Samsung confirms Galaxy Tab 10.1 for August

Samsung has confirmed that its latest Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, will be heading to the UK in August. Sadly, it's being a little more cagey when it comes to pricing.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 builds on the company's existing seven-inch Galaxy Tab, replacing the smaller screen with a 10.1-inch multi-touch WXGA panel and upgrading the operating system to Android 3.1 'Honeycomb' for good measure.

Interestingly, Samsung has opted not to use its own Exynos application processors for the device. Instead, it's farmed the job out to Nvidia and stuck a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 chip into the device to handle CPU and GPU tasks, giving the tablet enough grunt to handle games, high-definition video capture and playback, and Flash in the browser.

Two models will be available at launch: a Wi-Fi only version with 802.11a/b/g/n multi-mode support, and a Wi-Fi and 3G model that adds 21Mb/s HSPA mobile broadband to the mix for on-the-go browsing.

The size of the device is particularly impressive: despite its 10.1-inch display, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is just 8.6mm thick and weighs a mere 565g. While Samsung's claim of "the world's thinnest mobile tablet" needs to be tempered with the disclaimer "of its screen size," it's still an impressive achievement.

As with the company's existing Android-based products, Samsung will be bundling its 'hubs' with the default apps from Google: Readers Hub provides access to eBook, newspaper, and magazine stores; Music Hub offers MP3 downloads; Games Hub provides the latest games, as the name suggests; and Social Hub offers a unified interface for multiple e-mail and social networking accounts.

"The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the latest example of Samsung’s ongoing innovation in this market and commitment to the Android platform," claimed Samsung's Simon Standford in a statement to press. "Our Galaxy family all feature a premium design, excellent screens and are packed with compelling entertainment features. We plan to deliver exciting new user experiences and lead the tablet market in the months and years to come."

The specifications of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 might leave some cold. While the Tegra 2 SoC offers impressive graphics potential, the 1GHz clock speed is notably slower than the 1.2GHz dual-core processor used in the UK model of Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone. Whether the difference is noticeable in general usage, however, remains to be seen.

Samsung also confirmed that it is planning a mid-range entry to the Galaxy Tab line, dubbed the Galaxy Tab 8.9. Designed for those who find the original Galaxy Tab cramped but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a little bulky, the 8.9-inch device will weigh 470g and measure 8.6mm thick. No firm launch date has been given, beyond a commitment to a UK launch "later this year."

Sadly, Samsung has yet to release the most important piece of information: the price. Although several retailers have already put up pre-order pages, the prices are pure guesswork at this stage. Given that some have the Wi-Fi only model as high as £900, any pricing information available now should be taken with a large pinch of salt.