Building a tablet in today's climate is hard. You'll either be called out for being a copycat by consumers or officially called out by Apple — the leading tablet maker — for blatantly ripping off its vague design patents.
Since Apple set the precedent for what a modern tablet (not one of those bulky tablet PCs that Bill Gates dreamed up a decade ago), there's an expectation that a finger-friendly touchscreen tablet should be thin, light and start at $500 (or less if you're not an iPad).
And even though Samsung is still knee-deep in some lawsuits that span courtrooms around the globe with its larger Galaxy Tab 10.1, it still fired up the factories to pump out the smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9 to sell in the U.S.
To rival the iPad 2 is a tough task. Motorola's Xoom tried. RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tried. A sea of cheap Android tablets tried. The only one who seems prepared to bring the entire ecosystem of content and hardware is Amazon and its Kindle Fire next month.
Is the Galaxy 8.9 the tablet that finally gives the iPad 2 a run for its money? Maybe, maybe not.