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Samsung Galaxy Tab, hands-on (photos)

Donald Bell unwraps the Samsung Galaxy Tab from Sprint and compares it against the Apple iPad and Dell Streak.

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Donald Bell
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1 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
Here's the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet. It goes on sale November 14, priced at $399 with a two-year contract and a monthly data plan. Data plans come in two flavors: a $29 plan with a 2GB cap, and a $59 plan with a 5GB cap.

The Tab's screen measures 7 inches diagonally, and runs Google's Android 2.2 operating system.
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2 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
The Galaxy Tab's 7-inch screen size puts it right in the middle of the competition. Pictured here, from foreground to background, you can see the Apple iPad, Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak, and iPod Touch.
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3 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
Another screen size comparison shot, this time showing the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad (left), 7-inch screen Galaxy Tab (upper right), and 5-inch Dell Streak (lower right).
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4 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
The Galaxy Tab measures half an inch thick at its thickest point, putting it right in line with the iPad. The iPad's edges come to a thinner taper, though, giving it a thinner feel overall.
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5 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
Though the Galaxy Tab's 7-inch screen doesn't sound like it will be that much smaller than the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad, the reality is that it measures about half the size of the iPad. Depending on your point of view, this size difference could be an asset or a liability.
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6 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
The bottom of the Galaxy Tab features integrated speakers and a proprietary port for charging and accessories (such as a video output dock and keyboard).
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Here's a shot of the Galaxy Tab stacked on top of the Apple iPad to get a better visual sense of its size.
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8 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
Both the iPad (right) and Galaxy Tab use a multitouch, capacitive touch-screen keyboard for text entry. With the Tab in landscape orientation and the iPad in portrait mode, the keyboards are approximately the same size with similar key width.

The Tab has two unique keyboard features that give it an advantage over the iPad. It includes Swype technology that allows you to slide your finger around groups of letters to quickly input common words. Also, it uses haptic feedback to give your fingers a reassuring buzz when you strike a key.

That said, typing on the Tab presents some ergonomic challenges. The space bar is small, making it easy to miss in both landscape and portrait modes. Held in portrait mode, it's easy to type with your thumbs (unlike on the iPad), but held in landscape mode, the larger keyboard isn't quite large enough to use comfortably with two hands--yet it's too large for comfy thumb typing.
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9 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
An example of grouping letters together using the Galaxy Tab's built-in Swype predictive text technology.
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10 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
The back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab includes a 3-megapixel camera with camcorder and a flash. A front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera is also included, which can be used for video chat.
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Here's a close-up of the Galaxy Tab's 3-megapixel camera and flash.
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12 of 12 Donald Bell/CNET
The right edge of the Galaxy Tab includes a power button that doubles as a screen lock, along with a volume rocker switch.

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