Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First Impression

Posted by B. Johnson
January 10, 2014 | 0 comments
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First ImpressionAt the recent CES 2014, Samsung just unveiled some of its latest tablet line to the public. They are Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro tablets.

These tablets actually were already expected by many people to come out at this event given that the rumors of these tablets have been around a few days before the CES 2014 kicks off.

The Tab Pro series consists the 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch and 12.2-inch models, while the Note Pro series comprises only 12.2-inch series, which is actually the bigger version of Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, of course with some additions of features here and there.

To tell you the truth, i’m actually kind of excited to see these Pro line of Samsung tablets get announced at this CES 2014, while the other one that i’m alse really excited about, is the announcement of NVIDIA, with its new Tegra line, Tegra K1.

The good news is, Samsung keeps its promise, actually the rumors alive, by bringing a pile of new tablets under Samsung GALAXY tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro series.

First things first, before i show you the whole thing about this tablet line, always keep this in mind the the tablet that i’m gonna show you begins with Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, and then followed by Tab Pro 10.1, Tab Pro 12.2 and the last tablet will be Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 12.2.

So in this blog post, i will always start each section below from Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 > 10.1 > 12.2 and the last one will be, Samsung GALAXY Note 12.2, in order to avoid confusion about which tablet that i’m talking about in each section.

Okay then, if you’re interested to know more about the new line of these Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro series, here you go, the preview of these tablets.

But first, as usual, before you go straight to the preview of this tablet, please allow me to give you the brief introduction about each tablet.

Introduction

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First ImpressionIn tablet market, especially today’s tablet market, every one in tech world, even the people in general, have been really familiar with Samsung GALAXY Tab and Samsung GALAXY Note series.

In fact, in many countries, even the developed ones, these Samsung devices have actually been the best selling items across the market, alongside iPad.

No one in the market could beat these Apple and Samsung devices, especially in terms of sales and popularity.

Their devices are just too far to reach for other rivals in the market, even for other manufacturers that used to be huge in mobile industry, like Sony, Motorola or Nokia.

Samsung GALAXY tablet series begun with its first ever Samsung GALAXY Tab 1, released a few years ago after the debut of iPad.

However, this first-gen Samsung Tab just didn’t stack against Apple’s slab, in many sectors, from its performance, design, build quality, material and pretty much everything.

There were various models of this tablet series released by Samsung that time, with different screen sizes, Samsung GALAXY Tab 7, Samsung GALAXY 7 Plus and Samsung GALAXY 8.9.

Most of these tablets have identical specs, but with some upgrades and improvements here and there.

And then after that, here came the second-gen Samsung GALAXY Tab 2, released in 7-inch and 10-inch versions, with 3G cellular and WiFi-only models.

This second-gen tablet offers so much better performance, experience and build quality than the first-gen model.

Interestingly, this second-gen series brings the similar specs just like its predecessors, like the same dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 1280x700 pixel display, Mali-400 GPU and many more, although it has a much better camera sensor.

The good thing is, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 has much faster and smoother performance than the previous model, despite using similar specs.

The third-gen model released in this series is Samsung GALAXY Tab 3, which is now available on the market.

Just like the 2 predecessors, this third-gen model also comes with the same exact specs, like a dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 7-inch 1280x700 pixel display, Mali-400 GPU and pretty much everything.

However, given that this is the latest-gen model, then Samsung definitely brings some improvements, tweaks and enhancements on this tablet.

Meanwhile, under the flag Samsung GALAXY Note, this series actually was already popular in its first debut.

Samsung GALAXY Note I was selling like hotcakes so that made the company want to continue this series with the next sequel.

Samsung GALAXY note 2 and then Samsung GALAXY Note 3, all as expected, brought many improvements and enhancements here and there.

The most noticeable improvements were the bumped up screen size (and resolution as well) from 5.3 > 5.5 > and the last Samsung GALAXY Note 3 with 5.7-inch screen.

They all are really powerful, in fact, one of the most powerful device series on the market, even than the iPhone series.

And at CES 2014 just a while ago, finally, we got to the latest conclusion of these device series.

Samsung GALAXY Tab finally got bumped up to the Pro version, as well as the Samsung GALAXY Note series.

The Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro is ranging from the smallest 8.4-inch model, 10.1-inch model and the biggest 12.2-inch model, with all getting the new taste of Samsung Touch Wiz UI, still, on Android platform though.

Meanwhile, Samsung GALAXY Note Pro only has 1 device under this series, packing the biggest 12.2-inch screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First Impression
Larger Stretched-out Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1
However, given that they’re all getting the Pro title, which stands for Productive or Productivity (or Professional maybe?), there is one noticeable thing that makes them all “Pro”.

And that is their display.

All of the display on Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro line will be getting the same exact 2.5K resolution or 2560x1600 pixels.

Yeah, that’s true, even from the smallest 8.4-inch model to the largest 12.2-inch version, from the Tab Pro and Note Pro line, all will be sporting the same 2560x1600 pixel display.

The screen is not the only thing that makes this tablet line “Pro”.

There are some other sectors on these tablets that are bumped up to the higher new level, especially compared to its predecessors or the non-Pro versions.

Interestingly, even though the Samsung GALAXY Note 12.2 gets the “Pro” name tag, the whole thing about this tablet actually resembles with the current-gen Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 LTE version (2014 edition), especially with its specs and design.

As a matter of fact, this Pro model is actually the larger stretched-out version of Samsung GALAXY note 10.1 LTE model.

Design

In terms of design, all of these Samsung’s Tab and Note Pro tablets take design cues from the current gen Samsung GALAXY flagships, like GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Note 10.1, with all of them getting the same faux leather finish with fake stitching back cover and shinny metal-alike trimming all over the side of the tablet.

I personally like this type of design more than any Samsung older devices released back in 2012, like Samsung GALAXY S3 or Note 2, which have some ugly plastic and generic design, despite being the flagships.
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First Impression
The best Samsung GALAXY note series so far
It’s also really good to see that the smallest 8.4-inch Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro tablet get this same exact design, making it look more professional and elegant compared to the predecessor, Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 without Pro.

I think this tablet is aiming its bullet at iPad mini and Amazon Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX, which are 2 of the top shelve tablets in 8-9inch tablet market.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First Impression
Smaller but still Pro
One thing that i really like from this Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro model than any other 8-9-inch tablets out there is its User Interface.

Thanks to the new Magazine UX (which i’m about to talk about later on), now this 8.4-inch tablet has more professional looking interface, unlike the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 version that comes with the standard UI of stock Android OS.

I honestly like this UI because it looks fresh like the stock Android UI and can actually be an inspiration for other tablets to follow in the future.

Overall, i really like the design of these Samsung’s Pro tablets.

Actually, i’ve already been a big fan of this type of design since last year when Samsung deployed its latest flasghips, Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and S4 to the market.

I know that Samsung can improve on this design, especially in the future releases.

And last i heard, Samsung is gonna use premium aluminum material on its future GALAXY devices.

But for now, this design still looks modern and elegant even professional for today’s standards.

Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 12.2 also inherits the same S-Pen stylus and its dedicated hole on the back, similar like the ones found on all-gen Note devices.

Overall, this tablet looks just the same with the 10.1-inch version released last year, with the same metal-alike trimming, faux leather finish, fake stitching around the edge on the back, the same bezels, the same rounded corners and pretty much everything.

However, not only does this largest model look larger than predecessor, this Pro model also has much longer size in landscape mode, in order to give the on-screen keyboard a much larger real estate in the screen, which has the size of real keyboard of laptop or PC.

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All of these Samsung’s Pro tablets actually have the same exact kind of specs on to another.

The differences are on the battery capacity, screen size, amount of RAM, minimum internal storage, processor (CPU and GPU) and User Interface.

Not to mention, the support of stylus and its dedicated-features, which can only be found on Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 12.2 model.

They all also come in 2 different versions, the Wi-Fi only model and the LTE model.

Anyway, in order to make it easier for you to scan all the specs of these tablets, as mentioned above, i will start firstly with Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 > 10.1 > 12.2 models, and last but not least, the Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 12.2.

Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 model comes with:
  • an octa-core Exynos 5 chipset (Snapdragon 800 with Adreno 330 GPU for the LTE model),
  • an 8.4-inch Super Clear LCD display sporting the resolution of 2560x1600 pixels,
  • 2GB of RAM,
  • a 4800mAh power battery,
  • 16/32GB internal storage,
  • microSD card slot,
  • Magazine UX with only dual multi-window mode,
  • Android 4.4 KitKat OS
  • and all bunch of standard features.
Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 10.1 model comes with:
  • the same chipset (octa-core Exynos 5 for the WiFi-only and Snapdragon 800 for the LTE model),
  • a 10.1-inch Super Clear LCD display with the same exact 2560x1600 pixel resolution,
  • 2GB of RAM,
  • an 8220mAh power battery,
  • 16/32GB internal storage,
  • microSD card slot,
  • Magazine UX with 4 multi-window mode,
  • Android 4.4 KitKat OS
  • and many more.
Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 12.2 model comes with:
  • the same exact chipset (octa-core Exynos 5 for the WiFi-only model and Snapdragon 800 for the LTE model),
  • a 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD screen with WQVGA resolution (2560x1600 pixels),
  • 3GB of RAM,
  • a 9500mAh power battery,
  • 32/64GB internal storage,
  • microSD card slot,
  • Magazine UX with 4 multi-window split mode,
  • Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box
  • and more.
Finally, Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 12.2 is packing:
  • the same exact chipset (octa–core Exynos 5 for the WiFi-only model and Snapdragon 800 for the LTE model),
  • a 12.2-inch WQVGA 2560x1600 pixel Super Clear LCD screen,
  • a 9500mAh power battery,
  • 3GB of RAM,
  • Magazine UX with 4 multi-window split mode,
  • 32GB/64GB internal storage,
  • microSD card slot,
  • Android 4.4 Kit Kat
  • and the most importantly, the S-Pen and its dedicated features.

Yeah, by looking at the whole spec sheet of these Samsung’s Pro tablets, we can really see how all of them have the same exact internals of Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 2014 edition (LTE model), although the Exynos 5 chipset on the WIFi models of this Pro line is more powerful and faster than the laggy Exynos chipset inside the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 2014 edition (WiFi-only model).

I think the things that make this tablet line “Pro” are the 2560x1600 pixel display, the Exynos 5 chipset and the Magazine UX.

The rest are actually the same ones on the current-gen Samsung’s flagships.

Screen

In term of display, all of these Samsung Pro tablets are packing the same exact 2560x1600 pixel resolution or known as WQVGA resolution, yeah, all of them.

However, in term of sharpness, i mean, which one looks sharpest, i think the smallest 8.4-inch Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro model is the winner here, among these new Samsung Pro tablets.

The reason is simple. It’s because this smallest 8.4-inch model has much smaller screen size than other 10.1 and 12.2 models, but has the same exact 2560x1600 pixel resolution.

So with that being said, then all of those huge number of pixels will be crammed on a much smaller screen of this tablet.

As a result, everything that you throw on the screen will look insanely sharp and insanely gorgeous than any other 8-inch tablets out there, even the iPad mini with Retina display.

However, overall, this 2560x1600 pixel display looks extremely sharp and crisp on all of these Samsung Pro line, even the biggest 12.2 model, given that this resolution is actually designed or “well-optimized” for a much larger display above 9-inches, like 10-inch or 12-inch tablets.

So even on the largest Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 12.2 or Note Pro 12.2, this type of screen already looks extremely sharp and insanely gorgeous (by the way, sorry for using too much “extremely” and “insanely” words in this article because yeah, 2560x1600 pixel display is insane! :D)

So if you intend to buy one of these tablets as a media-consumption device, besides as productivity tablet of course, you’re in good hands given that with this “insanely” sharp screen, everything that you enjoy on the screen, like movies, books, magazines, web pages, photos or even games, all will look “extremely” sharp and gorgeous.

The experience of using any of these tablets just can’t be described with words, you need to feel it or see it on YouTube videos in order to know how insanely sharp the display of these Pro tablets.

Features

Given that these tablets are getting the same name tag “Pro” all over them, then there will be something special that Samsung has put on these tablets.

Well, introducing to you, the Magazine UX.

If you haven’t seen or heard about it, then i strongly insist you to check out YouTube videos about these Samsung GALAXY Pro tablets in order to see how Magazine UX looks like.
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab line Review and Gaming Performance: My First Impression
Magazine UX revolutionizes Android stock UI by miles
The GREAT features found on this Magazine UX is the multi-window mode, which enables you to open multi apps at the same time on the same screen (which can’t be found on iPads. Suck on that Apple! :D).

For the smaller 8.4-inch model, however, this mode only allows you to open 2 or dual multi-window mode, on the left and right.

On the other hand, the bigger 10.1-inch and 12.2-inch models all come with the “full-fledged” 4 multi-window mode, allowing you to open 4 different apps at the same time on the same screen.

In order to add new app to this mode, you need to slide the screen to the left (from outside of the right screen), to open the small vertical window on the right (similar with opening notification window on the top screen), which consists the icons of apps (similar like opening Blackberry Hub on Blackberry Z10).

I’m sure you can adjust the shortcut icons on this window with your favorite apps that you would like to open whenever you use that multi-window mode.

In default, there are YouTube app, web browser, chatting app, video player, music player, messaging app and many more.

The great thing about this feature is, when opening all the 4 apps simultaneously on the screen, you can also adjust the size of each window according to your preference.

So if you want the web browser app to have the bigger size than other 3 apps, you can just touch the center point of the screen and then slide it to any position in order to make your wished app bigger than other 3 apps.

I think this is really cool.

Too bad the smaller 8.4-inch version only has 2 multi-window split mode, instead of 4, which i think would still be perfect given that this tablet is big enough to implement all the 4 window apps at the same time.

I believe Samsung puts limitation on this model in order to make people with big budget to pick up the biggest 10.1 or 12.2 models, which will be more expensive than the smallest version.

In this new Magazine UX, you’ll find many cool new features, especially some productivity-related features, like Cisco WebEx Meetings for your conferencing needs, Samsung e-Meetings for your collaboration needs and many more.

On these Samsung Pro tablets, you’ll also get some other great features like, the S Action Mouse, Universal BT Keyboard, RemotePC, the Book Covers, USB LAN hub and other more.

And if you’re in good shape financially, you can also subscribe to Samsung’s Ultimate User Content Gift Package, for a staggering $700, to get pre-paid subscriptions for services and apps, like Dropbox and Bitcasa, Sketchbook Pro app and a subscription for a number of news sites, which are not really necessary if you don’t need them, especially if you can’t afford them (haha :D sorry).

However, this gift package is only available for the 12.2-inch models of Samsung GALAXY Pro Tab and Note Pro.

User Interface

Unlike the older TouchWiz UX that comes pre-installed on all of Samsung GALAXY devices on this planet, this Magazine UX looks way different in many things.

The first noticeable difference is definitely its look.

If on the TouchWiz UX, you get the standard UI of stock Android, you know, with standard homescreen with widgets.

Well, on this Magazine UX or User Experience, Samsung has made a complete overhaul on the homescreen of these Pro tablets.

Now the time you press home button, you’ll be brought to the main homescreen, with some separate boxes filled with different sections or functions.

In total, there are 5 different boxes or sections, but only 4 boxes that you can edit and fill with different functions, like news feed (with thumbnails), your favorite apps, your photos and anything.

The other 1 box, the huge one, is placed on the left of the screen, and this gives you all the updates like calendar, clock, SMS, emails or anything.

On these Samsung Pro line, you can also add more homescreen (just like on the standard Android OS), where each homescreen has its own function.

For example, the first homescreen is for your personal stuff (like your photo collection, videos, etc), and then the second homescreen is for your productivity-related stuff (like business news, your office emails, etc), and finally, the last homescreen is for your social networking activity (like Twitter, Facebook updates, etc).

However, if you don’t need all of these homescreens, you can delete them manually, but you must have at least one homescreen.

Performance

In term of performance, these Samsung Pro tablets really scream. And really loud (:D).

The WiFi-only model of any of these Samsung Pro tablets only get the treatment of Samsung’s homemade Exynos 5 chipset, unlike the LTE model that comes armed with Qualcomm’s current beast, Snapdragon 800 chipset, alongside Adreno 330 GPU.

The good news is, this Exynos 5 chipset that is embedded inside these tablets is actually the improved and enhanced version of the Samsung Exynos chipset found on the older Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (WiFi model, not LTE), which is really laggy and buggy.

Not to mention, this Exynos 5 chipset is the true octa-core chipset, unlike the older version.

So with this new chip, the whole performance of these WiFi-only models of Samsung Pro tablets will be really fast and powerful, but probably not as powerful as Snapdragon 800.

So doing things like watching movies, reading books or magazines, browsing the web or playing games, all can be executed perfectly well with this chipset in buttery smooth performance without any lag whatsoever.

Not to mention, with the help of huge RAM (2GB for 8.4 and 10.1 models, 3GB for the 12.2 models) and Adreno 330 (for the LTE models), any of these tablets will run smoothly, even when multitasking many apps at the same time.

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Despite using 2 different chipsets, Samsung octa-core Exynos 5 for the WiFi-only models and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipsets for the LTE models, all the Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro tablets are still great for gaming.

No doubt about that. In fact, with these chipsets, these Samsung Pro tablets are some of the best gaming tablets across the market to date.

Any games that you would like to play on any of these tablets, from simple games to even the most graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Need for Speed Most Wanted, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas or Dead Trigger 2, YES, you can play them all perfectly and smoothly on any of these Pro tablets, all in full graphics.

However, as for the GTA San Andreas, i’m not really sure if these tablets can play this Rockstar’s game in buttery smooth performance in full graphics given that users of Samsung GALAXY Note 3 (the one with Snapdragon 800 as well) experienced lag when playing this game in full graphics.

This actually didn’t happen to other non-Samsung devices with the same exact Snapdragon 800 chipset, like Google Nexus 5.

Actually, most of Android phone users also experience the same thing like Samsung GALAXY Note 3 users, with GTA San Andreas running so laggy and buggy when played in full graphics.

Many believe that this has something to do with the game itself, which has bugs, and should be updated by the developer.

The good news is, this problem has been addressed by Rockstar and that game now run perfectly fine and smoothly in full graphics on many Android high-end devices.

So yeah, all of these Samsung Pro tablets are absolutely great gaming tablets, in fact, some of the best Android gaming tablets across the market to date.

So you’ll make no mistake if you’re planning to buy any of these tablets for gaming.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro



Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro



Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist (Note Pro) or Pinterest page (Note Pro) | Youtube (Tab Pro) and Pinterest (Tab Pro) :)

Camera

Samsung recent GALAXY devices have been well known to have great camera quality. As a matter of fact, Samsung’s current flagships, like Samsung GALAXY Note 3, GALAXY S4, GALAXY S3, GALAXY Note 2 and other Samsung flagships are some of the best smartphones on the market with great camera quality.

So with that being said, then the 8MP camera on all of these Samsung Pro tablets is not gonna disappoint you at all.

Actually, according to the recent camera test at the CES 2014 of these Samsung Pro tablets, the photos taken with the 8MP camera on any of these Pro tablets, are quite good for tablets, even for today’s standards.

So if you’re looking for either 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch or 12.2-inch tablet with great camera quality, then any of these Samsung’s Pro tablets definitely can be the best choice for you, besides iPad Air and iPad mini 2 of course.

Battery Life

Each of these Samsung Pro tablets has different battery capacity inside.

The smallest Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is equipped with the smallest 4800mAh power battery.

Meanwhile, the bigger 10.1-inch Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 10.1 is powered by the 8220mAh battery capacity.

And last but not least, the biggest Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 12.2 and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro 12.2 both are armed with the biggest 9500mAh power battery.

However, even though each of these models comes with different battery capacity, it actually doesn’t given huge impact to the overall battery life of these tablets.

I’m pretty sure Samsung has designed these tablets with the same equal battery life, despite using different capacity of battery.

So if you’re gonna use any of these Pro tablets for doing some mixed stuff in normal non-crazy usage, like watching full HD movies, reading books or magazines, listening to music, browsing the web or playing games, these tablets are still capable to last in one solid day, or even 2, in one full charge.

However, if you intend to use any of these tablets for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row, then you can only expect to see them last in around 9 to 13 hours of usage, which is considered as great for today’s standards.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, i’m really impressed with all of these new Samsung Pro tablets.

Even the smallest Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 is still one impressive piece of device.

In fact, with all of the specs and features that these tablets come with, then it’s just not hard to say that these Samsung Pro tablets are the best tablets on the market right now.

Even the iPad Air, let alone iPad mini 2, are still NOT on par with all of these new Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Note Pro families, given that in terms of specs, display, features (especially features!!), software, UI, performance, experience and pretty much everything, these Samsung Pro tablets are just so much even better than Apple’s devices.

The things that make me really impressed a lot by all of these Samsung Pro tablets are their features, Magazine UX, display, camera, hardware, performance, gaming capability, experience and even the design.

It may not have that premium and aluminum-plated material like iPad Air has, but the faux leather finish, along with its fake stitching and the metal-alike trimming around the side of these tablets, actually make these tablets look quite good and even suitable to use for professionals, like CEO, office staff or maybe TV news anchor.

Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro definitely have set the bar really really high for other competitors to reach, even the iPad Air.

And if only Samsung had stepped up its game by bringing more premium material and design on these new Pro family, then Apple would stand no chance to compete with its iPad Air.

Availability

All of these Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and GALAXY Note Pro tablets will be available globally in the first quarter of this year, which means you better prepare the budget if you’re planning to snatch any of these Samsung Pro tablets.

There is no detail about price, however, as well as the exact release date. But soon as these tablets arrive to the market, i will let you know about it for sure.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...

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