Apple’s iPad 2 has caused a real stir in the tech community, nowhere more so than Apple’s tablet competitors. Now Samsung has announced their new Galaxy Tab 8.9 and a redesigned 10.1 today, complete with iPad 2-like thin-ness.

Galaxy Tab 8.9Galaxy Tab 8.9

The two tablets, unsurprisingly in 8.9 and 10.1-inch guises both sport impressive hardware specifications, but most impressive is the thickness of the two slates – or the lack of it.

Galaxy Tab 10.1Galaxy Tab 10.1

Measuring just 0.33-inches thick each, the two Tabs are the first slate machines announced that manage to best Apple’s iPad 2 (0.34-inches) in the girth stakes. We’re just getting used to the iPad’s dimensions and Samsung manages to come up with something even more impressive. Can tablets get even thinner? Hopefully not – any thinner and we’ll be tempted to roll them up and stick them in our back pockets like a newspaper!

Going back to those specifications for a minute, the two new Tabs sport Dual-Core 1GHz CPUs, along with 16GB and 32GB storage options. Two cameras are also included with one 2 megapixel unit on the front and an LED flash-equipped 3 megapixel affair around the back.

As is all the rage these days, both machine will run the latest Honeycomb release of Android with Samsung’s own TouchWiz skin draped over it.

Pricing and availability pits the Galaxy Tab 10.1 right up against the iPad 2. Options are 16GB of storage for $499 and 32GB for $599. The 10.1 will will be available to buy from June 8th.

Samsung is being a little more coy when it comes to the 8.9-inch model, however. No release date has been announced as yet, but expect pricing of $469 for 16GB and $569 for the 32GB version.

If these two Samsung tablets are the first in a line of iPad 2 competitors, we can’t wait to see what OEMs come up with throughout 2011!

Press release:

Samsung Unveils GALAXY Tab 10.1 and GALAXY Tab 8.9, World′s Thinnest Mobile Tablets

Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 and GALAXY Tab 8.9 to feature the first customized Android ™ 3.0 experience

ORLANDO, March 22, 2011 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the global leader in Android™ mobile devices, announced two new additions to its family of GALAXY Tabs, the GALAXY Tab 10.1 and GALAXY Tab 8.9, the world’s thinnest mobile tablets, measuring just 8.6 millimeters.

The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 feature Samsung’s own TouchWiz user interface implemented on the Android™ 3.0 (Honeycomb) platform, offering superior multi-tasking and enhanced user interaction and navigation.

“The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 are remarkable examples of Samsung’s constant innovation and show our dedication to designing premium tablets that fit the unique needs of consumers around the world”, said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. “By combining Samsung’s innovations in design and display with our exciting new user experience, we’ve created a new class of products that will lead the tablet market.”

Super Fast

The new GALAXY Tabs will support HSPA+ network speeds of up to 21Mbps as well as Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity to deliver rapid mobile download speeds and reduce data transfer times. Also, the GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 include a 1GHz dual core application processor for a powerful multimedia and web browsing experience.

Thinner & Lighter

The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 are the thinnest mobile tablets available. The GALAXY Tab 10.1 weighs 595 grams and 8.9 weighs 470 grams. Combining the GALAXY Tabs’ ultra-thin form factor with a lightweight design adds to the outstanding mobility of these two products.

Customized User Experience "Samsung TouchWiz UX"

Samsung’s TouchWiz user experience is designed with a Live Panel menu users can customize to display a variety of content on the home screen including digital pictures, favorite Web sites and social network feeds.

In addition, the interface includes an application tray of commonly used features such as task manager, calendar and music player which can be launched while other major applications are also in use, including large file downloads and document editing. This Mini Apps Tray provides a mixture of convenience and flexibility previously unheard of with tablet devices.

The Ultimate Entertainment Hub

The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 are pre-loaded with Readers Hub and Music Hub giving consumers instant access to more than 2.2 million books, 2,000 newspaper (49 languages), 2,300 magazines (22 languages), and 13 million songs. The devices are also designed with Samsung’s Social Hub, which will aggregate email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface.

The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 feature a 3 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, providing smooth transition and seamless 1080p HD video and Flash playback for a rich entertainment experience.

Ready for Business

The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 will include an industry leading suite of solutions designed to give enterprise customers and IT managers more security. Developed in collaboration with industry-leading partners such as Cisco, Sybase, SAP and Citrix, Samsung′s enterprise mobility solutions will provide flexibility and connectivity for mobile workforces, ensuring that users are able to operate more efficiently on–the-move.

GALAXY Tab 10.1

GALAXY Tab 10.1, with its WXGA TFT LCD display (1280 x 800) powered by 1GHz dual core AP, is 8.6mm thin and weighs only 595g. It is the perfect device for sharing and enjoying media content with family and friends. In addition, with its surround-sound stereo speakers and support for Flash 10.2, the GALAXY Tab 10.1 will deliver premium entertainment experience whether watching videos, movies or playing games.

GALAXY Tab 8.9

At just 8.6mm thin and weighing only 470g, the GALAXY Tab 8.9 is the perfect device for today’s mobile professional. Whether writing emails on a trip or reading an eBook on the couch, the GALAXY Tab 8.9 provides the ultimate tablet experience without compromising mobility.

The GALAXY Tab 10.1 and 8.9 now join the original 7-inch GALAXY Tab to provide consumers with an unmatched array of choices to select the mobile tablet experience that fits their needs the best.

Samsung’s entire line of GALAXY Tabs will be on display at the Samsung booth (#2440) at CTIA Wireless 2011, March 22 through March 24.

For multimedia content and more detailed information, please visit www.samsungmobilepress.com.

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