Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Samsung Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO hands-on preview

Yesterday, I had to privilege of having some preview time with Samsung's latest tablet offerings fresh from CES, the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 and Galaxy NotePRO 12.2. In the brief 1 hour, it was clear to us that Samsung staunchly believes that one size does not fit all and that, as they put it, the demand for "device democracy" lead to the conception and creation of these new tablets.

Not unlike the strategy used in the smartphone market, Samsung is looking to cater to every tablet need. While the TabPRO 8.4 and 10.1 feel like familiar sizes, the TabPRO and NotePRO 12.2 were probably the most intriguing on paper given that Samsung is pegging them as a potential PC replacement. With their mammoth 12.2 inch displays, the TabPRO and NotePRO 12.2 really start creeping into Ultrabook territory.

Having brought up the size and pricing, at $769.99 for the NotePRO 12.2 and $669.99, during the session I was concerned that both tablets were treading too close to the Ultrabook territory and even was smack in the price range of the arguably more versatile Surface Pro 2.

I was told that while it is true that Ultrabooks and the Surface Pro / Pro 2 do cater to the more poweruser crowd with full x86/64 capabilities, Samsung believe that the rise of the tablet as the primary computing device will reach even these lofty price ranges.

While KNOX and the increased functionality backed specifically into the 12.2's software, like quad multiwindow capabilities, are actually nice features, familiarity with previous Galaxy smartphones and tablets seem to be imperative for this train of thought. It remains to see how the market will respond to the 12.2 behemoths.

The TabPRO 10.1 felt very familiar as it is a natural progression from last year's Tab 10.1 and "S Pen"-less analog to the already released Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. At $519.99, it is pretty standard pricing and is obviously positioned as an iPad Air alternative.

The TabPRO 8.4 was the tablet that really got my attention as it was in essence the same as the larger tablets, in screen resolution and internals (except for 2GB vs 3 GB of RAM), and at a price of $419.99 it is priced squarely to compete head to head with the iPad mini Retina. With a mindblowing resolution of 2560x1600 on a 8.4 inch display the TabPRO 8.4 clocks in at a Retina busting 360 PPI.

All Tablets come pre-loaded with Hancom Office for full productivity capabilities, Next Issue magazines, and well as other pre-loaded features. For a full rundown of the specs check out our CES coverage post of the TabPRO and NotePRO announcement.

We are currently wrapping up our review of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 and will be reviewing the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 in the following days after.

In the mean time check out the pics we took of the tablets with various Samsung accessories (Bluetooth Keyboard, Speaker and Mouse).

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