Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9: Samsung’s Midsize Tablet

Samsung out did themselves when they dropped the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, the first tablet to be known as the “Ipad Killer”. Since then Samsung has dropped the Galaxy 8.9, but can this tablet be just as good as or better than the Galaxy 10.1?

Design

The Galaxy 8.9 is very slim, and light at 15.7 ounces and 9.1 by 6.2 by .33 inches. Like the 10.1, there is silver near the top where the camera module and LTE antennas are installed, and the color extends and wraps around the tablet. The power button is on the top right along with the volume buttons, headphone jack is also on the top of the tablet, its screen is of high quality, bright and clear but when the sunlight hits the screen you won’t be able to see much, the speakers which are located on the bottom of the tablet were loud and clear.

I downloaded the OnLive app, if you’re not familiar with the app it allows you to play the same games you would play on your PS3 or Xbox360, the graphics on the Galaxy 8.9 were beautiful, almost as good as the actually system, I was truly impressed.

Software
Galaxy 8.9 is running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) with Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 13.1GB of free storage (Sorry no memory card slot.) the system bar is on the bottom of the screen, most recent apps buttons shows thumbnails for app used most recently. This is an easy way to multi-task and quickly jumps from app to app. The Notification window is on the right side of the system bar; you can see all your notifications at once by tapping the clock or tap individual notification icon to see them one at a time.

The two cameras are both of very good quality. The 3.2-megapixel camera on the back takes razor-sharp, if not terribly quick photos at 1.1 seconds of shutter delay. The 2-megapixel camera on the front is similarly sharp. Both cameras record 720P HD video. Streaming video options are mixed, The TV.com app is available, but Hulu and Netflix, are not.

Touch WIZ add live panel widgets for the home screen, you can access them through the widgets tab. Live Panels continually update with fresh information as long as you have a connection to the internet. Live panel widgets include: Accu Weather.com, Agenda, Social Hub and Buddies now contact to name a few. Social Hub lets you read your incoming messages and status updates in this single app, you can synchronize with your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I left the tablet on for a whole day without charging and the battery life was at 60% and that with Pulse and Google Currents synchronizing in the background.

A few apps come preloaded; Amazon MP3, with amazon cloud player, Amazon Kindle book reader, words with friends, Swype keyboard. You still have Samsung Apps and Android Market.

Overall
Samsung Galaxy 8.9 fits perfectly in one hand; the LCD screen is beautiful, crispy and clear. The battery life is amazing didn’t have to walk around with the charger which is usually always a must. There’s not too much of a difference from the 10.1 to the 8.9 but with the small changes it does have, just makes this tablet a must have. If you think the 10.1 is too big, and the 7 inch is too small, well then the 8.9 is just right.

Price: $449.99