Samsung Releases Galaxy Tab 3 Family of 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inch Tablets

Covering its bases, the company packs in both business and consumer features, widening the appeal for its new tablet offerings. By James E. Gaskin

Samsung has updated its Galaxy Tab product line to include three tablet sizes: 7, 8, and 10.1 inches. The company is aiming for business customers with what it says are SAFE (Samsung for Enterprise) features such as on-device encryption and VPN support, while appealing to consumers with infrared TV remote-control support. Devices come in either white or “gold-brown” case colors, and all include Wi-Fi networking and front and rear cameras.

The 7-inch model, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 (Wi-Fi) SM-T210R, runs Android 4.1 and retails for $199.99. It features 1024 x 600 screen resolution, 8GB RAM, and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. Competing tablets like Google's Nexus include more RAM, new operating system, and a higher-resolution display. Samsung aims the 7-inch at consumers interested in a tablet small enough to slip into pockets and purses.

SM-T310, the 8-inch model, includes 16GB or RAM, a 1280 x 800 screen, and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor running Android 4.2, for $299.99 retail. Positioned as “the perfect e-reader sized tablet,” the slightly larger screen model includes Samsung's Multi-Windows multitasking support.

The largest tablet, the 10.1-inch GT-PS210, also has a resolution of 1280 x 800 and 16GB of RAM powered by a 1.6 GHz dual-core Atom processor running Android 4.2, for $399.99. Described as “optimized for entertainment,” the 10.1-inch model “is the new hub of the living room,” according to Samsung. Since 10-inch tablets have been losing market share to 7-inch models like the iPad Mini from Apple and the Nexus 7 from Google, entertainment may be the sweet spot for this model.

But for the business user, Samsung includes enhanced Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync features, Virtual Private Network (VPN) support, and Polaris Office to read and write Microsoft Office files. All units include a micro SD card slot for a total of 64GB of storage. Samsung Perks also includes a 50GB DropBox account that's free for two years.

All units are now available direct, through distribution, or through a wide variety of big box retailers. While the 7-inch model lags behind the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini in screen resolution and RAM, the 8-inch SM-T310 could be a good alternative for those looking for a slightly larger tablet at a reasonable price.