What’s reported as a prototype for an electronic book reader looks like a 10.1-inch Android tablet from Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung. The design looks to be a larger edition of the current generation Samsung Galaxy Tab. The unique thing about the 10-inch slate that’s being demoed is that unlike the current generation Tab, this demo model has a 1.8-mm thin LCD display featuring the same 1024 X 600 resolution that’s on the 7-inch model. However, where the 10-inch display shines is that it has 250 nits of brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and is said to cover 50 percent of the NTSC color gamut. Moreover, the display is virtually unbreakable because it uses a resin panel versus the glass panel display on current generation tablet.
The sad news is that the resin panel won’t be commercialized for another few years, so until then, don’t drop your gadgets! Samsung has also been showing off other tablet prototypes, including a 7-inch model with a slightly higher resolution using the company’s Super AMOLED display technology, which promises the vibrant colors of AMOLED, but with a brighter screen and better direct sunlight readability.
I’m personally not too big of a fan of Super AMOLED and prefer LCD screen technology since I am more of a text person. Super AMOLED offers a great experience when viewing videos or looking at graphics and pictures, but text on the display seems to be a bit more pixelated than on LCD screens. As the 10.1-inch prototype was said to be a model for an “electronics book reader,” I am really glad that Samsung went with LCD, even if Super AMOLED was available in a screen of that size.
While the company has promised that a 10-inch Galaxy Tab variant would be ready in time for 2011, that model will probably use a traditional glass LCD display rather than the resin-coated display of this prototype.
What’s curious about the electronic book reader that’s being shown is that there is a phone dialer on the screen. The international variants of the 7-inch current generation Galaxy Tab all have phone dialers, but the versions being sold through carriers in the U.S. market will eschew the phone functionality at launch, though it’s unclear if the individual carriers may update their tablets to include this feature at a later date. That said, we wouldn’t recommend using the Galaxy Tab as a phone–pressing an iPad-sized device up to your face may not make you look like the coolest geek in town, but the geek factor is still there if you need to make a call over a wired/wireless headset or via speakerphone.
You can see my hands-on time with the 7-inch Galaxy Tab model that is starting to ship (T-Mobile USA is making their edition available today, Verizon Wireless is coming tomorrow, and Sprint is releasing theirs in a few days for public consumption) from CTIA below: