Samsung Galaxy invades iPad air space at warp speed

Nov 11, 2010
Tech

AT&T (T) apparently will be offering the new Samsung (005930.KS) Galaxy Tab on November 21 alongside the Apple (AAPL) iPad, according to a leaked internal training document. AT&T joins Verizon Wireless (VZ), T-Mobile (DTEGY.PK) and Sprint (S) in offering the Tab. Only Verizon also sells the iPad in a cobbled 3G version which entails buying […]

AT&T (T) apparently will be offering the new Samsung (005930.KS) Galaxy Tab on November 21 alongside the Apple (AAPL) iPad, according to a leaked internal training document.

AT&T joins Verizon Wireless (VZ), T-Mobile (DTEGY.PK) and Sprint (S) in offering the Tab. Only Verizon also sells the iPad in a cobbled 3G version which entails buying a MiFi mobile hotspot.

The Galaxy Tab is the first serious challenger to the iPad, which launched in March at AT&T and last month became available at Verizon Wireless.

Thomas Ricker reports in Engadget that the 7-inch Galaxy tablet using Android from Google (GOOG) could be on sale without a contract on November 21 for $649.99. The monthly data plans for the Galaxy with AT&T are 50MB for $50 or 2GB for $25.

Ricker notes: “Right, that’s 20 bucks and change more for half the display and $50 more than the base price of T-Mobile’s or Verizon’s Galaxy Tab offering.”

Pricing is in line with the competition.

Meanwhile, the reviews are coming in on the Galaxy, and so far, they’re mixed.

Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo said the Galaxy launch is important because it is the first legit challenger to Apple and its iPod, which arrived in March. It’s also the first to have a 7-inch display, which Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs ridicules. The iPad has a 9.7-inch display, which does provide a lot more screen real estate.

The headline on the review described the device as “a pocketable train wreck.”

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Buchanan wasn’t impressed with the smaller-sized Galaxy: “The Tab is an awkward first attempt at this kind of tablet—wait for somebody else to do it better.”

David Pogue at the New York Times was more upbeat. The headline for his review was: “It’s a Tablet. It’s Gorgeous. It’s costly.”

He noted that the Galaxy — like iPhone4 — has front- and rear-facing cameras. “Take that, iPad!” But noted it was weird to hold up a 7-inch device to take a picture.“It’s also awesome; when have you ever used a camera with a 7-inchscreen?” he said.

He noted that when the user visits sites such as nyt.com and Amazon.com that he gets a mobile version rather than the full site.

He also complained about the high price for the device and the data plans.

He concluded: “With the Samsung Galaxy Tab, you’re also buying delicious speed and highly refined hardware. It’s just a shame that you’re buying all that for $600.”

Over at the Wall Street Journal, reviewer Walter Mossberg was somewhere in the middle.

He found the Galaxy Tab a serious alternative that fills in some gaps in the iPad. These include the two cameras, the ability to run web videos and apps written in Adobe’s Flash software, and multitasking, which is coming to iPad via a software update. Samsung has reworked some apps so they look more like PC programs and less like smartphone apps.

In short, the trend-setting Mossberg said: ”The Tab is attractive, versatile and competitively priced, though monthly cell fees can add up. It’s different enough from the iPad, yet good enough, to give consumers a real choice.”

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