So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G Android tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G review: Australia's first 4G tablet is handy, but no world beater
- 4G connectivity
- Excellent size and weight
- Good build quality
- 4G coverage currently limited
- Sluggish performance
- Too expensive
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G is Australia's first 4G tablet, offering impressive data speeds and a size and weight that we think is near perfect. However, Telstra's currently limited 4G coverage, a high price tag and some niggling software issues mean you should probably give the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G a miss, at least for now.
Price$ 720.00 (AUD)
4G has only just taken off in Australia but Samsung was quick out of the blocks with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G, which earns the title of Australia's first 4G tablet. 4G speeds are very impressive but the currently limited 4G coverage, a high price tag and some other niggling issues mean you should probably give the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G a miss. For now.
I want 4G and I want it now
The key feature of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G is obviously 4G connectivity (duh!). Like the 4G USB modem and the HTC Velocity 4G Android smartphone before it, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G runs on Telstra's new 4G network. It is best described as an LTE enablement of the company's Next G network. It runs on the LTE 1800MHz spectrum band but "switches across" to the Next G network when 4G coverage is not available.
As with any 4G device it's important to understand two things. First of all, 4G coverage is currently pretty limited. Telstra's 4G network is available in all eight capital cities (5km from GPO) and their respective airports in Australia, along with around 80 regional and metropolitan centres (3km from city centre). Unless you're using the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G regularly in one of these coverage zones, the benefit of 4G connectivity will be minimal.
Secondly, the speeds you manage to achieve on the 4G network will depend on a number of factors including congestion, location and time. Given Telstra's 4G network is still in its infancy, however, congestion is currently minimal and that means extremely fast data speeds. To give you an idea, we managed to achieve download speeds of up to 38 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of almost 15Mbps on the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G. While speed did tend to fluctuate our Galaxy Tab regularly achieved speeds of well over 10Mbps when in a 4G zone.
When you're not in a 4G network zone the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G will simply fall back to Telstra's regular Next G network. Like HTC's Velocity 4G smartphone the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G has dual channel HSPA+ connectivity, meaning 3G data speeds are likely to be faster than many phones and tablets currently on the market. Officially, Telstra quotes typical download speeds ranging from 1.1-20Mbps in a 3G zone, though as usual we found real world figures a solid 10Mbps on occasions.
As you can see, Telstra's 4G coverage in Sydney is fairly limited right now. The dark blue shade denotes an area where you will get 4G data speeds.
Next page: Design, display, software and more
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Dell launches its Rugged range
- Sony launches three new 4K HDR Home Cinema Projectors
- HP launches Omen by HP Challenger Series Tournament
- These are the best deals in Catch’s $4M Electronics Clear Out sale
- Samsung Australia announces breakthrough demand for Galaxy Note9 pre-sales
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies