Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 review
Another brilliant Android tablet from Samsung; a little pricey, though, and the magazine interface needs work
Review Date: 14 Mar 2014
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £291 (£349 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Samsung has been making a big effort to boost its Android tablet range in the recent times with a flood of products appearing on the market; by the looks of things, the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 represents the pinnacle of its achievements so far. See also the 11 best tablets of 2014
First launched at CES earlier this year, the TabPRO's key attraction is its high-DPI, 8.4in 2,560 x 1,600 display, which beats Apple's iPad mini 2 with Retina Display on both total pixel count and pixel density, delivering a highly impressive 341ppi. For reference, the iPad mini 2's display is 7.9in across, with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 and a pixel density of 326ppi.
Quality is good, as you'd expect from a Samsung display. Aside from its ridiculous sharpness – text looks incredible on this screen – colours are intensely saturated, viewing angles are superb and the tablet remains readable in most conditions, including bright sunlight. To put that all in numbers, maximum brightness hits 368cd/m2 and the contrast ratio is 800:1; not the best we've seen, by any means, but only very slightly behind the iPad mini 2's figures.
Design and specification
In the past we've been critical of Samsung's physical design, but recently it has put some effort into improving matters. While the TabPRO still can't match the beauty of the iPad mini 2's all-metal chassis, its build quality and feel are absolutely superb.
It's finished all in white, with a textured, faux-leather rear panel, complete with "stitching" around the edge. The perimeter is enclosed in ridged, chrome-effect trim, and the home button, flanked by capacitive recent tasks and back buttons, also has a bevelled silver outline.
We're still not completely comfortable with the elongated 16:10 aspect ratio of the screen – it feels rather too tall to us in portrait mode – but the overall effect is one of a premium device, and its narrowness does have one key advantage: you can grasp it in one hand more comfortably and securely than the iPad mini 2.
Other advantages the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 holds over its iOS-based rival include a microSD slot that supports cards up to 64GB in capacity, an infrared transmitter that allows the tablet to be used as a universal remote control, Miracast support and 802.11ac wireless. Apple's compact tablet is stuck on 802.11n. What the TabPRO doesn't have, however, is a pressure-sensitive stylus like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
Performance, battery life and cameras
As you might expect of a top-of-the-range compact tablet such as this, the core hardware is suitably high-end. The starring role is played by a quad-core, 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC – the same chip as is found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet – and the supporting cast is just as capable: an Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
I appreciate this is picky but "Samsung took a while to get into the Android tablet market" is surely incorrect since the original Galaxy Tab was the first Android tablet ever released, back in 2010.
I'm also not entirely sure it's fair to compare this tablet with the iPad Mini since the latter has a smaller screen. The only direct competitor would seem to be the 8.9 inch Kindle Fire.
By KevPartner on 14 Mar 2014
Where is the 3G or LTE version?
I was wondering if PC Pro know why Samsung don't release 3G or LTE versions of their tablets in the UK? I have a Note 8 3G (I make calls on it) but had to order if from Germany. Why release phone capable tablets in Germany but not the UK?
By Anis_Khan on 20 Mar 2014
The iPad mini 7.9" screen, 0.5" less than Samsung TabPRO 8.4. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is 0.5" bigger.
I think you could argue for a comparison to either based on cost, features or quality. My guess is that Jonathan chose to compare against the market segment leader.
By scombellack on 21 Mar 2014
- Google boosts secure logins with USB Security Key
- Nominations now open for UK Cloud Awards 2015
- Lenovo rumoured to be acquiring BlackBerry
- Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay
- Microsoft offers cloud access to help fight Ebola
- Google suggests legal alternatives to dodgy downloads
- Trolls face two years in jail under new laws
- Nexus Player pre-sales halted after certification troubles
- Microsoft smartwatch coming "within weeks"
- ISPs ordered to block six websites for trademark infringement
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office