Samsung has definitely made a mark in the smartphone market, with the launch of their Samsung S4 taking off earlier this year.
The excitement of the S4 makes it easy to forget about the other mobile devices the company also makes, including the Galaxy Note 8.0 which was announced in February and released in April.
The device looks like a larger Galaxy Note II but is the true tablet version in that it is not a phone and currently only available in WiFi.
It features the signature S-Pen designed with Wacom technology (which is one of the most well known brands in interactive pens and drawing tablets with the designers) and unlike the previous Galaxy Tablets which run on Google’s Android UI, this one it runs on TouchWiz, the format used on of most of Samsung’s smartphones.
Hardware features are also an extra benefit with a 1.6GHz Quadcore, 2GB RAM, 8.0” display (800 x 1280 pixels ~189ppi), SD memory slot, 5MP rear camera, infrared port (with pre-installed Peel Smart Remote by Samsung, a universal remote for televisions) and still weighing in at 340 grams.
There is even a few extra software features and apps which have been pre-installed for optimum usage.
- Measuring up at 210.8 x 135.9 x 7.95 mm (h,w,d) with an 8” screen, about the size of A5 piece of paper, it large enough for viewing videos, e-books, web pages but small enough for travel.
- Lightweight at 340 grams, the weight is also eventually distributed throughout the tablet which is makes it easy on the arms.
- Long battery life, up to 8hr with multimedia or WiFi usage.
- S-Pen is a great tool when using S-Note, Paper Artist, Air View (hovering tool for viewing photos in the Gallery), Easy Clip, Capture, Quick Command and also Handwriting.
- Pre-installed applications like Peel Smart Remote utilises the Infrared Port, S-Planner can be synced with various cloud based calendar systems and customised with stickers, S-Note has 10 templates (3 new) as well as an extra NotePad app which allows you to categorise and organise your notes.
- Multi-Window Display is best on a larger display like the Note 8.0 which allows you to use two applications at the same time.
- Reading Mode - great for e-books and can be used together with the S-Pen for annotations (only for Samsung Reading and Learning Hub).
- WiFi only, although this a small issue if you have a smartphone that can tether.
- Bezel seems a little bit larger than needs to be, although it is in proportion when compared to the Galaxy Note II.
- Menu and back buttons are quite close to the Home button and look a bit odd.
- Covers or other protective accessories aren’t so accessible with Samsung’s constant changes in sizes of their tablets.
- Less features than the Note range of phones e.g. NFC
- Currently only available in Pearl White in New Zealand, but available in Black in other countries.
Despite Android tablets not having the best reputation, the Samsung Note 8.0 seems to debunk that notion with this device being a larger version of their Galaxy Note II, there is no reason for it not be stable.
The S-Pen is a great feature and awesome when fully utilised, additional hardware and software features are beneficial in some way as well. Reading mode is essential for those who plan to use it for e-book reading and Note taking applications really showcase what the device is capable of.