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Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab too expensive?

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(Read caption) Samsung Galaxy Tab is pictured at left. The Galaxy Tab will sell for $600, Samsung said this week. But critics have argued that the Galaxy Tab should be sold at a price-point closer to $400.

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The Galaxy Tab, the new tablet computer from Samsung, will sell for $600 at Verizon outlets, Verizon announced today. That's 30 bucks less than the Apple iPad soon to be sold by Verizon – but not cheap enough for many analysts and bloggers, who have hammered Verizon on the decision to price the Galaxy Tab for more than $400.

Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis, told Reuters today that the "Tab feels solid in your hand, but without the app store behind it and with a smaller screen, they can't charge the same amount as the iPad." He added that "competitors coming into the market have to offer something better, different or cheaper," preferably for under the $400 point.

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For its part, Verizon is saying that the data plans available for the Samsung Galaxy Tab – which runs from $20 for 1GB of data downloads to $80 for 10GB of downloads – is spot-on for the tablet market. Furthermore, Verizon rep Brenda Raney said that the Galaxy Tab data plans will be contract-free, which should appeal to consumers.

"Verizon Wireless has always been committed to providing customers with the latest technology, and the latest announcements reflect that commitment to a relatively new entrant into the mobile arena – tablets," Raney told Computerworld. "The data plan pricing for the tablets are reflective of how people use these multi-purpose devices, and because they are 3G and Wi-Fi enabled, customers have a choice in how, when and where they use them."

Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless confirmed that it would partially break the AT&T stranglehold on Apple devices by selling Apple iPad tablet computers at more than 2,000 Verizon outlets around the country. The "Verizon iPad" comes bundled with Verizon's MiFi mobile hotspot modem, which turns cellphone signals into Wi-Fi; prices start at $629.99 for a 16GB iPad.