Nano-Fondle: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

As part of my Fondle Tour on Friday, I went into J&R and had a bit of a surprise:

Cropped zoom:

I’d only heard of this device vaguely, it was like a myth to me. I didn’t know it had been released in America. My goal was to see the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, but I just had to get my hands on this baby!

Oh. My. God. That screen was just eye-poppingly gorgeous!

Cropped zoom of what it was running:

I also got to handle the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 but couldn’t get a photo. The salesman reminded me — yet again — that photo-taking is prohibited. But compared to the 8.9, the 7 Plus now felt weak in terms of screen area. But Samsung did an excellent job otherwise of slimming the 7 down and making it a hell of a lot more appealing to me than the slab-tastic original 7 was.

I moved on to Best Buy, where I hoped I’d be able to fondle the 7 Plus some more and get photos.

But their 7 Plus cupboard was bare:

But at least I got more time with that 8.9:

That screen is just … amazing. You must see it for yourself!

As noted earlier, Best Buy has verrrry sensitive anti-theft alarms. As soon as I lifted the 8.9 to hold, the damn alarm went off. So I had to leave it on its stand in portrait and poke at the screen.

Here it is running a YouTube video:

Playback was smoooooth. Of course, I wasn’t able to try it in full-screen landscape.

My obligatory this blog test:

And one of the photos tapped on for full VGA size:

That screen is just phenomenal! It makes even my crap photos look good!

Engadget, which was already open in a tab:

And another random site already open in a tab:

Close-up:

Really, it looks like a slick and glossy magazine page!

The 8.9 screen and the 5-inch screen:

The 10.1 and the 8.9:

The 10.1 and the keyboard accessory:

Closeup of the keyboard accessory:

I thought that keyboard was shit. Although it has Android-specific keys, that’s all it has to recommend it. The keys are cheap plastic with a bad feel and nasty travel. I’d rather find a Bluetooth keyboard with Android keys (or programmable keys).

I really fell in love with that 8.9. But it has two big problems:

1) Price. $549 for 32GB? $449 for 16GB? That’s high. Yes, I know the 7 Plus is $399, so for $50 more, you can get more screen — but at a storage hit.

2) No card expansion. Which means I’d have to decide up front which one to buy because I’ll forever be stuck at that storage capacity! Why did Samsung do that?

Here’s the 8.9 next to an iPad 2:

On video, it doesn’t look that much smaller than an iPad 2, but I thought it was in person. It seemed to be a better size to drop in a bag and carry around.

But it turns out Samsung has something even more fantastic in the wings: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7!

Look at it next to an iPad2:

Here it is compared to the Galaxy Tab 7.0:

The 7.7 seems more like a book-sized device than the 7. That point-seven screen size difference really does make a difference!

The 7.7 also has a card slot, unlike the 8.9.

My thing is, I want to read PDFs on a tablet. A whole lot of Google Books and from the Internet Archive issues of Processed World magazine (see here). I think an 8.9 screen would work — but would a 7.7 screen? Or would I find it annoying, requiring a lot of pinch-out zooming? I don’t know.

I’ll have to revisit the 8.9 and do some PDF tests on it. I wasn’t able to this time. I’d already been out for hours and needed to get home.

Previously in this fondle series:

Nano-Fondle: Kindle Fire
Fondle: Nook Tablet
Nano-Fondle: eInk Devices
Nano-Fondle: Windows Phone And More
Nano-Fondle: Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0

2 Comments

Filed under Android, Other Hardware

2 responses to “Nano-Fondle: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

  1. Wayne

    Here is a link to your no card expansion dilemma
    http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab-accessories/EPL-1PLRBEGSTA
    Granted it’s $29.99 extra but extra storage problem solved.

    • mikecane

      Ah, not only would it solve the card dilemma, but I see it also allows a USB keyboard to be hooked up too! I wonder if a hard drive would work too? Hmmm. Thanks!

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