Samsung sleeks up Galaxy Tab 3

Same OS and battery as Galaxy Tab 2, but in a smaller, lighter 7-in. package that offers more storage

Samsung on Monday unveiled a sleek update to its Galaxy Tab product line, the 7-in. Galaxy Tab 3.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

The new white Galaxy Tab 3 is slightly smaller and lighter than the Tab 2 7.0, but nonetheless supports more expandable memory.

The updated device still runs Android 4.1, the same OS in the Tab 2, and uses the same size battery, at 4,000 mAh, and the same dual core 1.2 GHz processor.

Pricing for the new device and the carriers supporting it have not yet been announced. Samsung did say in a statement that a Wi-Fi version of the Tab 3 will be available worldwide in May, and a 3G version in June.

Samsung focused on using a thinner bezel in the Tab 3, reducing the device's overall width and length while maintaining the 7-in screen size.

Overall, the Tab 3 is about a half-inch narrower and one-third of an inch shorter in length than the Tab 2.

The changes make the updated Tab look more like other 7-in. tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7. Apple's mini iPad has a 7.9-in. display.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 measures 4.8 x 7.6 x .41 inches and weighs .76 pounds.

The new Galaxy Tab 3 7-in. will measure 4.37 x 7.4 x .39 inches and weigh .66 pounds.

The Tab 3 will run a 1.2 GHz dual core processor and offer either 8 or 16 GB of internal storage and up to 64 GB of expandable storage. The older Tab 2 has just 8 GB of internal storage with up to 32 GB of expandable storage.

Increased storage is a big component of the latest tablets, as their use for consuming video and other multimedia is on the increase.

The Tab 3 has a 3 megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megapixel front camera.

Samsung accounted for about 15% of tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012, while Apple had 45%, according to IDC. Android tablets made by various manufacturers combined for 43% of the market in the first quarter of 2013, Strategy Analytics reported.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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