Unlike smartphones, high-end tablets that run Android are few and far between. That’s why Samsung’s 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro appears to be targeting a niche that’s waiting to be created. Although some use tablets for tasks such as presentations, many still feel the need for a laptop. In such a situation, can the Galaxy Note Pro change the paradigm? Let’s find out.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Galaxy Note Pro looks unmistakeably like a Samsung product. The oval home button, stylus and faux-leather material used at the back are reminiscent of the Note 3.
The faux-leather material adds to its look. However, it’s hard to use this tablet with one hand, even though it’s sleek and light for its size.
One new component is the new charging port. The micro USB 3.0 charging cable looks like a two-headed snake. One of these heads is the standard micro USB connector, while the other is a slightly wider connector. This means that you can use your phone’s micro USB cable to charge the Note Pro and transfer data, but that will be a lot slower than with the new cable.
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Note Pro’s screen is 12.2 inches diagonally. That’s larger than almost all tablets available in India. The resolution is a whopping 2,560×1,600 pixels. Needless to say, it’s amazing to watch videos or read books on it. However, it’s difficult to read in sunlight.
SOFTWARE & PERFORMANCE
This tablet serves you well as a productivity powerhorse. The first thing you will notice is the stylus and the apps that work with it. When you remove the stylus from its cavity, like in the Note 3, a circular menu pops up, asking you which of the apps you want to use.
When you swipe to one side on the homescreen, you’ll see the Note Pro’s Magazine UX, which offers a magazine-like reading experience on tablets. You can’t disable Magazine UX, but it is not the default homescreen. Those who liked HTC’s Blinkfeed or the pre-burned Flipboard on the Note 3 might want to use this feature. It lets you link your email and calendar accounts to give you a quick look at both.
When you swipe from the right edge to the left, you’ll see two columns of apps that you can drag to the screen for multi-tasking. It allows you to run up to four apps at a time. This can help speed up tasks, such as taking notes while checking email or monitoring Twitter while writing. This is also where some performance issues cropped up. When I played a YouTube video and pinned the music app (Chrome and S Note were open in the other two slots), there was a noticeable lag. Scrolling wasn’t smooth and switching between apps became slow. That’s disappointing, considering that this is such an expensive tablet.
The on-screen keyboard deserves a special mention here. It looks like a mechanical keyboard and improved my typing speed because several common actions were just like those on a physical keyboard. Still, you should get a physical keyboard if you intend to type a lot.
If you plan to use Note Pro as a device for presentations, especially those involving video, this tablet won’t disappoint. The speakers are loud enough and the screen is big enough for small conference rooms.
The battery life is quite good. With moderate use, the tablet ran for two days.
SHOULD YOU BY IT?
The Note Pro has a great display and some nice software tweaks to make it appealing as a productivity workhorse. But are you willing to shell out Rs 64,990 since there are some productivity issues? Unless these are fixed, people might still opt for laptops that might cost less.