7, 8 and 10.1-inch Tab 3 variants heading stateside, pre-orders begin tomorrow
Already announced internationally, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 series will be heading to the United States in a couple of weeks. The 10.1, 8 and 7-inch tablets go up for pre-order tomorrow, and begin shipping on July 7. In its latest line-up of Android-powered tablets, the Korean manufacturer has scaled things back a bit, focusing on affordable, thin, light devices for the mass market.
Each of the three Galaxy Tab 3 devices comes with varying specs — the 7-incher sports a 1.2GHz dual-core Marvell chip, the 8-inch has a 1.5GHz quad-core Exynos CPU, while the 10.1-inch version sports an Intel Z2560 1.6GHz dual-core chip. Similarly, you're looking at 1024x600 display resolution on the smaller Tab 3 and 1280x800 on the larger two. Despite the hardware differences, a common design language flows through the Tab 3 series -- all three are slim, light, plasticky, subtlely curved and instantly recognizable as Samsung products.
For better or worse, the manufacturer opted to use physical buttons -- including the dreaded menu button -- on its latest Android tablets. This frees up visual real estate for stuff that matters, like the apps and UI, but it also means it's not as easy to switch between portrait and landscape modes. On the software side, you're looking at Android 4.1 on the Tab 3 7.0 and the most recent 4.2 on the two larger tabs.
Samsung says the Tab 3 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 will go on sale at $199, $299 and $399 respectively through a variety of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, including Samsung's own online store. All Tab 3 purchases will come with a $10 Google Play voucher, one year of Boingo hotspot service, three months of free Hulu Plus and 50GB of Dropbox storage for two years. All three devices will come in white and "gold brown" color options.