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Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Interface and functionality

The new tablet-oriented Magazine UX is both pretty and functional; enhanced Multi Window and Pop-up view modes will boost your productivity

The tablet ships with the newest Android 4.4 KitKat, but Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX interface we are accustomed to, has been given a fresh coat of paint. So fresh, in fact, that it has received a different moniker – Magazine UX – indicating a brand new tablet-oriented interface. Apart from that we get a completely overhauled system font and iconography, with flatter, rounded icons in various colors.

The Magazine UX overlay is akin to a traditional printed publication face, and this impression is enhanced by the largish screen diagonal. It offers tiled layout called "dashboard", for categorizing your favorite content in terms of news feeds (powered by Flipboard), social networking updates, or frequently used apps. Those tiles can be various sizes, vertical or horizontal, and they can serve as static widgets, throwing info and notifications at you, or be interactive, letting you scroll within the sections.

Traditional home screens, where app shortcuts and third-party widgets can be placed, are still available, should you prefer using these instead of Magazine UX. But if that's the case, you might be a bit disappointed to learn that at least one Magazine screen has to remain enabled.

As we mentioned above, many features found in previous TouchWiz versions – Smart Stay, Blocking Mode, S Voice, and KNOX – haven't been omitted. Furthermore, we get a new Multi Window mode, as you can now split the screen in not two, but four different resizable sections, which comes pretty useful, on account of the large screen real estate. You can also open up to 5 applications in Pop-up View - windowed mode that floats above every home or menu screen underneath, aiding multitasking significantly, and reminding of desktop Windows.

In addition, the Galaxy NotePRO will ship with a selection of pre-loaded apps, content and services, such as Bitcasa, Bloomberg Businessweek+, Blurb, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Dropbox, Easilydo Pro for Tablet, Evernote, Hancom Office for Android, LinkedIn, LIVESPORT.TV, NY Times, Oxford Advanced Learner’s A-Z, and Sketchbook Pro. Not all of these apps and services will be available in all regions, but in general Samsung is throwing a free or timed access subscription to most of those, which cover a lot of work or play scenarios.

S Pen functionality


Since with the NotePRO we also get the excellent S Pen stylus with Wacom digitizer, its features further contribute to the stellar array of input options that comes with the tablet. All the bells and whistles that come with Samsung's stylus are present, like Air View and Air Command, Action Memo, the Scrapbook clipper. The Pen Window mode is also very handy for calling a hovering app anywhere on the display, as you can predetermine the windows size and placing simply by drawing a random shape on the display with the S Pen.

In addition, the stylus is optimized to work in the browser, gallery, or calendar, for example, letting you easily clip and annotate info, draw on pictures, or scribble down events. Moreover, Samsung includes a few excellent S Pen-tailored apps with its Note line, like S Note, or SketchBook for Galaxy, that lets you write, sketch, draw or paint with various virtual pens and brushes.

Processor and memory

Top-shelf processor and 3 GB of RAM ensure stellar performance

Depending on whether you want LTE connectivity with your Galaxy NotePRO or not, the tablet ships with two different chipsets. One is the new "true octa-core" 1.9 GHz Exynos 5420 Octa, which can have all eight cores firing up at once. It pushes those four sections of the Multi Window mode with ease, even when a Pen Window or two are running on top. The LTE version comes with the no less powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800, clocked at the respectable 2.3 GHz.

These chipset alternatives won't leave you longing for more, no matter how you stress the NotePRO, as these are currently the fastest kids on the block. Samsung went the extra mile, though, and equipped the tablet with 3 GB of RAM. The company knows full well that with this screen real estate and resolution, you might be using the split-screen and Pen Window modes more often than on a regular tablet, running a number of productivity and entertainment apps at once.

Samsung also stepped it up on the storage front, starting the NotePRO at 32 GB (26 GB user-available), instead of the typical 16 GB that today's larger Android slates wield. Of course, this being a Samsung tablet, you also get a microSD slot for storage expansion, which takes up to 64 GB capacity cards.

Performance benchmarks

Quadrant
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 22656
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 18547
AnTuTu
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 33129
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 34940
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 1126
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 1188
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 1792
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 1864
Sunspider
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 784.0
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 1048.1
View all

Internet and Connectivity

The NotePRO offers a great screen for browsing, and a full suite of connectivity options, too

Samsung's stock browser has received a minimalistic overhaul, but the Adobe Flash support has gone with NotePRO's default Android 4.4 KitKat version.

We already mentioned that there is an Exynos 5 Octa version of the NotePRO, which can be Wi-Fi-only, or carry an HSPA+ radio, with up to 21 Mbps download speeds. The NotePRO version with Snapdragon processor will be able to get on your carrier's fast 4G LTE network. The HSPA+ model will cover the global 850/900/1900/2100 MHz bands, whereas the LTE one will hop on the 800/900/1800/2600+850/2100 bands.

As for the other wireless radios, the NotePRO doesn't skip a beat, sporting fast Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac in a dual-band MIMO (2.4 & 5 GHz) setup, Wi-Fi Direct, AllShareCast, BT4.0, infrared, and GPS with GLONASS support. Wired connectivity is taken care of with the microUSB port in the 3.0 standard, ensuring very fast transfer of files to and from the slate.

29 Comments
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posted on 21 Feb 2014, 06:07 5

1. vincelongman (Posts: 1015; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Really great tablet, but at that price you could get a laptop or hybrid

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 07:25 7

4. _Bone_ (Posts: 2106; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Not as thin, light and long lasting though, not with a Wacom digitizer either. And most absolutely NOT with that kind of EPIC screen.

Let's fact it, the next super-hires device with that sort of multitasking, productivity, thin frame and ~10hr of screen time costs thrice as much minimum.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 08:06 1

22. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


False about the thinner, lighter and longer lasting battery. Bay Trail-T tablets are lighter and the battery life is just as long. Asus T100 only costs $400 with tablet and keyboard, not to mention full Windows 8.1.

Surface Pro 2 has Wacom digitizer and can be had for $899 which is more pricey, but it comes with a Core i5 and full Windows 8.1.

And other equivalent devices don't cost three times as much.Your facts are just all completely wrong.

You want to open up multiple apps in windows? There's already an OS for that - it's called Windows.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 01:08

29. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


Can you seriously compare this with a laptop..???

No man, just not yet, especially with those internals...

A laptop lacks a lot of things which are in a tablet or a phone these days, like a great high-res camera a high pixel density display (exceptions are there, but considering the cost). But c'mon my friend, a laptop and its benefits far exceeds a tablet's, be it raw power, the workability and especially regarding true productivity.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 06:09 3

2. nightfox11 (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Great review, please make a comparison between this and the Surface Pro 2.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 07:05 5

3. N-fanboy (Posts: 536; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


Almost really good... Until u realize itr a sammy product... Which means u'll have to live with touchwiz... Thats when you say no thanks!

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 08:38 2

8. ihavenoname (Posts: 1312; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


3rd party launchers and apps are the solution.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 08:09

23. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


If you don't mind voiding the warranty on your $750 device, then sure, go for it!

posted on 01 Mar 2014, 13:15 1

28. KFear (Posts: 137; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Launchers don't void warranties. Have you been to the play store yet? Launchers are everywhere and Android is open source.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 09:37 3

11. tmcr7 (Posts: 152; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)


It's not Touchwiz. It's the brand new Magazine UX.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 10:51 2

14. Bioload25 (Posts: 190; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Its no diferent,since you cant disable it and it does slow down often.. --'

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 14:43 2

15. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2938; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


So you've used the new Magazine UX to know this right?

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 08:14 1

25. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Read any review of the new Magazine UX and the editor will always mention lag.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 05:46 2

19. N-fanboy (Posts: 536; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


lolololololol its touchwiz bro.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 08:13

24. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


It's not Touchwiz. It's Touchwiz on steroids.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 07:39 2

5. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


... Might as well get the Lenovo helix or surface pro 2, Js. Real productive...

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 07:53 3

6. bucky (Posts: 1326; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


That's exactly what I'm thinking.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 08:05

7. rodelarode (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Feb 2014)


I am confused between Note 10.1 2014 edition and Note PRO 12.2. If after kitkat update note 10.1 and 12.2 gets identical features then I do not want such a huge one. Anyone can help me to choose?

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 09:07

9. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


You essentially answered your own question. Once the 10.1 (2014) gets the update, the only difference will be the size. Not sure if the 10.1 will have 4 simultaneous windows though. Depends on whether or not they added it

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 09:13

10. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


for 4.4 or for the largest size tab.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 10:20

13. rodelarode (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Feb 2014)


Thanks for you quick reply mate. But I have no problem for bigger screen. All I care about is features of OS. But if 10.1 and 12.2 become identical after kitkat update I do not want to pay $200 more for 2.1" more screen size.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 21:58

17. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


You're also paying for more internal storage. The base model of the 12.2 is 32GB, whereas the base model of the 10.1 is 16GB.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 08:30

20. rodelarode (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Feb 2014)


In my country I am getting 32 GB 10.1 in $800 but For 32GB 12.2 I will need to spend $1000-1100.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 11:41

21. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Wow, that's a big difference. Here, 16GB 10.1 is $550 & 32GB 12.2 is $750. If I had the cash to spend, I'd go for the 12.2, but not if the difference was any more than that.

posted on 28 Feb 2014, 09:05

26. rodelarode (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Feb 2014)


finally bought 10.1 2014 edition note. I am loving it

posted on 28 Feb 2014, 13:19

27. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Nice! Glad to hear it.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 09:59

12. sonisoe (Posts: 323; Member since: 06 May 2009)


the difference between this and tab pro is the stylus ??

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 21:59 1

18. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Exactly.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 18:56 1

16. fireblade (Posts: 650; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


I want this

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Display12.2 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels (247 ppi) Super Clear LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Quad core, 2300 MHz, Krait 400 processor
3072 MB RAM
Size11.64 x 8.03 x 0.31 inches
(295.6 x 204 x 7.95 mm)
26.56 oz  (753 g)

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