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Samsung has unveiled 10.1in and 8in, Intel-powered versions of the GalaxyTab 3, beginning its latest push to take control of the tablet market from the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire.
Samsung unveiled the tablets on Monday, confirming that WiFi and 4G models of the Tab 3 will be available in the UK later this year. As well as these connectivity options, both tablets will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions, which will be upgradeable via microSD card slots. Both devices are confirmed to run using Intel processors. The 10.1in Tab 3 will feature a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel processor, while the 8in version will feature a slightly slower 1.5GHZ chip.
The Tab 3 devices are two of a select few Android devices to run off Intel chips, with most manufacturers using Qualcomm's Snapdragon and Nvidia's Tegra series of components. Samsung said it expected the use of Intel to be a key selling point, promising the chips will radically improve performance.
A spokeswoman for Samsung told V3: "In order to meet the demand from our vendor and carrier partners and provide a consistent high-quality experience for customers, Samsung has sourced components, including chipsets, from trusted partners."
The news will be welcomed by Intel, which has been working hard to make its x86 processors suitable for use in mobile devices, driving down the power consumption in its Atom brand chips. It has already had some success with smartphones such as the Motorola Razr I.
Besides their Intel chipsets, the tablets are confirmed to run Google's Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system overlaid with Samsung's custom Touchwiz user interface, though their application offerings differ greatly.
The 8in Tab 3 is confirmed to feature several of the custom Samsung services debuted on the firm's Galaxy series of smartphones. These include Group Play, S Translator, S Travel, Dual View, Pop-up Video and WatchON. The 10.1in version by comparison is only confirmed to feature ChatON.
The chipmaker has also had a hand in porting and optimising the Android platform to run on Intel processors, as Mike Bell, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group, told V3 last year.
The Tab 3 8in will feature slightly better cameras, packing a 5MP rear and 1.3MP front snapper. The Tab 3 10.1in by comparison will feature a less impressive 3MP rear and equivalent 1.3MP front camera. The announcement of the tablets follows the unveiling of a new 7in Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 last week.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.