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Samsung slated for Galaxy Tab promo videos and 'slimmer than iPad 2' claims

Samsung is facing a backlash in the US over the use of actors in its promo clips for the new Galaxy Tab, and its claim that the newest model is slimmer than Apple's iPad 2.

Samsung is looking to give Apple's iPad 2 a bloody nose in the tablet wars, but the company is arguably spending more time shooting itself in the foot. US journalists have criticised the company for seemingly using actors to pretend to be real people in promotional clips for its Galaxy Tab range, while also casting doubt on the company's claim that its new Galaxy Tab 10.1 model is thinner than the iPad 2.

The videos could be a storm in a teacup, it has to be said. Actors? In promotional adverts for a gadget? Perish the thought! The videos were shown at the CTIA show last week, apparently showing regular New Yorkers giving their opinions on the Galaxy Tab after being given a hands-on demo.

Technologizer journalist Harry McCracken did some digging, and found that "freelance travel writer" Joan Hess looks a lot like a New York actress called Joan Hess, while "real estate CEO" Joseph Kolinski is distinctly similar to, yes, New York actor Joseph Kolinski. Meanwhile, a third interviewee, "filmmaker" Karl Shefelman, is at least a real filmmaker. Just one who works for a New York production company that's done work for Samsung in the past.

We suspect that this is more of an embarrassment to Samsung than a major scandal -- there may be plenty of rival consumer electronics firms breathing a sigh of relief that their 'real consumers' haven't been unmasked in a similar way. Here's the video, anyway:

More serious are the claims that Samsung's boasts that the remodelled Galaxy Tab 10.1 is thinner than the iPad 2 are... well, perhaps a little optimistic. This time, Information Week's Fritz Nelson is the journalist doing the investigating, taking a pair of photographs of the two tablets side by side.

The new Galaxy Tab is apparently 8.6mm thick, compared to the iPad 2's 8.8mm thickness. "Something is awry, because the iPad 2 is still slimmer by a few hairs," he writes. "I don't carry calipers, but I do have a camera!"

He doesn't think it matters much, pointing out that both tablets are light, and that users won't notice the difference. If anything, this just shows how competitive the tablet market is becoming, as rivals look to get a foothold in a market Apple has been leading since the launch of its first iPad last year.

Samsung came under fire earlier this year for its claim of having shipped 2 million units of the original Galaxy Tab, when a debate broke out over how many of those had actually been sold, rather than gathering dust on the shelves and in warehouses. Not that this was particularly underhand either: most consumer electronics firms talk about "shipments" rather than "sales" when giving financial figures.