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Saturday, April 5

Review :: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro ::

 Bigger Displays and trimmed bezel has been the common trait in every series of Samsung devices, be it S-Series phones, tabs and now the Note Tab. Samsung's Galaxy Note clearly personifies that bigger can be better. Back in 2012, with debut of Galaxy Note smartphone in 2012, the world got to experience a new range of devices termed as “Phablet” or the 5 incher devices. And Samsung plans to do the same in Tablets with Note

By the end of 2013 the market did got some pretty awesome Laptop-Tablet hybrids that give us “Best of Both worlds” functionality. And by Note Pro, Samsung is making attempts in exceling laptop-tablet hybrid category-i.e. tablets with large screens that work well with a keyboard for productivity. Till now this space is mostly dominated by Windows-based tablets from Microsoft and its partners, like the Surface.

Main issues encountered with these devices that they prove to be mediocre tablets and subpar laptops. Samsung's tablet faces a similar dilemma. It's a decent tablet, but isn't that compelling enough to justify spending the $700.
The Specs
Weighing 1.6 pounds  & measuring 11.6 x 8 x 9.9 inches, Note Pro proves to be largest tablet from  Samsung stable. The gadget still feels surprisingly light for a tablet of its size. In fact, the tablet is nearly the same weight as Microsoft's Surface 2 (1.5 lbs), despite the fact that the Note Pro has a larger screen. Samsung outfits the 12.2-inch Note Pro with the same faux-leather stitched back you'll find on its smartphone sibling, the Galaxy Note 3. It's a welcome change from the bland plastic rear shell Samsung has used for previous Galaxy devices, but the Surface 2's polycarbonate build looks a bit more elegant and professional. After holding the Galaxy Note Pro for about 20 minutes, I also noticed that the back easily gathers fingerprint smudges.

Tailored for productivity, the Note Pro comes with a quad-core 1.9-GHz processor. In other words, you shouldn't have to worry about sluggish performance while running multiple apps or playing casual games.
The USP of Note Pro is, however, is the it's 12.2-inch dazzling 2560x1600 display where details appear sharp.If you typically use your tablet for streaming video through Netflix or Hulu, this tablet won't disappoint.
Like most of Samsung devices, the Note Pro runs on a modified version of Android running Samsung's customised skin known as TouchWiz. The tablet has Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box, which is one of the newest versions of Google's mobile software. Apart from Note Pro, Samsung also sells a few Galaxy Note Pro accessories that are meant to make productivity easier, including a Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, and book cover.
Very unique feature of Samsung's keyboard is that they do come with a handy row of shortcuts which include brightness controls, volume buttons, and keys for home, recent apps and refresh actions. There are also buttons for capturing a screenshot and launching Google Now in the same top row.

It's nearly impossible to use accessories without the folio-style case/kickstand. The rear casing on Samsung's cover features the same leather feel as the tablet itself, and its folio cover folds back to prop up the tablet like a kickstand.
RemotePC app on Note Pro allows you to remotely control your desktop or laptop. For this a Samsung account s needed to be created first. After that, you'll have to install the RemotePC client on the PC you wish to control with your tablet, compatible with Mac and Windows.

Installing the client is fairly easy but requires Java plugins to be enabled in Web browser. The specific plugins don't work with Google Chrome.
The Note Pro's unusually large display make it an ideal choice for Android fans looking to get some work done, but there are better Bluetooth Android keyboards to choose from.


Samsung's S Pen does more than a typical stylus. Rather than just acting as a replacement for finger, the S Pen comes with its own menu of features designed to work with the stylus. As soon S Pen is removed from its holster, the Air Command menu fans out in the lower corner of the display, which can also be accessed by long-pressing the button on the S Pen's side. It does help in Web browser or managing various windows when using Samsung's Multi-Window feature. S Finder allows to search for different types of content on tablet, including emails, contacts, songs, apps and more. Screenshots  can also be used for writing notes over the image with Samsung's Screen Write feature, which could be useful for giving presentations but isn't as practical for daily use.

Most importantly, Samsung's S Pen succeeds in offering a fluid and natural pen-like experience. The S Pen is pressure sensitive, which means it will produce darker handwriting the harder you press down-just like a real pen. Samsung heavily modifies Android by adding its own apps, features and extras. For starters, swiping to the right from the main home screen takes you to Flipboard, while swiping to the left reveals Samsung's own Magazine UX. This arranges widgets in a tiled format for easy viewing, and by default it includes your calendar and email, business news headlines and a shortcut Hancom Office apps.
A pull down gesture reveales notifications and quick settings shortcuts, which include options for Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and some of Samsung's own features such as Smart Stay and Smart Pause. Multi Window feature is particularly useful for productivity. Up to three apps on the home screen can be ran at the same time in separate windows, creating a PC-style vibe. Samsung's version of Android offers a few useful additions, but the OS is a bit laggy beacause of it.


Note pro is indeed a valuable offering but needs the additional accessories as a standard package for a productive usage so don’t think the $700 is the only money you are going to spend. But there are much cheaper productivity-focused tablets in market also like Note 10.1 which offers a similar experience for $200 less than the Note Pro, and Microsoft's Surface 2 starts at $449, which includes Microsoft Office.