In CES 2014, Samsung finally unveiled the largest tablet they ever made: the 12.2″ Galaxy Note Pro.
For Galaxy Note family, Galaxy Note Pro is a new member, of course, a super-sized member. Although Galaxy Note series always are proud of their sizes (5.3″, 5.5″, 5.7″, 8″ and 10.1″), some may wonder whether the 12.2″ screen in Galaxy Note Pro is too big.
In this post, I will share with you our comments (not reviews yet) of Galaxy Note Pro.
The official Galaxy Note Pro specs
The official specs of Galaxy Note Pro are really impressive. But this is not surprising, because Samsung always put the best hardware (except camera) on Galaxy Note series.
Just for your information, here are the official specs of Galaxy Note Pro.
- 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD display with 2560 x 1600 resolution (WQXGA)
- 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor ( for LTE/WiFi version) or 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa processor (3G/WiFi, or WiFi only versions)
- 3GB of RAM
- Android 4.4 (KitKat) with TouchWiz and Samsung Knox
- 32/64GB storage
- MicroSD support up to 64GB
- 8-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
- 2-megapixel front camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO technology
- Bluetooth 4.0
- USB 3.0
- GPS and GLONASS
- Infrared sensor
- 9500mAh battery
- Dimension: 295.6 x 204 x 7.95mm
- Weight: 750g (Wi-Fi version), 753 (3G/LTE version)
Is Galaxy Note Pro the best tablet?
Hardware specs surely put Galaxy Note Pro in the top tier of tablets. But tablet is not just hardware: it is about user experiences.
In addition to hardware specs, Galaxy Note Pro have some distinct advantages over any tablet in the market. So, Galaxy Note Pro may be the best tablet for some users.
1. The 12.2″ screen is perfect for everything
When the 12.2″ tablet was rumored last year, the first reaction of most people was “it is nice but it is simply too big”.
This was actually the identical response of the introduction of Galaxy Note in 2011. In 2012, I wrote a short post to address this concern: Is Galaxy Note really too large? The answer is always: size always matters!
The popularity of Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Note 3 proves that there is no wrong or correct size. Now more and more manufacturers join the phable bandwagon.
For tablet, a lot of people think 10″ is the limit. Probably this limit is imposed by Apple.
But if you ever tried S Pen on the Galaxy Note 10.1 or Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition for design or note taking, you will very likely want to get more screen space. 12.2″ fill this gap: for serious S Pen users.
If you are user Galaxy Note Pro to watch movies, edit photos, or browse website, 12.2″ is a very comfortable size when watched the screen from a distance of 20-30 cm.
For daily usage, the 12.2″ screen is actually perfect, except for your pocket.
2. The Magazine UI is impressive
Samsung’s TouchWiz skin is bloated and overweight. A lot of users complain about it is slowness. On flagship handset like Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy S4, you probably will not notice the slowness due to the high-end hardware.
Another common complaint on TouchWiz is the aesthetic. It seems Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is experimenting the new UI. The magazine UI is not new if you have tried My Magazine on Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition.
But in Galaxy Note Pro, this Magazine UI simply looks better than the old home screen.
3. The resurrection of stylus era
If you never use S Pen, you are wasting money on Note series. You can probably get better value for your money from other vendors.
S Pen is the heart of Galaxy Note phones and tablets.
Of course, designers and business users prefer stylus or S Pen. Students can also benefit from it greatly.
But S Pen is not just for them: it is for everyone. If you spend 1 or 2 hours with S Pen, you will realize using fingers actually is not the ideal solution on smartphones or tablets. Most of the time, the magic S Pen simply makes you more productive.
Will Galaxy Note Pro resurrect the stylus era? Maybe not, but more people will start to benefit from the S Pen.
What’s wrong with Galaxy Note Pro
Galaxy Note Pro is far from perfect. There are at least 3 fatal problems.
1. Stupid menu and back buttons may kill Galaxy Note Pro
It is quite strange Samsung re-introduced the 3 physical buttons to Galaxy Note Pro (and other tablets since Galaxy Note 8.0)
The Home button may be useful. But the other two (back and menu) are simply stupid. They make the Galaxy Note Pro an ancient Cupcake device.
Similar to Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, you can very easily touch them accidentally.
2. No front speakers: you will miss Galaxy Note 10.1
Front speakers usually give better listening experiences. Of course, the quality of the speakers and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) are also important.
But on Galaxy Note Pro, the front speakers are removed (same as Galaxy note 10.1 2014 Edition). You will miss the front speakers on the Galaxy note 10.1 anyway.
3. Some bundled apps and contents are just rubbish
Samsung will bundle Galaxy Note Pro with more than $700 worth content and apps. Of course, a few users may like such bundles. But most will never use it.
No matter you use/consume or not, you have to pay for them when you purchase your Galaxy Note Pro. In some regions, some contents will not work at all. Most of the apps have free (maybe even better) alternatives.
I would prefer a $50 discount for opting out the rubbish bundle.
Is Galaxy note Pro for you?
So, the question is whether this giant tablet for you.
If you are comfortable with S Pen, this tablet is definitely a good upgrade to your Galaxy Note 10.1 (upgrade for hardware and software) or Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition (upgrade for bigger screen, arguably better UI).
If you have no plan to use S Pen, Galaxy Note Pro is not for you. Maybe Galaxy Tab Pro provides you all options.
What do you think about this 12.2″ Galaxy note Pro? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!