Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. Is it an iPad killer?
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. Is it an iPad killer?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 looks like a Galaxy Tab 10.1 that was left in the dryer too long. Identical but a little smaller..and therin lies its charm. As soon as I picked it up the childhood nursery rhyme Goldilocks And The Three Bears came to mind.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She  went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.

“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.

So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

“This porridge is too cold,” she said

So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.

“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.

First let’s deal with the technical specs..they are identical to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which you can read about in my review here.  The 8.9 is only slightly smaller than its big brother. It measures 9.1 x 6.2 x .34 inches and weighs in at .99 pounds (230.9 x 157.8 x 8.6mm and 447g) That compares to 10.1 x 6.9 x 0.34 inches and 1.24 pounds for the 10.1 and at 8.6mm is is slightly thinner too.That difference  doesn’t sound like much on paper, and it doesn’t look like much either. But, in the hand, you notice it. It just feels better ,more balanced, and more comfortable to hold ,especially for a long time such as in reading a book.

The screen looks a bit better because it keeps the 1280×800 pixels but at the smaller size the pixel density is higher. It looks a little brighter and letters are sharper. Running Honeycomb 3.2 very smoothly the 8.9 shows little of the honeycomb lag we are accustomed to see on other tablets. So the overall experience is better than other Android tablets.

My Galaxy Tab 8.9 is on the Bell LTE and 4G network. since LTE is not yet available in Quebec I couldn’t test it but I have heard of testers getting up to 25Mbs downloads in downtown Toronto. On Bell’s 4G network it performs better than most other devices I have tested on this network with consistent 5Mbs or better.

If it sounds like I am impressed with this device..well, I am which brings us back to Goldilocks..the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is just right. My usage of a tablet is pretty typical..I read a lot of books, I check and reply to email, I play some games and surf the net a bit and this little tablet is perfect for all of these things.


Now to the question  at the top of this story..Is the Galaxy Tab 8.9 an iPad killer? For me, it is right now and will certainly be my next tablet. Some of you may still find the rough edges of Honeycomb too much compared to the smooth operation of iOS5..but wait! if Android Ice Crean Sandwich does for this tablet what it does for the Galaxy Nexus Superphone or even my aging HTC Desire which is running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.1 more smoothly than any version of Android before it..then this tablet will be set to give iPad a run for its money. It would help if the price would drop to less than $400.

Currently the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE is $429.95 with a three year plan or $649.95 with no term exclusively  from Bell Mobility. I expect the WiFi version will sell for $449 when in comes out early next year. That would be my choice.


Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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