updated 07:03 pm EST, Tue January 7, 2014
Galaxy Note Pro shows nice design, slow performance
During yesterday's keynote presentation, Samsung official unveiled its new line of Pro tablets. Featuring four Android 4.4 devices, including the 12.2-inch, 10.1-inch, and 8.4-inch Galaxy TabPro, as well as the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro, the new tablets have been designed to meet the needs of not only the average consumer, but also business-minded users. We here at Electronista took some time to brave the hectic Samsung booth and spend some time with the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro.
Despite having a larger screen than your average tablet, the Galaxy Note Pro does not feel like an oversized device. Now we should say, in terms of portability you won't find us carrying the Note Pro around with us on a day-to-day basis, but for use around a house the design feels just right. The Note Pro is not heavy to hold, weighing in at 750g, yet has enough heft to prevent it from feeling like a cheap toy. The faux leather is also a nice touch that helps the device's design stand above the all plastic bodies found on other tablets.
The WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display is crystal clear and the additional real estate really lends a hand towards productivity apps such as spreadsheets. In order to further take advantage of the extra screen space on the Note Pro, Samsung has also introduced a new multitasking feature that lets users run up to four apps simultaneously on the screen. To activate this feature all a user needs to do is swipe in from the right bezel to bring up a panel of apps. Any app can then be dragged out and placed next to whatever is currently running on the device.
The Galaxy Note Pro runs Android 4.4, but offers a somewhat untraditional interface experience thanks to Samsung's new Magazine UX. Unlike your standard Android tablet, the Note Pro's home screen consist of three customizable panels that allow users to check up on various feeds. The three panels are broken down into a personal space, a social network and media pane, and a final section for office and work based information. The screen is well laid out and easy to read, but users looking for a more traditional Android experience will be upset to hear that there is no way to opt out of Magazine UX.
Performance wise, the Galaxy Note Pro was a bit of a letdown, though we should note that the device we used was not the final production firmware or hardware. Moving around the OS showed signs of minor lag and stuttering, despite the 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and 3GB of RAM. Hopefully come launch time these minor issues will have been resolved, so we will hold our final opinions until we have a production unit in hand.