New Tablets Target Different Segments

By Joseph Palenchar On Feb 28 2012 - 11:17pm

NEW YORK – Chinon targeted entry-level tablet users, and Samsung targeted more sophisticated users in separate product launches.

Samsung plans a worldwide launch beginning in March of its first Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). Like the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, introduced at International CES as a hybrid smartphone/ tablet, the cellular-equipped version of the Tab 2 (7.0) also makes regular 3G circuit-switched cellular voice calls.

The Samsung tablet will be available in a Wi-Fionly version and in a version with both Wi-Fi and 4G 21Mbps HSPA+ cellular technology. The device features HSPA+ in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and foreign 900/2100MHz bands.

Samsung didn’t announce whether the Wi-Fi or Wi- Fi/cellular version of the tablet would be available in the U.S. or when. Currently in the U.S., Samsung’s current 7-inch tablet, the Tab 7.0 Plus, is available only in a Wi-Fi version.

The new 7-inch tablet features a dual-core 1GHz processor, VGA front-facing video-chat camera, 3-megapixel rear camera with FullHD video capture, and AllShare Play (DLNA networking), an upgrade from Samsung’s AllShare technology. Like before, AllShare Play enables streaming of smartphone content to other networked DLNA devices, but the new version lets users stream multimedia content to the tablet from PCs, other Samsung smartphones, and third-party cloud services.

The tablet also features 7-inch WSVGA (1024 by 600) PLS TFT display, Wi-Fi Direct, USB 2.0 host, GPS and Samsung Kies Air, which enables a Wi-Fi connection to a PC or Mac without a preloaded PC app to synchronize phone content, view and manage content such as contacts from the PC, and send SMS messages from the PC.

Another new Samsung feature is Samsung’s ChatON cross-platform video-chat service, which connects phones of any platform for instant messaging and group chatting with voice and video, the company said.

For its part, Chinon USA of Lake Zurich, Ill., entered the tablet market with the launch of two Android 2.3-based Wi-Fi models targeted to price-conscious consumers at suggested retails of $159 and $279.

The $159 Chinon Swift with 7-inch multitouch screen and $279 Chinon Swift 10 with 10-inch screen feature ARM Cortex-A8 Core 1.2GHz processor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, and 4:3 screen. The screens’ aspect ratio is promoted as displaying digital pictures, A4-size PDFs and e-books. Both feature aluminum casing.

The Swift 7 features 4GB embedded memory, MicroSD card slot, 800 by 600 screen resolution, and front-facing camera for video chats.

The Swift 10 features IPS (in-plane switching) display for wide-angle viewing, 1,024 by 768 screen resolution, 16GB embedded memory, MicroSD card slot, and front- and rear-facing cameras. Both Swifts access the Google Android Market and feature USB 2.0 host/slave port.

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