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Samsung officially announced their Galaxy Note 8, an 8-inch tablet that thanks to its size is ready to compete directly with the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. Samsung has yet to announce a price for the Galaxy Note 8, but given Samsung’s premium tablet pricing history, it’s doubtful the Note 8 will cost any less than the iPad Mini, especially in international markets where it will double as an extremely large phone.

The Galaxy Note 8 will ship with Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), and Samsung’s ever-present TouchWiz UI. In most international markets the Note 8 will include 3G (HSPA+ 21) capability, in the U.S. it’ll strictly be a Wi-fi-only tablet. While the Asus PadFone line also has a tablet/phone, Asus has no plans to release it in the U.S.

The 8-inch screen with 1,280×800 pixels has a 189 ppi. The Note 8 houses an unidentified 1.6GHz quad-core A9 and 2GB of RAM, a 4,600 mAh non-removable battery, either 16GB or 32GB of memory, a MicroSD card slot, Bluetooth 4 a, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and GPS are included as well as a gyroscope, accelerometer, and a digital compass. The 3G version will have support for the GLONASS satellite navigation system.

Look for the Note 8 to launch worldwide sometime in the second quarter of 2013.

The HP Slate 7 was introduced yesterday. Costing only $169, the Slate 7 is aimed to battle inexpensive tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. It runs a vanilla version Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with an ARM Dual Core Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor. The tablet has a rather dim 7-inch, 1,024-by-600 LCD screen surrounded by a broad bezel. The HP Slate7 includes a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a VGA camera on the front for chatting, videos and photos.

Printing is a unique feature built into the OS so you can print from a range of different applications. You’ll be able to print via Wi-Fi or by plugging your tablet directly into a printer with a USB cable.

The HP Slate7 delivers the Google experience with services like Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps and digital content through Google Play. It will be sold at major U.S. retailers starting in April.

Lenovo has unveiled three new Android tablets. These include a pair of 7-inch models, the A1000 and A3000, and a 10-inch slate, the S6000.

The A1000 runs Android Jelly Bean 4.1 on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has on-board storage of up to 16GB, extendable to 32GB with a micro-SD slot. The A3000 optimizes the user experience for games, video, photo-sharing and web-browsing, with an IPS 1024×600 screen, has an external micro-SD card and optional 3G HSPA+ support ensures users stay connected on the go with Lenovo‚Äôs ultra-portable table. The S6000 has a 10.1-inch IPS 1280X800 display with a wide, 178-degree viewing angle, micro HDMI port and digital microphone.

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