Back in March at CTIA in Orlando Samsung Mobile introduced two new tablets. They were the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 was released back in June and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will be here Sunday at Best Buy.
We’ve been testing out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 since Monday. We originally got a unit that wasn’t ready but Samsung sent us one of the units that will be released Sunday and it’s a great machine. At IFA 2010 in Berlin, Samsung introduced the first Galaxy Tab, the original 7 inch version. At the press conference where they introduced that tablet Samsung’s head of mobile, JK Shin eluded to a whole portfolio of tablets forthcoming. With that portfolio they’ve been experimenting with size, to see if they can find the “sweet spot” for every tablet user.
more after the break
The original Samsung Galaxy Tab was perfect for a back jeans pocket or sport coat pocket. The 10.1 was obviously perfect for those looking for something in the same size as the ipad. With the 8.9 you are just about in the middle of the 7″ size and the 10″ size. While the 8.9 doesn’t fit in a jean pocket it does fit in a coat pocket and more comfortably in a purse or laptop bag.
In addition to the size with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 you get an HD screen, 1.5ghz processor, 3mp camera on the back and 2mp camera on the front. You also get Samsung’s Touch Wiz for tablets right out of the box. A lot of Android enthusiasts don’t particularly like Touch Wiz for phones, but Samsung has done an amazing job with the TouchWiz for tablets.
Touch Wiz for tablets offers a variety of new important widgets like the Accuweather Widget and the AP news widget. It also includes the buddy view widget and many more “Samsung” widgets. What really sets Touch Wiz for tablets apart though is the mini-apps and the mini-app bar that appears at the bottom of the task bar and can be swiped up to open. Once the task bar is open you can use any of the “mini-apps” like calculator, world clock, music, or pen memo on top of an already open app. This adds major convenience for things you don’t even want to change tasks to use.
All of this is built around Android 3.1 Honeycomb and the Touch Wiz adds a more polished and finished feel.
We will go more in depth in the coming weeks. We did want to point out that although Samsung uses a proprietary 30 pin connector for their Galaxy Tab accessories, the accessories themselves are all interchangeable. We were able to use the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1′s keyboard dock with the 8.9, flawlessly except for the size not exactly fitting.
On the size issue, Samsung has one more tablet that they’ve added to their Android tablet portfolio, and that is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 which is a Honeycomb tablet in a 7.7″ form factor giving it all the bells and whistles of the bigger brothers.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 will be available October 2 for $469 for the 16gb version and $569 for the 32gb version.
One last thing, we did notice that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a tad bit heavier than the 10.1