Samsung announces the Galaxy Tab 2, featuring Ice Cream Sandwich

samsung galaxy tab 2Prior to Mobile World Congress, Samsung has announced the Galaxy Tab 2. The new 7-inch tablet will run Android Ice Cream Sandwich (meaning you can add it to the short list of devices that can access the new Chrome app) and feature Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi with 3G options.

In most respects, it’s quite similar to the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 7.0 but comes wrapped in ICS, which is a considerable upgrade. Here’s a quick peek at how the new version lines up. 

tabs chart 

You might be looking at those specs and noticing a couple things: First, ICS is the most notable difference. Second, the camera is actually worse in the latest Galaxy Tab. Both of those things are definitely true, but don’t feel too put out. It’s a subtle upgrade, but a necessary one nonetheless. The Galaxy Tab 2 has an improved UI that should allow for quicker access to your favorite apps, a recommendation feature on the home screen that suggests apps you might like, as well as access to Samsung’s new AllShare Play cloud service – which if you’re a fan of Samsung electronics in general, will mean more to you.

Obviously, the big to-do here is around ICS, and it is something of a major makeover for Android devices. Still, it’s a strange niche that Samsung is addressing here — launching a new tablet virtually only to outfit it with ICS. Maybe it will be dirt cheap and compete in the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire segment. Availability and pricing have yet to be released, so it’s hard to determine how Samsung is going to market this thing.