Making sense of Samsung's tablets

Too many tablets to track? Don't get Samsung's system? CNET editor Donald Bell tackles the task for you.

Tab 7.7 and Note
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (left) and Galaxy Note (right).
(Credit: Donald Bell/CNET)
Samsung's prolific output of Android tablets can be confusing to navigate. Honestly, I have a hard time keeping them straight myself, and it's my job.
Samsung has no fewer than seven tablets that are either available now, or on their way. And that's not even counting Wi-Fi-only and cellular models separately.
You can make the argument that this abundance of Samsung tablets offers consumers more choice, but it's all really the same stuff. It's like congratulating Taco Bell for figuring out a dozen ways to organize beef, cheese, and tortillas into separate menu items.
By contrast, Samsung's biggest competitor (Apple) releases just one tablet each year, like clockwork. Sure, you can supersize it with more storage, or add a side of 3G data--but the choices are minimal, and they don't change with the seasons.
Still, in spite of Samsung's spastic hemorrhage of tablets over the past year, the company's managed to put out some great products. Hopefully, this article will serve to highlight these accomplishments and give you a sense of where things are heading.
To start things off, here's a chart of Samsung's tablets that are either currently on sale or recently announced.

Model Base price OS Processor Cellular
Galaxy Note $249 2.3 1.4GHz Cortex A9 dual-core AT&T 4G
Tab 7" Wi-Fi $350 2.3 1GHz A8 Cortex Carrier models discontinued
Tab 7.0 Plus $350 3.2 1.2GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos T-Mobile 4G model available
Tab 2 (7.0) TBD 4 1GHz dual-core TBD
Tab 7.7 TBD 3.2 1.4GHz dual-core Verizon 4G
Tab 8.9 $450 3.2 1GHz dual-core AT&T 4G model available
Tab 10.1 $450 3.2 1GHz dual-core, Nvidia T720 Verizon 4G model available
For the newly initiated, I should point out that the numbers included in each product name are an indication of the tablet's screen size. For example, a Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a tablet with a screen that measures 10.1 inches across on the diagonal. The Galaxy Note listed at the top is the exception. It has a 5-inch screen, and is arguably more of a smartphone than a tablet. Since Samsung is keen on including it in the tablet camp, I figured I'd oblige.
Once you've correlated the whole name-size thing, you'll probably notice that Samsung has a total of four tablets sized at or around 7 inches. The reality is that only two of these (the original Galaxy Tab 7" and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus) are actually floating around on store shelves. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) are due out this year, and will likely enter the market once the original Tab 7" has been fully retired. So really, for most of 2012 there will probably be only be three different Samsung tablets with the number seven included in the product name. I mean, four 7-inch tablets would be ridiculous, but three is manageable, right?
Not helping things is that Samsung is now coming up on its second generation of tablets named after numbers. This is leading to a naming convention in which the new tablets will have a "Samsung Galaxy Tab 2" prefix, followed by their screen size in parenthesis. For example, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is Samsung's second-generation Galaxy Tab with a 7-inch screen size. That is, of course, if you don't count the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, which precedes it, but follows the original Galaxy Tab 7".
Rest assured, there is some twisted logic to all of this. I'm just not sure what it is.

It's the Galaxy Tab 7.7, for the Goldilocks in you

Interestingly, one thing all of these tablets share is either a 1,280x800-pixel or 1,024x600-pixel screen resolution. Those numbers aren't such a big deal for 10-inch tablets (especially with the iPad 3's rumored 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution possibly on its way), but when you squeeze that many pixels onto a smaller 8-inch or 7-inch display, the results are impressive.
The two Samsung tablets that really show off in terms of this pixel density are the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 7.7, which pack a 1,280x800 resolution. Really, the best screen of the bunch is on the Galaxy Note, which shrinks a 1,280x800 resolution into a 5-inch screen--but I'm still convinced that the Note is too small to qualify as a proper tablet.
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February 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM ×

Nice Information On Samsung Tablets

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