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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0: Solid, if Unspectacular

*from www.money.cnn.com, April 16, 2013 (To view original article click here.)

Take Away #1: If the iPad mini was Apple’s response to the small tablet craze, then the Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung’s rebuttal.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • The light, slim tablet sports some impressive specifications that slightly edge out the iPad mini.
  • The Note 8.0 boasts a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor.
  • The Note 8.0 has 2 gigabytes of RAM.
  • The Note 8.0 also features a 1280×800 pixel display.

Take Away #2: It’s not the impressive specs that make the Galaxy Note 8.0 standout, however. The big sell is productivity.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Samsung is pushing its pressure-sensitive “S-Pen” stylus and dual-window support, allowing you to run two apps simultaneously.
  • With a stylus and multiple apps running at the same time, Samsung believes you can regain some of speed and efficiency you get from a laptop.

Take Away #3: The S-Pen stylus is solid but may not improve the tablet experience in any meaningful way.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • The S-Pen stylus is a solid piece of hardware that works as advertised.
  • The pressure-sensitive pen is extremely accurate and responsive and all of the apps render input quite well.
  • It also has a “hover view” function which can detect your stylus without actually touching the screen, letting you preview certain content in some apps.
  • However, it will never replace the ease and convenience of a pen and paper for random notes and sketches.
  • The hover view is interesting but feels like more work to use the feature rather than just tapping in and out of app screens.

Take Away #4: Similarly, the Galaxy Note 8.0’s multi-window support is a really interesting concept, but it’s not quite ready for primetime.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Choosing from a dozen-or-so compatible apps, you can run any two programs side by side.
  • Using a slider, you can change how much screen space you want each to have, similar to Microsoft’s Windows 8 Snap Widgets.
  • While this is definitely convenient, unlike Snap Widgets, there’s almost too much freedom in how much room you can give an app.
  • In addition, there is generally not a lot of room for smart interactions between any two apps.

Take Away #5: The basic experience of using the tablet is very good for the most part.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • It is fast and the battery is impressive.
  • The screen is sharp, bright, and vibrant, though at 1280×800, does not have the same jaw-dropping qualities as the screen it put in Google’s Nexus 10.
  • The cameras are serviceable, if not amazing, which is fine for a tablet.
  • There’s nothing quite revelatory or transcendent about using the Galaxy Note 8.0, but it’s certainly no slouch.
  • It is very good for a tablet without the stylus of software tricks.
  • But if you’re expecting the Galaxy Note 8.0 to make productivity as easy as on a laptop, you may find yourself a bit disappointed.

*To view original article from www.money.cnn.com click here.

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