Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 packs impressive specs

Samsung has officially unveiled its second Android-powered tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 P7100 - and it could bring some major competition to the growing tablet market.

The device, which builds on the company's popular - though expensive - 7-inch Galaxy Tab, includes a larger 10.1-inch WXGA display offering an impressive 1280x800 resolution. Sadly, the display uses TFT technology rather than Samsung's popular AMOLED, but given the size - and the prohibitive cost of larger OLED displays - it's understandable.

Under the hood is a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 system-on-chip from Nvidia and a wodge of LPDDR2 RAM - although it's not clear why Samsung isn't eating its own dogfood and picking one of its recently announced Exynos application processors instead of buying in from outside.

To the rear of the device you'll find an eight megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, while the front hosts a two megapixel camera for video chat and self portraiture. Impressively, the company has been able to include full HD recording, allowing the capture of 1080p videos using the rear camera.

Designed to use Android 3.0 Honeycomb - the same tablet-centric version of the mobile platform found in the ludicrously expensive Motorola Xoom - the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 includes a better Android browser and improved Flash support, along with the clever 'holographic' interface.

"As a leader in the Android-powered tablet market, Samsung is committed to providing a variety of feature-rich, always-on devices" claimed Samsung's DJ Lee, speaking at the product launch at this year's Mobile World Congress event. "The Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 is a valuable addition to our expanding portfolio of smart media devices. Sporting a large 10.1 screen and dual surround-sound speakers, it enables users to enjoy multimedia to the maximum extent without having to compromise mobility."

As with the original Galaxy Tab, Samsung is likely to be concentrating on its value-added offerings, partnering with companies such as Zinio to bring magazines, films, music, and books to the tablet.

To better prepare the gadget for this multimedia extravaganza, Samsung has included dual psuedo-surround-sound speakers, although it remains to be seen how the quality compares to others on the market.

Impressively, the device manages to weigh in at less than the smaller iPad, with just a 599g heft to its 10.9mm thickness. Despite this, the company has managed to cram HSPA+ 21Mb/s 3G support, along with Bluetooth 2.1 and multi-frequency Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n support into its diminutive casing.

Samsung is showing off its creation at the Mobile World Congress event this week, but has so far failed to announce a launch date or pricing information. It has, however, announced a partnership with Vodafone world-wide - suggesting a subsidised model is on the cards.