Samsung delivers Galaxy Tab 8.9, first 4G tablet on Telstra

Customers of Telstra have tasted the fruits of 4G on their phone and mobile broadband dongles, and now they’ll get to do the same on a tablet, with Samsung launching a new tablet with LTE connectivity.

Available from March 6, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 arrives with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB or 32GB storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3 megapixel rear camera with flags, 2 megapixel front camera, and a Gorilla Glass-topped 8.9 inch screen with 1280×800 resolution. Android 3.2 is equipped out of the box, but Samsung promises that an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is coming.

The small size is likely to win some fans over, the 8.9 inch Galaxy Tab basically a Goldilocks middle ground for those who find the 7 inch tablets too small and the 10.1 inch slates too big.

The high-speed connectivity of 4G is also found here, offering speeds in metropolitan areas between 20Mbps and 40Mbps, higher than what a lot of homes receive with current broadband connections.

Much like the HTC Velocity 4G, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 also supports dual-channel HSPA+, offering faster 3G speeds when 4G LTE isn’t offered. While we haven’t tested the Galaxy Tab 8.9 in this capacity, a test of the Velocity in an area missing 4G – Bondi, of all places – showed a 15Mbps downlink, much faster than other handsets lacking dual-channel 3G.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 can be purchased outright for $720 16GB or $840 32GB, while plans can be found from $49 per month.