Samsung Galaxy Tab hands on - photos and first impressions!

Samsung says its Samsung Galaxy Tab is filling a form gap between a 10” tablet computer and your average smartphone, but until picking it up last night we didn’t really appreciate just how much that’s true. The Samsung Galaxy Tab feels like it’s occupying a new pocket of the market. Read on for the photos and first details and find out what we mean.

When news about the 7” Samsung Galaxy Tab phone capabilities broke it sounded ridiculous, and picking it up, it does make us feel just a little bit like Dom Joly. But it works, and it fits in your hand well enough to not need two hands.

But although the Samsung Galaxy Tab is not intended as a phone first and foremost, one of the most appealing features about it is that when you sign up to a contract you’ll be able to duplicate your existing SIM. i.e., you’ll be able to have a SIM in your phone and a SIM in your Samsung Galaxy Tab, hooked up to the same account, and while this might not be so great for data charges, it’s a hell of a lot simpler than two contracts.

Samsung has also realised the potential of being able to consume print media in digital formats. It has a reader hub that contains magazines and newspapers to download, in readable pinch and zoom page layouts. You can also edit Powerpoint docs on the go with the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a front and rear facing camera, and the image quality was really great: sharp, clear and bright. The Android Froyo UI was easy to navigate, and the extra functions, like the media reader hub and the ability to double up with your existing SIM place it at a real advantage.

The 7” format of the Samsung Galaxy Tab is something which, surprisingly to us, stands out. It feels a bit different, and purely for its size, sits in a different area of the marketplace than the iPad. What that portion is we’re not quite sure, but will have a lot to do with the price: too high and it could risk falling into the shadow of the iPad.

This isn’t the first of the mid-sized tablet devices that Samsung has planned. From the sounds of it, should the Samsung Galaxy Tab do well, we might also see both a smaller, and a larger, version of the Galaxy Tab, to plug those size gaps between your smartphone and the 10” tablet standard that’s emerging.

What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy Tab? Is this what you’ve been waiting for, or do you think it’s occupying a weird mid-point in the marketplace? Let us know in the comments!

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