It’s no big secret that tablets are probably the next big thing, and Samsung recently released what many consider to be the first legitimate competitor to the iPad, the Galaxy Tab. Sporting a 7 inch screen, 1 GHZ processor, a 1024×600 screen and dual cameras, it’s a well-made package, at least on paper.

I both love the design and hate it at the same time.  The Tab has a very nice textured back similar to the Galaxy S line of phones, and a flat back that allows you to rest it evenly on a table, a design decision that Apple would be wise to add to future iPads.  The screen is beautiful and very bright, with a very appealing pixel density.

Unfortunately, the Tab is hamstrung, at least in my view, by the decision to use a 7 inch screen rather than something a little larger.  It’s too small to really hold with two hands, but too large to hold with one hand unless you want to look like you’re holding some cartoony, ridiculously huge phone.  I would also note that the touch sensitive buttons along the bottom, required on all Android devices, make little sense on a device that requires you to grip the bezel.  

The upcoming Wi-Fi-only version of the Tab, a likely choice for college students, will probably be priced very similarly to the iPad.  I may be biased, but I think a student looking for a tablet would be wise to pick a product with a large enough screen to comfortably read e-books and PDF files for class, and I just don’t think the Tab meets this criteria.  It’s a nice device, but I hope they come out with a larger version soon.   We’ll probably have a video walkthrough of the Tab from the NBC Stage on Sunday, so be on the lookout.  

UPDATE: Brief video embedded below of the device.  We weren’t allowed to hold that particular device since it’s the unreleased Wi-Fi-only model, but we got to stick our grubby hands all over the 3G display models earlier.