LTE version of Galaxy Tab 10.1 to ship Thursday

Verizon promises downloads of up to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps to 5Mbps on its 4G network

Two Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet models go on sale this Thursday. The 16GB model costs $530 and the 32GB model costs $630. Both of the 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 models require monthly data plans that start at $30 a month for 2GB of data. Also available are two higher tiers: $50 a month for 5GB and $80 a month for 10 GB. Both Galaxy Tab 10.1 models are available in gray or white. A two-year Verizon contract is also required.

LTE is potentially a big selling point for the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The new cellular network system, which Verizon is rolling out over several years, is designed to provide download speeds of 5Mbps to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps to 5Mbps in Verizon's LTE coverage areas. The LTE  Galaxy Tabs also support Wi-Fi connections.

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Verizon had announced the pricing of the LTE-ready tablets in early June, but didn't disclose when they would be available until today.

A 16GB Wi-Fi-only version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will also be available from Verizon's online story on Thursday for $500. That version has been on sale at Best Buy and other retailers since June 17.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is potentially the biggest competitor to the Apple iPad and iPad 2 tablets. The Apple devices currently hold a huge lead in the tablet market, according to some analysts.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs Google's Android 3.1 OS, aka Honeycomb, and its display size is similar to the 9.7-inch iPad. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is 8.6 millimeters thick, a bit smaller than the 8.8mm iPad, making it the thinnest tablet on the market. It's also the lightest model at 1.25 lbs.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com. Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

This story, "LTE version of Galaxy Tab 10.1 to ship Thursday" was originally published by Computerworld.

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