Meet the new Galaxy Tab, just like the old Galaxy Tab

Samsung has taken the wraps off the next generation Galaxy Tab tablet, but is the Galaxy Tab 3 really an upgrade over its predecessor?

Samsung pulled the wraps off the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 on Monday, but aside from a few slight tweaks, the slate doesn't appear to bring much more to the table than its predecessor.

By and large, the Galaxy Tab 3's specs are similar to the current Galaxy Tab 2. However, the Tab 3 has a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor while the Tab 2 has a 1.0 GHz CPU, which should be good for a slight boost in smoothness.

The Galaxy Tab 3 also supports more optional internal storage --16GB--than the Galaxy Tab 2, as well as more external storage at 64GB.

Samsung has slimmed down its latest tablet so it fits more comfortably in the palm of some hands. The Galaxy Tab 3 is shorter (7.4 inches versus the Tab 2's 7.63 inches), narrower (4.37 inches versus 4.57 inches), and thinner (0.39 inches versus 0.41 inches). It's also lighter, weighing in at 0.67 pounds compared to 0.76 pounds.

Samsung is making it easy to tell the two 7-inch tabs apart by making the Galaxy Tab 3 white to contrast with the Tab 2's black finish.

A few distinctions

Both Samsung 7-inch tablets have LCD capacitive touchscreen displays with ho-hum resolutions of 600 by 1024 pixels and density of 169 pixels-per-inch, along with 3-megapixel rear-facing and 1.3MP front-facing cameras. (By contrast, the $199 Nexus 7 seven-inch tablet has a 800-by-1280-pixel display with density of 216 PPI, although it only has a 1.2MP front-facing camera.)

The Galaxy Tab 3 beats its predecessor in software, running Android 4.1 out of the box; the Tab 2 supports the older (and Google Now-less) Android 4.0.

It has also been reported that the 3G version of the tablet will make cell phone calls. Judging by the 3G version's extra ear-speaker and proximity sensor, that seems accurate, but the Samsung statement didn't explicitly mention calling capabilities. If true, the Galaxy Tab 3 will bring the phablet craze to mammoth new hand-busting levels. We've reached out to the company for clarification.

No pricing information was announced. The Tab 2 sells for $249, but Samsung will be hard-pressed to sell many units of the Galaxy Tab 3 at that price point now that the $200 Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD are available--especially since those tablets boast beefier specs than the Galaxy Tab 3. We're intrigued to see how Samsung's latest entry is priced when the Wi-Fi version hits the shelves worldwide in May. The 3G version is expected to ship in June.

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John P. Mello Jr.

TechHive (US)
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