Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 unveiled as iPad challenger

Smaller, lighter, thinner. Could this rival the iPad?

Samsung unveils the latest in its stable of tablets and its newest version of Touchwiz

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 has been made official at CTIA and, if the announcement is anything to go by, this is going to be throwing some serious competition Apple's way.

The new tablet is impossibly thin at only 0.33 inches (8.4mm), stealing Apple's thunder considering the iPad measures in at a comparatively chubby 0.34 inches (8.8mm). Continuing the dieting theme, Samsung has managed to keep the Galaxy Tab 8.9 down to 1.03 pounds (467 grams) which should make it incredibly comfortable in the hand.

Under the hood, the new Tab's packing a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with battery life said to last a very reasonable 10 hours of video playback. Video calling is made possible with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and Video/Photo capabilities are handled by a 3-megapixel snapper on the back with LED flash.

Alongside the tablet, Samsung also showed off its newest iteration of Touchwiz, dubbed Touchwiz UX. The skin is the first of its kind for Honeycomb and seems to actually add some useful functionality to the tablet-centric Android OS.

Three new widgets for Weather, Calendar and Email are present and feature a clean, minimal look that appears functional and pleasing on the eye. These widgets can be resized after a long press by dragging out the corners so you can have more control over the design of your homescreens. Samsung says that this feature will also work with Google's own widgets although it seems third-party developers will be left out in the cold.

An element that seems reminiscent of Apple's iOS is an app tray that can slide up from the bottom to give access to recently used apps for quicker multi-tasking. Samsung's Touchwiz styling can also be found throughout the device, altering the aesthetics of the keyboard, some of the key apps and the notification drawer. First impressions seem a lot more pleasant than previous versions of the skin.

Sadly, UK pricing and availability is still vague at this point but Samsung has squarely targeted Apple in the US with 3G versions coming in at $469 for the 16GB and $569 for the 32GB editions. Wi-Fi only versions are slated to land some time in the summer.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 tempting you away from this Friday's iPad 2 launch? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Via: Engadget