The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet packs all the power of the full-sized Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Discontinued) into a smaller, easier to transport form. Although the 8.9-inch form factor isn't common, reviewers report that the slate feels comfortable and natural in their hands. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 wins critics with the same high-quality display, fast performance and long-lasting battery as its bigger brother. Some note, however, that the virtual keyboard feels slightly cramped because of the reduced screen real estate, though it's still plenty responsive. Samsung also offers a wide array of customer support options, including web-based guides and several direct contact options.
The few negatives are mostly minor. The updated Apple iPad (*Est. $500 and up) has many more tablet-optimized apps available than Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and Samsung hasn't announced any plans to upgrade the Galaxy Tab 8.9 to the smoother Android 4.0 operating system. Experts also dislike that the 8.9-inch slate is the same price as a 10.1-inch tablet, despite its smaller size.
Engadget.com, ArsTechnica.com, Laptop Magazine, ComputerShopper.com, TabletPCReview.com and CNET each cover the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 in-depth, complete with extensive testing and analysis. TechRadar.com, Pocket-Lint.com and Gizmodo.com also offer hands-on evaluations, but not as much detail.
1. Laptop Magazine
The Galaxy Tab 8.9 packs the exact same punch as its well-regarded bigger 10.1-inch brother, Bennett writes, but it also packs a similar price tag despite its smaller size, which makes it a slightly less attractive proposition. The lack of an SD card slot is another negative.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review, Brian Oliver Bennett, Sept. 30, 2011
CNET's Donald Bell tells the same story: The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a top-performing laptop with the same high-performance chops and beautiful screen of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the lackluster ports, plastic back and moderately high price tag are some drawbacks.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (16GB), Donald Bell, Oct. 2, 2011
3. Computer Shopper
William Harrel finds a lot to like about the Galaxy Tab 8.9, awarding it a 4 out of 5 rating. The screen, performance, design and portability are all ahead of the competition, he writes, though he finds the lack of ports irritating.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review and Ratings, William Harrel, Oct. 4, 2011
Tim Stevens, like other reviewers, says the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a top-notch tablet that performs with the best of them and runs like a miniature clone of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The only problem he cites is that "The Galaxy Tab 8.9 exists in a gadget niche so small we weren't convinced it needed to exist."
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 review, Tim Stevens, Nov. 10, 2011
Brent Rose says the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is his favorite Android tablet, saying it combines power and a pretty display with a portable, attractive design. The price keeps him from recommending it, however. "For 470 bucks, though, it just doesn't make much sense," he writes.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review: The New Best Android Tablet, Again, Brent Rose, Oct. 10, 2011
"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is impossible to dislike," Mark Harris writes, giving it a 4 out of 5 rating. He calls it fast, light and big enough for email and movie watching alike, but the price tag keeps him from rating it higher.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 review, Mark Harris, Nov. 4, 2011
This hands-on review is chock full of benchmark testing, images and reviewer analysis, but it is significantly less detailed than the higher-ranked sources. Like the others, however, Casey Johnston finds that the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a top performing slate. He finds the virtual keyboard a bit small after coming from the Galaxy Tab 10.1, however.
Review: Ahead of the Android Pack: Hands on With the Galaxy Tab 8.9, Casey Johnston, Nov. 2011
Brandon also finds the Galaxy Tab 8.9 to be a virtual clone of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, performing similarly in every test he throws at it. That makes it a top-end tablet. The only differentiator between the two models is whether you want the bigger screen for movie watching or the 8.9-inch screen for enhanced portability, he writes.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 review, John Brandon, Oct. 27, 2011