Samsung’s Huge Galaxy Note Pro Tablet Aims at Desktops, Comes Up Short
(Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED)
Designed for professionals and an enterprise audience, Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro is clearly going after Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Surface tablet market. That is, PC owners who want PC features on a tablet. The Note Pro comes with a 12.2-inch display—the better for multitasking and actually getting things done, the Korean company hopes. It also comes preloaded with a variety of enterprise-friendly software, including Hancom Office (a Microsoft Office-like publishing suite), remote PC capabilities, e-Meeting, and WebEx. With a display the size of many notebook screens, it’s not surprising that the Galaxy Note Pro tries to emulate a variety of traditional PC functions. But unfortunately, it doesn’t quite measure up.
The Galaxy Note Pro may be an undeniably big tablet, but while it looks unwieldy, its slenderness and weight make it more than manageable. It’s surprisingly light, weighing a mere 753 grams—just over 1.5 pounds—and is just over 0.3 inches thick. You can easily operate the tablet with one hand, and the faux stitched-leather texture on the back of the device (the same facade that graces the rear of the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone) provides a comfortable grip whether it’s held with one hand or two.
As part of the Note series, the tablet comes with Samsung’s signature S Pen tucked in a slot on the right side, where its charging port and a microSD slot are also located. Using this stylus on the Note phablets always felt a little bit awkward to me, but on a larger display, it’s really convenient for writing out notes, illustrating ideas, or just using as a navigational tool.
Samsung redesigned its own TouchWiz homescreen into what it calls Magazine UX. With four screens to swipe between, two are your usual app icon and widget filled fare, one is an array of top stories from Flipboard, and the fourth is a Windows 8-style grid of rectangular app spaces populated with up-to-the-minute information from your inbox, calendar, and recently used documents (among other things). This is useful for a quick glance of what’s on your plate for the day, but not any more so than the usual homescreen loaded with a handy widget or two.