Galaxy Tab 8.9: Samsung's Goldilocks tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 will fall somewhere in between the 7-inch original and the 10.1-inch update. Can this Galaxy Tab draw the interest of 'modern professionals on the move'? Samsung thinks so.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 was unveiled in August. Here, a Samsung launch event in July.

Samsung has taken the wraps off a new tablet called the Galaxy Tab 8.9, which will run on super speedy LTE networks from carriers such as Verizon. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is essentially a stripped down version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or a puffed up Galaxy Tab 7. The tablet computer measures 0.33 inches thick, and weighs approximately a pound.

Samsung says the 8.9-inch screen ensures that the new Galaxy Tab is "the ideal device for modern professionals, who need to stay productive and entertained while on the move."

A one-pound tablet is certainly pretty svelte (the 9.7-inch iPad 2 weighs about 1.32 pounds, and that thing is light). Plus, the screen size and overall thinness should help Samsung set their new tablet apart from other models. On the other hand, we believe there is such thing as too small. At a certain point, devices blur the line between a small tablet and big smartphone.

Samsung is light on details for the time being, although the company is rumored to be planning an announcement of sorts at the IFA conference in Berlin this week.

The 7-inch Galaxy Tab was launched by Samsung in November of last year. It received high marks from critics, with Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal dubbing the device the first "credible" competitor to the Apple iPad. "The Tab is attractive, versatile and competitively priced," Mossberg wrote. "It's different enough from the iPad, yet good enough, to give consumers a real choice."

And early sales of the Galaxy Tab were promising: Samsung reportedly unloaded 600,000 units worldwide in the first few weeks after the device hit store shelves. By early January, Samsung was saying that Galaxy Tab sales had hit the 2 million mark, although the Wall Street Journal later called that figure into question. Either way, the device has lagged well behind the blockbuster iPad and iPad 2. Hey, maybe the svelte new Galaxy Tab 8.9 can change that.

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[Editor's note: This article has been changed from its original version to say that the 7-inch Tab launched in November.]

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