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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 unveiled

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 with S Pen
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

By Jonathan Bray in Barcelona

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 at 11:07

Samsung has finally unveiled the Galaxy Note 8, the first 8in Android tablet to also boast the ability to make and receive phone calls.

The tablet has long been rumoured, and is expected to be the main focus for Samsung at MWC 2013 in Barcelona this week.

As with other Note products, the Galaxy Note 8 includes Samsung's S Pen active stylus technology, for jotting down notes and sketches directly on-screen. It can also run multiple apps - an ability it inherits from other Note devices - so users can make notes while viewing other apps.

Samsung's iPad mini rival measures 135 x 76 x 211mm (WDH), weighs a feather-light 337g, and sports a 1,280 x 800, standard TFT display. Inside, there's a quad-core 1.6GHz Samsung Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage.

The Note 8 runs Android 4.1.2, and other specifications include HSPA+ support, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, a microSD slot, Bluetooth 4 and a huge 4,600mAh battery. The cameras don't look terribly impressive though, with only a 5-megapixel snapper on the rear and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing unit for video-conferencing calls.

Samsung has not yet announced pricing for the Galaxy Note 8 or a specific release date. However, with the ability to make calls and that active stylus tech, don't expect it to compete at the cheaper end of the compact tablet market with tablets such as the Nexus 7.

We'll be grabbing some hands-on time with the device just as soon as the show opens its doors, so watch this space for our first-look review.

Key specs:

  • 1,280 x 800, 8in TFT screen
  • 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of storage
  • Dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • 4,600mAh battery
  • microSD slot
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 1.3-megapixel front camera

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User comments

Pen input - how good

I love the idea of pen input, but how good is it. Certainly most tabs I've tried just do not have the sensitivity or appearance of paper and pencil.

As I understand it, capacitive displays have limitations in his area. Have Samsung overcome this?

One day I'll have my dream.

By gfmoore on 25 Feb 2013

@gfmoore

I haven't tried the Android devices from Samsung, but the new Windows tablets from Samsung, Lenovo and Asus all have pen input as an option.

This isn't capacitive display technology, the devices, including the Note line, have a Wacom digitizer layer as well, which works with Wacom pens (designed for this digitizer, Bamboo and Intuos pens don't, allegedly).

I've used the S-Pen on a Windows 8 and Windows RT tablet and it is very good. The handwriting recognition was 98% accurate, using my illegible scribbles in on a shop unit, with no training.

The resolution is also very fine and the digitizer will recognise up to 1024 different pressure levels - which is great with art software, if it supports it.

ArtRage on Windows, for example, does support the digitizer, although one review I read said that PhotoShop didn't recognise the digitizer... Whether that is a driver problem or whether Adobe haven't, yet, built in support for it, I don't know.

Ofcourse, that is by-the-way, as it is not relevant to Android tablets and Phablets, but the digitzer technology is the same, so it should be very good.

By big_D on 25 Feb 2013

cheers

Thanks for the clarification - I'll check them out

By gfmoore on 25 Feb 2013

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