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Android tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1 brings Google power to iPad frame

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(Read caption) The Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

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The Galaxy Tab 10.1, a next-generation Android tablet from Samsung –– and the successor to the plain old Galaxy Tab –– was handed out to dozens of attendees of the annual Google I/O conference this week. And according to those in attendance, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is expected to hit shelves in June, is a top-notch device, and maybe even a worthy rival to the iPad 2. (Video of the new Galaxy Tab below.)

Michael Muchmore, a writer for PC Magazine, was at the conference, and reported that the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was greeted with "a cry of elation." And it was not unjustified, Muchmore continues: "Most laymen could easily mistake [the Galaxy Tab 10.1] for an iPad 2, but it's a tad lighter at 589 grams (1.3 pounds), and has a larger, higher-resolution 10.1-inch display, at 1,280-by-800, compared with the iPad's 1,024-by-768."

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Muchmore notes that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will likely ship with Android 3.0, but Google reps say the device will get a 3.1 update not long after launch.

It has been a very good year for tablet makers and the tablet consumers who love them. As we reported yesterday, a new Nielsen survey shows that Americans who own both tablets and laptops –– or tablets and e-readers –– often favor the tablet over the other gadgets in the household. Consider this one telling stat: 35 percent of tablet owners who also owned a desktop computer reported using their desktop less often or not at all.

In other words, get a tablet computer such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and your sturdy old desktop –– which you've dutifully used for years –– starts to look pretty boring. Or obsolete: The success of tablets has something to do with their one-size-fits-all functionality. Why buy an e-reader and a desktop and an MP3 player, when you can buy all three, in one? More on the Nielsen report here.

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