Hands On Samsung's New NotePRO Tablet: Like Surface for Android

We just got to feel up Samsung's latest tablet offering in the 12.2-inch beast of the Galaxy NotePRO. Here's what we thought.

For starters that screen really woos your eyeballs. It's big and beautiful. It's plenty bright, colors really pop, and it's super sharp. Text looked great, photos looked great. The screen: Great.


The cost of that screen size, though, is portability. It's about as light and thin as it could be, but there's not a jacket pocket in the world it would fit into. Holding it one handed, was definitely a bit of a task, and I'd be afraid of carrying on a crowded subway for fear of dropping it.


We also got to try it with Logitech's keyboard case ($130), and while it's significantly thicker than Microsoft Surface, it was an absolute joy to type on. I mean it was almost indistinguishable from a good laptop keyboard. The keyboard includes all the Android-specific shortcut buttons you could want, including home, menu, back, and multi-tasking. Using the keyboard to flip around the screens was extremely intuitive.

As we feared, it seems that Samsung's MagazineUX slows things down a bit. It's a very heavy skin and it's going to take some processing power to keep all of those tasks going simultaneously. That said, it was still fast-ish. Apps pop open very quickly, and even dividing the screen into four different apps worked very well. There's just not that buttery smoothness when you're scrolling around that you'd hope for.


Overall, we were pretty impressed. This is definitely a business-focused tablet, though, and you've got to really want that size. Pricing—which still hasn't been announced—will play a huge role in how big this thing gets, but in a nut-shell, at first glance, we like it.

Samsung's Galaxy NotePRO and Galaxy TabPRO Tablets are Big and Dreamy

Samsung's tablet family is about get a few new professional members. The new Android tablets, dubbed the Galaxy NotePRO and Galaxy TabPRO (which includes three sizes) are definitely aimed at the business sector, but they certainly look like flagship products that anybody would want to get their hands on.

The two stars of the show are the 12.2-inch Galaxy NotePRO and Galaxy TabPRO. Both feature WQXGA screens that come in at 2560 x 1600 pixels (which is roughly 248 pixels per inch, if my quick math is right). In other words, we're talking about very big, very sharp screens. The NotePRO will feature Samsung's S Pen, naturally, and the TabPRO will also come in 10.1-inch and 8.4-inch sizes, though we don't yet know what the resolution will be on those (probably 1080p). UPDATE: It looks like even the 8.4-inch will feature a 2560 x 1600, which would put it at roughly 360 PPI. That's some solid sharpness.


The 12.2-inchers feature Wi-Fi ac MIMO, which effectually gives you double the Wi-Fi speeds (in the right environment). It's just 7.95mm thick, and it weighs 750 grams (26.5 ounces). The TabPROs will be just 7.2 or 7.3mm (depending on the size), and will weigh roughly 500 grams. Pretty svelte, in other words.

The two large tablets will feature Samsung's new MagazineUX. It's basically a new skin for larger screen devices which takes advantage of the real estate and makes your information a little more visually accessible. More like a magazine, basically. In truth, it looks pretty Windows 8-ish, but that's not a style we mind people stealing. We'll see how it affects performance, though.


All of the tablets will feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of ram, which they'll need because one of the features of MagazineUX is the capability of splitting the screen into four windows for some serious multi-tasking. The tablets will also feature a lot of premium software baked in, with offerings from Bitcasa, Bloomberg Businessweek+, Blurb, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Dropbox, Easilydo Pro for Tablet, Evernote, Hancom Office for Android, LinkedIn, LIVESPORT.TV, NY Times, Oxford Advanced Learner's A-Z, Sketchbook Pro, and others (depending or region).


Logitech will be making a very nice-looking keyboard case that will fit both of the 12.2-inch models. It looks like the keys have a fair amount of travel, and the case protects both sides and acts as a stand, so it seems that they're leveraging these products as a Microsoft Surface competitor. The keyboard (which will sell separately for $130) definitely looks a bit thicker than Surfaces, but that'd be a small price to pay if it's easier to type on. We'll update as soon as we get some fingers-on time with it.

Details are still emerging about these, and will update as we learn more. We don't have any information on pricing yet, but we know that the line will be available in Q1 of this year, and will feature a range of options from Wi-Fi only, to Wi-Fi + 3G, to Wi-Fi + 4G.