Originally posted on Gigaom:
Samsung, one of the first to debut a 7-inch Android tablet in 2010, announced a refresh of its Galaxy Tab on Thursday. The second-generation slate, dubbed the Galaxy Tab 2, is a Wi-Fi tablet running the latest version of Google Android(s goog) and has a few hardware improvements. With its $249.99 price tag, this is Samsung’s first real attempt at taking on Amazon’s successful Kindle Fire(s amzn).
The new Galaxy Tab 2, available April 22, looks similar to the original model, which I bought in late 2010. It’s slimmer, however, at 10.5 millimeters. Rounded corners take away the blockiness of its older brother. Samsung swapped out the old single-core processor and added a 1 GHz dual-core chip, but otherwise left much of the hardware same. Like the older model, the 7-inch display offers 1024 x 600 resolution, a 3.2 megapixel rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, and little else to differentiate the upgrade.
Samsung could have done more to advance this tablet, but it already has a far better — and more expensive — model with its Galaxy Tab 7.7. I purchased a Tab 7.7 from an importer earlier this year and it’s impressive: it’s thinner, uses a 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED Plus screen and a faster processor, which lets the tablet fly. But at $500 or more — an LTE version is available from Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) for $499 on contract — it’s not a competitor to the $199 Kindle Fire. The Galaxy Tab 2 is, or at least, Samsung hopes it is.