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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7: Dual-core chip, new screen

A year after entering the Android tablet market, Samsung announced a new 7.7-inch model with an AMOLED screen and dual-core processor.

Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 7.7
Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 7.7 Samsung

BERLIN--Samsung, the most aggressive backer of Android tablets, announced the Galaxy Tab 7.7 today, a model that brings a dual-core processor and the company's Super AMOLED Plus display technology to the line.

Apple's iPad line still dominates the tablet market, but those using Google's Android operating system are trying hard to find a place. Samsung's announcement at the IFA electronics show here follows Sony's yesterday and more from other players, too.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 display uses the company's active matrix organic light-emitting diode technology, which Samsung says will mean good contrast, brightness, and colors. The resolution--1,280x800 with a 7.7-inch diagonal--is a bit bigger than the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab that debuted a year ago with a 1,280x600 resolution.

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That model was a commercial dud, though, hampered by a lack of apps designed for Android tablets, a phone-centric design for the tablet and its operating system, and arguably by its smaller screen. Google has put tablets high on its Android priority list, though, releasing its Honeycomb version of the operating system specifically for the product category, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with the latest version, 3.2.

Samsung is betting people still want the phone features, though. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with HSPA+ 21 Mbps mobile network technology and can make voice and video calls, Samsung said.

It's also got Samsung's TouchWiz software, which adds a tray for frequently used apps, an ability to customize the home screen with photos or live feeds, and a compatibility mode for showing small-screen smartphone apps at larger size.

In the hardware department, the model has a dual-core processor running at 1.4GHz, 1GB of memory and support for 32GB MicroSD cards, a 5,100mAh battery good for to 10 hours of video, a front-facing 2-megapixel camera and rear-facing 3-megapixel camera with an LED flash, support for 802.11 a/b/g/n standards at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It measures 196.7x133x 7.89mm and weighs 335g.

Availability "depends on market," Samsung said--something of an understatement given the company's legal troubles with Apple's patent-related legal actions that has blocked sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1 models in Germany and hit Samsung's phones as well. Samsung didn't announce pricing.