Samsung gives Galaxy tablet a Berlin debut

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Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Tab, its much-anticipated tablet computer, at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin

Galaxy Tab is Samsung's answer to Apple's iPad, which has sold more than 4 million units since its release in April. Tablet PCs, bigger than smartphones but smaller than netbooks, are computers with touchscreens designed to replace keyboards.

The electronics giant claims portability is the device's biggest strength compared to its glamourous rival. J K Shin, head of Samsung Electronics mobile division, said, "With the 7-inch TFT-LCD display, it's small enough to fit into the pocket of a business suit"

The device weighs 380 grams, while the iPad, with its 9.7-inch screen, weighs 680 grams.

Shin said Galaxy Tab will be available at stores overseas some time between late September and early October.

Observers say competition in tablet PCs will heat up as major companies like Hewlett-Packard, Dell and LG Electronics are also set to release their versions of tablet PCs by the fourth quarter of this year.

Global sales of tablet PCs this year are expected to be around 12 million, and 15 million next year as more companies enter the market.