By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Samsung is leaping into the Australian tablet market with the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 set to be launched next week.

After the dizzying 19-hour launch event held for Samsung’s much anticipated Galaxy S II smartphone, the announcement of Samsung’s tablet offering looks to be a little more sedate. 

Already released in the United States, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 features an eponymous 10.1-inch screen and a widescreen HD display (1280×800), as well as a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb).

It boasts a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, while the 3 megapixel rear camera features auto-focus and a flash, and is capable of recording HD (720p) video. At 565 grams it weighs slightly less than the Apple iPad 2, and is a whopping 2 millimetres thinner.

Pricing is yet to be announced, with the official telco partner Vodafone due to reveal more in the coming weeks. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 retails for $499.99 in the United States.

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

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In other Samsung news, the company has announced it has passed the milestone of 5 million global sales for the Galaxy S II smartphone.

“In just a few months the Galaxy S II has led the way in driving Samsung’s unmatched performance in the smartphone industry” said JK Shin, president and head of Samsung's mobile communications business.

“Since being launched into the retail market in late April, the Galaxy S II has seen tremendous growth. This reflects the strong support from carrier partners globally, who in choosing the Galaxy S II as their flagship device have reaffirmed the device’s status as a premium, market-defining smartphone.”

The milestone was reached in 85 days, 40 days quicker than the original Galaxy S took to reach the same sales figures.