Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 Review


Introduction


There comes a time in a person's life when they ask themselves how have they remained productive for so long without a 12" stylus-wielding tablet with extremely high resolution display. That's precisely the moment Samsung is betting on when it introduced the Galaxy NotePRO.

It's the largest member of its Note family, and Samsung argues that the 12.2” NotePRO offers PC-like productivity in today's mobile age, which blurs the lines between computing device segments. If we look at the specs of this Android tablet, they are certainly top-notch, but barely different than other high-end slates. NotePRO does add a larger display diagonal, compared to the typical 10” tablets, and even if compared to the Tab PRO 12.2, it is one S Pen stylus ahead, but is that enough? Can it really compare to a small and light convertible with desktop-grade Windows? Let's see what's on offer with the largest device in Samsung's Note portfolio...

In the box

  • Wall chargerUSB cable with proprietary connector
  • Four spare S Pen stylus tips with tip replacement tool

Design

Much larger and heavier than your average tablet, the NotePRO closes in on Windows 8.1 convertibles

Samsung has used the artificial leather look with stitching accents that it pioneered with the Note 3 here. It arguably gives its electronic devices a more buttoned-down and sophisticated look than sheer plastic, and we have to say you can be fooled it is a leather notepad looking from afar. It is still plastic, but nicer to the touch than the usual glossy coat. Glossy, however, is offering more traction for your hands, as it just sticks to your fingers, whereas the back here is more slippery. There is a metallic-looking rim surrounding the sides of the NotePRO, further adding to the more premium looks.

The tablet manages to stay in the sub-8mm category, which is where all the catwalk stars of the tablet arena belong, too. 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, while still leaving some bezel on the side for resting your thumbs during handling. For comparison, one of the closest competitors - the Sony Vaio Tap 11 - sports an 11" screen, but its volume is pretty close, at 12" x 7.40" x 0.39".

The issue here is weight, though - at 26.56 oz (753 g), Samsung's largest tablet isn't 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, powering full desktop-grade Windows 8.1. When you tack on keyboard folios, like the one Logitech introduced for the NotePRO, it starts to equate ultra thin and light laptops, which carry much more oomph than this huge tablet.

S-Pen Stylus


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. It is very easy to take out or push back in, yet feels snug, and not wobbly in the silo. The S Pen itself is pretty ergonomic and easy to handle, with an action button that is comfortably situated, and with good tactile feedback.


Display

One of the largest high-res displays on a tablet offers good outdoor visibility

Samsung is betting on a very high resolution display, which not many devices with this screen diagonal are able to offer yet. At 2560x1600, the 12.2" panel crams four million pixels on its surface. At 247ppi, this is the most pixel density you can currently get from a 12-incher, and that is more than enough so you won't notice any detail imperfections from a normal viewing distance.

We examined it with a macro lens, and it seems to be of the PenTile variety. The pixels are arranged in a diagonal “diamond” matrix, that is different from the standard “stripe” RGB one. You can only notice that looking very closely at solid colors, and if you know what to look for.

Samsung calls the new screens Super Clear LCD, which is a term used for its LCD screens since the dawn of the original Galaxy S, so don't get your hopes high it is a brand new screen technology, much different than the PLS-LCD panels on Samsung's high-res tablets of late.

The screen comes with several color presentation modes to choose from in the settings, such as Movie or Dynamic, which change the image characteristics, like color saturation. Colors look most natural in the Normal mode, while Dynamic flares them up quite a bit. The display's black levels are a tad too bright, appearing greyish and washed-out, which worsens with the change in viewing angles. Peak brightness is pretty high, and the panel's reflectivity coating is good, which makes the screen rather visible outdoor, even in direct sunlight.





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29 Comments

1. vincelongman

Posts: 5761; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

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

4. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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.

22. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 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.

29. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

2. nightfox11

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

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

3. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 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!

8. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

3rd party launchers and apps are the solution.

23. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

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

28. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

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

11. tmcr7

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

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

14. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

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

15. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

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

25. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

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

19. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

lolololololol its touchwiz bro.

24. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

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

5. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2363; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

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

6. bucky

Posts: 3795; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

That's exactly what I'm thinking.

7. rodelarode

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 21, 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?

9. g2a5b0e unregistered

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

10. g2a5b0e unregistered

for 4.4 or for the largest size tab.

13. rodelarode

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 21, 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.

17. g2a5b0e unregistered

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.

20. rodelarode

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 21, 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.

21. g2a5b0e unregistered

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.

26. rodelarode

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 21, 2014

finally bought 10.1 2014 edition note. I am loving it

27. g2a5b0e unregistered

Nice! Glad to hear it.

12. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 2009

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

18. g2a5b0e unregistered

Exactly.

16. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

I want this
Galaxy NotePRO 12.2
  • Display 12.2" 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 9500 mAh

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