Is a 9.7-inch iPad 2 too big to carry around but you think a 7-inch tablet is not big enough versus your smartphone?
Samsung seems to have solved the tablet size problem by introducing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9-inch tablet today at the CTIA wireless convention in Orlando. Why 8.9 inches? It's the largest size tab that will slide comfortably into the side pocket of a regulation man's business suit jacket.
Along with the Galaxy Tab 8.9, Samsung also finalized details on the previously announced Galaxy Tab 10.1-inch model.
Both the Galaxy Tab 8.9 & 10.1 are designed to take on the Apple iPad 2 on price, size and features. For instance, the Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be priced at $499 for the 16 GB version and $599 for the 32 GB edition, the same prices as the 9.7-inch Apple iPad 2, while the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will go for $469 and $569, respectively. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will go on sale June 8, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 later this summer, followed by 4G units.
Both Galaxy Tabs have dual core processors and are thinner and lighter than the iPad 2, 8.6mm for the Tabs vs. 8.8mm for iPad, and 595 grams for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 470 grams for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 vs 601 grams for the iPad 2.
Both also match iPad 2's battery life. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 packs a 6800 mAh battery and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 a 6000 mAh cell, each powering 10 hours of video playback, just like iPad. The Tabs also include Adobe Flash 10.2, which while enhancing Web video playback also may degrade overall battery life.
Better than the iPad 2, both Galaxy Tabs boast a 2 MP front camera (iPad 2 has just a VGA camera) and record 720p HD video from the rear camera (although we didn't get a megapixel spec). Both Tabs also play back 1080p video and sport 1280 x 800 pixel screens.
To make getting to content easier and faster, Samsung improved its TouchWiz interface. Now version 4.0, the interface offers "Live Panel" - just like it sounds, you get varying windows on your splash screen displaying varying connected activities such as social networking and messaging. Samsung also has consolidated all the communications sources - email, social networking, messaging - into a single Social Hub. Getting to apps also gets a bit easier with an Mac-like pop-up Mini Apps Tray. Instead of replacing one app with another, apps lay OVER currently running on-screen apps.
To use the Tabs as a phone, Samsung also unveiled the Samsung Stick, a pen-sized VoIP Bluetooth device that works like a skinny phone when connected to a Web-connected Tab.