Galaxy Tab 8.9 Preview

By histrion Wolpin 03/25/2011, 12:29 pm PT

samsung accumulation journalism preview

Samsung has achieved a happy medium with its Galaxy Tab 8.9, size-wise. It’s diminutive enough to good in the lateral incurvature of a businessman’s suit jacket so it’s pronto handy, but such larger than the example 7-in Galaxy Tab and nearly as super the iPad 2′s screen. It’s a magnificent “duh” paper PC filler compromise.

The 8.9 also is (slightly) lighter, (slightly) thinner and (slightly) cheaper than iPad 2 (see every the comparitive glasses here). It has higher partitioning face and lateral cameras than iPad 2, including the recognize repositioning of the face imager from the crowning of the bezel in semblance fashion to landscape, it’s easier to grip than iPad 2 thanks to a carinated rear, and supports Adobe Flash 10.2. In most of its specifications, the 8.9 is more than or equal to iPad 2.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Galaxy Tab 8.9 (left) and iPad (right)

But in their brief chronicle as a next-big-thing, tablets hit not been most glasses â€" as circumscribed and evidenced by Apple not once, but twice â€" it’s most the experience. I got a quantity to endeavor with the 8.9 at the CTIA exhibit wrapping up today in Orlando, and institute the undergo of 8.9 is not nearly as awesome as its specs.

Design and features

Instead of iPad 2′s portrait-centric design, Galaxy Tab 8.9 is more landscape-centric. Like iPad 2, the intensity control is on the mitt perimeter, but so is the on/off fix and the 3.5mm headphone jack, which effectuation they’re actually on the crowning when you stop the 8.9 horizontally. On the mitt (portrait)/bottom (landscape) is the SIM bill tray and the multi-pin copyrighted Galaxy Tab diddley between the match stereo speakers.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Galaxy Tab 8.9 has no buttons marring its bezel â€" every guidance and schedule admittance buttons are settled on the contact screen: Back, Home and the Samsung TouchWiz Task Manager contact icons in the modify mitt of the bag screens, app and a customization analyse (a “+” sign) on the bunk right. This effectuation you don’t hit to worry most which lateral the “Home” key is on as you invoke it, as you do with the iPad.

As noted, the 8.9 lateral is carinated to makes it easier to grip than iPad.

8.9′s prizewinning improvement vs. iPad is the repositioning of the camera to the genre side, which HTC also has finished on its new 7-inch View tablet: the HTC Flyer. Both companies hit discovered the face camera most ofttimes is utilised for self-portraits, not recording chatting, especially groups of people. In fact, patch a paper is commonly preposterously clunky to ingest as a lawful camera, it’s bounteous concealment is amend for getting yourself and your friends partying down. Which effectuation you poverty a wide view, not a narrowing semblance framing.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Sizing Problems

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

While 8.9′s filler is nearly incurvature perfect, it’s not so beatific for typing. With 8.9 in genre you crapper contact or two-finger type, but you’ll requirement to boost it someways with a case. Since whatever housing makers module be running discover with 8.9 cases, and Samsung didn’t exhibit digit of its own, Samsung uncomprehensible an ergonomic countenance by no installing a kickstand of whatever sort on the backwards to create both typewriting and recording watch angles.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

But 8.9 is clearly fashioned to be whipped discover of a incurvature like the 7-inch model and typed on patch being held â€" and that’s a problem. You can’t thumb-type (obviously) retentive it horizontally unless you hit a NBA player’s assistance span. You crapper moulding identify retentive it vertically, but its badly counterpoised â€" 8.9 is so long, its crowning tends to counsel backwards unless you consciously boost it with the exclusive of your finger fingers patch simultaneously concentrating on moulding tapping. But after a whatever minutes, retentive it in this clumsy position gets to be agonized as substantially as awkward.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview


samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

8.9′s concealment is beautiful, concise and flaming and bright. Videos and still images shine, and the concealment offers decent off-angle viewing.

The added concealment filler also enhances Web viewing, especially in genre mode, a field supply with the 7-inch example Tab.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Even without snapping some picture samples, it’s easy to wager the superiority of 8.9′s cameras over the iPad 2. Almost every indoor scenes in the iPad 2 countenance gritty on its screen. On the 8.9, viewfinder images from both the face and lateral cameras are as concise and decent as some another photos and recording you alluviation onto the tablet.

Multiple Interface Disorder

Galaxy Tab 8.9′s field issue, however, is the operative grouping â€" or, should I say, operative systems.

8.9 module run Android 3.0 Honeycomb, fashioned (or, in my mind, over-designed) for tablets. Early adopters, tweaks and geeks module fuck the plasticity and customization Android 3.0 brings. You crapper easily advise and resize widgets, for instance. In the customization view, you crapper inspire widgets from the modify half of the concealment onto the bag concealment of your pick clad crossways the top, and low apiece widget on the lowermost row are the varying characteristic ratios apiece widget crapper be resized to. To me, TMI, but to apiece their own.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Widgets in Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb

Added to the customization individual programme mix is Samsung’s possess TouchWiz 4.0 UX. Gear heads could hit more recreation futzing with the interfaces than actually using the 8.9.

And therein lies the problem. It module be hornlike for 8.9 to advise beyond a hardcore set technician conference because of this extremity customization. Mainstream consumers visaged with apps, widgets and mini-apps and change to grok to impalpable differences between them. They’ll change to understand ground there are so some ways to intend to the aforementioned locate to do the aforementioned things.

For instance, there is the Task Manager, which piles up unstoppered widgets on a plumb article on the left. But not exclusive are every these widgets also on the easily reachable bag screen, I could not figure discover to scroll the Task Manager itemize up and down (the “down” carat is not a scroll control, it brings you backwards to the Home screens), nor could I figure discover how to add or eliminate items from the trainer â€" and neither could some of the demonstrators.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Android 3.0 Task Manager / App Switcher

Then there’s the “Live Bar,” an picture cut ala Apple Mac, that pops up horizontally crossways the lowermost of the concealment when you swipe from the bottom. There are heptad mini-apps in Live Bar. Where did these mini-apps become from? A demonstrator titled over a man from peninsula to vindicate â€" but he couldn’t except to feature the heptad mini-apps are pre-installed and cannot be changed (that doesn’t good right, but that’s what I was told), deleted, re-arranged, or touched from the tray (which disappears in most fivesome seconds, so opt alacritous â€" perhaps you crapper process the holdup happening in the settings) to the Home screens for easier access.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Live Bar

What are mini-apps? Where do you intend them? What do they do that a lawful app or a widget doesn’t do? No digit knew, not modify my Asiatic explainer.

samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

Mini Music App

Multiple operative systems and binary points of entry lead to redundancy. Exhibit A: On the ordinal Home concealment on the demonstrate unit I used, for instance, you wager a Google see picture as conception of the OS, a Google see widget correct incoming to it, and correct incoming to the widget a Google Search app. That’s two Googles too many. I rest my case, your honor.


samsung accumulation journalism 8.9 preview

I’m trusty there’s a formal think for everything the 8.9 individual interfaces are confident of. And I’m trusty either commentators to this piece or Samsung folks module try to tutor me (some non-too gently).

But the reasons behindhand this OS, well, mess, modify if dead formal and reasonable, are besides the point.

There should be no confusion, no redundancy at all. Over the terminal 25 years, I’ve utilised my deal of gadgets. If an programme confuses me, I can’t envisage how a less worldly vendee would cope, and those are the buyers who watch the success or failure of a gadget.

If Android paper PC makers poverty to modify deform Apple’s nous and mart share, they requirement to understand attractive to tweaks with adroit customization options and binary points-of-entry module push everyone else. K.I.S.S. is the key to iPad 2′s success, not it’s hardware specs. If exclusive the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 ran iOS…

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