Samsung, Toshiba show off Android tablets to rival iPad
SAN FRANCISCO - Should we read anything into the fact that two competitors to Apple's iPad were introduced so far away from here? Of course not. But that distance does suggest the kind of ground that an iPad competitor (please don't call it an "iPad killer") has to cover.
Earlier today, Samsung and Toshiba introduced tablets running Google's Android operating system at the IFA trade show in Berlin.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab features a 7-inch screen, front and back cameras and mobile broadband and runs Android 2.2 (and therefore Adobe's Flash player, unlike the iPad). It weighs 13.4 ounces, a bit lighter than Apple's tablet. Samsung doesn't cite a battery life for the Tab.
The company says it's due in Europe in the middle of September and will reach the U.S. "in coming months," but hasn't specified prices. Prior reports have suggested Verizon will offer a version of it.
Toshiba's Folio 100, meanwhile, won't ship until the fourth quarter -- and then only in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Per Engadget's writeup (and the Toshiba news release copied there), it's a larger and heavier device, with a 10.1-inch display and a weight of 1.7 pounds. It runs Android 2.2 and so also Flash and features a Webcam, an SD card slot and HDMI and USB ports. Toshiba estimates its battery life at seven hours of mixed Web browsing, video playback and standby but doesn't cite any prices or a timetable for U.S. availability.
Weirdly, the Toshiba announcement makes no mention of the Android Market's availability on the device -- it's gone missing on other Android tablets. Instead, Toshiba talks about a "Toshiba Marketplace" -- which, if it comes from the dimwits responsible for the pathetic software bundles the company has deposited on Windows laptops, is about the last feature I'd want on a tablet.
There are more Android tablets on the way, fortunately. What's on your shopping list for an Android tablet? Post your own requirements in the comments.
September 2, 2010; 12:16 PM ET
Categories: Gadgets , Mobile
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