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Samsung launches low-cost Galaxy Tab 2

Samsung Electronics has launched the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), the first of its tablets to ship with Android 4.0 and its own Touchwiz user interface, the company announced yesteday.

The latest addition to Samsung’s tablet portfolio is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and has a 7-inch screen with a 1024-by-600 pixel resolution.

The tablet will cost about $350 excluding taxes for the Wi-Fi version, according to a statement from Samsung in Sweden, which also says that it will start shipping in March.

Samsung will also sell a 3G version of the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), which can function as a phone and connects to the Internet using HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) at 21M bps (bits per second).

The tablet is 10.5 millimeters thick and weighs 344 grams, compared to the iPad 2 to which is 8.8 millimeters thick and weighs 601 grams.

The specification also includes two cameras; 8, 16 or 32GB of integrated storage and MicroSD card slot; and a 4000 mAh battery that should last for up to 39 hours, according to Samsung.

With a lower price, Samsung hopes to attract a larger audience to its tablets. Sales of Android-based tablets more than tripled during the fourth quarter of 2011, but Apple still dominates the market, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics. The Android camp had a 39.1 percent share of global tablet shipments, compared to 29 percent a year earlier. Apple’s share dropped from 68.2 percent to 57.6 percent, according to Strategy Analytics.

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