LTE version of Galaxy Tab 10.1 to ship Thursday

Verizon promises downloads of up to 12 Mbps, upload speeds of 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps, on its 4G LTE networks

Two Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet models go on sale this Thursday priced from $529.99.

Also on Thursday, Verizon will begin online sales of a 4G LTE-ready HP Pavilion Entertainment laptop for $599.99. The laptop has an 11.6-in. display and runs Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.

Both of the 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 models require monthly data plans that start at $30 a month for 2GB. Both models are available in gray or white. A two-year Verizon agreement is also required.

A 16GB model is priced at $529.99, while the 32GB model costs $629.99.

Buyers can choose the $30 starting data plan or two higher tiers: $50 a month for 5GB and $80 a month for 10 GB.

Verizon had announced the pricing of the LTE-ready tablets in early June, but didn't disclose when they would be available until today.

The devices will be available at Verizon stores and online here.

A 16GB Wifi-only version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will also be available from Verizon on Thursday online for $499.99. That version has been on sale at Best Buy and other retailers since June 17.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is potentially the biggest competitor to the Apple iPad and iPad 2 tablets. The Apple devices currently hold a huge lead in the tablet market, according to some analysts.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs Android 3.1, or Honeycomb, and its display size is similar to the 9.7-in. iPad.

The 10.1 is 8.6 millimeters thick, a bit smaller than the 8.8 mm iPad, making it the thinnest tablet on the market. It's also the lightest model at 1.25 lbs.

LTE is potentially a big selling point for the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The system is designed to provide download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in Verizon's LTE coverage areas.

The LTE versions also support Wi-Fi networks.

Galaxy Tab
The Galaxy Tab

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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