Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 Review
Oh joy! The Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 is another one in the saddle that relies on the all too casual 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor to power the tablet – and that’s what we constantly see with most Honeycomb flavored tablets. Strangely though, it’s seriously marred by some ridiculous bouts of lag and slowdown with its operation. Of course, it’s not as bad when navigating the homescreen with a static wallpaper, but using a live wallpaper instead, it simply strains to keep up with our interaction.
Shedding a tear in the process for its lack of responsiveness, it could somehow be related to the TouchWiz UX experience that’s running on top of Android 3.1 Honeycomb. Needless to say, its myriad of live panels can surely be the culprit behind the compromised speed – however, they do offer a lot of useful information through the homescreen. And to show off its added level of personalization, some of the stock and Samsung widgets are resizable to fit any length. Also included, the “Mini Apps” tray provide quick access to some commonly used apps like the task manager, calculator, and calendar. It’s nice that they’re overlaid on top of things to give us good visibility on whatever we’re doing.
Samsung inspired hubs that cater to the needs of specific individuals. Looking at the overall picture, they’re very useful in getting content onto the tablet – without the need of downloading separate apps out of the box. Specifically, the Music Hub allows us to purchase music and albums, Media Hub offers quite a few movies and TV shows for purchase or rent, Readers Hub grants us all of our eReading needs, and Social Hub aggregates social networking content all in one spot.
Organizer and Messaging:
Running any of the tablet’s organizer oriented applications, they’re nothing drastically different from other tablets featuring the stock or customized Android experience – and in fact, they’re the same ones found with the TouchWiz filled GALAXY Tab 10.1. Considering that this is Honeycomb we’re talking about, items like the calendar, contacts, and memo apps fully take advantage of the larger real estate as they’re laid out in a familiar two-panel layout. However, for other things like the alarm and calculator, they seem to be nothing more than scaled versions of their smartphone counterparts.
email application and Gmail one utilize the same DNA infrastructure as they provide visibility on our inbox and its contents simultaneously. Moreover, the entire layout shifts over to the left when a specific email is selected. And just like all the other Android devices before it, setup is a painless process as it requires only our email addresses and passwords to activate generic email accounts properly.
Truly adorning the fact that we’re presented with four different keyboards, which include the stock Android one, Samsung, Swype, and TalkBack keyboard, we’re not thrilled by the fact that some of them can be a bit unresponsive in keeping up with our pace. Additionally, due to its smaller sized display, its buttons and overall size are reduced – causing us to be a bit more cautious in what we press. Nevertheless, a lot of patience can easily make the entire experience a bit more tolerable.
1. bobfreking55 posted on 30 Sep 2011, 08:48 3 0
A smaller galaxy tab 10.1
7.7 = a smaller 8.9
7 plus = smaller 7.7
note = smaller 7 plus
sgs2 = smaller note
then there's the galaxy players. GALAXY TABLETS EVERYWHERE IN ALL SIZES WTF.
2. superguy posted on 30 Sep 2011, 08:49 0 0
$30 price difference from the 10.1 and lack of microSD card = FAIL.
One of these days, Android tablet makers will actually put something out that people will want to buy.
3. bobfreking55 posted on 30 Sep 2011, 08:53 2 0
The transformer for me is still the best tablet that has an innovative feature you'd actually want to buy.
4. superguy posted on 30 Sep 2011, 09:19 0 0
I like the looks of the Transformer and the Xoom. But with updates announced for the Xoom and I'm sure a new Transformer on the horizon, I'm going to wait this out. Most have been out nearly a year anyway at this point.
5. varsas posted on 30 Sep 2011, 09:30 1 0
I am sure that I am not the only one that doesn't want a 10 inch tablet so that is not a FAIL factor. Additionally the iPad is doing just fine without expandable memory so clearly there are people who will still want to buy such devices.
6. jacko (unregistered) posted on 30 Sep 2011, 10:00 1 3
One of these days, Apple might actually put something out that people will want to buy.
12. dave (unregistered) posted on 05 Oct 2011, 10:25 0 0
Yeah, because no one wants to buy anything apple!?!
13. Fletch (unregistered) posted on 05 Oct 2011, 17:16 0 2
Well no onewith a brain who has to work hard for their money and actually values what they get for their dollar. The ipad is a giant paper weight that does nothing, costs way too much and comes with the dork apple stigma all apple products carry lol
17. hitdog042 posted on 01 Nov 2011, 11:23 2 0
Wow. Well let me know when honeycomb has good apps. My iPad watches directv. My watchespn is full screen. I can read full electronic newspapers. My old xoom doesn't do any of that. Troll. Android tablets are close to worthless for the price tags.
Heck honeycomb doesn't even do MLB live games.
No thanks. I don't need a geek machine just to say I can hack it. I'd rather have function and apps that actually work in today's world.
I like android. But the tablets are worthless.
7. kmrdeva (unregistered) posted on 30 Sep 2011, 19:27 1 0
The review mentioned that the 8.9 does not have a microSD slot for memory expansion, just like its 10.1 cousin. However, I saw the specs for the 8.9 on gsmarena.com, there was mention of the microSD slot. What gives?
8. John.V posted on 30 Sep 2011, 21:10 0 0
Definitely no built-in microSD card slot. You can buy an optional adapter that connects through the dock port though.
10. varsas posted on 01 Oct 2011, 09:19 0 0
The original prototype, like the 10.1, had a microSD card slot; the final production models do not.
9. RORYREVOLUTION posted on 30 Sep 2011, 22:29 0 0
Bring it down to 250 and we got a deal. Otherwise, No thanks.
14. CeeDee posted on 06 Oct 2011, 06:06 0 0
What does the 8.9 have? The 3G version can act like a phone: attach a bluetooth headset and away you go. The 10.1 -- not so much.
15. TimB (unregistered) posted on 11 Oct 2011, 15:48 0 0
I have a 10.1 which runs about the same as a 8.9 and if you turn on live screens it does slow it down, but then its doing a lot in the back ground. Put a static image as the wall-paper and its really smooth.
I agree that $469 is a bit to much, I was going to buy the 8.9 but then for the extra $30 I went for the 10.1.
Any one who says it should cost $250 is talking out of their a***s. In reality the screen will only be a bit cheaper to make and then you will save a few $ on the smaller battery. So were is the rest of the savings going to come from? Profits?
16. Kev.C.Orme posted on 21 Oct 2011, 13:00 0 0
Where can I get an Unlocked Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 online ??
19. gregdaniels posted on 27 Jul 2012, 20:54 0 0
Words cannot express how great this tablet is. I use the GTab for graphic design here in NY, and i've never been more productive. Android allows for all kinds of tweaks to improve functionality, and AT&T's 4g lte is unbelievably fast.