Samsung Mobile has announced that American Airlines will offer the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for premium class in-flight entertainment. American Airlines plans to deploy 6,000 of the new devices onboard select flights beginning later this year. Samsung plans to customize the Galaxy Tab for the airline's in-flight entertainment needs, including the addition of expanded memory. We assume that Samsung will offer SD cards and preload with multimedia content.
The tablets will replace the airline's current personal entertainment device in premium cabins. They will be available on transcontinental flights between New York's JFK and Los Angeles, JFK and San Francisco, and Miami and Los Angeles served with 767-200 and 767-300 aircraft; international flights to and from Europe and South America served with 767-300 aircraft; and transcontinental flights departing from Boston to Los Angeles served with 757 aircraft.
"Through our agreement with Samsung, American is the first North American airline to offer a branded tablet onboard its aircraft," said Virasb Vahidi, American's Chief Commercial Officer. "We are working hard to revitalize our fleet and invest wisely in new products and services to modernize and enhance the travel experience. Working with Samsung to outfit our premium cabins with the innovative Galaxy Tab will give our premium customers a modern and innovative in-flight entertainment experience."
The WiFi version of the 10.1 has been available since June 8, 2011 in 16GB ($500) and 32GB ($600) flavors while the 8.9 will also be available in 16GB ($470) and 32GB ($570) versions. They join the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab, which has already been quite a success for the company and has received an upgrade: to Android 2.3.
The hardware giant is touting the two new devices as the world's thinnest mobile tablets, at just 8.6 millimeters thick. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs 595 grams while the Galaxy Tab 8.9 weighs 470 grams. Both support HSPA+ network speeds of up to 21Mbps, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity. They also feature a 3 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, providing seamless 1080p HD video. The two devices are powered by a 1GHz dual core application processor and both feature a 1280 x 800 resolution WXGA display.
What the specs don't mention is that the two devices are preloaded with Readers Hub and Music Hub giving consumers instant access to more than 2.2 million books, 2,000 newspaper (49 languages), 2,300 magazines (22 languages), and 13 million songs. The devices are also designed with Samsung's Social Hub, which will aggregate email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar, and social network connections into a single interface. For more information, you can read our review.