updated 07:15 pm EDT, Mon September 26, 2011
Samsung commits to shipping Galaxy Tab, Player
Samsung at a special event Monday pledged itself to shipping three of its most delayed devices in the US. The Galaxy Tab 8.9, which we first tried in March, is in pre-orders at Best Buy immediately and will ship to stores October 2. Versions will ship with 16GB or 32GB of storage for $470 and $570 respectively.
The Tab 8.9 like the Tab 10.1 has been redesigned to better compete with the iPad 2 and is the same 8.6mm (0.34in) thick. While the 1280x800 resolution, dual-core Tegra 2 processor, and dual three- and two-megapixel cameras all remain intact, it will be the first completely new Samsung tablet in the US to ship with Samsung's newest TouchWiz interface on top of Android 3.1.
Reaching the US soon are Samsung's first major Android-based MP3 players for the US, the Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0. Having shipped as the Galaxy S Wi-Fi for other countries back in May, the four- and five-inch players will come to the US running Android 2.3.5 out of the box. Neither, however, will support Samsung's Media Hub store out of the box and will need an update.
The two are similar outside of screen size and are more directly intended to challenge the iPod touch with as much or more functionality. Both have a single-core 1GHz processor, but they also bring in 3.2-megapixel rear and VGA front cameras and microSDHC slots to go beyond their built-in 8GB of storage. Samsung still uses its iPhone-like TouchWiz layer but laoads the devices with Allshare for spreading media over the local network through DLNA.
Pre-orders for either Galaxy Player will go up for pre-orders on Tuesday, September 27, and will cost $230 and $270 for the 4.0 and 5.0 versions when they each go on sale October 16.
The timing may pit the Galaxy Players against rejuvenated iPod touch players. Galaxy Tab 8.9 units could arrive in stores about two weeks before a hearing on Apple's call for a temporary Samsung ban and could leave their existences short-lived if Apple wins a ban and can include the Tab 8.9 in those conditions.
Galaxy Player 5.0 (AKA Galaxy S Wi-Fi 5.0)