Samsung adds two to Galaxy Tab portfolio

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Samsung has just announced a complete overhaul to its Galaxy Tab line of tablets, not only introducing two new models but also with an expansive shakeup to the software on the back end.

At CTIA, Samsung officially confirmed rumors that a new version of the 10-inch Galaxy Tab 10.1 was on the way. This one, the company claims, is the "thinnest, lightest large-screen tablet" on the market.

It also introduced a brand new size to the Tab family - 8.9 inches. For those keeping score, that means there are now three Galaxy Tab sizes - 7 inches, 8.9 inches, and 10.1 inches.

Samsung has a strong belief that consumers are very picky about the size of their tablets. It doesn't think a "one size fits all" approach will cut it, which is the mindset for the iPad, the Xoom, and others.

But the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 isn't just lighter, and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 isn't just a new size. Both will incorporate a new service called Samsung Music Hub, a direct challenge against iTunes, taking away the competitive advantage of the iPad's deep music integration.

This is in addition to Samsung Media Hub, a platform for online video streaming, which launched last year.

And the biggest deal - both will be available with 4G connectivity. To start, they'll be able to connect to HSPA+ networks, which is the slowest of the major 4G infrastructures but still substantially faster than any 3G network. Both models will also be available as Wi-Fi-only devices.

The Wi-Fi version of the remodeled Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available for $499 (16GB) to $599 (32GB), and should be available in "early summer." The Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will be priced at $469 (16GB) to $599 (32GB), and will be released June 8.

No dating or pricing on the 4G versions today, but Samsung promised they would be priced "very competitively." Stay tuned.