As you all know, I’ve been on the hunt for a larger tablet/e-reader to use as a laptop replacement for around the house and when I travel. I already have a Nook Color and I have probably been a tad bit obsessive about how much I really enjoyed it as an e-reader and as a hacked Android tablet.
But I wanted something a little bit bigger, still small enough to toss in my purse but larger so that I could surf the web without squinting and that would have enough processing power to stream movies and TV shows from the internet or Netflix without getting hung up. I didn’t necessarily require cellular wireless access, WiFi is suitable for me.
After doing my research and polling nearly everyone I could think of, I decided to go with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. It’s the longest name for a gadget on the planet but since Samsung has several tablet sizes in their lineup, it’s helpful in knowing what size you are dealing with. My tablet measures 8.9 inches from corner to corner, diagonally. It runs the most recent Android tablet OS, Honeycomb 3.2 and has 16GB of storage. It is not expandable beyond that.
A word on the storage capabilities. There are other Android tablets that are able to be expanded for additional storage with microSD cards (such as Acer and Toshiba). They also tend to be thicker and heavier because of the ports required for the additional expansion. I use the Dropbox app to store music, documents and pictures in the cloud. I will be streaming movies and TV shows wirelessly and my e-book files are very small. Based on my needs, I determined 16GBs was more than enough for me.
I decided to go with an Android tablet to stay on the same platform as my cell phone, it was cheaper than an iPad, and most of the apps that I use scaled up decently enough for me on the larger screen size. I know that Apple has more tablet optimized apps than Android but I found over 2000 tablet apps in the Android market that I could utilize if necessary and that number is growing daily. I blog, I tweet, I Facebook, I use Google Reader, read, and play games and all of the apps that I have so far work just fine on my 8.9.
Myron ordered a case for me from Amazon that protects the tablet and allows viewing horizontally or vertically. I also splurged on a keyboard dock as well. I haven’t gotten it yet, but I will update this posts with pictures when I get it in.
Overall, I am enjoying this tablet. The screen is bright and the colors look awesome. It’s lightweight, the build quality is good and it doesn’t feel flimsy, I can customize the look the way I want (which is why I tend to like Android over Apple in some ways) and it seems to be satisfying the needs that I have in a tablet. It’s around $400 dollars at Best Buy, which is $100 bucks cheaper than the base model Wi-Fi iPad. If you want a similar size to the iPad, I would suggest the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is actually a bit larger than the iPad’s screen size of 9.7 inches.
Here’s a review of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The 8.9 has basically the same specs, it’s just smaller.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments?