AT&T customers thinking about grabbing an LTE-enabled tablet will likely be comparing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Pantech Element because they are about the same size. That's about all they have in common, including the price.
While we generally don't recommend people buy tablets through U.S. carriers, we certainly understand that some people need a consistent connection because of travel and other reasons. AT&T's 4G LTE network is still only available in a few cities, but it does offer super-fast speeds.
AT&T sells the Element at a much lower price on contract, $299 compared to $479 for the Galaxy Tab. Those prices include the two-year contract, but you also have to buy a separate data plan, even if you already have a smartphone through AT&T. We recommend the Galaxy Tab, even at the higher price, although it's available from Amazon.com for about the same price. There would be no need to sign another two-year contract, and the data plans would still available for AT&T's network. About the only thing the Element has going for it is the low price and the fact it's waterproof. It's no big deal to drop it in the tub, but when wet, the touchscreen becomes nearly inoperable with beads of water even activating some of the capacitive buttons.
Pantech's Element is slightly smaller than the Galaxy Tab at eight inches diagonally, but it runs the Android 3.2 system, has dual cameras and 16 gigabytes of storage. It also features a microSD card slot and mini-HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV. We don't recommend it because the software is a bit buggy and the browser seems to load 80 percent of a Web page before showing anything on the screen. Many would think it was frozen because it looks like nothing is happening. However, if you want something portable with the LTE connection, it is a comparatively affordable choice.
The Galaxy Tab is slick tablet, if a bit overpriced. It features an 8.9-inch 1280x800p resolution display, 16 gigabytes of storage, dual cameras, super-thin design (8.6 mm compared to the Element's 10.6 mm), mini-HDMI port, Samsung's TouchWix UI and DLNA compatibility for streaming content to HDTV's and Blu-ray players.
Tell us in the comments if you have AT&T and are shopping for one of their tablets.