Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 up for preorder now, in stores May 13

Samsung's new big-boy slate looks to compete more on price than with impressive specs.

There aren't any big upgrades to the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, but the price has taken a big drop. Samsung

The follow-up to the big boy of Android tablets, the 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 can be preordered online today at retailers like Office Depot for $399 and will be on store shelves starting May 13.

It's somewhat of a bittersweet launch, though, as Samsung's strategy with its big-screen Galaxy tab follow up is to make only minimal upgrades and changes over the original so it can drop the price below the iPad and other premier slates. The specs seem consistent with what we saw when CNET got a first-hand look at the tablet last month, and it appears the rumors that Samsung had halted production to add a quad-core processor to the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1" weren't true -- it's listed with a "fast dual-core processor."

Other vitals include Android 4.0 pre-loaded, a 1,280x800 display that can play 1080p video, Bluetooth, a MicroSD slot, improved speakers, and 50GB of free space on Dropbox for a year.

While it's tough to get excited about this iteration, it says something about where Android tablets are heading -- into the hands of more consumers who laugh at the idea of a $500 slate, but start to pay attention when the price drops below $400. With top-flight tablets for $249.99 in the Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch and now this new 10.1 at $399.99, Samsung has clearly decided it might be more worthwhile to go after the middle market of folks who are unimpressed by the Kindle Fire, rather than continuing to be dominated by Apple's iPad at the high end of the market.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

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