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Hands-on review: CES 2014: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

         

Hands-on review: CES 2014: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

The Samsung Galaxy Observe Professional 12.2 used to be announced before CES 2014, but it wasn’t until the Las Vegas-set convention that we got to pour over every inch of this extra-large tablet.

The Android KitKat device felt like a true laptop replacement thanks to its 12.2-inch WQXGA LCD at a 2560×1600 resolution and accompanying S Pen.

The Galaxy Note Pro’s S Pen is actually the difference-maker between this tablets and the otherwise identical Samsung Galaxy Tab 12.2.

That’s right, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro vs the Samsung Galaxy Tab 12.2 comes down to the stylus interaction.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro stylus

The thin S Pen, while still feeling like cheap plastic, is actually a major upgrade in functionality over using your hands on the abnormally large screen. It’s also a cleaner experience that doesn’t get your grubby fingerprints all over the ultra-rich display.

Hovering over the screen with the stylus and pressing its single button brings up the half circle pen wheel. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition users should be familiar with these five Air Commands.

Out of Active Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window, it was Pen Window that we found most useful on the large screen. That’s because we were able to open a ridiculous amount of windows without the tablet hardware skipping a beat.

Pen Window enabled us to draw and open a total of eight windows (opening a ninth will close down the first one we opened) and easily switch between them on the 12.2-inch display. While this isn’t true Multi Windows technology, it’s still pretty novel to easily switch between eight separate-but-still-running apps.

Multi Window actually returns and it supports up to four different apps in a resizable two-by-two grid. Again, it’s extra spacious on this Samsung tablet’s big screen and in stark contrast to the Galaxy Note 3 phablet.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review

Android KitKat with Magazine UX

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro runs the latest version of Google’s operating system Android KitKat 4.4 with a TouchWiz twist.

The variation, dubbed Magazine UX, is that Samsung’s overlay is takes on an eye-pleasing Flipboard-style magazine presentation.

Seeing mail, calendar, messages and other widgets elegantly spread across the screen in a variety of box sizes makes the dashboard interface feel optimized for this particular 12-inch tablet.

It may have taken eight versions of TouchWiz to get right, but Samsung’s newest front-end Android interface finally feels right thanks to its new Magazine UX on the Galaxy Note 12.2.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review

More Galaxy Note 12.2 specs

The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 processor configurations vary from region to region, as we have come to expect from Samsung devices ever since its Galaxy S4 device launched last year.

The WiFi and 3G models contain an Exynos 5 Octa chip with a combined 1.9 GHz quadcore and 1.3 GHz quadcore processor.

At the heart of the Note Pro 12.2 LTE model is a Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz quadcore processor.

All models, no matter the connectivity variations, boast 3GB of RAM and there are two options for internal storage: 32GB and 64GB. This can be upgraded with a microSD card up to 64GB.

Speaking of connectivity, the tablet supports LTE bands 800/900/1800/2600+850/2100 as well as 3G HSPA+ bands 21 850/900/1900/2100.

The rear camera takes 8-megapixel photos with auto-focus software and an LED flash. There’s supposed to be zero shutter lag and we didn’t experience any any issues using testing out this main snapper.

Around front, the tablet fits in 2-megapixel camera. It’s obviously not as high resolution as the main camera on the back, but it’s effective for Pro-using business owners to accomplish video conferencing when on the go.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review

Galaxy Note 12.2 dimensions, battery

With a tablet of this size, it’s important to note the Galaxy 12.2 dimensions and battery capacity.

The larger-than-normal Samsung device measures 295.6 mm x 204 mm x 7.95mm and weighs in at 750g for the WiFi model. The 3G and LTE models of the tablet carry a tiny bit of extra heft at 753g, according to the official tech specs.

Battery with such a dynamic-looking 12.2-inch screen screen is of the utmost importance. It’s 9,500mAh.

That compared to the Galaxy Note 10.1 8,220mAh Li-Polymer, which is clocked to run up to 10 hours with video usage and 9 hours with internet surfing.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review

Galaxy Note 12.2 price, release date

Samsung was forthcoming with the large specs and S Pen functionality of this tablet, but it wasn’t ready to reveal the Galaxy Note 12.2 price.

Its larger screen size means that it’ll likely cost more than the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

The same applies to the unconfirmed release date. Both the Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro have been set up for a global launch starting sometime in the first three months of 2014.

We tested out the international versions, which included a SIM card and phone capabilities, so that version should be out soon. After all, Samsung wants to get its extra-large tablet out in front of any possible 12.9-inch iPad Pro announcement from Apple.