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Galaxy Tab 8.9” Review – Not Just Another Tablet

Samsung seems to be making quite some efforts to expand their “Galaxy” family, regularly adding more products to it. What was initially a family of smartphones gradually grew into something more, tablets being added along the way and, more recently, a digital camera. In the field of tablets, Samsung stands out of the crowd, having what is perhaps the biggest variety of sizes out there. We don’t know if this is their goal or not but one thing is for sure – big or small, Samsung tablets enjoy a lot of popularity.

Today’s highlight is the 8.9 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, a medium sized tablet that, except from its smaller screen and a few other minor modifications, it is identical to its bigger brother, the 10.1 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. We are very tempted to say that Samsung only released the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 inch just to cover the gap between its smaller tablets and its bigger ones. However, considering the 8.9 inch Galaxy Tab just a filler product is plain wrong, as the tablet has a lot of potential.

We’ll start by saying that 8.9 inches is maybe the ideal size for a tablet; bigger than some tablets, smaller than others, the 8.9 inch Galaxy Tab is just the right blend between portability and usability. Its main highlight is, without doubt, its screen; it comes with the same 800 x 1280 resolution as the 10.1 inch Tab’s screen, but given its smaller size, the pixel density has increased from 149 ppi in the 10.1 inch version to 169 ppi in the 8.9 inch version. The higher pixel density is especially noticeable when reading or watching highly-detailed images, as they look considerably smoother. Leaving the technical specs aside, image quality is superb, with good contrast and bright colours.

In terms of performance, the tablet is almost identical to its bigger sibling, both being powered by the same processor – a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2. Applications, games, multimedia content and web browsing are all fluent, even in multitasking conditions. The older operating system the tablet comes with, Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) might also have a say in this, being less demanding than the never versions. Pretentious users can upgrade to Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich, though, if they really want the hottest new features.

One of the biggest disappointments of the 8.9 Galaxy Tab is its connectivity side. The tablet comes with no USB or SD card slots, the only physical connector being Samsung’s proprietary connector. On the bright side, there are adapters to USB and even HDMI, but the absence of the ports themselves might be very disappointing for some users. It seems like Samsung put all its money on its AllShare technology, thinking everyone will just use the wireless connectivity to connect devices and share content. Risky move, if you ask us.

Overall, the 8.9 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab has its ups and downs but it’s definitely a considerable option if you’re looking for a tablet that will give you a good run for its money.

Features and Specifications Summary

  • Tablet Model – Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
  • Processor – 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2
  • Screen Size – 8.9 inch
  • Display – 800 x 1280 pixels, WXGA PLS TFT, 169 ppi
  • Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 16GB
  • Back Camera – 3MP capable of capturing 720p at 30 frames per second
  • Front Camera – 2MP
  • Operating System – Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich


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