Verizon Wireless is the first of four U.S. wireless carriers to announce a price and release date for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
The 7-inch tablet will be sold in Verizon stores for $600, starting November 11. Subsidized Galaxy Tabs will not be available. Instead, Verizon will sell contract-free data plans starting at $20 per month for 1 GB. That’s the same rate as Verizon’s upcoming iPad with Mi-Fi, so I’m guessing packages of 3 GB for $35 and 5 GB for $50 will also be sold. Samsung confirmed last month that voice plans won’t be available in the United States.
Revealed in September, the Galaxy Tab runs Android 2.2 and has a 1024-by-600 resolution display, a 1 GHz Cortex A8 processor, a 3.2-megapixel rear video camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and 7 hours of video playback. Verizon did not announce how much storage the Galaxy Tab will have, but it’ll either be 16 GB or 32 GB, according to Samsung’s website.
As expected, Verizon will bundle its usual bloatware, and other software, onto the Galaxy Tab, including V Cast Music, V Cast Song ID, VZ Navigator, Slacker Radio, Kindle for Android, Blockbuster On Demand and Let’s Golf. Samsung also includes its own apps optimized for the 7-inch screen, such as e-mail, an e-reader and a calendar. Android Market access will be available, with some apps stretched to fill the display and others running in smartphone proportions mid-screen.
If you’re considering the Galaxy Tab, keep a couple of things in mind: Other carriers may announce subsidies, which would bring down the price in exchange for a data contract. Also, Samsung will be releasing a Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab in the future. It’ll probably be cheaper than any of the wireless carrier versions.
Comparisons to Apple’s iPad are inevitable, but for now, there’s no Wi-Fi-only Tab to hold up against the basic $499 iPad. Compared to the 16 GB iPad 3G, Samsung’s Tab is $29 cheaper.
With such little price difference between the competing products, Samsung will have to convince people that a 7-inch tablet is a better fit than Apple’s 10-inch iPad. Steve Jobs, by the way, definitely doesn’t think so.