Samsung launches Galaxy Tab 8.9

iPad or Galaxy Tab? iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 8.9? It's last year's tablet wars all over again as Samsung launches its own second-gen tablet - and answer to Apple's iPad 2.


In fact, the Korean manufacturer has launched two second-gen tablets - and they're both the slimmest tablets in the world, at just 8.6 millimeters to the iPad 2's 8.8 millimeters.


The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is indeed an 8.9-inch tablet, packing Samsung's pinsharp WXGA TFT LCD touch-screen, while the new-look Galaxy Tab 10.1 squeezes the same into a chassis that has lost an impressive 2.3mm since its debut at Mobile World Congress just over a month ago, showing that Samsung is indeed intent on facing the iPad 2 head-on.


Both run on dual-core 1GHz processors and the 'real' Android tablet OS, version 3.0 or Honeycomb. They are preloaded with Readers Hub and Music Hub, Samsung apps that let you buy ebooks, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and songs.


The Social Hub app will also be made available for syncing email, IM and social network contacts, and all the communication you've had with them.


Both tablets sport a three-megapixel rear camera that can record HD video, and a two-meg front one for video calls. Web-wise, Flash video is supported (in your face, iPad 2), with Wi-Fi-only and HSDPA/Wi-Fi models available in 16GB and 32GB versions. Incidentally, the new Tabs support the latest (and fastest) Wi-Fi 802.11n protocol too.


Pricing and launch date for the UK hasn't yet been confirmed, though according to Engadget, the 16GB version is US$499 and the 32GB US$599, while the 8.9 is US$469/$569.

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