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Tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 arriving this autumn with Gingerbread, rumours say

An updated version of the original Samsung Galaxy Tab may be on its way this autumn, but it is rumoured to run Gingerbread, not the tablet-specific Honeycomb.

An updated version of Samsung's Galaxy Tab Android tablet, predictably called the Galaxy Tab 7, may launch soon according to rumours reported by CrunchGear.

It seems destined to be the evil lovechild of the original Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy S 2, meshing tablet goodness with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the OS optimised for smart phones.

It's possible Samsung may make a big deal of the ability to make phone calls from it. That's all very well when using a Bluetooth headset, and you might even get away with calling on a extra-tall phone such as the Acer Iconia Smart, but we're not sure any self-respecting tablet owner is going to hoist it to their ear to make calls.

Along with the interesting sunburst photo of the alleged Galaxy Tab 7, there are some tentative specs. It'll pack in a 1.2GHz Exynos processor (along the lines of the Galaxy S 2), 16GB of internal memory, microSD storage, and voice/video calling and texting abilities.

There's no mention of cameras but we can expect a combination of VGA front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing. The original Tab and the Tab 8.9 had a paltry 3-megapixel image sensor but the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 features the higher spec camera.

So what of the tablet-meets-phone running Gingerbread? Firstly, this is all based on speculation. While the original Galaxy Tab had little choice of OS, Samsung subsequently released larger tablets with Honeycomb on board, including the freshly minted Galaxy Tab 10.1. That said, Android 3.1 hasn't had the smoothest introduction, and while it might be optimised for tablet use, it could do with some improvements.

Secondly, if the Galaxy Tab 7 arrives in the autumn, Ice Cream Sandwich may be ready to go. This potentially makes the argument irrelevant, as the tablet would either ship with ICS immediately or be ready for an upgrade within a few months of its launch.

And finally, we expect those who really want Honeycomb on board will simply root the tablet and install it themselves. Tablet hacking isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a significant proportion of users will do it.