Samsung followed Apple's thinner, lighter and faster mantra to deliver two new super thin and light Android 3.0 tablets to take on iPad 2.

Samsung unveiled 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch tablets measuring 8.6mm (0.33 inch) in depth thus bettering Apple iPad 2's 8.8mm (0.34 inch) in thinness. Apple surprised its watchers last month when it launched its slimmer beauty, the iPad 2, thus, changing the game on the basis of ergonomics rather than merely on specifications.

Earlier in the month, Samsung vice president Lee Don-joo told Yonhap News Agency: We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate, Apple made it very thin. Samsung's confession of inadequate parts had stoked rumors that Samsung would put its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet through a trimming regimen prior to its launch. The rumors have been confirmed as Samsung slimmed down the Galaxy Tab 10.1, slashing the tablet's thickness from 10.6mm to 8.6mm. Samsung released its Galaxy Tab with a 10.1-inch display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

The 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs offer a screen resolution of 1280x800. iPad 2 comes in a 9.7-inch form factor and offers 1024x768 screen resolution. Galaxy Tab's new tablet versions are also lighter than iPad 2 as Samsung was able to shave of a few ounces. The 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab weighs 470g (1.03 pounds) and Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs 595g (1.31 pounds) which betters iPad 2's 601g (1.32 pounds).

Samsung has achieved its lighter and slimmer figure without sacrificing any of the current day killer specifications which most of the new crop of Android 3.0 tablets sport. Both the 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs sport a 1GHz dual-core processor. While Samsung has not disclosed the brand of the chip used, it is widely believed that the chip could be Samsung's new dual-core line of processors called Exynos. Engadget termed its iPad 2 experience as insanely fast, a feat that iPad 2 achieves, courtesy its dual-core 1GHz A5 system-on-a-chip (SoC).

Both the 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs run on Android 3.0. However, they both offer a customized version of software called TouchWiz UX which runs atop the Android 3.0 or Honeycomb. Engadget reported that TouchWiz styling is closely integrated with Android 3.0. It offers a Mini Apps Tray at the bottom of the screen to quickly launch apps and also to enable the user with customization of the widgets. Apple iPad 2 runs the latest version of iOS, the iOS 4.3, which brings a faster Safari browser, enhancements to AirPlay and new iTunes Home Sharing feature.

On the memory front, both versions of Galaxy Tab match iPad 2 offering as they come in 16/32/64 GB options. PC Magazine says that Samsung has priced its 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi version for $469 for 16GB and $569 for 32 GB. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is priced at $499 for 16GB model and $599 for 32 GB version. Samsung's pricing is comparable to iPad 2 as a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad costs $499 while a 32GB iPad costs $599.

Both Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 sport two cameras, 3 MP rear-facing and 2 MP front-facing cameras. The iPad 2 also offers two cameras the specifications of which have not been revealed. The front-facing camera is a VGA camera. Apple has been singled out for its poor camera quality on iPad 2. Engadget's Joshua Topolsky said: Let's just put this out there: the iPad 2 cameras are really pretty bad. He said that the cameras are good enough for chat but are not worthy to take still shots unlike Motorola Xoom's 5 MP rear camera. iPad 2 rear-facing camera offers 720p video capture capability which is also offered by the 3 MP rear-facing cameras fitted on the new breed of Galaxy Tabs.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 also offer 1080p video playback support while iPad 2 offers only 720p native video playback.

Samsung has not confirmed the battery life. The 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab has 6000mAh battery while the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab sports a 6800mAh battery. iPad 2 offers a cool 10 hours in battery life. It is to be seen whether Samsung can match it. However, the current breed of Android tablets like Motorola Xoom offer 10 hours in battery life.

Samsung with its current breed of tablets has certainly upped the ante for Apple and other Android tablets.

Here is a comparison of Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Apple iPad 2:

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Apple iPad 2

OS

Android 3.0

Android 3.0

iOS 4.3

Processor

1GHz dual core

1GHz dual core

A5 dual-core 1GHz

Display

8.9-inch

10.1-inch

9.7-inch

Resolution

1280x800

1280x800

1024x768

Memory

16/32/64 GB

16/32/64 GB

16/32/64 GB

Camera

3 MP rear and 2 MP front facing

3 MP rear and 2MP front facing

2 cameras rear and front facing

Video Capture

720p

720p

720p

Video Playback

1080p

1080p

720p

WiFi

802.11a/b/g/n

802.11a/b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

Sensors

Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Ambient light sensor

Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Ambient light sensor

Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient light sensor, compass

Battery

N.A

N.A

10 hrs

Depth

8.6mm (0.33 inch)

8.6mm (0.33 inch)

8.8mm (0.34 inch)

Weight

470 gm (1.03 pounds)

(595 gm) 1.31 pounds

(601gm) 1.32 pounds