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Samsung 12-inch Galaxy NotePro Android Tablet Hands-on

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 10 comments

If there is a screen-size arms race going on, then Samsung dropped the equivalent of a hydrogen bomb at CES when it announced a 12-inch tablet. We recently got a chance to go hands-on with this imposing piece of Android hardware.

At this year’s CES, Samsung surprised everyone with the announcement of its new Galaxy Pro series of tablets, with the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 being the star of the show. This 12-inch slate is one of the biggest Android tablets currently available - only Toshiba’s older Excite 13 is bigger. With the addition of the Pro series tablets (which also come in 8.4- and 10.1-inches), Samsung now has a total of eleven tablets in its current line-up, which if you ask us is a little insane. However, when we met with Samsung last week, one of its executives said that he believes in the idea of ‘Device Democracy’ - he wants customers to have the freedom to be able to buy a device in any size they want. Of course, not everyone knows what size they need, so we do think that perhaps Samsung’s tablet selection is a little overwhelming for the average user.

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

The Galaxy Pro tablets are also the most business-focused Android tablets we’ve seen, not only from Samsung, but any Android OEM. Along with Samsung’s usual business features, such as its Enterprise grade security and BYOD management layer, Knox, the Pro tablets come with Samsung’s Remote PC access application, a 6-month WebEx free trial and a full copy of Hancom Office for working with Microsoft Office docs.

Since the Galaxy NotePro is a Note device, it comes with Samsung’s excellent S Pen stylus, that uses Wacom technology, for pen input. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat and has Samsung’s new Magazine UX, which is an update to the My Magazine app found on the Note 3. It’s like a cross between Flipboard and Windows 8’s Modern UI. The NotePro 12.2 has an updated version of Multi Window enabling you to run four apps simultaneously on this huge tablet - something only really feasible on a screen this big.

There are also optional keyboard docks - both from Samsung’s, and upcoming ones from Logitech and Zagg. The keyboard dock, along with a Bluetooth mouse, turns the NotePro 12.2 into a 12-inch Android notebook.

Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 Tech Specs

The specs below of the NotePro 12.2 are pretty impressive, but are actually not much different than last years Note 10.1 2014 edition, so its performance should be similar to its predecessor. There is also an LTE model that uses a Snapdragon 800 SoC, but we haven’t been able to test that one yet.

SoC

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5420

CPU Core

1.9 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 + 1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7

GPU Core

ARM Mali-T628MP6

Memory

3 GB

Display

2560×1600, 12.2 in (31 cm), WQXGA TFT display, 247 ppi

Storage

32/ 64GB (eMMC) + microSD up to 64GB

Battery

9,500 mAh(non-removable)

Camera/s

Front: 2MP (FHD)

Rear: 8MP with LED Flash

Expansion Ports

USB 3.0

WiFi

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Dimensions

295.6 x 203.9 x 7.95mm, 750g

Price

MSRP $750 - $850

Pricing

The Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is available now in the U.S. The 32GB model is $750, and the 64GB model is $850. The 32GB model is also coming to Canada later this month for $770. The NotePro 12.2 has already been available in the UK since early February, starting at £649.

The optional Samsung keyboard dock is $130, and the Bluetooth mouse is $40, so for the complete Android 64GB notebook experience, you’ll have to put down $1020, which is quite a chunk of change for the performance and functionality the NotePro 12.2 offers.

We think for most professional users that amount of money would be better spent on a more capable Windows based Ultrabook, but we’d like to give the NotePro 12.2 the benefit of the doubt, and test it out a little longer before we come to a final conclusion about it.

Still, our first impressions are that Samsung has created what could be considered the ultimate large Android tablet, and certainly it’s a very impressive piece of hardware. Now we are wondering if anyone will respond to Samsung’s figurative bomb, and make something even bigger. Let’s see what MWC brings next week.

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Discuss
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  • 0 Hide
    Yargnit , February 21, 2014 1:22 AM
    The price point is up there with a Surface Pro. Why pay this much for an android tablet when you could get a system running a full desktop OS for the same price range that's also a great tablet? At $599-$649 maybe, $750-$850 no way.
  • 4 Hide
    JD88 , February 21, 2014 4:57 AM
    Comparing this thing to a Surface PRO is really not realistic at all. For one, this is 2" larger yet still weighs a lot less. Next, the screen is much higher resolution and better quality. It has a totally fan-less design and silent operation while the Surface has been well known to get hot. Battery life on this should also be significantly better. The Wacom digitizer is also a huge plus. This all goes without mentioning the massive discrepancy in touch optimized applications. Honestly, when you think about what you're getting here and consider how some new Smartphones cost about the same or that the 64 GB ipad and Surface RT are just $150 less, this is a really good deal. Anyone who wants a Windows laptop is just going to get one of those. This is for people who want a very nice tablet.
  • -6 Hide
    dwdesign , February 21, 2014 5:36 AM
    They must be crazy. This is what happens when you try to rush something to market just to be the first there. I'll stick with my IPad and Mac. They talk to each other very well.
  • 0 Hide
    aracheb , February 21, 2014 6:54 AM
    JD88 what are you talking about.. I have a surface pro and a surface 2. non of which get hot as you said. Don't know here you get your information but i even use my surface 2 as a workstation with the docking station and never had any issue with it. Dwdesign.: this is for business.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , February 21, 2014 7:04 AM
    Quote:
    JD88 what are you talking about.. I have a surface pro and a surface 2. non of which get hot as you said. Don't know here you get your information but i even use my surface 2 as a workstation with the docking station and never had any issue with it. Dwdesign.: this is for business.


    Do a quick Google search and you'll find pages of talk about it. Not saying it's bad hardware or even unbearable, but it still gets hot. Microsoft has even acknowledged the problem.
  • -1 Hide
    teh_chem , February 21, 2014 7:13 AM
    Samsung's android tablets are so expensive. I use android for my phone and tablet, but I'd never pay this much for an android tablet, and price is generally no object if I want to buy a phone or tablet; but value is an important factor. I understand what JD88 is saying--it's true, with this, you get a lighter, fanless design. Being more touch-oriented is a bit irrelevant if you ignore the productivity-side of windows tablets (and where productivity on Android is very sad). I think the digitizer is more of a bragging-right gimmick than something most people use regularly (of course, some people use it a lot). But the biggest obstacle is still the absolute price point. I don't think any android tablet with 32GB storage is worth $750 (and for the tablet alone! Not even a dock at that price!). And no android tablet regardless of the storage size is worth $850 when factoring in value.
  • 0 Hide
    therealduckofdeath , February 21, 2014 7:21 AM
    Quote:
    The price point is up there with a Surface Pro. Why pay this much for an android tablet when you could get a system running a full desktop OS for the same price range that's also a great tablet? At $599-$649 maybe, $750-$850 no way.
    I would have agreed with you, if it wasn't for the fact that the Surface Pro is still simply too thick and heavy. And besides that, this tablet has a more productive screen size than the Suface Pro, crammed into a much lighter and thinner frame. The choice isn't as obvious as you would like to think... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    gkvector , February 21, 2014 8:30 AM
    <quote>At this year’s CES, Samsung surprised everyone with the announcement of its new Galaxy Pro series of tablets, with the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 being the star of the show</quote>Everyone, that is, except anyone with an interest in tablets and access to the internet.Seriously, rumors of a 12 inch Samsung tablet go back at least to September and were pretty much confirmed by December.If you were surprised at CES, you should probably find work in another field.
  • 0 Hide
    duttyfoot , February 22, 2014 3:44 PM
    I Love your review of the tablet. Very refreshing and a lot more professional than the video review over at theverge.com
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , February 25, 2014 9:05 AM
    The digitizer is NOT for bragging rights where artists are concerned, I'm seriously looking at the 10 and 12 inch tablets with sketchbook pro for Android as an alternative to the Surface Pro (which really needs to be refreshed by MS.)