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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 hands-on preview

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 hands-on preview

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And now it's the turn of the slimmest tablet Samsung (and the wider electronics market) has yet turned out: the Galaxy Tab 7.7. It's 7.89mm thick, packs two 1.4GHz processing cores, and touts WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution on a spectacular Super AMOLED Plus screen. Click past the break to see it pictured and hold tight for our hands-on video.

It's hard for me to describe the experience of using this tablet without sounding like I'm part of Samsung's PR team. For one thing, where in that ultra-slim body did the Korean manufacturer manage to fit a 5,100mAh battery? I doubt the 3 megapixel camera will be doing any great work for you, but the mere fact it's there is an engineering feat.

The sides are well curved and offer a natural and ergonomic grip, while the brushed metal back adds a higher-quality physical appearance than the plastic shell of the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab. Comparison shots between the two 7(ish)-inch Galaxy Tabs are available after the break, but I'm struck by the impression that the 7.7 model has more to do with its fellow 2011 Tabs than the one it most logically replaces, the Tab 7. The latter is now a year old (almost retirement age in the tech business), which is thrown into sharp relief by the faster, slimmer, and prettier successor.

You know the strengths of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, namely its superb screen and absolutely minimal physical footprint, but let's not go overboard in our praise. Even the very latest version of Android (Honeycomb, v3.2) isn't quite up to the standard of iOS in terms of responsiveness and utility-enhancing applications, and I did manage to spot the familiar lag when dragging onscreen items around the Android interface. That's a software shortcoming that will get better with time, mind you, and having the almost-standard 1280 x 800 Android tablet resolution should stand this Galaxy Tab in great stead to receive the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. Samsung says it'll do its utmost to provide users with the best possible software, but wouldn't commit on whether or not the 7.7 will get ICS. There was also no commitment on the critical questions of price and availability. For now, just enjoy the eye candy!

Update: Video of the Tab 7.7 is now available after the break!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 hands-on photos