Galaxy Tab 10.1 release only a ‘few days’ away, says Samsung – tablet shipping with Honeycomb 3.1

galaxy tab 10.1 - honeycomb 3.1Everyone lucky enough to be in the audience at Google I/O already has their own Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and now the rest of us can get a crack at it. According to Samsung’s Twitter and a designated sign-up site, the 10-inch tablet should be here any day. Better yet, we won’t have to wait until the thing is on shelves for more details – Samsung’s cluing us in.

Most noteworthy is that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will run Android 3.1 Honeycomb. Don’t be fooled by its earlier tweet, which made mention of something that’s “10.1-inches of Android 3.0 Honeycomb delight.” The manufacturer’s product page now clearly says the tablet will come equipped with the latest and barely out-the-door Honeycomb upgrade (and it issued a Twitter correction).

But “days away” is a little open to interpretation. We originally heard that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would be available June 8, but this projected launch date was set before Samsung decided to outfit the tablet with Honeycomb 3.1 (it was after Samsung revamped the device’s hardware post-iPad 2 unveiling – which we now know the company might be paying for dearly).

So what will a Honeycomb upgrade mean for the Galaxy Tab 10.1? At Google I/O, the new OS was introduced and in addition to fixing a handful of bugs as well as improving multitasking functions. Widgets will also receive an update and users can manipulate their sizing and spacing further, the UI in general will be refined, and it will expand USB–connectivity compatibility. Just for a quick recap, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sports a 1280×800 HD resolution, is Flash-compatible, and shoots 720p HD video, and at 8.6-mm wide, it’s thinner than the iPad 2. It’s shaping up to be a nice release, although there aren’t many hands-on Honeycomb 3.1 reviews quite yet, but from what we have heard, it smooths out the various rough edges 3.0 brought to the table. To date, critical impressions in general have been sort of a mixed bag–many believe that Android loyalists will like the improvements but 3.1 won’t convince new users to commit to the OS.

We’re still a little caught up on the “few days” part. Is Samsung really going to unveil the Galaxy Tab 10.1 before the projected launch date of June 8, or is it stretching the term a bit? We can’t imagine “few days” could mean post-June 8, but either way the tablet is just within our grasp.

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