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New 8.9-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab will take on the LG Optimus Pad

Samsung has sent out invites for an event at the CTIA conference later this month that strongly hint at the unveiling of an 8.9-inch tablet to join its Galaxy Tab family.

Samsung is expected to take the wrappers off a new 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab Android tablet later this month, at the CTIA show in Orlando. The company is stoking the rumours itself, with an invite sent out for its Samsung Mobile Unpacked press conference during the show, fonearena reports.

The invitation features the slogan "What's your Tab life?" overlaid on a slate-shaped device, with the glowing numbers '78910'. Samsung's original Galaxy Tab had a 7-inch screen, while the recently announced Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1-inch display. That leaves '89' which... Okay, so you're ahead of us on this one.

With no further details, there's a lorry-sized gap for speculation about the new device. We'd expect it to follow the Galaxy Tab 10.1's specs as closely as possible, which would mean the Android 3.0 Honeycomb software, Flash Player 10.1 and a choice of Wi-Fi, HSPA+ and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, with a single 30-pin dock connector for physical connections.

What's less clear is what kind of processor an 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab would be packing. The 10.1-inch model has a dual-core processor running at 1GHz, but perhaps more importantly, LG's Optimus Pad -- whose 8.9-inch display means it'd be going head to head with Samsung's new Tab -- has its own dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Anything less in the 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab, and it'll look underpowered.

Otherwise, you can expect Samsung's new tablet to also include the new Music Hub seen at Mobile World Congress, for digital music downloads.

One question concerns the original 7-inch model, and whether it will be updated with new features, kept on as it is, or quietly dropped in favour of the 8.9-incher. On 22 March we'll hopefully find this out, as well as clapping eyes on the new model.

Image credit: fonearena