By Stephen Schenck | February 28, 2012 10:41 AM
We are seeing a ton of new Android tablets revealed to the world at the MWC, but don’t forget that some managed to break cover early, first showing-up at last month’s CES. That was the case with Samsung and the 7.7-inch version of its Galaxy Tab, which we learned would be making a retail appearance on Verizon LTE. Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to check out the international version of the Tab 7.7, available as both a WiFi-only model and one with HSPA+ connectivity, but the details for the LTE version on Verizon hadn’t been available. Today the carrier comes forward with a release date and pricing information for the tablet; will you be in for some sticker shock?
The good news is that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is nearly here, with Verizon announcing the start of sales this Thursday, March 1. The not-so-good part is what Verizon will be charging for the tablet, asking for nearly $500 on a two-year contract. We’ve got no problem paying a lot for quality hardware, but we expect to get something out of it when we lock-in to a service agreement. The Galaxy Nexus, for instance, lists for about $600, but you get it on-contract with Verizon for $300. With the Tab 7.7, though, the international 3G version, fully unlocked, can be had for under $600, a difference in the range of eighty bucks; while we don’t have an off-contract price specifically for the LTE version, it’s not looking like Verizon’s giving users a very good deal.
If you’ve got the money, though, the Tab 7.7 is a solid tablet, and we were pretty pleased with it in our review. You might want to hold off until Ice Cream Sandwich is available, as we had some concerns about Honeycomb’s speed, but factors like the gorgeous screen still make the tablet plenty attractive.