Samsung unveils Android-based Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

The first crack at Samsung's new 7-inch tablet (same size as the Kindle Fire) will go to consumers in the rather out-of-the-way markets of Austria and Indonesia.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The new Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus.
The new Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Samsung

Samsung has made the somewhat surprising decision to unveil yet another tablet to bolster its line.

Dubbed the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)-based tablet comes with a 7-inch display and 1.2GHz dual-core processor. In addition to 802.11n wireless support, owners will also be able to connect to HSPA+ networks from the device. On the storage side, customers will be able to choose from 16GB and 32GB variants, and a microSD slot offers the ability to add up to 32GB of additional storage to the tablet.

Samsung's decision to announce a new 7-inch Galaxy Tab comes as a bit of a surprise, since the company already has a 7-inch tablet that it launched last year. Earlier this month, the company showed off a 7.7-inch tablet, alongside an 8.9-inch option. Samsung also sells a 10.1-inch tablet. Considering it had nearly all form factors covered, who'd have thought that Samsung would need a fourth option to offer customers?

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Samsung's announcement comes just days after Amazon unveiled its own, and highly anticipated, entrant in the tablet market. That device, dubbed the Kindle Fire (complete coverage), lacks many of the bells and whistles found in the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, including connectivity with mobile wireless networks and both front and rear cameras, but makes up for that with a price tag of just $199.

The Kindle Fire, which also runs Android, is slated to launch in November.

As for Samsung's 7.0 Plus, the company says that it will start rolling out the tablet to Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, followed by a gradual launch across Asia, the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere around the world. Pricing was not divulged, and Samsung did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on that detail.

When the 7.0 Plus is finally released, there's no telling if it will face the patent troubles Samsung's other tablets have run into. From Australia to Europe, Samsung and Apple are locked in a bitter patent battle that has seen the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 held up in Australia and blocked from sale in Germany. Samsung's smartphones have also come under attack.

Update at 10:29 a.m. to include detail on last year's 7-inch Galaxy Tab.