Samsung has just launched the long-awaited Galaxy Tab 2. The first Samsung tablet to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is powered by a 1GHz dual core processor, and while this version features a seven-inch screen, other sizes are expected soon.
The Galaxy Tab 2 will come in 3G and Wi-Fi versions, and both are powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor. In addition to the Face Unlock feature found on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the emphasis is on easy multimedia access – sharing media through Samsung's existing Hub range (Music, Reader and Games), as well as the new Video Hub, which offers over 1,000 film titles for purchase or rent.
Samsung's upgraded TouchWiz user interface features Hub widgets, which allow one-step access to your favourite music and movies. A new service called ‘S Suggest' offers real-time recommendations of apps on your home screen, based on your previous purchases - so be careful what you download.
Samsung is also introducing ‘AllShare Play', a new content-sharing facility that allows users to play or live-stream their multimedia content on their Galaxy Tab 2 from PCs, other Samsung smart devices and third party web storages. Clearly the Galaxy Tab 2 is intended to be the ultimate media device, allowing you to get the most from your movie and music collection wherever you roam.
Of course, the social aspects of the Galaxy Tab 2 haven't been ignored. You can arrange multi-party video calls via Google+, or use ‘ChatON', Samsung's cross-platform communication service, to chat with people on different mobile devices. A front-facing VGA camera will capture your mug, so be sure to pick the spinach from your teeth first.
In terms of specs, you get USB connectivity, and a microSD slot to expand the 8, 16 or 32GB of built-in storage. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 will weigh 344g and be a slender 10.5mm thick. You also get a three-megapixel camera on the rear.
It may not look a million miles different to the old Galaxy Tab 10.1 or feature the kind of knee-shakingly awesome power we'd hoped for, but judging by the excellence of previous Galaxy Tabs, this should be serious competiton for Apple's iPad 3 (when that bad boy is finally announced). This launch is also proof that Samsung's holding nothing back for Mobile World Congress, where it's already cancelled its launch event.