With Apple and Google releasing a 7/8 inch tablet, it was only a matter of time before Samsung released one of their own, adding to their already crowded portfolio of devices in various screen sizes. Their latest in the Galaxy Note stylus-powered range is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, shown off at Mobile World Congress 2013 this week.
In terms of design, it is very inspired by the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, clad in the familiar glossy white plastic, in a small-ish form factor that you can just barely hold in one hand. It’s not the easiest thing, to hold with your entire palm wrapped around the rear of the Note 8.0, but you can easily hold it like a text book. Basically, just like the iPad Mini. At 338 grams, it’s light enough, and just 8 mm slim, so that you can very easily carry it around or slip it into a bag. Here’s a quick video to give you a better idea:
Since it’s a member of the Galaxy Note range, you have the same S Pen stylus on offer, complete with pressure sensitivity and the ability to write on the 1280 x 800 resolution screen. That resolution on an 8 inch screen gives about 189 ppi (pixels per inch) pixel density, which edges out the iPad Mini’s 163 PPI slightly but is pretty much exactly the same viewing experience. It’s also available with optional 3G functionality with a SIM card slot on the side of the device, and a microSD card slot as well.
That SIM card slot can come in handy, because you have the ability to make calls on the Galaxy Note 8.0 as well, similar to the Galaxy Note 2. I wont get into how ridiculous I’d personally think someone using an 8 inch tablet to make a phone call is, but hey it’s more functionality I guess. I sort-of wish Samsung had copied Asus here and let the S Pen be used as a speaker and microphone.
There’s a quad-core A9 processor powering the Note 8.0, and as a result, speed was quick and impressive. 2GB of RAM means that you’ll rarely see any lag when opening or closing apps, or browsing around the interwebs.
At the back, you have a 5 Megapixel camera, with the usual range of functionality as Samsung’s latest range of Galaxy devices. There’s also a 1.3 Megapixel camera in the front, which can come in handy for video calls.
What’s interesting to note, pardon the pun, is that the Galaxy Note 8.0 does not have NFC and as a result does not feature S-Beam which is a missed opportunity. Strangely, it does have an IR port to act as a remote and control your TV, heh.
To conclude, there’s no doubt that the Galaxy Note 8.0 is a nice little tablet from Samsung meant to take on the iPad Mini and the 8 inch size range of tablets out there, but with no mention of price it’s really hard to predict how this one will go along. The Note series does have it’s own fans though, so if you’re looking for an 8 inch tablet with an integrated stylus, well here’s your only choice.