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7-inch Dell tablet to take on iPad next month

Dell will unleash a flood of tablets in the next six months, starting with a 7-inch Android device that will compete head to head with the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Dell's new 7-inch Android tablet will be launched next month, smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad and the same size as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry PlayBook.

The Texan company also intends to bring out a number of other new tablets in the next year, including 3-inch, 4-inch and 10-inch devices. Dell's Greater China president, Amit Midha, confirmed the company's future tablet plans in a Wall Street Journal report.

This news comes after Michael Dell flashed the 7-inch device at an event in the US. "It was showed off at Oracle World by Michael last week and we'll be launching very, very soon -- within the next few weeks," said Midha.

The 7-inch tablet might well be the so-called Dell Looking Glass, reported by back in April to be Android-based, potentially carrying an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1.3-megapixel camera and 4GB of storage, expandable to 32GB. Considering it was reported around five months ago, those specs could well change.

It won't be Dell's first taste of the tablet game, either. The 5-inch Android Dell Streak was released earlier this year, a gadget that could just as well have been an oversized smart phone. The Streak recently got an Android upgrade from 1.6 to 2.1, though it wasn't handled very well.

Another Dell device we are curious about is the Inspiron Duo, a Windows 7 tablet that gave us quite a shock when we saw it could transform into a laptop with a pretty nifty hinge mechanism.

If the 7-inch Dell tablet is forthcoming, it will be pitched against the Samsung Galaxy Tab, also expected out shortly. Both tablets will run Android, and will compete with the iPad for hearts and minds in the build-up to Christmas.

The BlackBerry PlayBook and next-generation iPad will also have a say, but they are some way off with expected releases around spring next year. Soon there's going to be more tablets on the market than you can shake a memory stick at. Which one tickles your fancy?

Image credit: Engadget