updated 06:55 am EST, Sun February 24, 2013
Midsize tablet focuses on S Pen functionality
Samsung has introduced a new tablet, the Galaxy Note 8.0, that adds yet another display size to the company's tablet offerings. As part of the Note family, the eight-inch device bridges the gap between the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II and the full-size 10.1-inch tablet, though it appears to serve primarily as a successor to the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and the company's direct competitor to the iPad mini.
The eight-inch display offers 1280x800 resolution, matching its 10.1-inch counterpart and equating to a slightly higher pixel density than the iPad mini. Otherwise the specs generally match the Note II, pairing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a 1.6GHz quad-core A9 processor and 2GB of RAM.
Keeping to its Note namesake, the new tablet takes advantage of Samsung's S Pen stylus to complement finger touch-based input. Wacom technology enables the stylus to control the physical menu buttons, while the Air View feature shows previews of media content, e-mails and appointments as the tip hovers above the display.
The Note 8.0 retains the same OS customizations as its brethren, such as S Note for note taking and Dual View for multi-screen usage. New additions include Flipboard, which unifies news and social networking feeds, and Awesome Note, another note-taking and list-building utility.
Samsung also promotes the Note 8.0 as a phone, however calling functionality will vary by region. The tablet is expected to arrive sometime in the second quarter.