If you are into tablet computers, then without a doubt you would have heard of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Series. The devices are well known for their ‘sexiness’ and of course, how well they handle. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is just one device in a line of many, but how does it far compared to the others? The particular model that I am going to be reviewing is the 4G model, however, the majority of what I say should ring true between both models.
One of the first things that you are going to notice when you whip the tablet out of the box is just how incredibly light it is, especially compared to the iPad 3. In fact, I would have it being pretty comparable to a smartphone, albeit slightly heavier.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 comes installed with the Honeycomb Operating System, also known as Android 3.2. It’s a shame that Samsung really haven’t updated this, especially since we have had two fantastic releases of the operating system since Honeycomb. They have attempted to make amends for this though by including their notorious ‘TouchWiz UI’ which now looks prettier than ever.
The specifications of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 aren’t anything to roar about, but in my opinion, they really don’t need to be. Hardware nowadays, especially in the tablet computer market is more about functionality than anything else, most people purchasing this sort of tablet don’t really care what processor is included, or even the operating system for that matter. The majority of the specs that you see in the Tab 8.9 are on par with pretty much all other devices in this sort of price bracket, perhaps the real big selling point for this one is the inclusion of 4G (which is still not active in some parts of the world). Nonetheless, these are the specifications:
8.9” High Definition Touch Screen
1.5Ghz Dual Core Processor
Available with both a 16GB and 32GB Storage Option
2MP camera at the front, 3MP at the back
In short, this means that the tablet is pretty decent, and should give you value for money, however, with the other tablets that are being released on the market, don’t expect anything ‘too fantastic’. It is ideal as a ‘business’ and ‘light entertainment’ tablet however.
Possibly the one thing that plays on people’s minds the most when purchasing a brand new tablet is just how great it looks. From my experience, you could throw the worst hardware into a beautiful shell, and you have pretty much made a sale, thankfully though, Samsung haven’t opted for this.
At the start I mentioned just how ‘light’ this device is, and just to drill the point home, I am going to mention it again! This device is incredibly light, especially if you are used to lugging around an iPad, or the majority of other tablets out there on the market. Samsung really seem to have tried hard here, and they have almost certainly succeeded.
Samsung have tried incredibly hard to create a ‘sexy’ device, after all, they need to if they want to pull consumers away from the big A. Whilst the aesthetics here aren’t a massive ‘plus’ point, there is only so far that you can take the design of a tablet without going too crazy. So I am going to use an incredibly confusing sentence here. ‘It stands out, but it doesn’t stand out too much’. Although to be perfectly honest, the aesthetics of the device are down to own personal taste, some people will love it, others will completely loathe it.
As the name suggests, The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 has a beautiful 8.9 inch screen. This is a stunning 1280×800 which is the same as the 10.1. In fact, if you choose to purchase one of these, look at the screen in ‘awe’, you will absolutely love the crystal clear clarity.
The size of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.2 makes it incredibly easy to hold in landscape mode, something which was a bit of a stretch for people on other tablets. In fact, with my small hands I was still able to type pretty easily and ‘fluidly’ without having to stretch too much. It also feels great when you are gaming.
In my honest opinion, the Samsung 8.2 Tab beats the majority of other tablets hands down in the term of the ‘feel’ department. There are a couple of downsides though. For example, you don’t have an SD Card slot on the side to expand the storage. Therefore you will need to ensure that you have the right size to start with, because once that baby is full, you won’t be adding anymore! One of the downsides is the lack of an HDMI slot, which isn’t too bad, but with many other tablet devices sporting them nowadays, it would have helped it stand out from the cloud.
As mentioned near the start, one of the main reasons why people purchase tablet computers is for the features that it has, as opposed to the specifications. So now we are going to crack on and take a look at a couple of the features that the Samsung Galaxy 8.9 boasts.
For the particular model I am reviewing, the 4G, the standout feature is of course the 4G Connectivity. Although as you are probably aware, 4G isn’t ‘widespread’ at the moment, so you can’t really get the full benefit from it. However, if you are lucky enough to live in a 4G area, you can look forward to incredibly fast internet connection speeds through your 8.2.
Of course, with the installation of Honeycomb it really does feel like we are taking a ‘backward’ leap in the features department. For example, you won’t have access to Google Chrome, an Ice Cream Sandwich Exclusive. Although the one that does come in its place is pretty decent, if not up to the same standard as Chrome.
The rest of the features that you have on the device are what you would normally expect from a Tablet Computer in this price bracket, there really isn’t anything ‘fantastic’ here. It is just good old, application fun with the addition of the ‘TouchWiz UI’.
Gaming is pretty great on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.2, although it really isn’t anything special, especially if you have made use of the beautiful retina display of the iPad, or the better processors that can be found in newer devices on the market. It also does get pretty hot during longer gaming sessions which can be a little uncomfortable. I didn’t find it too bad when watching movies though, go figure. In my opinion though, these short falls aren’t too bad, I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.2 is aimed at business users as opposed to gamers.
Neither of the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.2 are up to anything special, although I have yet to see a tablet where they really are. They just perform as a camera, and that is all you can really ask them to do. Don’t expect quality video recordings or photographs. Videoconferencing is pretty clear though, unlike some other devices out there, so that is a plus point!
So let’s move onto the performance of the device. One of the most important features (in my opinion) on a Tablet Computer is the life of the battery. I was actually pretty surprised with the longevity of the battery here, in fact, even with heavy usage I was able to get 12 hours out of the device with absolutely no complaints.
In benchmark tests, the performance of the device was on par with others around this price bracket. So you really are going to get bang for your buck, and it is certainly a device you should consider, the lightness really does swing it!
I think that is all that can be said on performance, it performs well, to a high speed, and that is all you can really ask of it.
Worth a Buy?
If you are a businessman on the lookout for a brand new tablet computer then this certainly is worth a ‘punt’. It is incredibly light, and therefore very pleasurable to carry around throughout the day. The ease of the typing in landscape mode, and of course the battery life also contributes to the mix, which makes it a perfectly viable business device.
The downside you have here though is the lack of an ‘up to date’ Operating System. Sure, honeycomb is great and all, but since it has been superseded by other operating systems, Samsung should have at least considered doing an update.
It’s not as good as other devices out there on the market, but it is certainly worth trying out. You may even love it!