Remember the Galaxy Tab 10.1? We called it the best Android Tablet yet, and it still is. This is basically that, but 1.2 inches smaller. This is a US hands-on, and here’s hoping court battles don’t stop the Galaxy tab 8.9 from coming to Australia
On the software side, the 10.1 and the 8.9 are indistinguishable. They’re both running Android Honeycomb 3.1 with Samsung’s super-special tablet version of their TouchWiz UI. Handling this puppy, it is light. It’s just 447g to the Galaxy 10.1’s 595g (which was already lighter than the iPad 2). It’s more metal than plastic and Gorilla Glass, so it feels quite sturdy — which is like, impressive for a Samsung device. Feels like it could take a tumble and keep on going.
It’s a little hard to see what Samsung’s angle is here. It’s so similar to the Galaxy 10.1 that it begs the question: why do this at all? Were there a ton of people that thought the 10.1 was like an inch and a quarter too big and that’s all that kept them from buying it? It’s hard to imagine that the 10.1’s 595g was too heavy for anyone, but maaaaybe somewhere out there needed to shave about a quarter off that weight? Oh, and it’s crazy thin. 8.6mm (roughly a third of an inch). Definitely the thinnest tablet we’ve seen yet.