Looking past all the drama surrounding the Galaxy Tablets and the Apple iPad, what we’re essentially here to tell you is whether you should or shouldn’t spend your hard earned money on a tablet that could be an iPad threat. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 800 aka Note 10.1 (GT-N8000) is the latest in the high end segment and has all the makings of a fully functional, versatile, easy to manage device—but does it prove to be all that the advertisements claim? Read on to find out.
Video Review of Samsung Galaxy Note 800
Design and Build
To set the record straight, the Galaxy Note 800 looks nothing like the iPad. While each has its own fundamental USPs and design forms, we’re not here to compare just yet. The Note 800 is a sleek, polished, professional looking device that, in spite of its large size, is quite lightweight at 600g and easy to manage. It’s one of the thinnest devices yet, at just 8.9mm in depth. The 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen features a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution that doesn’t even begin to compare to the New iPad’s Retina Display. It still is, nevertheless, quite a vibrant display with 16 million colours squeezing out their best.
Excellent look and feel
The stereo speakers placed on either side of the display focus the audio directly at you, making for a better experience if you’re watching a video without headphones. At the bottom of the device is Samsung’s proprietary USB/Charging port, which we have to admit, still looks similar to Apple’s 30-pin connector. A microphone is also located here at the bottom in case you need to make those absolutely urgent calls and can’t quite reach your headset. Speaking of calls, the Note 800 has a microSIM card slot along with a microSD card slot on the top to supplement the onboard storage of either 8GB, 16GB or 32GD with up to 32GB more. The flaps for the card slots have a really good feel to them, which shows just how much attention to detail the company has taken. The Power/screen lock, volume rocker 3.5 mm handsfree socket are also placed here.
What sets the Galaxy Note 800 apart from its peers is the little IR sensor at the top. This coupled with a preloaded app called Smart Remote will let you connect to most HDTVs for remote access, making your tablet a fully functional remote control. A 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash is placed at the rear with a secondary 1.9 megapixel front facing camera placed just above the display.
5MP shooter along with a LED flash
Samsung’s pudgy little S Pen is neatly tucked away in to the bottom right hand corner of the tablet. The company has also graciously provided plenty of extra stylus pins should you be a little too rough with the one that comes out of the box. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver even if it is a little on the thicker side.
If you’ve seen the ads, yes, the Galaxy Note 800 looks and feels just as slick as it does on TV.
Features and Perfromnce
Samsung has gone with itsTouchWiz Nature UI for the Note 800, so if you’ve used the Galaxy S III, then you’ll be very familiar with the interface. With Android 4.0.4 under the hood, the interface is quick and painless. There’s very little visible lag when switching between home screens or apps; everything is extremely responsive. We also really liked the sensitivity of the touchscreen, which responds to even the slightest touch, so you’ll barely have to press your finger on the screen. The smooth UI is possible thanks to the generous 2GB RAM and quad-core Exynos 4412 running at 1.4GHz.
Interface is quick and fluid
The two main highlights of the Note 800 are, of course, the new S Pen technology and the ability to view two apps simultaneously side-by-side. Starting with the S Pen, Samsung has incorporated Wacom’s pen input technology and the Note 800 now has 1024 points of sensitivity, so the stylus feels a lot more like a real pen. For instance, the width of lines drawn in the S Memo app will actually expand depending on how much pressure you apply on the tip. This does make drawing and sketching a lot more accurate. Pulling the S pen out of its dock brings up a list of apps designed for it on the right. You can either have this shortcuts toolbar open up or choose to launch an app automatically. The choice of optimised apps include S Note, S Planner, Crayon Physics, Photoshop Touch and Polaris Office.
Multiscren works well but only for a limitd number of apps
The split-screen function works well, but sadly, only let’s you split a handful of apps side by side. Your choice of apps for split screen mode include Polaris Office, S Note, Video Player, Gallery and Email. Sadly, you can’t watch a YouTube video through the app and browse the web at the same time. This feature should have been applicable to all apps or at least all of Google’s apps.