There comes a time in any person's life when they have to ask themselves how are they going to remain productive without a 12" stylus-wielding tablet with extremely high resolution display. Samsung has caught onto that trend, and yesterday introduced the much rumored largest member of its Note family, whose mobile phone representatives started the whole phablet brouhaha, and some argue the whole big-screen mobile device swoop. Samsung argues that such a tablet offers the ultimate in productivity in today's mobile age that blurs the lines between computing device segments, and if we look at the specs, the company has a point, so let's recap what's on offer with the NotePRO.
is plastic. Despite the leather pattern with edge stitches, though, the tablet manages to stay in the sub-8mm category, which is plenty thin. The exact dimensions are 11.64 x 8.03 x 0.31 inches (295.6 x 204 x 7.95 mm), and we'd say this is as compact as a 12-incher can get, and still leave some bezel on the side for resting your thumbs while handling it. For comparison, the Sony Vaio Tap 11 sports an 11" screen, and measures more at 12" x 7.40" x 0.39".
The issue here is weight, though - at 26.56 oz (753 g), Samsung's largest tablet won't be feathery to carry around, or keep in your hand for a long time. Sony's Tap 11 weighs about the same, but it carries an Intel Haswell processor with the respective fan, plus a full USB 3.0 port. When you tack on keyboard folios, like the one Logitech introduced for the NotePRO, and you start thinking about ultra thin and light laptops, like Sony's Vaio Pro 11, which carry much more oomph than Samsung's tablet with this setup. Thankfully, we get Samsung's excellent S Pen stylus with the NotePRO, which sits tucked neatly in a silo at the top right corner of the slate, ready to alternate your productivity urges with doodling sprees.
PLS-LCD panels on Samsung's high-res tablets of late. At 247ppi, however, this is the most pixel density you can currently get from a 12-incher, so who can complain about the screen.
Depending on whether you want LTE connectivity with your Galaxy NotePRO or not, you will be getting your choice of the new "true octa-core" Exynos 5 Octa, which can have all eight cores firing up at once, pushing those four sections of the Multi Windows mode with ease. The LTE version will come with the no less powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800, clocked at the respectable 2.3 GHz. The 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, knowing 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. It also stepped up on the storage, starting the NotePRO at 32 GB instead of the typical 16 GB today's larger Android slates wield. Of course, this being a Samsung tablet, you also get a microSD slot.
We already mentioned that there will be an Exynos 5 Octa version of the NotePRO, which will carry Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity up to 21 Mbps, whereas the Snapdragon one will be able to get on your carrier's fast 4G LTE network. The 3G version 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, which seem geared towards Europe and Asia, so US carrier versions of the tablet might come at a later date.
As for the other wireless radios, the NotePRO doesn't skip on a single one, sporting 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, 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.
The 8 MP camera on the rear of the NotePRO is of the auto focus variety, and comes accompanied by an LED Flash. Featuring Zero Shutter Lag, it takes advantage of the numerous shooting and scene modes the typical Samsung camera interface offers, such as Panorama, HDR, Sports, Night and so on.
With a 9500 mAh, Samsung's Galaxy NotePRO is quoted to last 10 hours of video playback on a charge, which is above average for an Android slate, so you can rest assured it will last a whole day at the office or on the go when you are away from a charger. This autonomy, alongside the multitude of S Pen-oriented apps and screen modes, coupled with a large high-res display, will indeed make for the powerhouse of a tablet Samsung intends the NotePRO to be. The pricing scheme is pretty serious, though, so we'd wait to review the final retail unit before we pass any judgment on whether Samsung's largest Note family member is worth it.