I really enjoyed my time with the Tab 8.9 4G, and I think its standout features would be two parts. First, its lightweight and secondly, its 4G connectivity. You're really only going to get the 4G version of the Tab 8.9 for the 4G, which is why 4G has been covered so much in this review. As a standalone tablet, is the Galaxy Tab 8.9 worth your money? Yes and no.
Yes in the fact that as a tablet, it's great. It's got some good hardware grunt, its light, it has great battery life and it's a joy to use. It's fall here is Samsung using Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Once you've used Android 4.0 ICS, it's hard to go back and I feel Android 4.0 is better suited to a tablet. I hope Samsung push out an ICS (or Jelly Bean) update to the Tab 8.9 soon, as it would definitely boost the slate's chances of being a contender for your hard-earned money.
After a two-week span of using the Tab 8.9, I came to like it much more than my first impressions out of the box. I think the biggest benefit for me, personally, is that I'm a big Google user. GMail, Chrome, I love the sync between apps. I can go from my MacBook Pro, to my Windows PC, to my Android-powered smartphone, and then to this Galaxy Tab 8.9 and it is all me. It's all personalized.
This is something that is great, and thanks to the apps being made available on all platforms, it makes jumping from one to the other something you welcome, rather than avoid. Google are playing much friendlier compared to other companies, and this is an approach I wish all companies took an advantage of. These devices are only going to make companies like Samsung money, if we, the consumers, enjoy them and continue buying them.
Another reason to purchase this would be to use occasionally, or if you're on the road or travelling often. Using the Tab 8.9 4G as a wireless hotspot was so simple to set up and leave, it's definitely a feature that stands out on its own two feet.
Would I personally purchase Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9? No. Why? Because I have an iPad. This is the problem that Samsung face, selling their tablets to people who don't have an iPad, could be swayed onto the Tab 8.9, if, and this is a big if, it had at least Ice Cream Sandwich under its hood. Pushing the tablet out into the wild with an aged Android 2.2 OS on it is just not good enough.
For most people, this won't be a problem, but trying to show the iPad next to any Android 2.2-based tablet is going to make the iPad stand out like a sore thumb. If the iPad didn't exist, and Samsung pushed an ICS update out for the Tab 8.9, this would be one of the finest tablets on the market. Size, weight, feel - it's all there.
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