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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 goes on sale next week in New York City with Honeycomb 3.1 (update: pre-orders for Verizon LTE modelsstart same day)

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Admit it, you've been a tad jealous of those who received a special edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 at Google I/O last month, even if they are running now outdated Honeycomb 3.0. Well, it all changes for you this morning — Samsung's just announced that its public launch is still set for next week and that the WiFi tablet will come out of the box with Google's latest Homeycomb 3.1. Yep, just pure, untarnished Android 3.1. But before you get your hopes up, that June 8th date isn't exactly a nationwide launch — the Tab 10.1 will initially be available at only the Union Square Best Buy store in New York City. Yep, you'll have to be in the city that never sleeps next Wednesday to purchase the $499 tablet. However, ten days later (obviously, that number isn't a coincidence) on June 17th, it will launch across the country at various other Best Buys and retailers. It feels like a mega publicity move, and our guess is that Samsung's really trying to erect the lines for this one.

So, what's the deal with the stock Honeycomb experience? Is Samsung really going to keep the .33-inch slate TouchWiz-free forever? Samsung's Nick DiCarlo told us that there will eventually be an optional update with some TouchWiz UX elements, including the Mini App Tray and Live Panels, which were shown at CTIA. There will be some other tweaks like some font changes, application additions, and menu adjustments, but DiCarlo maintained that they would be very light. We're expecting to do a full review of the 10.1 really soon — hopefully before the NYC launch! — but hit the break for a few shots of the tablet and its Bluetooth keyboard case, which will be available some time this summer.

Update: Verizon has just announced that it'll be offering two LTE-enabled versions of the 10.1 "in the coming weeks" with pre-orders kicking off June 8th: $529.99 for 16GB, $629.99 for 32GB, both on two-year agreements. That's just a $30 premium over the WiFi-only model at the same capacity -- as long as you're willing to sign your name on the dotted line with Verizon, of course.