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Android tablets Reviews
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 review

£389 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is the latest Google Android tablet from Samsung. It takes the company into new screen territory of 8.9in. But it's the thinness of the device that will grab you first.

Samsung has expanded its range of tabletsso it now encompass almost every screen size imaginable. The latest addition to the family is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, which as its name suggests sports an 8.9in screen. Here's our hands-on preview of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. Watch this space for a follow-up full review. See also: New iPad review.

The first thing that strikes you about the Galaxy Tab 8.9, isn't the screen size but just how thin it is. The company claims that it's the world's thinnest tablet and at 8.6mm thick it's about 0.2mm thinner than the Apple iPad 2.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is only the second tablet to ship at that screen size. The other tablet to have been released, T-Mobile's G-Slate, showed that 8.9in could actually be a dark-horse sweet spot for a display. It makes a nice compromise between the larger screens of tablets like the Apple iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the more compact 7in models such as the original Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the BlackBerry PlayBook.

See all: Android tablet reviews

Other than the screen size, the specs are identical to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, with which it also shares a not-too-dissimilar design. Inside, is a dual-core 1GHz processor, a high-resolution 1280 x 800-pixel display, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Weighing in at 470g, it comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions and there's a microSD card slot for up to 32GB cards should you require even more storage space. It has a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, while the front-facing camera is a highly respectable 2 megapixels. The video camera is capable of capturing 720p video at 30 frames per second. See also Samsung Galaxy Note review.

Samsung uses its own interface layer on top of Android 3. Called TouchWiz UX, it builds on Honeycomb's framework by leaving the app management screen untouched as well as the soft navigation buttons intact in location. But that's about all that's untouched: Samsung has completely transformed and optimised the user interface to a pleasing effect. Samsung includes a slew of services for consumers (its Media Hub, Music Hub, Readers Hub, and Social Hub are all present), and the tablet also offers features for business users like support for Exchange Active Sync version 14, on-device encryption, Cisco VPN, and WebEx.

See also: Group test: what's the best tablet PC?

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Expert Verdict »
Samsung Galaxy GT-P7310 (32GB) Scores 8.1 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
Google Android 3.1, Honeycomb
1GHz processor, a 8.9in WXGA 1280x800 pixel display
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
GPS, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
3-megapixel rear-facing camera
USB 2
230.9 x 157.8 x 8.6mm
470g

Samsung's latest tablet takes the company into yet another screen size territory – that of 8.9in. And it's this size of screen that could be the dark horse in the tablet arena as it gives you greater space than 7in tablets yet is more portable than those with larger screens.

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