Everyday more and more Android tablets show up on the market, and it’s starting to become overwhelming – even for geeks like us! The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (Wi-Fi Only) is one of Samsung’s latest Honeycomb tablets and it might also be Samsung’s best one yet.
The Samsung Tab 8.9 offers measures 230.9 x 157.8 x 8.6mm and weighs just 447 grams. It’s super thin .34″ body is complimented by its lightweight body, making it one of the lighter 9-inch tablets. As a matter of fact, it’s lighter than the iPad, and consequently more comfortable to hold, especially while reading. The 8.9″ also packs in a WXGA TFT display with a 1280×800 resolution. The displays visuals are sharp, bright and colorful, which makes for a very good display – just not as good a display as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 which packs in a Super AMOLED Plus display.
The design of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is pretty ordinary, with a metallic gray back finish and a black front bezel, so that it actually looks more or less like all the other Android tablets out now. Yet somehow it’s more attractive than most of these other tablets. Fortunately, despite similar looks, its hardware and construction looks to be higher quality and better made than most of the other Android tablets on the market now.
Under the hood, the device is packing in a Dual core 1GHz processor which offers plenty of performance, along with 16GB of storage. HD videos play black with aplomb and the system generally multitasks with ease.
The system comes preloaded with Samsung TouchWiz interface which offers streamlined social networking and messaging integration on top of Android via its Social Hub, as well as neat widgets and Live Panels. The tablet also comes preloaded with Google Maps, Google Talk, Pulse, Polaris Office, Samsung Apps, Media Hub and more. Media Hub lets users rent or download movies and TV shows. The Tab can also be connected to a TV via an HDMI video-out adapter, which is sold separately.
The Galaxy Tab 8.9 comes with a 3.2MP rear facing camera and a 2MP camera on the front. Both cameras are able to record HD video at 720P. They both also take very good photos, especially for a tablet.
We wish that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 came with the Super AMOLED Plus Display, and that it was priced more competitively, we also wish that the device came running Android 3.2 out of the box, but we’re confident that Samsung will offer an update sooner than later. Overall, we’re not exactly blown away by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, but we have to give credit to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 for being one of the best Honeycomb tablets on the market right now. This is a high quality device with polish, and we especially appreciate that it’s lightweight and super thin – which makes it a joy to use for reading magazines. The system also packs in solid performance, a good display, and a great set of cameras. Samsung’s TouchWiz interface is also a nice addition to Honeycomb, as it offers solid social media integration and a nice selection of useful widgets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (Wi-Fi only) retails for as little as $449.99 for the 16GB model at Best Buy, and $569 for the 32GB model.
The Good: Very Good display and great performance; excellent design and form-factor; neat TouchWiz interface; great cameras.
The Bad: Not running Android 3.2; a bit too pricey; tablet app selection in the Android marketplace is still limited; no social ports like USB or an SD card reader; no 3G/ 4G option.