Steve Jobs famously proclaimed seven-inch tablets dead on arrival, arguing in a conference call with Wall Street analysts that users need a sandpaper to file down their fingers to be able to interact with smallish on-screen controls.

While the pundits and tech press disagreed, pointing their finger at Samsung’s well-received Galaxy Tab, looks like Steve’s been right because key vendors are now thinking beyond seven inches.

Take Motorola or LG whose Xoom and G-Slate, respectively, boast 10.1-inch displays. Or Samsung, for example, that just confirmed a Galaxy Tab successor. From its very name it’s clear the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (yes, that’s its name) aims to distinguish itself from seven inchers.

The official list of features the company released Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain includes Android Honeycomb operating system Google created specifically for tablets (that was expected), front and rear cameras, 1280 by 800 pixel resolution display, dual surround-sound speakers, latest Tegra 2 chips utilizing a 1GHz dual-core processor and more. It also has the usual assortment of sensors – an accelerometer, gyro, digital compass and ambient light sensor.

The tablet is a bit thinner and lighter than the iPad, measuring 246 millimeter wide, 170 millimeter tall, 11 millimeter thin (2.5 millimeter thinner than iPad) and weighing in at 600 grams. Gone is the shiny back from the Galaxy Tab in favor of a patterned surface that lets you grip the gizmo more securely without the unpleasant uncertainty of it slipping out of your sweaty hands.

Also on the back, an eight-megapixel camera with LED flash that records 1080p video in 25 frames per second. Videoconferencing via Google Talk is enabled through a forward-facing two-megapixel camera. According to this Engadget article, the gizmo has no HDMI video output or a USB port, although the official specs included below state a USB port under the connectivity section. Another difference compared to its predecessor is the lack of TouchWiz and custom Samsung apps – the tablet comes with only stock Honeycomb software installed. 

Connectivity-wise, the product comes equipped with 802.11n wireless, 3G with up to 21Mbps data transfer on HSPA+ cellular networks and Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR. Samsung will begin selling the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 through carriers this spring and has partnered with Vodafone to bring the device to about twenty markets around the world. Although there was no word about the US launch, the gizmo will almost certainly launch via Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Vodafone and Verizon Communications.

Source: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 specs

  • Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100, EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
  • Operating system: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
  • Display: 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 (WXGA) TFT
  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core application processor
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash, 2.megapixel front camera
  • Video formats: MPEG4, H.263, H.264
  • Video playback: 1080p FullHD video at 30 frames per second
  • Video recording: 1080p FullHD video at 24 frames per second
  • Audio formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, OGG, MIDI, AMR-NB/WB
  • Audio ports: 3.5mm ear jack, stereo speaker
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, USB 2.0, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Sensors: gyroscope, accelerometer, digital compass, proximity
  • Memory: 16GB/32GB
  • Size: 246.2 x 170.4 x 10.9mm (599g)
  • Battery: 6860mAh