Monday, June 03, 2013

Samsung announces two Galaxy Tab 3 variants, one with an Intel processor

Samsung announced two new Android tablets on Monday, the Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch and 10.1-inch variants. While not huge news when compared to the Galaxy S5 (next year), one especially significant fact may have been missed in the announcement: The 10.1-inch version will sport an Intel processor.

Both tablets are feature upgraded hardware when compared with the Galaxy Tab 2. The 8-inch version, upsized from the Tab 2's 7-inches, is an obvious response to the iPad mini's 7.9-inch screen size (Apple used the size advantage vs. 7-inch tablets in its marketing).

The 8-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 3 sports a WXGA display, with a resolution of 1280 x 800 (189 ppi). It's a bit higher than (163 ppi), but far lower than the Nexus 7 (216 ppi), and nowhere near Retina (326). It should perform well for entry level tablet buyers, though.

It also sports a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. It also has a microSD slot supporting up to 64GB of extra storage. The Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch variant has a rear-facing 5MP camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera.

In terms of connectivity, consumers can choose from wi-fi-only (dual-band, a/b/g/n), 3G (HSPA+) and LTE variants. The battery will be a 4,450mAh powerpack.

The 10.1-inch variant has the same resolution, meaning its display has only 149 ppi. In addition, it only has a 3MP rear-facing camera, though it sports the same 1.3MP front-facing camera..

The 1.6Ghz dual-core Intel processor will be hampered by only 1GB of RAM. Storage options are the same as the 8-inch version. Connectivity options are the same, as well. The battery will carry 6,800mAh.

The Intel processor is significant.  Although there have been other Intel-based Android devices, they haven't taken major market share away from ARM-based devcies.  One issued by the world's largest cell phone manufacturer validates the Intel processor on Android hardware.

Both tablets will come with Android 4.2. They will be available globally at the "beginning of June," which is now, although we haven't seen it hit anywhere, yet.

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