Samsung Friday announced the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tablet, an update that is lighter and more powerful than the original Galaxy Tab , and runs a 1.2 GHz dual core processor.

Samsung said the new Plus version 3.2 of Android, also known as Honeycomb. The original Galaxy Tab, announced in September 2010, ran Android 2.2 and then 2.3 starting in May 2011.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Both versions of Galaxy Tab have 7-in. touchscreens. The Plus is 12.16 ounces, compared to the 13.58 ounce weight of its predecessor.

Most important, the Plus runs the dual core 1.2 GHz processor, up from the 1 GHz chip in the original.

Samsung also has a full line of tablets with screen sizes ranging from 7-in. up to 10.1-in., although not all are offered in the U.S.

Samsung didn't divulge pricing or carriers.

The Plus model will be available first in Indonesia and Austria by the end of October and then will gradually roll out in other countries, including the U.S.

A 16GB version of the original Galaxy Tab sells for $430 on

Samsung said the new model will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions. A microSD card could boost storage capacity to 64GB, it added.

Pricing will be a big factor for the next generation of Android tablets, as Amazon this week unveiled the $199 Kindle Fire color 7-in. touchscreen tablet that runs the open source OS.

The Kindle Fire won't have a camera or microphone, while the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus features a microphone and two cameras, a rear-facing 3 megapixel camera and a front-facing 2 megapixel camera.

Kindle Fire will support Wi-Fi, while Plus will support for four radio cellular signals, including HSPA+ as well as Wi-Fi.

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 [email protected] .

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