Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus set for 2011 release

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will arrive on US shores later this year. Will consumers get on board with a 7-inch screen?

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Remember way back in the fall of 2010, when former Apple CEO Steve Jobs teed off on pint-sized tablets? "7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad," he said on a now-infamous earnings call. Jobs, of course, was almost certainly referring to the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, which was released around that time, and which went on to sell quite briskly.

Today, Samsung announced it would seek to capitalize on the success of the very first Galaxy Tab with a new device dubbed the (deep breath) Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. The new tablet is a full-featured beast, from the 1.2GHz Dual Core processor to the dual cameras and the Android Honeycomb OS. It's also extremely small: Samsung says the Plus weighs 0.75 pounds and measures less than half an inch.

"Enhanced portability ensures that it fits easily into an inside-jacket pocket or a handbag, making it an ideal device for those who need to stay productive and entertained while on-the-move," Samsung reps wrote in a press statement. Fair enough. But will consumers opt for a tablet with a 7-inch screen? (By comparison, the iPad screen is about 10 inches.) Well, Amazon certainly thinks so.

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Earlier this week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took the wraps off the the long-awaited Kindle Fire, which is expected to launch in mid-November. The Fire, like the (deep breath, again) Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, gets a 7-inch screen; unlike the Plus, it will sell for $199. (Samsung hasn't slapped a price tag on the Plus, but if past devices are an indication, a base model will probably go for around $450.)

Release date for Tab 7.0 Plus is set for later this year. In related news, next week – legal troubles or not – Samsung will bring its Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet to the US market. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 will ship at two price points: 16GB for $469, and 32GB for $569.

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