Bonnie Cha

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Samsung Unveils Galaxy Tab 3 Tablet Series

It seems like there’s a new Samsung Galaxy device being announced every week, and this week is no different.

Today, the company introduced a trio of new tablets to its Tab series: The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Galaxy Tab 8.0 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The company says its goal in offering all three devices is to give its customers more choice in terms of design, features and price.

The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is aimed at customers looking for a portable device to consume content on the go. The tablet measures 7.4 inches tall by 4.37 inches wide by 0.39-inch thick, and features a seven-inch, 1,024 by 600 pixel touchscreen. There’s a three-megapixel camera on back, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera.

Compared to the other two, it’s not as powerful in terms of processor speed. The Tab 3 7.0 also offers less internal memory (eight gigabytes with a microSD expansion slot), and runs a slightly older version of Google’s Android Jelly Bean operating system (version 4.1). But it’s the most affordable of the bunch, at $199 for the Wi-Fi model.

For those looking for more of a high-performance tablet, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 steps things up with a faster processor, a better five-megapixel rear camera on back, and a sharper eight-inch, 1,280 by 800 pixel touchscreen. It also adds multi-window support, so you can run two applications simultaneously on the same screen. Internal memory is double that of the Tab 3 8.0, and it also has a microSD expansion slot. Pricing is set at $299.

Finally, the $399 Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is optimized to be used in the living room as a second-screen device. It has a 10.1-inch, 1,280 by 800 pixel touchscreen that’s optimized for playing games, watching video and editing documents. In addition, the tablet has a built-in IR blaster, so you can use it as a remote control. It also comes preloaded with Samsung’s WatchOn TV recommendation service.

All three models will come with a $10 Google Play Store voucher, one free year of Boingo’s hotspot service, a complimentary three-month subscription to Hulu Plus, and 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years.

While these extras are nice, the Galaxy Tab 3 series doesn’t exactly make a big impression. It’s especially disappointing when considering that some of its older competitors have better features. For example, the $199 Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD have higher-resolution screens and more internal memory than the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. Similarly, the $399 Nexus 10 has a better display than the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and a better camera, so it’s a tough sell for me. What do you guys think?

All models will be available starting July 7, and preorders start June 25. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 series will be sold at multiple retailers nationwide, including Best Buy, Walmart, Office Depot and Amazon.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik