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Samsung TabPRO 12.2 review: Big is beautiful

The Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 is a giant of a tablet in both size and price

samsung galaxy notepro front

Tablets vary in size a lot these days, and which size you prefer your tablet will depend to a large extent on how you plan to use it. If your need is for a constant companion that lends itself to doubling as an ereader then you might prefer a smaller tablet than the Galaxy TabPRO 12.2.

One thing is certain – anyone selecting the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 is going to get a tablet that’s not the easiest thing to throw into a bag or the lightest to carry around. The overall size of 204 x 295.6 x 7.95mm and weight of a massive 734g are an immediate problem if you like to travel light. It’s certainly not ideal for one-handed use, either. This is a tablet you are more likely to prop up to use, or grasp in two hands.

On the other side of the coin, you do get a massive screen here at 12.2 inches with a resolution that shows its capabilities off to great effect. The 2560 x 1600 pixels are simply wonderful to look at.

The other thing that just might put you off the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 is its price. Currently the 32GB Wi-Fi version can be found for around £400 – and you can get a reasonably good laptop for that kind of money. To compete, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 has to do some special things.

The internal specifications are very impressive. The eight-core processor comprises two quad-cores – 1.9GHz and 1.3GHz. The idea is that they balance each other so as not to consume more power than they need. There’s 3GB of RAM in support. The setup works well; speed and responsiveness were very good in our tests. If you are worried about battery life, don’t be. Patterns of usage vary of course, but we found we were able to last a day between charges pretty easily. There are some other pleasant surprises too. Wi-Fi includes all the options – a, b, g, n and ac – this is not always the case in tablets by any means. And there’s USB 3.0, which is another rarity. You also get infrared, for controlling your AV equipment. The main camera is a fairly capable eight-megapixel shooter, and there’s a second two-megapixel camera on the front. The only really notable absentee is NFC.

Samsung’s skin for Android 4.4 is now quite familiar, and it changes native Android beyond all recognition with a design makeover, lots of gesture and motion-based options and add-on apps. Many of these we’ve seen in other Samsung tablets, but one thing that takes huge advantage of the big screen is Multi Window – the ability to run four apps at the same time. Not all apps are compatible, but the range is good enough. You can resize windows to get things just how you want them. There’s an e-Meeting app too, which lets you share working with others over Wi-Fi. Touted as a business tool we can see this appealing to students or any group of people working on projects together.

Magazine UX is Samsung’s take on a constantly updated feed of what matters to you, and this occupies a homescreen. It’ll show social feeds and email as well as news from third-party sources.

If one thing lets the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 down it is the hardware design. We have to take our hat off to the thinness of the tablet, but in other design terms we are disappointed. Samsung insists on plastic for the chassis, which means what should be a premium product in fact feels a bit flimsy. The leather-look finish to the back is a plus as it feels soft to the touch and helps with grip, but the fake stitching all around the back edging is, in our view, a design mistake.

For more reviews on the latest tablets to hit the market, make sure to check out the latest issue of Android Magazine.

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