Samsung is one of the keenest tablet makers around. It has a range of devices, at a variety of sizes, with and without 3G and 4G support. The pen friendly Galaxy Note range started off with a large phone-sized device and has since grown into the bigger screened tablet space too.
The new Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 takes the Note concept to its extreme putting it into a huge tablet with a 12.2 inch screen.
The net result is something quite amazing. The Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 is unquestionably huge. It is heavy too. At 750g you aren’t going to want to hold it in one hand for very long. But actually, this device is about a different type of tablet based computing.
The screen isn’t far off being the same size as an A4 sheet of paper. The pen based input means you can draw and write to it really easily, and the handwriting recognition was, for us, very impressive indeed.
Moreover, the on-screen keyboard is a cut above the norm. The oversized screen means the keyboard can take up a bit more space. Samsung has given it shift, tab, caps lock and other keys in a good approximation of a physical keyboard, and added keyboard-like sounds. Typing on a tablet doesn’t get much easier.
There are links into the cloud for the data you can’t fit onto the 25GB of free storage on the 32GB version. There’s a whiteboarding, collaborative working app for business types called eMeeting, and Samsung’s business security app Knox.
There’s an infra red zapper, USB 3.0 for faster than usual data transfer and stereo speakers. The speakers are loud but not great quality, it has to be said.
Samsung always adds a lot to Android. Many of the usual Samsung gesture and other tweaks are here. SmartStay for example, uses the 2 megapixel front camera to keep the screen on if you are using it regardless of the display settings. (There’s an 8 megapixel back camera too, by the way, although the sheer size of this device makes it even less convenient to use than tablet cameras normally are).
And many of the familiar pen friendly apps are here too with others available to download. The stylus works brilliantly, calling up the Air Command options when you take it out of its housing, acting in a clever pressure sensitive way when you are drawing, letting you control apps, identify areas of the screen to copy and paste, and more.
Samsung does pen based input better than any competitor, and it remains one of the Note range’s biggest selling points.
The 2,560 x 1,600 screen is sharp and bright with great viewing angles. It is big enough for Samsung to have been able to develop its split screen system to allow up to four apps to show on screen at once doubling the previous limit of two.
The octa core processor in our review sample was very nippy. If you go for the Wi-Fi plus 4G model there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. In either case 3GB of RAM assists.
There’s good news on the battery front as life is relatively long, but bad news in that it takes an age to charge. It will charge with a standard USB cable rather than the USB 3.0 one that’s provided, but very slowly.
It is great to see Android 4.4 here. Samsung has skinned it heavily, of course, and included a couple of home screens it calls My Magazine which bring together news from third parties, apps and device information like your calendar. You can personalise what’s included. Some people will love the approach, and it certainly works well on the large screen.
There’s an awful lot going on in the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, and this is a fast, capable, well specified tablet. It will be too big for many people, but for others the bigger than usual screen will open up new opportunities in tablet computing.
Review written by Sandra Vogel