a rear 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls. The Galaxy Tab 10.1v is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, but has no microSD card slot for extra storage. It has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, but uses a proprietary charging and synchronising port; the same port used on the original Galaxy Tab.
Like its Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v is made from sturdy feeling plastic, and features a carbon-like finish on the rear. This adds style, and makes the tablet easy to grip. In our brief hands-on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v feels well constructed but manages to remain lightweight at 599g.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which has specifically been designed for tablet devices. Samsung has stated the software will not come with any UI additions and will instead by a "vanilla" version of the Honeycomb OS. Key features of Android 3.0 Honeycomb include tabbed Web browsing, support for 3D graphics, added enterprise features like encrypted storage, a redesigned keyboard, and completely redesigned interface that aims to take advantage of the larger tablet screen.