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A Tour of the Samsung Galaxy’s Universe

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Samsung currently offers five models of the Galaxy Tab and one model of the phone-tablet hybrid Galaxy Note. Three more Tab and Note models are on the way. In this article, Eric Butow, author of My Samsung Galaxy Tab, shows you the Tab and Note universe to help you with your buying decision.
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One of the problems inherent with writing technology books is that technology changes very quickly and there’s a risk that some information in a book may be missing or outdated. This was true with My Samsung Galaxy Tab. As Lonzell Watson and I were finishing the book, not only was Google coming out with upgrades to the Android 3 (Honeycomb) OS, but Samsung produced two other models: the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Fortunately, both run Honeycomb as the Tab 10.1 does, so it was easy to add a sidebar noting that the functionality was the same in both new models—just with a smaller footprint.

The fast pace of technology even applies when you’re writing articles for one’s publisher. As I was writing this article, news stories appeared on websites including PC Magazine, ComputerWorld, and CNET about new additions to the Galaxy Tab and Note families. These additions are part of an increasingly crowded Galaxy tablet universe, so let’s take stock of all the Galaxy Tab and Note models from which you have to choose.

Galaxy Tab 7.0

Samsung produced this original Galaxy Tab. The Tab 7.0 was originally positioned as a smaller alternative to the iPad, which comes in only one size. Samsung decided that their Tab models would run various versions of Google’s Android mobile operating system so the Tab would be compatible with other Android phones just as the iPad is compatible with the iPhone. The Tab 7.0 runs Android 2.2, also known as Froyo.

Though the Tab 7.0 Plus was designed to eventually replace the Tab 7.0, the original Tab 7.0 is still offered by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. You can also buy a Wi-Fi-only model. Prices vary between the carriers and the Wi-Fi version.

Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

The Tab 7.0 Plus is a sleeker version of the original Tab 7.0 that has some more hardware and software features and runs Honeycomb. Therefore, the Tab 7.0 Plus doesn’t have the buttons below the screen like the original Tab 7.0 or the Galaxy Note. Instead, the Tab 7.0 Plus works like its larger siblings, the Tab 8.9 and Tab 10.1. The Tab 7.0 Plus is only offered by T-Mobile or as a Wi-Fi model. If you choose the Wi-Fi model, several different online vendors sell it.

Galaxy Tab 7.7

Until recently, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 has only been available in select overseas markets. This model was introduced to U.S. markets by Verizon on March 1, 2012. The Tab 7.7 is not only a bit larger than the 7.0 models but it also boasts some interesting features. The screen is based on AMOLED technology with a 1200-by-800 pixel resolution. (AMOLED stands for active-matrix organic light emitting diode.) The Tab 7.7 includes a more powerful battery—5,100mAh compared to 4,000mAh on the 7.0 Plus—that results in longer usage times on a single charge. And unlike other Tab models, you can make and receive voice calls. The price isn’t cheap: Verizon charges $499.99 for the Tab 7.7 with a two-year contract.

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